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WPI Technical Theatre Handbook: Effects Processors
 
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Effects Processors

Special audio effects such as pitch shifting, reverberation, and delay are often desirable in a theatre application. Discrete reverb and delay units are common, but are often replaced with effects processors or multi-effects units, which can provide a number of audio effects in one box.

There is no standard type of effects processor. Each offer a different number of effects, different sound quality, and a different user interface. Some common effects are listed below:

  • Delay. The audio signal is delayed by a certain period of time before it is played. Times from a few milliseconds to several seconds are common. Echo effects are commonly done with delays.
  • Reverb. Reverb effects simulate room characteristics, and are often adjustable to simulate different sizes and types of rooms. Reverb is often confused with echo, but rest assured, it's different.
  • Flanging and Phasing. Two effects that are difficult to describe, but most everyone has heard both. Both can be said to make a sound appear to ``swish''.
  • Pitch Shifting. Pitch shifters increase or decrease the pitch of the sound. This effect, combined with others, is what gives Darth Vader his characteristic voice.

Effects processors can be used as inserts on channels or with aux sends. Aux sends are more commonly used because more than one channel can ``share'' an effect. Also it allows mixing of the wet and dry signals, which is very desirable in most cases.

Figure 6.8: A roadcase with several pieces of signal processing equipment, including a dbx compresser/limiter, a Yamaha effects processor, and a Klark-Technic graphic equalizer.
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next up previous contents index
Next: Output Up: Signal Processing Equipment Previous: Noise Gates   Contents   Index
Steve Richardson 2000-07-06

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