Helpful ReplyA question about effects tails

Author
synkrotron
Max Output Level: -26.5 dBFS
  • Total Posts : 4878
  • Joined: 2006/04/28 16:21:21
  • Location: Warrington, UK
  • Status: online
2017/10/28 09:58:21 (permalink)

A question about effects tails

Hi Technical Peeps
 
I was wondering, at what point, in terms of level, do you consider your effects "tail" to be done, complete, finished, if you know what I mean?
 
The sort of stuff I create uses lots of effects that have long tails and I like, if possible, for the track to come to a natural, if somewhat long end.
 
Invariably, though, I find that the effects tails are pretty much silent, even though there is still some level showing on the meter.
 
I know I could use fader automation to ensure that any tails are reduced to zero, but I prefer to let stuff tail off without doing that.
 
I pretty much always use Sound Forge 10 for trimming the length of my tracks down and in a lot of cases I end up applying a bit of a fade at the end, just so that the meter shows a gradual fade to -inf, rather than looking like it has some to an abrupt halt.
 
So, yeah, I was wondering what the experts do in this situation, or am I being to anal?
 
cheers
 
andy

http://www.synkrotron.co.uk/
Intel Core™i7-3820QM Quad Core Mobile Processor 2.70GHz 8MB cache | Intel HM77 Express Chipset | 16GB SAMSUNG 1600MHz SODIMM DDR3 RAM | NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M - 2.0GB DDR5 Video RAM | 500GB Samsung 850 Pro SSD | 1TB Samsung 850 Pro SSD | Windows 10 Pro | Roland OCTA-CAPTURE | SONAR Platinum ∞ FFS| Too many VSTi's to list here | KRK KNS-8400 Headphones | Roland JP-8000 | Oberheim OB12 | Novation Nova | Gibson SG Special | PRS Studio
#1
soens
Max Output Level: -29 dBFS
  • Total Posts : 4608
  • Joined: 2005/09/16 03:19:55
  • Location: Location: Location
  • Status: offline
Re: A question about effects tails 2017/10/28 11:31:24 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby synkrotron 2017/10/28 11:35:40
1. Make it as long as you want
2. Make it as long as space will allow (i.e. until the tape runs out)
3. Just let it go. Even if you can't hear it your dog still can so let it go, and go, and go...
 
I'm no expert but I usually end it unnaturally with a fade-out where it makes sense to, but still sounds relatively natural, so that I don't have the above situation.
 
Point being, even the dog's tail ends at some point, especially if he's a Pointer.

 
Too much tail just gets in the way.

 
As does too much nail.
post edited by soens - 2017/10/29 01:16:06
#2
bitflipper
01100010 01101001 01110100 01100110 01101100 01101
  • Total Posts : 25056
  • Joined: 2006/09/17 11:23:23
  • Location: Everett, WA USA
  • Status: offline
Re: A question about effects tails 2017/10/29 14:52:40 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby synkrotron 2017/10/29 19:21:00
Traditionally, a sound is considered "done" when it reaches -60 dB. That's the standard for measuring room acoustics. 
 


All else is in doubt, so this is the truth I cling to. 

My Stuff
#3
Jeff Evans
Max Output Level: -27.5 dBFS
  • Total Posts : 4765
  • Joined: 2009/04/13 18:20:16
  • Location: Ballarat, Australia
  • Status: offline
Re: A question about effects tails 2017/10/29 19:15:21 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby synkrotron 2017/10/29 19:21:38
It is a good question. I have been known to produce ambient tracks myself and in these situations there can be a lot of slow release envelopes present.  Including long reverb tails.  I tend to solo the tracks and just turn the system up and use your ears little more.  Listening until you reach the point of not hearing it any more.  And if you compared it to the figure of -60 db as mentioned here, you will find that figure will be higher in the real world e.g. a sound becomes hard to hear at say -40 dB.  Or even -30 dB.  Depends on the sound and its contents too. Sounds that contain a lot of frequencies e.g. more noise like will become hard to hear even sooner.  
 
I say just always render well beyond where you think a track or sound may end.  It can catch you out sometimes and you find yourself with a track that gets cut off too early or abruptly.  Then you have to fake the fades there.  Or try to extend a sound beyond its original end.  By cutting pasting and fading etc.. At least we can do it now.  Reverbs can help in situations like this though.
 
In the old days I was dealing with a lot with how tracks faded out on the tape multitrack into the tape noise. Noise reduction here lowered the tape hiss a lot.  Some hardware synths are noisy in terms of their quiescent noise level. e.g. early Kurzweil K2000's, Oberhiem's.  Not all those amazing analog synths of the day were quiet.  At least today our virtual instruments are, and we can control how they fade out with slow sounds.  Keeping our digital tracks these days super quiet also has made a big difference. 
 
