Modulation refers to an external signal that varies the sound of an instrument or vocal in volume, timing or pitch. This includes effects like chorus, flanging and phasing, which are pretty standard mixing tools, to tremolo and vibrato, which are used mostly on guitars, synths and electric pianos.
Between reverb, delay and modulation, modulation is the least used mixing effect because a little goes a long way. And except for flanging, you’ll also hear modulation effects used mostly on a single track at a time, instead of across the entire mix. In fact, most modulation effects are inserted directly in the signal path of a channel instead of using a dedicated send and return configuration.
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