GCSE

The Value of Effects

This entry is part 7 of 9 in the series Sound Advice for Soundtrap

Soundtrap is a great tool for making music. Not only can we create beats, bass-lines, melodies and chords, but we can add effects to enhance our music. The value of Effects is that they can make music sound more authentic and exciting. Students will quickly see that their music is enhanced by the effects within Soundtrap.

But where do we start when it comes to effects and how can the value of effects be appreciated by our students? I will be tackling these very things in this Sound Advice for Soundtrap blog.

Where do we start?

Before we can use effects, we need to create some music. Effects are then used to enhance the music, creating the desired sound. But before we can use effects, we need to know what they do. What will the impact be on the music? It might also be that you have some music created and want to work out what can be added to enhance the music and make it sound even better.

Getting to know the different effects in Soundtrap is fairly easy, and they even provide audio examples to help. Here are some of the common effects that you might want to play with or add to a current piece of music:

  • Reverb
  • Panning
  • Distortion
  • Chorus
  • Delay
  • Sweep Filter

If you have access to Focus on Sound Pro then I would encourage you to look up these key terms. They will be clearly explained to you, with visual and audio examples.

Reverb in Focus on Sound Pro

Adding Effects

You can quickly hear these effects in action within Soundtrap, allowing you to select which one to add to a track. With a track selected, click on the Add Effects button just to the right of the screen.

This will launch the screen below and you can see that it includes some of the more basic effects at the top. These are worth exploring with students so that they understand what reverb, panning and basic amp controls do. A piece of music can be instantly enhanced by clever panning and a bit of reverb.

Now click on “Add effect” to bring up a further screen with more options. On this screen you can audition the different effects and see how they sound before you add them to your track.

The Value of

When an effect is added to the track you are then able to control the parameters of the effect and start to hear it in action.

The Value of Effects

The value of effects is simple to summarise; they are there to enhance our music and raise awareness of how sounds can be altered and manipulated. You only have to listen to The Beatles or Queen to see the impact of these effects in the 1960s & 70s. But now these effects don’t require hefty hardware in a studio, they are right there within Soundtrap. If we want our students to take their composing to the next level, then it is worth getting them exploring effects.

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