Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Canyon Echo part 1

In my last post we looked at how to purchase a microphone. For this next post I was going talk about the next step after that: mic preamps, cables and setting a good level for your recording. But there seems to be a fair amount of buzz out there about how to get Canyon Echo that great extra treatment that gives many NAF recordings their sense of space. Along with this buzz there is also a lot of misinformation.

For example I heard the following story from a flute maker. It seems another flute maker had posted a new flute on his website along with some sound samples. There were two of them and they both used the same flute recording. The first one did not have any effects, what is called dry, in our case no Canyon Echo. The second sound sample was the same music but with some Canyon Echo added to it to make the flute sound a little nicer. The next day a customer called the flute maker to purchase the flute, but he wanted the one with the "Canyon Echo Option". He thought that the echo was built into the flute...

The truth is that the canyon echo that gives so many flute recordings such a great sound is added to the sound of the flute by devices that modify it electronically or digitally, thereby replicating physical spaces. These effects are really called Reverb, Delay or Echo, depending on which one is being used. You hear these effects on all types music produced in the last 40 or more years, and on all the different instruments on those recordings: vocals, guitars, drums, keyboards, saxophones, etc, not just Native flutes. Also these effects are never referred to in the larger music world as Canyon Echo. So from now on I won't call it that either. Regardless of what you call it, what we are going to do in the next few posts is look at how these effects work, and how to add them to your flute sound. Something you can do whether you play at home, in the studio or on a stage.

Before we dive in it will help if you understand a little about each of the three effects we are going to deal with: reverb, delay and echo, what they do to the sound, how they differ from one another, and then finally how you can add them to the sound of your flutes. This basic explanation will make every thing clearer and easier to understand. I'm going to do this with one post for reverb and another for delay and echo. Let's start with reverb.

Reverb is that extra part of the sound that originally came from the place or "space" in which the sound was performed and heard. Reverb is short for the term Reverberation.

Read the full article HERE

1 comment:

  1. Hey Scott. I must say that I like your page. Native American Music is Awesome! I'm also interested because you talk about the use of the native American flutes. That was covered in the Music of World Cultures class I took. Interesting. I also am an aspiring musician, writing for many different groups. I'm a fourth year college student studying composition and I'm always looking for fresh inspiration.