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  #1  
Old 07-25-2010, 10:25 AM
Glasshousefields Glasshousefields is offline
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Default Creating "distant" effect on Virtual instruments?

I know it's not a very technical term, but i don't know how to process sounds to make them sound 'distant'? Not just reverb or anything like that, but the kind of effect you get, especially on the drum loops in ambient and electronica pieces, where they sound like they are playing far away. I'd like to know how to process drum loops with that effect, and also i have an organ riff which i also want to process in this way. If anyone knows what i'm talking about and could tell me what technique is used to create this sound, it would be appreciated.

Thx
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  #2  
Old 07-25-2010, 10:33 AM
AdamPT8 AdamPT8 is offline
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Default Re: Creating "distant" effect on Virtual instruments?

I would say it was a mix of a good reverb and eq'ing out the low freq's
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  #3  
Old 07-25-2010, 10:39 AM
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Stig Eliassen Stig Eliassen is offline
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Default Re: Creating "distant" effect on Virtual instruments?

Yeah, a mix of reverb and HPF/LPF should get you there as mentioned. Actually, I've also had success with nudging "distant-sounding" audio a few ms later in time. You get that sloppy, laidback effect that also can work out nicely.
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  #4  
Old 07-25-2010, 04:26 PM
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DrFord DrFord is offline
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Default Re: Creating "distant" effect on Virtual instruments?

Adam is sortof not correct. Taking out the low frequencies won't create distance, but will help you mixblend and overall "muddy-ness."

The Doppler effect is based on speed of sound, and how sound travels. You have to think of this as an LFO set to change pitch AND Low pass Filter, set to a very obtuse triangle, where the peak of the triangle is where you are standing. The sound starts out low and as it travels near you, the pitch and Low pass cutoff raises until it passes you and then the pitch and lowpass lowers again. We've all heard this millions of times daily. The best example of this is when a car with Subwoofers in the trunk is rolling down your street. The first thing you hear is the 30hz "woom woom" and as the car gets closer you hear exhaust / engine / and then the highs of their speakers.

Bass frequencies travel differently from Mids and Highs. The reason is because bass vibrates more than, and the waveforms are exponentially longer than mids and highs. Whereas the complete cycle of a sine wave at 2k is 6.78 INCHES, the complete cycle of a sinewave at 60hz is 18.83 FEET. As the bass vibrates everything mechanically, the vibrations transfer to all else connected mechanically and transmit sound. Bass also travels Omnidirectional, where Mids and Highs travel like light does (directionally), and reflect like light does.

-

Distance is perceived by two major psycho-acoustic qualifiers, Reverb and EQ. When an object is moving, we add pitch. If the object is stationary, distance and speed of sound are the main factors. Since the cycle of the lower frequencies are so much greater then the cycles of mids and highs, the lows and low mids reach you first, followed by the highs which usually get blended in with reverb from the room you are in.

The closer you are to the object, the less reverb you hear, because you hear more of the original highs, and less of the reverbed highs. So to create distance in a track, you should add both reverb and a high shelf. The more gain reduction you ad (-db) and more reverb you ad the farther away it will sound.

Also, things in stereo tend to sound closer. So if you want something to be farther away, you don't want it hard panned stereo on both sides. 1 side would be ok, but as our eyes and ears triangulate sound, the more stereo something sounds, the closer it will appear. The more mono something sounds, the more ambient and atmospheric it will appear.

Hope this helps. Experimentation is really the best way, notice I never said which frequency to use for the high shelf gain reduction, it depends on the audio content, you mix, and experimenting.

Best,
Doc
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  #5  
Old 07-25-2010, 04:43 PM
AdamPT8 AdamPT8 is offline
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Default Re: Creating "distant" effect on Virtual instruments?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrFord View Post
Adam is sortof not correct. Taking out the low frequencies won't create distance, but will help you mixblend and overall "muddy-ness."

The Doppler effect is based on speed of sound, and how sound travels. You have to think of this as an LFO set to change pitch AND Low pass Filter, set to a very obtuse triangle, where the peak of the triangle is where you are standing. The sound starts out low and as it travels near you, the pitch and Low pass cutoff raises until it passes you and then the pitch and lowpass lowers again. We've all heard this millions of times daily. The best example of this is when a car with Subwoofers in the trunk is rolling down your street. The first thing you hear is the 30hz "woom woom" and as the car gets closer you hear exhaust / engine / and then the highs of their speakers.

Bass frequencies travel differently from Mids and Highs. The reason is because bass vibrates more than, and the waveforms are exponentially longer than mids and highs. Whereas the complete cycle of a sine wave at 2k is 6.78 INCHES, the complete cycle of a sinewave at 60hz is 18.83 FEET. As the bass vibrates everything mechanically, the vibrations transfer to all else connected mechanically and transmit sound. Bass also travels Omnidirectional, where Mids and Highs travel like light does (directionally), and reflect like light does.

