Empty Void / Endless Abyss (Echo Effect)

I would like to use Audacity to recreate this echo effect I heard in the sample provided.

The closest thing I can describe this effect to is an empty void or infinite and endless abyss echo type effect.

I know how to do simple echoes with Audacity, however, this effect seems so different and unique, I cant quite recreate this. Is there a name for this type of thing or a plugin associated with this effect?

(The effect I am talking about starts where the singer says the word “fear” in the sample)

We have meeting rooms that can do that…

Try, instead of echoing one single sound track, create a second copy and apply extreme echo to that. Use the envelope tools (two white arrows and bent blue line) to fade back and forth between the clean and echo tracks. That part of the track sounds like it could be half and half.

It’s harder than you think to create good echoes. Any bathroom can create thousands of sound pathways just by walking in and snapping your fingers. Software has to restrict the number of pathways, or cheat in some way. Really basic software assumes a room with one wall. Not a lot of them around in real life.


It should be possible to recreate a reverb that is very close to that using G-Verb (available in Audacity 1.3.12).

Make a duplicate copy of the word(s) (vocal track only - Select, then Ctrl+D) that you want to add the reverb to, then apply G-Verb to this duplicate.
Add a few seconds of silence to the end of this duplicate copy to make room for the reverb.
You will need to reduce the “Early Reflections” level in G-Verb from the default values.
Add a fade-in/fade-out to this duplicate, and adjust the level (track volume slider on the left of the track) to balance the level with the “Dry” original track.

That “endless” effect sounds like “time stretch”.

A quick Google found a free “time stretch” effect by Nasca Octavian Paul (Audacity contributor), with before and after examples.

[ “time stretch” effects are available from many other sources]

I’ve had a go with the above (stand alone) time stretcher, e.g. attached

Having listened carefully to the original sound sample, I think it is just reverb rather than time stretching - though I think the vocal has also been double tracked at that point and reverb added to the mix. But I agree with you Trebor that “PaulStretch” is a really cool effect. I presume that you are using the standalone version? I couldn’t get the plug-in version to work with Audacity last time I tried. A while ago there was a bit of buzz trying to persuade the developers to officially support PaulStretch and include it in the standard Audacity distribution. Perhaps time for poking that one again?

Wow - 11th June 2008 - Here’s the original announcement from Paul: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/extreme-stretch-added-to-audacity/2364/1

A smoothing control on Audacity’s “Change Tempo without Changing pitch” would suffice.
This is what the stretched version of “alone beneath the stars” sounds like using Audacity’s “Change Tempo without Changing pitch” (very stuttery).

[I would like to have the “PaulStretch”, “Freeze” option which sustains the output indefinitely].

Have you tried using the “Sliding Time Scale/Pitch Shift” effect?

I’ve just tried building it again, but can’t get it to work - I guess the Audacity code has just moved on too far - I did manage to get it to work with a really old version of Audacity, but unless/until Paul or someone else with the necessary programming skills wants to take it on, we’ll have to make do with the stand alone version.

Thank you so much guys for the input. I will try an extreme echo approach suggested by koz and combine it with time stretch suggested by Trebor. I will probably get started later tonight or tomorrow. If I manage to get something going I will post the end result in this thread. Thanks again and more feedback and/or attempts are always welcome.

I’ve stretched the phrase “I fear” using the stand-alone “Paul stretch” and mixed it with the original using Audacity …

If the stretch is applied to the vocal track only, (no drums bass etc), it will sound much more like the example given.

Okay I did a quick attempt I don’t have much time, only worked on it for about 10 mins. Its not perfect but its progression from what I did yesterday.

Steps done during this attempt:
Took a clip of a word sung in the song
Placed the clip into the standalone Paul Stretch
Used 3x stretch and exported as .wav
Placed both clips in Audacity
Stretch was too long, had to change the tempo to make it shorter
Adjusted timing of the effect clip and combined and exported as .mp3

I tested it on the same song, except on a different part. (The echo effect was only used on the word “fear” and it is only said once in the entire song. The effect is never used before or after that part)

The sound quality’s pretty poor as this was recorded with my laptop’s internal speaker - but nice big reverb from G-verb