Photo by Victor Grigas via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0
Like auto mechanics, carpenters, and writers, musicians often become skilled practitioners without the benefit of any formal training. So many of us have gotten really good at some section of the business by hanging around studios, sitting in on rehearsals, and watching what great players do onstage. There are producers and engineers who have created world-class recordings without ever attending a recording class.
Hands-on learning is great for musicians, but undertaking the study of music with no particular plan or curriculum also has its disadvantages. In the studio, it really helps to have some technical understanding of what different effects and equipment actually do. We all have a general idea of how a flanger sounds, for instance. But what is it? How is the sound produced? Having more clarity about these details will give us a greater command of the studio and the sound of our music in general. Without further delay (or echo), let’s dig into the details of some of the most common production effects.