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🎬 Audio Effects

Conveniently, effects inside Fairlight can be applied at both the clip and track level.

Equalization or “EQ”

An “EQ” is an equalizer that lets you boost or reduce the strength of your audio signal at specific frequencies. Common uses include:

  • Restoring some mid to high frequencies to a lav mic hidden under clothing
  • Adding some base “presence” to a mic that emphasizes mid-high frequencies
  • ‘Carving out’ space in music for dialog to sit overtop it
  • Trimming the bottom end hum of a furnace in the background via a “high pass” or “low cut” EQ
  • Trimming the high end from a recording to eliminate high frequency noise via a “low pass” or “high cut” EQ
  • Very often EQ is about cutting offensive frequencies more than it is about boosting other frequencies

Compression

Compression reduces the dynamic range of the input signal. Downward compression takes all sounds above a specified threshold and brings them downward. You can compensate for volume drop via makeup gain.Upward compression isn’t feasible (would just raise noise floor). Put a bit of compression on your “Master bus” or across the entire mix. It’ll help ‘glue’ things together.LimiterAn aggressive compressorPluginsNoise reduction, stereo imaging, etc.

Saturation: A hot signal recorded to tape oversaturates it giving it additional harmonics, character and “grit”, and can be emulated with digital plugins.

To make a kick sound more present, INCREASE the attack (in ms) so that it’s not grabbing the first part of the sound so aggressively. Then use the release control to adjust how much you want to hear the rumble after the strike.


Limiter

A limiter is just a simple compressor that pulls your overshoots back aggressively.

This one is often used to do the opposite of what it sounds like. You can use it to “boost volume” without clipping since it will raise the RMS average but “limit” the top end.

Noise Reduction

Fairlight has a decent little noise reduction plugin built in. For free it’s not half bad. Find a section of audio with only noise present (e.g. no dialog) hit the “Learn” button, then press play. Stop before the dialog starts in again. Fairlight uses this to build a noise profile and pull only the noise from your clip.

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