What’s your favourite effect? I don’t mean favourite plug-in, though if it produces an unusual effect, that might be the case. I mean the effect that you find yourself using a lot, perhaps over-using, the one that inspires you most.
My favourite effect is convolution reverb. It’s so incredibly versatile and I find I can create soundscapes at the touch of a button with it, with very little need for fine-tuning. Plus it produces the most convincing reverbs.
I’m also a big fan of the reverse echo as a buil-up to something dramatic. That’s something I have to stop myself from over-using.
I like to use what I call the “reverb trick”. Instead of fading out a sound (could be anything from a room-tone to a car sound) I prefer to give it a reverb tail, it feels much more natural to my ear than fading out (that I still use on a chirurgical scale to prevent from clipping). I do over-use it though…
(in music) Not usable everywhere, but in certain cases saturation+reverb.
Saturation on similar sounds and their accentuated harmonics interacting, when thrown at the right reverb, are almost soothing to me.
But my addiction is for delays.
And I second a lot what Chris answered. I even recall I owned (about 15 years ago) an old multitrack recorder by Roland which was hosting a pitchshifter-harmonizer,sort of, which was delivering very beautiful effects on whatever I was feeding into it.
For me (with sound design) I cannot generalise – it is unique to each project, ie IF/when it is needed it is often not complex (pitched/reversed/IR’d etc) – far more important is the choice & editing of the original material…
For me (with music) it would be delay & then filter… I dont care for high quality DDL (unless its multitap with filtering in the feedback path) Much prefer tape delay or BBD…. manually dialing in an analogue delay by ear is so much more satisfying than any tempo sync’d plugin
Pitch is probably my #1 effect – particularly slowing down the sound (varispeed). I love the rhythms and modulations that you can find when you slow a sound waaaay down. I also like to slam sounds through an analog or guitar amp emulation and really distort them. I also find some fascinating sounds by using the Deconstruct module in RX.
I probably use pitch changes most of all. So much I don’t even think of it as an effect. It’s just a base tool I use. Distortions would be the biggest thing I use that I think of as an effect. I can get so much subtle stuff out of a good distortion I feel. (Decapitator being my every day go to one.) I end up using very little compression in my sound design and I think that’s cause I get it from my distortions and saturations.