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Manchester Based Audio Studio. Sound Design | Voice Over/ADR | Foley | 5.1 Mixing | Pro Tools | Education | Sound Effects Libraries
Manchester Based Audio Studio. Sound Design | Voice Over/ADR | Foley | 5.1 Mixing | Pro Tools | Education | Sound Effects Libraries

ARTICLE: Creating Shepard Tones.

Shepard Tones are a unique sound effect that can be used to create a sense of continuously rising or falling pitch. By combining different Shepard Tones, you can create interesting, other-worldly sounds.



Here is a quick walkthrough on how we create this auditory illusion


STEP 1

Edit a sound with a consistent pitch and volume to approximately 10-12 seconds long so that it can be looped.



STEP 2

Duplicate your loop and layer it with your existing track.



STEP 3

Pitch your duplicated clip down by one octave (12 semitones lower).



STEP 4

Gradually increase the pitch of both the original and duplicated clips by one full octave (12 semitones) over their entire duration. Increasing the pitch creates a rising Shepard tone; conversely, lowering the pitch creates a falling Shepard tone.



STEP 5

Using Clip Gain, gradually decrease the volume of the original clip and increase the volume of the duplicated clip; the lower octave ends on the same note that the original starts at, creating the illusion of a constantly rising pitch. To create a falling Shepard tone, you would do the opposite and increase the volume of the original clip while decreasing the volume of the duplicated clip.



STEP 6

If the Shepard tone is not looping as expected, then crossfade to taste—a four-frame crossfade is a good place to start, but it may need to be finessed to achieve the desired effect.



 


We hope you enjoyed checking out this article! Unleash boundless tension with Shepard Tones Vol. 1 - available in the store!

 

If you enjoyed this post please check out our ultimate guide to audio post-production: https://www.344audio.com/post/the-ultimate-guide-to-audio-post-production-sound-design


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