DaVinci Resolve: 5 Audio Effects You Can Apply to Sound Effects

Here are five simple tools you can find in DaVinci Resolve that will help warp your sound effects to fit whatever genre you’re working with.

Let’s start by learning where you can find these effects. First, open up the Effects Library and scroll down to Audio FX. Here, you’ll find all the preset audio effects that Resolve offers you.

To apply one of these effects, simply click-and-drag it down onto the audio clip in your timeline. Once you’ve done this, you’ll see under the Effects tab on the right, every adjustment or feature of that effect listed below.

In terms of finding and using sound effects, where do you start? Lucky for all of us, DaVinci Resolve has a free library of sound effects that you can use.

First, download the library on the Fairlight page. To do this, just go to Sound Library—there should be an option to download the library from there. Here’s what you can expect to find when searching for a sound effect with this tool.

Sound Library
Begin by downloading the Sound Library.

So, now that you know where to find sound effects, let’s talk about a few key ways Resolve let’s you manipulate them in whichever way you need.

It’s easy to apply audio effects using the tools already available in Davinci Resolve. This short guide will help you customize your audio tracks in no time. Image by Bohbeh.

1. Multiband Compressor

Multiband Compressor Tool
Control certain frequencies with the Multiband Compressor tool.

For this tool, think of your audio clip/sound effect as a multi-layered cake. There are different sounds and frequencies that make up a single “sound” or clip. This tool breaks those levels apart, allowing you to control certain frequencies as you need.

I’ve used this before with attempting to reduce the amount of noise in a clip. You can control the low, mid, and high frequencies in a clip, which means all of the sounds you don’t want or need are reduced dramatically, you can use this tool to control exactly when and how you lower or raise them.

While there is a Noise Reduction effect you can use, I’ve found greater success using the Multiband Compressor. If anything, when using these effects, there can be a certain level of intimidation or confusion because they’re so technical, but I tend to just play around with them until I find something that works. That’s editing, right?

2. Reverb

Reverb Time
Reverb Time allows you to extend the amount of echo you’re hearing.

One of the most well-known and recognized effects you can apply to an audio clip is the Reverb effect. This effect gives the illusion that the sound was recorded in a big room or hall, with the audio bouncing off the walls. It’s a good way to end a track or sound effect as you transition into the next scene.

So, how do you use it? Well, Resolve has this “room size” tool for you to drag how big you want the room to be, in turn prolonging the effect. There’s also Reverb Time at the bottom, which allows you to extend the amount of echo you’re hearing.

3. Vocal Channel

Vocal Channel
High Pass cuts the low frequencies of your clip.

This is another tool Resolve has that allows users to control all the sounds around actual voices and spoken recordings in your clip. So, for this one specifically, the High Pass tool at the bottom shows you and cuts the low frequencies of your clip. Ideally this reduces any noise that isn’t humans speaking.

It lowers the volume or frequency of the sounds, and you can track exactly where it drops or raises back up with the graph the tool provides. It also allows you to drag this effect wherever you need it on the clip.

4. Distortion

Manipulate your clips with LoFi Radio.

This isn’t so much a way to fix or correct your sounds as it is to manipulate your clips. One of the more popular ways to apply this tool is with the LoFi Radio and Megaphone feature, which does just that with your audio.

This is a nice way to make background noise or separate ADR sound analog-y, without actually recording it that way. As far as using these effects goes, it’s pretty straightforward.

Some of the different effects offered:

  • Boost Mids
  • Boost Presence
  • Crunchy
  • Fuzz Face
  • HF Buzz
  • LoFi Radio
  • Megaphone

5. Foley Sampler

This one I’m new to but I couldn’t not include it on the list. It’s just too cool. This effect is a way to control and use your sound effects while you watch your video. That probably wasn’t the best way to describe it, but it allows you to configure the keyboard to whatever sound effects you have or are working with, then apply them to your film as it plays on your timeline. It’s almost like live-scoring your project with sound effects.

Ripple Training recently published a complete breakdown of how to use this tool:

In the example above, he takes recordings of footsteps that were recorded separately from the footage he’s working with, then tweaks them in the Foley Sampler tool. Next, he plays the clips as he controls when the footsteps need to be by watching the footage of the subject walking.

As he’s doing this, Resolve records his audio clip, then saves it as its own clip that he can apply to his timeline.

Voilà. Pretty incredible, right?

While there are many more Davinci Resolve audio effects, the best way to learn any of it is to just start playing around and applying things to your sound effects.

If you’re needing a few more sound effects to check out, we’ve only released hundreds of them for FREE.

For more video production tips, tricks, and advice, check out these articles:

Cover image via Alexander Levitsky.

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