You are here

Creative Effects: The Definitive Guide For Producers

eBook Review By Hugh Robjohns
Published November 2011

Creative Effects — the Definitive Guide for Producers is the latest addition to the Production Suite series of downloadable eBook tutorials from Samplecraze, written by SOS forum moderator Eddie Bazil. (Forum regulars might know him better as Zukan.) The previous five titles in the Production Suite series were EQ Uncovered, The Beat Production Bible, The Art of Drum Layering, Mixing Simplified, and The Production Suite.

Creative Effects: The Definitive Guide For ProducersEddie's professional musical career started during his teens, when he became a programmer for some of the most notable Electro/New Wave and Dance/Rap bands of the time, including AON, Juice, C Campbell, Bobin, Paul Dee, Jets Orchestra and Krush. His career and experience progressed as he became a popular remixer and producer, working on projects with Busta Rhymes, SFP, Bobin, Dee, Krush, Shadow, Sleeveless, Greensleeves and Gam Productions, with many of his tracks achieving top chart positions. Eddie later entered the world of sound design, creating a number of independent film scores and theatre soundtracks, as well as producing material for Emu, Propellerheads, Kiesel, Sound Effects Library, Native Instruments and Arturia, to name just a handful. He is currently involved in various production, remixing and sound-design projects, as well as sharing his knowledge by teaching workshops and providing online tuition — and by writing excellent books such as Creative Effects.

This latest publication is intended to demystify the art and the science of choosing and using effects processes, and applying effects techniques to benefit any musical or sound-design project. Creative Effects is provided in PDF format with over 200 A4-sized, pages divided into 10 separate chapters. Each chapter is devoted to an individual effect type, such as reverberation (including recording and using room ambience, and adapting Impulse Responses in convolutional reverb processors), modulators, delay, chorus, flanging and phasing, distortion, filters and formants, pitch manipulation and, pulling all of these disparate topics together neatly, a penultimate chapter on chaining these effects technologies and techniques together creatively, combining effects processing in series and parallel to produce entirely new sonic textures and atmospheres.

The writing is clear and easy to follow throughout, providing gentle and supportive guidance for beginners, as well as plenty of golden nuggets of inspiration and detailed knowledge to satisfy more experienced producers and sound designers. Eddie's real-world experience of sound design and of developing and using effects in high-level professional projects really shines throughout the advice and material found in this book.

With such audibly complex and subjective material, the written word really isn't the best medium on its own to describe the subtleties of producing and shaping complex sound effects on its own, let alone to allow the reader to appreciate them! Thankfully, Eddie has taken the time to produce hundreds of high-quality WAV files, which are included as an integral part of the download, and which demonstrate all of the techniques he describes and discusses. There are over 600MB of WAV files in all, providing comprehensive before-and-after audio examples of each effect and parameter variation. The eBook also contains hundreds of detailed colour screenshots of different plug-in tools to illustrate specific effects and settings, and countless practical exercises are provided throughout to help the reader understand, appreciate and master the wide range of techniques covered in each section. A substantial number of free and carefully selected commercial VST plug-in effects processors are also discussed in depth, to enable the reader to understand how best to use them to complete the chapter exercises and for their own projects.

Creative Effects is an astonishingly detailed, readable and thoroughly inspiring book. It is a clearly a labour of love, and is a goldmine of knowledge for the cost of a couple of pintsbeers! I learned a lot, and was inspired to approach my use of effects processors in a new light and with renewed enthusiasm for the creative possibilities. It's a complete no-brainer of a purchase, which I can't recommend highly enough.

PDF & WAV download £9.99 including VAT.

PDF & WAV download $14.99.