So the fades on individual tracks right at the end of your music can be set up nice.  But for the best signal to noise ratio, the final fade should be done in an editing program and apply the final fade out there over the whole mix. That will ensure any noise is also being faded away. 

Specs i5-2500K 3.3 Ghz - 8 Gb RAM - Win 7 64 bit - ATI Radeon HD6900 Series - RME PCI HDSP9632 - Steinberg Midex 8 Midi interface - Faderport - Studio One V3.5 - iMac 2.5Ghz Core i5 - Sierra 10.12.5 - Focusrite Clarett thunderbolt interface 
 
Poor minds talk about people, average minds talk about events, great minds talk about ideas -Eleanor Roosevelt
#4
synkrotron
Max Output Level: -26.5 dBFS
  • Total Posts : 4878
  • Joined: 2006/04/28 16:21:21
  • Location: Warrington, UK
  • Status: online
Re: A question about effects tails 2017/10/30 08:49:19 (permalink)
Thanks guys, I think you are confirming my own thoughts, here, regarding that level, and I find that, as you say, below the -60dB mark, I can't hear a thing.
 
Most of my stuff is done "In The Box," so noise floor is hardly ever an issue...
 
Next time I render a piece I will post an image taken from Sound Forge to show more of what I am talking about here.
 
cheers
 
andy

http://www.synkrotron.co.uk/
Intel Core™i7-3820QM Quad Core Mobile Processor 2.70GHz 8MB cache | Intel HM77 Express Chipset | 16GB SAMSUNG 1600MHz SODIMM DDR3 RAM | NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M - 2.0GB DDR5 Video RAM | 500GB Samsung 850 Pro SSD | 1TB Samsung 850 Pro SSD | Windows 10 Pro | Roland OCTA-CAPTURE | SONAR Platinum ∞ FFS| Too many VSTi's to list here | KRK KNS-8400 Headphones | Roland JP-8000 | Oberheim OB12 | Novation Nova | Gibson SG Special | PRS Studio
#5
batsbrew
Max Output Level: 0 dBFS
  • Total Posts : 9269
  • Joined: 2007/06/07 16:02:32
  • Location: SL, UT
  • Status: offline
Re: A question about effects tails 2017/10/30 17:56:01 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby synkrotron 2017/10/31 11:38:47
just make sure you have 'something' in your tracks, that allows the end of the song to play past the point of the reverb decay.
otherwise, you will hear the effect chop off, even super low levels, casual listener might not be aware of it, but will know it sounds weird.
 
i've even put a volume envelope on a reverb buss before, with a long reverb with long tail, and used the envelope to draw the volume down before the tail actually finished,
just to control the effect to blend it out with the rest of the tracks.
 
 

"Stay"
"The Time is Magic"
https://soundcloud.com/bats-brew
--
Sonar 6 PE>Win XP>RME Babyface Pro>Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GH>GeForce 8400>2GB DDR2 SDRAM
 
#6
bitflipper
01100010 01101001 01110100 01100110 01101100 01101
  • Total Posts : 25056
  • Joined: 2006/09/17 11:23:23
  • Location: Everett, WA USA
  • Status: offline
Re: A question about effects tails 2017/10/31 01:36:54 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby synkrotron 2017/10/31 12:01:54
If you haven't seen this yet, here's a good demonstration on audibility vs. masking (at about the 30-minute mark).



All else is in doubt, so this is the truth I cling to. 

My Stuff
#7
synkrotron
Max Output Level: -26.5 dBFS
  • Total Posts : 4878
  • Joined: 2006/04/28 16:21:21
  • Location: Warrington, UK
  • Status: online
Re: A question about effects tails 2017/10/31 12:01:38 (permalink)
batsbrew
just make sure you have 'something' in your tracks, that allows the end of the song to play past the point of the reverb decay.




Hi, Rob, Yeah, I always add some kind of event or audio snippet (muted) five seconds or so beyond where I want the track to finish.
 
bitflipper
If you haven't seen this yet, here's a good demonstration on audibility vs. masking (at about the 30-minute mark).




Some real interesting stuff in that video, Dave, so I've saved it to my favourites so I can watch the whole thing when I have an hour to spare. Thanks.
 
 
So, here is a picture from Sound Forge which shows the end of a project I am currently working on:-
 

 
The desired track length is 20 minutes, after allowing effects tails to fade out. I took the screen shot at 19:59.553 and levels at that point are showing as around -75dB. And, at this level, I cannot here a thing at my normal listening level. If I then turn up the volume of my system to the max, and then play from around 19:54 I can, indeed, hear the tail still fading out and it cuts off "abruptly" at the end.
 