-

Distance is perceived by two major psycho-acoustic qualifiers, Reverb and EQ. When an object is moving, we add pitch. If the object is stationary, distance and speed of sound are the main factors. Since the cycle of the lower frequencies are so much greater then the cycles of mids and highs, the lows and low mids reach you first, followed by the highs which usually get blended in with reverb from the room you are in.

The closer you are to the object, the less reverb you hear, because you hear more of the original highs, and less of the reverbed highs. So to create distance in a track, you should add both reverb and a high shelf. The more gain reduction you ad (-db) and more reverb you ad the farther away it will sound.

Also, things in stereo tend to sound closer. So if you want something to be farther away, you don't want it hard panned stereo on both sides. 1 side would be ok, but as our eyes and ears triangulate sound, the more stereo something sounds, the closer it will appear. The more mono something sounds, the more ambient and atmospheric it will appear.

Hope this helps. Experimentation is really the best way, notice I never said which frequency to use for the high shelf gain reduction, it depends on the audio content, you mix, and experimenting.

Best,
Doc
Isn't this exactly what I said? lol

As for the doppler effect. The best example is a siren or a police car driving towards you, then passing you by and then getting further away. As the car is coming towards you it sounds higher pitched because the waveforms are squashed up and they become shorter, when the car is getting further away from you the waveforms are stretched out and the pitch of the siren will get lower. So your description of the sound starting out low, getting higher, and then back lower I'm afraid is wrong.

Also the doppler effect doesn't have any basis here really due to being about a moving sound source in relation to a stationary person.

The answer is down to proximity effect, the closest something is to a microphone the more bassy it sounds, the further away from the microphone it is the less bassey it sounds. Hense the reason of taking out the low frequencies. The same also applies to ambient noise, the further away the sound is from the mic the more ambient room noise will be picked up, this is why reverb is added, to give that effect.
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:34 PM
daeron80 daeron80 is offline
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Default Re: Creating "distant" effect on Virtual instruments?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrFord View Post
as our eyes and ears triangulate sound, the more stereo something sounds, the closer it will appear.
Never thought about that one before. Cool.

@Adam, proximity effect occurs over a pretty short range, and not with all mic types and patterns. If the sample in question was recorded from further than a foot or two away and/or with an omni mic pattern, there will be no proximity effect, and rolling off lows in that case won't help. You want to roll off highs. If the sound was recorded close up with a cardioid pattern, there could be proximity effect, in which case you want to roll off below 100 Hz and above, say 5 kHz, give or take an octave or so.

You might try in-tempo delays, too, with the delays a little darker and getting washed with more verb than the source.
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  #7  
Old 07-26-2010, 05:25 AM
AdamPT8 AdamPT8 is offline
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Default Re: Creating "distant" effect on Virtual instruments?

You're right, proximity effect does occur over a pretty short distance, but we don't know what kind of distance, surroundings or sound source the OP is talking about so it might have been relevant. If you are trying to make a vocal sound distant that was close miked, you would take out the low end that is a result of proximity effect. You are right in what you say that not all microphones react to proximity effect, but it is also dependant on how we perceive sound, when someone talks really close up to your ear, it sounds more bassy, no mics involved here, which is why if we take out some low end we get the perceived sense that is further away.

I was trying to show that the doppler effect has nothing to do with it as that is relevant to a sound which is moving, not about creating distance, but about creating spacial awareness with the given sound.

When making something sound distant there are many things which come into factor and there a various techniques which can be used. If it is a voice being shouted from far away then clarity would be lost, there would be less dynamics, more atmospheric noise etc. To achieve that effect you would have to EQ out some low and highs, remove sibilance, compress, add reverbs, slap delays, adjust attack times, the list can be endless.

If it is someone whispering from far away in a church then only certain letters and peaks would have lots of reverb, so using an expander on an aux buss which sends only peaks to a reverb effect would be useful here.

We really need more info on what the OP wants, but as a 'quick fix' in a song mix, to make something sound a bit further away, removing some low and high end and adding reverb will be sufficient.
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  #8  
Old 07-26-2010, 07:53 AM
daeron80 daeron80 is offline
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Default Re: Creating "distant" effect on Virtual instruments?

What would cause a decrease in the dynamic character of a more distant sound?
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  #9  
Old 07-26-2010, 08:13 AM
AdamPT8 AdamPT8 is offline
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Default Re: Creating "distant" effect on Virtual instruments?

I think you mean about when I said that in relation to somebody shouting, if not just correct me lol.

But if you did... when someone is shouting there tends to be a decrease in dynamic sound simply because the nature of shouting, i.e trying to convey a message to someone far away, you would be shouting everything as loud as you can, you wouldn't be saying somethings quietly, everything would be said loudly.

I'm certainly not saying there are NO dynamics, of course there is, but less than spoken or sung voice.
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  #10  
Old 07-26-2010, 08:16 AM
daeron80 daeron80 is offline
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Default Re: Creating "distant" effect on Virtual instruments?

Ah. Yes, I took you to be saying that distance decreases dynamic character. I see what you mean now. In that case, the only real solution would be to record the sound yourself and be louder and less dynamic. Compression wouldn't make it sound like you were shouting if you weren't.
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