Picture this: you’ve got a great idea for a vocal hook, so you take out your phone to record it. But as you try to create a beat, you struggle to produce a sound that fits the vibe you’re going for. As you sit back and listen to your dry, unprocessed vocals, you feel more… uninspired. We get it – it takes a surprising amount of time and energy to decide how to use processing and effects in your music.

Enter audio presets – a powerful tool that can significantly enhance and streamline your creative process, whether you’re making a beat, recording vocals, or just playing around with ideas!

What are audio presets?

Presets are pre-made processing chains with pre-configured settings that can be applied to vocals, instruments, or any audio tracks. Essentially, they’re templates that are mostly crafted by professional sound designers to help you achieve a specific style or effect quickly and efficiently – think bright female pop vocals or grungy hip-hop drums.

Why are audio presets important?

1. Efficiency: Presets save time by providing instant access to a variety of sounds and effects. Instead of starting from scratch, you can browse through a library of presets tailored to various musical genres and styles. This speeds up the production process, so you can focus more on creativity and less on tedious sound design tasks.

2. Inspiration: Presets serve as an amazing inspiration source. They help you develop new musical ideas and encourage experimentation. Plus, they offer a starting point for those times when you’re in the mood to create, but feel stuck or overwhelmed. By exploring different presets, you can discover unique combinations and unexpected sounds that you might not have found otherwise.

3. Learning tool: Presets provide valuable insight into sound design techniques and audio processing. By picking apart presets and seeing how they work, you can examine how experienced sound designers make use of the different tools. This hands-on exploration helps enhance your understanding of sound design principles – so you can later start to apply them in your own creations.

For instance, by exploring one of BandLab’s ready-made audio presets, you can find out how a de-esser is used to reduce harshness; or how an EQ is used to remove unwanted low-end frequencies. You can also observe how a compressor helps control the dynamics, and a delay gives the vocal sound some space and depth.

Play around with the different settings on a pop vocal preset.

Benefits of using audio presets

1. Professional quality: Presets are typically designed by experienced sound designers or professionals with a deep understanding of audio production. By utilizing presets, you can instantly add high-quality, attention-grabbing sounds to your music. Creators recording at home can also take advantage of presets to improve their recordings. It’s not always possible (or ideal) to have an engineer around to help you record and edit vocals. So audio presets can get your vocals tuned up, cleaned up, shaped, and enhanced without any hassle.

2. Time-saving: Time is something we’d all like to have more of! Using presets gives you a significant advantage by accelerating your workflow. So rather than spending time tweaking settings to achieve your desired sound, you can get a head start by selecting a preset that fits your creative vision. This time-saving aspect means you can focus more on other aspects of the production process like songwriting and arranging.

3. Versatility and flexibility: Audio presets come with a wide range of sounds and effects that you can easily customize and make your own. Stick with the preset settings if you’re looking for a quick fix, or tweak them to make customized variations. It’s much easier to build the sound you’re after with a preset as the foundation, rather than starting from scratch.

Get started with audio presets in Studio

Ready to try weaving presets into your mix? We’ve got a treasure trove of effects and presets to elevate your music within BandLab.

Explore over 300 audio presets crafted by professional sound designers that cover a range of genres, styles, and moods. Think everything from rock, to trap, to pop, to grit, to ambience and much more. To find a preset, hit the “+Fx” button on your instrument or vocal track, and choose from options in the drop-down menu.

Browse music preset menu.

Love the music style of a fellow BandLab creator? Tap on their preset share link if they have one. This means you can curate a personalized collection of go-to presets that you can quickly access whenever inspiration strikes.

Navigate the presets menu to find a new sound!

All in all, audio presets are a powerful tool that can take your creativity to the next level, regardless of your skill level. They amplify workflows, enhance creativity, and make producing high-quality music so much easier. So give it a go, embrace the world of presets and unlock your full potential.