Adding Reverb with Premiere Pro or Audacity

curiouswebster used Ask the Experts™
Adding Reverb with Premiere Pro or Audacity

I am about to record my voice for a web video, but need to make my voice deeper. I am told by an expert I need to ad Reverb.

Please tell me how to control this with either Premiere Pro or Audacity.

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Top Expert 2016

reverb (reverberation) is an echo effect.  What you want to do is lower the pitch, this can be done using equalization
>>> "need to make my voice deeper.  I am told by an expert I need to add Reverb" <<<

I wouldn't listen to that particular "expert's" advice again for the reason explained by David above.  Reverberation as a digital effect is intended to simulate how sound is reflected back off the walls and other surfaces in a particular environment.  Sound in any enclosed or partly enclosed space is echoed back at differing intervals and with different intensities and delays from each of the surfaces, which is why you usually find reverb effect presets labelled as cave, small room, large room, hall, auditorium, and so on.  Each of these environments bounces sound back in a different way and the larger the space the longer the delays.  Because of the way reflected sound decays (fades away), and depending on how much of the effect-processed sound is mixed back with the original source sound you could actually end up with a more "tinny" sound than one that sounds deeper.

I would suggest trying to sit in a room that has drapes on the window and some soft furnishings to reduce reflectance from those hard surfaces a bit.  Studios usually have wall surfaces designed to prevent echo so that it sounds "dead", and artificial reverberation can then be added sparingly and with control afterwards if needed to make the voice sound more live.

In the old days blues guitarists and singers were instructed by recording engineers to sit facing into the corner of a room and sing into the microphone.  This enhanced the bass response.  There is also something referred to as "bass proximity effect".  The closer your mouth is to a standard "directional" microphone the more bass response it captures and can boost lower frequencies.

Complicated explanation;
Simpler explanation:
Quote:  "The proximity effect is what helps DJs on the radio to sound like Barry White, and many a singer would sound like the skinny kid he is, if it weren’t for the blessings of the proximity effect."

Experiment with microphone placement and use a pop or wind shield to reduce "plosive" sounds from your mouth when the microphone is close.  Obviously if you are being seen talking on your video you don't want a microphone crammed up to your face so there as to be a compromise.

The native "Pitch" effect in Audacity works pretty well for raising or lowering the pitch of audio without changing the tempo, as long as you don't try and make Shania Twain sound like Barry White saying "Man, I feel Like a Woman" by lowering the pitch by too many octaves.  I have found that the inbuilt pitch adjustment effect in Audacity works best on simple audio sources rather than something like a symphony orchestra, but applying any effect can degrade the original signal or add some odd little artefacts and there wouldn't be any other sounds apart from your own voice to disguise any such artefacts, so experiment with several test runs before committing and keep the original audio without any pitch manipulation as a backup.

Personally I would only use pitch adjustment as a last resort if you can't get your voice to sound deeper by microphone adjustment and room placement.

If you use Audacity for other audio projects you might be interested in the information below.

I was once able to download some VST effects by Kjaerhus and have used them with Audacity since.  They were all named as "Classic", so you had for example "Kjaerhus Classic Chorus".  In addition they also had a compressor, delay, eq, flanger, phaser, and the Classic Reverb.  These are used as "VST Plugins" in Audacity.  You download the plugin usually in a ZIP file and unzip the DLL file to the folder used by Audacity for its plugin effects, for example: "C:\Program Files\Audacity\Plug-Ins\Classic Reverb.dll".  In Audacity you go to the Edit menu > Preferences > Effects category and tick the boxes to "Enable VST Effects" and "Display VST Effects in Graphical Mode".  You tick the box to "Rescan VST Effects the next time Audacity is started".  That will then allow you to open these additional effects from the Effects menu where the Reverb, for example, would show as "Kjaerhus Audio: Classic Reverb".

The reason I am suggesting VST effect that can display in graphical mode is that it is much easier to "turn" a rotary dial on an interface that resembles a rack box with your mouse than twiddling around using sliders and input boxes and lots of guesswork with values to apply an effect.  You would still have to find live download links for these Kjaerhus VST effects though.  The ones I had bookmarked are now dead.
curiouswebsterSoftware Engineer


You are welcome newbieweb

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