Dolby A Encoding Emulation to Add Air

I came across this interesting article on sound on sound a while back. It’s the process of using only the encoding feature of a Dolby A noise reduction encoder, then using the aired out track to mix with the normal vocal track in order to liven up a dull sounding vocal. It can also be used on other acoustic strings to great effect. I just experimented mixing it in with some vocals tonight, I dug the sound I was getting back out of the speakers. I figured I’d share this technique if anyone wanted to try it out. It’s what they did to Steve Perry’s vocals on some of the Journey albums to give the feeling that you could hear every breath. This article tells you exactly how to emulate it in a DAW.

Very cool! I remember reading an interview with a U2 producer… I think it was Flood? Who said they used that trick on the vocals on “Achtung Baby”.

As fate would have it, there is a today-only (Sun 26 Feb '17) blowout sale on the Waves Aphex Aural Exciter plugin, which is what is being emulated by the “Dolby A” trick, according to that SOS article. 99 bucks instead of the regular $299, if anyone’s interested:

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If anyone is interested I have track template for the program reaper that I made based on the article.