Effects are used in many modern day recordings to add excitement, dimension and personality to a song. Without effects, it would be hard to achieve the sound of today.
Effect processors are everywhere in music production and can take the form of plug-ins, rack mounted gear, Stomp boxers for guitars, and are even built into samplers and synthesisers. Although there are many opportunities to use effects, people new to mixing (and recording) often shy away from them because they lack knowledge of how they work.
An effects processor takes the input of a sound and alters it using various operations to make the sound more sonically interesting. The results of these alterations can be used by themselves or combined with the original source to produce the final output.
Most effects processors have a mix control that alters the amount of effect being used. A mix of 50% would mean the signal would be half processed and half unaffected. Processed signals are said to be wet whereas unprocessed signals are said to be dry.
Effects are sometimes used on a single input source or recorded part. The effect is inserted between the signal source and its destination. This type of effect connection is called an INSERT. In contract, it is possible to apply a little of the same effect to several channels at once. This type of effect connection is called a SEND. A mixer control, know as ‘effect send’ determines how much of each channel is sent to the effect processor.