To be honest, I've not tried turning the volume to max until doing this little experiment and I had always assumed that because I couldn't hear anything (at my own usual listening level) then perhaps the meters were showing some noise of some sort. But I always carry out drastic cuts below 30Hz and 18kHz (give or take) so I think I knew that it wouldn't be bass rumble, for instance.
 
So, I have to consider how, then, other peeps listening to my stuff would be playing it at full tilt, which I doubt very much.
 
I then cut this example back to exactly 20 minutes and I tried fading out from between 5 and 10 seconds from the end, and listening back on max volume so decide which would "sound best." Always a matter of opinion, except, of course that I think everyone would agree that a steep fade out would sound crap.
 
Interesting, anyway, and I am learning new things about this fading out malarkey
 
 
cheers, and thanks for the input so far
 
andy 

http://www.synkrotron.co.uk/
Intel Core™i7-3820QM Quad Core Mobile Processor 2.70GHz 8MB cache | Intel HM77 Express Chipset | 16GB SAMSUNG 1600MHz SODIMM DDR3 RAM | NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M - 2.0GB DDR5 Video RAM | 500GB Samsung 850 Pro SSD | 1TB Samsung 850 Pro SSD | Windows 10 Pro | Roland OCTA-CAPTURE | SONAR Platinum ∞ FFS| Too many VSTi's to list here | KRK KNS-8400 Headphones | Roland JP-8000 | Oberheim OB12 | Novation Nova | Gibson SG Special | PRS Studio
#8
tlw
Max Output Level: -52 dBFS
  • Total Posts : 2339
  • Joined: 2008/10/11 22:06:32
  • Location: West Midlands, UK
  • Status: offline
Re: A question about effects tails 2017/10/31 14:38:06 (permalink)
I use fades at the end quite a lot on both tracks and stereo mixes to make sure the track doesn't end with the noise from assorted (hardware) synths and guitar stuff becoming noticable then suddenly shutting off at the end point. Analogue noise that fades, even very quickly, is less noticable than the same noise cut off suddenly.

Also sometimes to deal with things like synths such as the MS-20 that have a small click or "thump" when a key is released. While not noticeable in a mix those sorts of artifacts can be very noticable if they are exposed too much.

Sonar Platinum 64bit, Windows 8.1 Pro 64bit, I7 3770K Ivybridge, 16GB Ram, Gigabyte Z77-D3H m/board,
ATI 7750 graphics+ 1GB RAM, 2xIntel 520 series 220GB SSDs, 1 TB Samsung F3 + 1 TB WD HDDs, Seasonic fanless 460W psu, RME Fireface UFX, Focusrite Octopre.
Assorted real synths, guitars, mandolins, diatonic accordions, percussion, fx and other stuff.
#9
bitflipper
01100010 01101001 01110100 01100110 01101100 01101
  • Total Posts : 25056
  • Joined: 2006/09/17 11:23:23
  • Location: Everett, WA USA
  • Status: offline
Re: A question about effects tails 2017/10/31 15:38:45 (permalink)
There was a time when I'd trim files in Audition to get rid of noise at the start and end, but I'd often have the same problem as you, namely that you can't always tell by looking at the waveform when the tail is "done". I'd later listen to the trimmed track on my portable player and be dismayed that I could hear the tail chopping off. Or I'd be overly conservative and get noise at the end.
 
The solution is what tlw suggests: instead of truncating the file, insert a fade. That way you'll always know exactly where it goes to silence. The only thing you have to watch for is when the fade is too abrupt and becomes noticeable itself.


All else is in doubt, so this is the truth I cling to. 

My Stuff
#10
LOSTinSWIRL
Max Output Level: -90 dBFS
  • Total Posts : 15
  • Joined: 2015/01/18 01:24:40
  • Status: offline
Re: A question about effects tails 2017/11/01 00:55:20 (permalink)
I just want to thank bitflipper for the great video to watch. Gave me some great information. Could you possibly suggest any other videos? 
#11
bitflipper
01100010 01101001 01110100 01100110 01101100 01101
  • Total Posts : 25056
  • Joined: 2006/09/17 11:23:23
  • Location: Everett, WA USA
  • Status: offline
Re: A question about effects tails 2017/11/01 13:29:56 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby synkrotron 2017/11/01 20:38:31


 
 


All else is in doubt, so this is the truth I cling to. 

My Stuff
#12
soens
Max Output Level: -29 dBFS
  • Total Posts : 4608
  • Joined: 2005/09/16 03:19:55
  • Location: Location: Location
  • Status: offline
Re: A question about effects tails 2017/11/02 22:38:35 (permalink)
FWIW, I also add 2 sec. of "dead silence" at the end of a song/fade.
#13
Jump to:
© 2017 APG vNext Commercial Version 5.1