Applying fadeouts in Studio One can be done in two ways – either by moving the blue triangle at the top right corner on your audio track to the left or by automating the volume fader.
Learning how to apply the fadeout effect in your productions properly is a big deal.
It may seem like a trivial task, but in reality, it makes a difference between a pro-sounding track and an amateur one.
In this article, we’ll focus on two methods that will help you make the most out of this seemingly simple technique.
Here’s what we’ll need
- Any plugin that has output volume that can be automated
- An audio clip
Why Are Fades Important?
Aside from using it as an effect to end your songs, fades are a crucial part of a well-edited recording.
Most of the audio recordings you make will inevitably have some noise in between the playing.
Fades are a perfect way of eliminating that and keeping the take nice and clean, especially when dealing with merged files of a single performance. And there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned fadeout to end the song in style!
Method One – Using Audio Event
Studio One has a very streamlined approach when it comes to creating fades. It’s not something revolutionary and unique to Studio One alone.
Still, I like having all the possible options performed through relatively simple tasks.
Unlike in some other DAW’s, in Studio One, there is no pop-up window offering you various fade options. Everything is performed right on the audio event, which is a great plus in my book.
It keeps the flow going while not sacrificing all the possible variations you can assign to your fades.
To apply a fadeout to your track, simply click on the audio event.
At that point, you will see a couple of things appear on your recording.
Symbols relevant for our task are two triangles in the top two corners.
Essentially, by sliding those triangles, you create a fade out or fade in.
It’s as simple as that.
Fade In And Fade Out
If you want to create a fadeout, move the right triangle to the left. The same applies to creating a fade-in; slide the left triangle to the right.
You’ll get a visual representation of how deep and wide you want your fade to be.
Manipulate Fade-Out Settings.
You can easily do so by moving the little blue square that appears in the middle of the waveform.
By default, we have a “linear fadeout.” This provides a gentler fading effect that is nicely balanced for most applications.
If you wish to exaggerate or soften the fade effect, you can choose logarithmic or exponential fade out.
Logarithmic fadeout mode can be engaged by sliding the blue square upwards.
This mode makes for a softer fade effect that’s perfect for a very long ending as things get quieter without you realizing it until the track has been dramatically reduced in volume.
On the other hand, if you’re going for an aggressive fadeout effect, switch to the exponential mode by sliding the blue square downwards.
This is the way to go if you’re after a dramatic effect or need to silence a specific part of the performance altogether.
See how to do it below.
Of course, you can manually set the depth of your fading effect by how much you slide upwards or downwards.
It’s intuitive, so I think you’ll have no problems getting the hang of the process.
As much as everything feels nice and simple, there is one major drawback to this method if you want a solid fadeout to your song.
All of this volume reduction caused by the fades happens before the signal hits all of your plugins.
This means that your gain staging will fall apart, and things will start sounding stranger by every second of your fadeout process.
For example, suppose you have a compressor working optimally at a volume you have chosen for your mix. In that case, it will start acting entirely differently as the track’s volume decreases by the fade.
Second, by second, you’ll slowly witness your whole mix falling apart before it weirdly slips away into complete silence! Not something you want to happen, and that’s why we’ll explore another method to combat this.
Method Two – Automate The Volume Fader
If you’d like to avoid troubles due to applying fades directly on the track. In that case, you can simply automate the volume fader precisely the way you want it.
That way, all of your gain structure will remain the same resulting in a natural-sounding fadeout.
To engage automation mode, press “A” on your keyboard or right-click on the channel and choose Show/Hide Automation.
A more straightforward approach would be to right-click on the channel’s volume fader you want to fade out and select “Edit Volume Automation,” as seen here.
Besides keeping your gain structure intact, this method allows you to manually set the speed of your audio fade precisely the way you feel it should be.
I was never satisfied with the results the automatic curvature gave me. It would either fade too slowly or too suddenly. This way, you’re entirely in control of how you want it to sound.
If you want to make your mixing life even easier, it’s better to automate the volume of a plugin. That way, you won’t have to update your fade settings if your master volume changes due to a revision.
If Automating Isn’t Your Thing
You can mitigate the problem of the first method by printing your final mix and then applying the fade out right on the audio clip.
Using Fades In Editing
As we’ve discussed earlier, fades are crucial to editing performances, especially if multiple takes are merged into a single one.
What usually happens due to merging different tracks together are small crackles and pops at the transition point.
We can quickly eliminate those by applying tiny fades at the transition, namely at the end of the first take and the beginning of the following.
I usually start with a slight fade to keep the natural flow of the performance and slowly widen it if the previous one doesn’t reduce the noise.
As shown below, you can simplify this process even further by selecting the two events you want to apply fades to and pressing “X” to create a crossfade.
How to make all audio stop, including delays and reverb tails?
You can easily do so by fading or muting the master bus to which all mix elements are routed.
Which method is generally the best for applying fadeouts?
I often apply fades right on the track as it is the most convenient way. However, when I’m going or a whole-song fadeout, I always automate the volume as it gives me more control and doesn’t mess up my gain staging.
Why are crossfades so important?
Clicks and pops at the transition points of takes might not be as apparent in busy arrangements. Still, it certainly will be in intimate vocal parts or any upfront element of your mix. It’s better to get rid of it rather than worry if listeners will pay attention to it.
When is the right time to fade out a song?
Not all of the songs need a fadeout. I enjoy it the most on some sad songs with a nice repetitive hook in the outro. That’s when a fadeout leaves a lasting impact on me after the song ends.
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