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Asked 1167 day 1 h | Viewed 9485 times | Updated 1159 day 18 h |

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Gravatar photo Rafael E. Nunez

Hey Guys-  I have a somewhat simple question:

What is a Transient?  I'm not referring to a homeless guy  :)

I heard this term when speaking about recording drums, guitar, etc, but never knew what the term referred to.If anyone can answer in very simple terms, that would be cool!

Thanks much !

3 Answers

  1. Answered: 1167 day 0 h (0) | Permalink

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    Gravatar photoguest

    Transients are brief, rapid increases in volume level. A good way to visualize transients is to look at the waveform of a drum track with a loud, cracking snare, and see that short, sharp peak in the waveform each time the drummer hits the snare. That visual and audial peak is a transient.

    Another example could be plosives in a vocal performance (when the singer pops her "P's" very loudly for example).

  2. Answered: 1153 day 7 h (0) | Permalink

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    Gravatar photoJesseJaeo Tolbert

    The link below shows the envelope of a snare drum hit. The word envelope is a descriptive word the means the following aspect of a sound. Attack, Sustain, Release, Decay.

    The transient is the part of the envelope when the level of the sound goes from zero to the loudest point of the sound before dropping off. It's the biggest part of the wave on the front. This is a snare hit and a hit like this has a very "sharp" transient.

    When you record these types of sounds you have to be careful not to print (record) too "hot", especially in digital, because the attacks (transients) are so sharp and fast the the meters cannot respond fast enough to let you know that you are peaking too high.

    Hope this helps.


    Below is the link

  3. Answered: 1147 day 9 h (0) | Permalink

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    Gravatar photoAstral Plane Studios

    Transients are quick spikes in volume that end quickly (decay time) they are useful for drum quantization efforts and can be controlled in a multitude of ways.

    For instance you can compress the particular instrument and bring it's peaks down or a combination of compression + limiting. But there is a third option of using a transient designer which allows you to completely shape the response of the instrument and it's transient.

    You can really tighten a kick drum with a TD or add more attack for some more snap on a kick drum or you can use it on OHs or a room mic and REALLY bring out the room!

    Most DAWs will also have a "Tab to Transients" option which allows you to get right up on a particular transient for whatever needs you may have.

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