Editing Effects

Learning Target OR Standards & Connections
  • MU:Cr3.1.T.IIIa Develop and implement varied strategies and apply appropriate criteria to improve and refine the technical and expressive aspects of draft compositions and improvisations.
  • MU:Cr1.1.C.IIIa Describe and demonstrate multiple ways in which sounds and musical ideas can be used to represent extended sonic experiences or abstract ideas.
  • MU:Re7.2.T.IIIa Demonstrate and justify how an analysis of the structural characteristics, context, and technological and creative decisions, informs interest in and response to the music.
Essential Outcomes(s) Level(s)
Students will…

  • Use the scientific method- observe, research, hypothesize, experiment, analyze, and report conclusions- to learn about and articulate the different effects they can apply to their music
  1. Play a loop without effects and then play a loop with effects. Ask students to compare and contrast the two sounds. 
  2. Share a template song or have students open a project they are working on.
  3. On your screen, show students how they can access the effects. 
    1. Pick a loop/track
    2. Click on the icon to the left of a track
    3. Select Add Effects so you see all the options.


  1. As a class, start with Classic Dist and ask students to observe. Then ask students to share: what do you think Classic Dist means? Once they have shared their responses, tell them that Dist means Distortion.
  2. Have students then research on Google to look up what distortion in music means. 
  3. Then ask students to hypothesize: what do you think distortion will do?
  4. Next allow students to pick a loop and add distortion and turn the knobs to the extreme. 
  5. After they try it out, ask students to share: how did the sound change?
  6. Ask students to then discuss where do you think this effect could work in your song? Why?
  7. When they are done with that effect, make sure they close out of it so it doesn’t remain on the track
  8. As a large class or in small groups, have students follow the same process for other effects like Tremolo, Delay, and Filter. 
  9. Then give students 5 minutes to try the other effects individually.
  10. After students have tried out the other effects, have students share out what effects they tried and what it does
  11. Then give students time to add 1or 2 effects to some of their tracks.
  12. Afterwards, have students share out their project. The rest of the class can then guess what effects the student added.
Extended Learning
  1. Use the Soundtrap effects series to introduce the effects with template songs.
  2. Share the following Youtube playlists for students to dive deeper into effects and mixing:
    1. Frog Tone- Mixing
    2. Roaring RecordsSoundtrap Producer Andy Edwards


The author of this is Serena Robinett. Serena Robinett was an educator for New York City DOE before she became an Education Specialist at Soundtrap. She was the Instrument Music Director at a middle school in Queens where her students learned music literacy, music history and participated in various ensembles like modern rock band, symphonic orchestra, and digital music. Serena then taught technology at a K-8 school in Harlem for two years. Her students learned to use technological applications to share their voices and knowledge. They also learned to be digital citizens and computational thinkers. Serena is focused on the importance of cultivating and sharing student voices, building trusting relationships, and creating a culturally responsive classroom. 

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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