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Difference Between Wet and Dry Signals or Sounds

Wet vs Dry Signals or Sounds

Dry and wet sounds or signals are familiar terminology in the audio or sound industry. Both are basic types of sounds and signals. A dry sound or signal refers to a sound or signal that has no effects or any kinds of modifications. It is considered as the raw, unprocessed, original sound.

Examples of dry sounds are raw or direct recordings of any sound. Quality still plays a good role in dry sound. A recording should be as clear and as close to the real thing as possible in order to make the material usable for any purpose. Also, another important factor is to make the sound as close to a recorder’s liking or preferred outcome. Products of dry sounds include raw voice recordings like acapella recordings of speech, conversations, and instrumental recordings.

In any recording, the most attention is given to the microphone that captures the sound as it is produced. The recording environment is also an important factor since noises can decrease the sound’s quality and the desired outcome.

Dry sounds/signals are usually used as foundational sounds for wet sounds/signals or sound effects. Many sounds can be derived from a single dry sound/signal. Sound derivations are usually customized depending on the event or use. In the case of a lack or no suitable sound effect, a dry sound/signal can serve as a base to create new sounds.

Wet sounds or signals are the opposite of dry sounds. Wet sounds/signals are the type of sounds that undergo a process and modifications. Wet sounds/signals are created by using a special audio device. The effects are usually added while recording or while the sound is being “mixed.”

There are many types of effects, but they are categorized into three areas. The first category is dynamic-based effects which alter the sound’s level of dynamics. Examples include: limiters, maximizers, and expanders. The second category is the frequency-based effects that manipulate the frequency of the signal/sound. Distortions, equalizers, and wah-wah are examples of this category.

The last category is the time-based effects which comprise a delay (further examples include reverbs, echoes, choruses, flangers, phasers) and derivatives.

Wet sounds/signals, including sound effects, are artificially made sounds or signals which are used for technical and aesthetic purposes. They are often applied in media like films, television and radio programs, video games, live performances, animation, and many others.
Wet sounds/signals are based on dry sounds/signals.


1.Both dry and wet sounds/signals are used together to create a particular and unique sound.
2.Dry sound signals refers to the raw or unprocessed sounds that usually come from a direct recording. On the other hand, wet sounds refer to the processed sound/signal. The processed sound or signal is accomplished by using a special audio device.
3.Wet sounds/signals are derived from dry sounds/signals. In this case, dry sounds/signals act like a foundation or source for the wet sounds/signals. Wet sounds/signals are laden with many or different effects that suit the purposes of the user/recorder.
4.Effects can be grouped into three categories: dynamics-based, frequency-based, and time-based. They are often added during recording or at a later time.
5.Dry sounds/signals can be considered as “natural” while wet sounds/signals can be said to be “artificial” since the latter involves a processed activity.
6.Both dry and wet sounds/signals are used for technical and aesthetic purposes. They are also applied in many mediums like films, TV and radio programs, etc. as an added enhancement for the event.
7.Dry sounds/signals can produce a number of wet sounds/signals depending on the intent, creativity, and originality. Quality dry sounds/signals are often desired to make quality wet sounds/signals.

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  2. its good and have some useful information. thx.

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