Ventrilo - Special Effects
The Special Effects window allows you to apply special sound effects or directional attributes to users, channels, servers or globally.
One of the primary benefits to the Special Effects feature is the ability to force sounds from specific people or channels to a given speaker. This will create a very immersive environment when talking to multiple people. Since the positioning is entirely under the control of each listener they can configure the effects to whatever best suits their needs. For example, your server might have a dedicated channel for listening to someone DJ'ing music and when you are in that channel you might like to direct all of the music to your rear speakers and apply a nice soft Reverb effect. You would do this by applying the effect to the DJ'ing channel so the effect is only implemented when you are in that channel. Whereas, if the same server has other channels that are designed for game play or general chat you might have a different effect applied to those channels or none at all.
It's important to understand that there are special effects that will depend on what type of sound is being generated as each type will have its own special effect and one of them will have sub-types. Each one of these categories has its own SFX button:
The Voice streams category can be broken down into several sub-categories with each one taking precedence over the other and in the following order.
Per user (Highest priority)
Setup-Voice (Lowest priority)
If you apply a special effect to a specific user then no matter what channel that user is in that users special effect will take precedence over any other special effects, if you apply a special effect to a channel it will take precedence over any other special effect except user, and so on. The Setup-Voice SFX is global to your user logon name and will be applied no matter what server you are connected to so long as there are no higher order special effects defined.
To apply a special effect to a user or channel all you need to do is right click on the object, select Miscellaneous and then select Special Effects. If you wish to apply a special effect to the current server then do the same thing but right click on the server name instead.
There are 3 different types of special effects that can be applied to any category of object. Some of these types have common effects while others do not. You can only combine special effects so long as they all appear in the same type. For example, you can not select the type "Directional" and add the "Center Channel" then change the type to "Surround" and then add the "Reverb" effect.
Note: All types share two common effects: Frequency and Volume.
Note: The "Sound effects" type and the "Surround" type share the special sound effects like Reverb and Echo. If you do not plan on using the 3D surround effect or if you do not have a 5.1 (or higher) surround sound speaker setup then it is best just to leave the type on "Sound effects" which works fine on 2 or 2.1 speaker setups.
The following is a brief description of what all of the sound effects do. It is beyond the scope of this document to explain all of the different settings and parameters associated with each of the sound effect types.
This option controls the pitch and speed that the sound is played. Lowering the value below 100% will make the sound play slower and at a lower frequency (or pitch). Please note that when you set this value lower than 100% it will take longer for the sound to be played.
Note: Voice streams do not support anything higher then 100% but you can go higher if the object is a wave file or TTS sound.
This option allows you to apply software amplification or attenuation to the object. This can be very useful for fine tuning sound events or individual users who are too soft or too loud.
Note: If you are using Directional or Surround types, or any of the Reverb style effects, then you might very well need to use the Volume option to increase the source sound. This is because when using directional mode you are effectively cutting the total decibel level in half because you would normally hear the sound coming from two speakers where as now you have it coming out of one speaker, thus diminishing the total strength of the sound reaching your ears. The same goes for effects like Reverb where the effect itself will diminish the source sound by very nature of the way the effect works. It has been my experience that raising the volume to 200% - 289% will usually compensate for these types of issues, specifically when dealing with voice streams. If you are amplifying someone who is playing music through the stream then the sound might sound a little distorted because the source signal is already quite strong.
This is like a very high frequency echo which diminishes very quickly. This option will be the most used sound effect and the default parameters for this option are very pleasant to the ear.
This option is very similar to the normal Reverb effect but instead of selecting specific parameters you can select from a list of pre-programmed Environmental Reverberation effects. Some of the more useful and interesting presets are: Sewer Pipe, Underwater, Auditorium and Concert Hall.
Note: Effects like City, Mountains,
Forestand few others will effectively produce no sound. They have been included for any special cases where they provide value with an appropriate sound source.
Chorus is a voice-doubling effect created by echoing the original sound with a slight delay and slightly modulating the delay of the echo.
Flange is an echo effect in which the delay between the original signal and its echo is very short and varies over time. The result is sometimes referred to as a sweeping sound. The term flange originated with the practice of grabbing the flanges of a tape reel to change the speed.
A parametric equalizer amplifies or attenuates signals of a given frequency.
Compression is a reduction in the fluctuation of a signal above a certain amplitude.
An echo effect causes an entire sound to be repeated after a fixed delay.
This option allows you to pan the sound from left to right. It is primarily meant for when you your speaker configuration is 2 or 2.1 but can also be applied to 5.1 and higher setups.
This option allows you to use 3D surround positioning of the sound. Unlike the directional type options where you specify a specific speaker, by using 3D surround you can also apply the special sound effects like Reverb and Echo. It is meant for 5.1 or higher systems.
Note: If you have a center channel and front speakers you can force the sound to be just the center channel by setting the Front / Rear slider all the way to the 100 position, whereas if you want the sound to come out of your main front speakers and not just the center channel then try setting it between 50 and 75.
Front (Left / Right) - Rear (Left / Right) - Center - Etc.
When you have Type set to "Directional" you can force the objects sound to a specific speaker or any combination of speakers. For example, if you have a 5.1 speaker setup you might want the sound to come out of both rear speakers and the center channel. This configuration would not be possible with the 3D Surround option, but then again you can't apply any sound effects like Reverb or Echo to the output sound.