Thursday, July 24, 2008

An Alternate Approach To Glitching

"Glitch" effects were once solely the domain of the chin-stroking neckbeard set, but as more and more software gurus are releasing glitch effects to the marketplace, this type of effect is making its way outside of just IDM music. The newer generation of glitch effects such as Illformed's Glitch or Sugarbytes' Effectrix allow you to 'sequence' the glitches, providing some control over the chaos. The majority of these types of effects, though, are purely random and thus, when you apply the effect to, say, a drum stem, the results aren't always musically useful, thus requiring a lot of editing. Truth be told, however, I actually prefer the purely random type effects because the results tend to be more interesting. However, if you want to apply these types of effects to something more clubby (as many electrohouse artists are doing these days), you probably want something a little more subtle so that the steady pulse of the beat isn't disrupted. One option to achieve that very easily is to apply the glitch not to the track itself, but to a reverb send. Here's how to do it:

1.) Load up a drum loop on an audio track, or call up a loop player as a software instrument. (Note that you can apply this to vocals, synths, guitars, or anything... the drum loop is just for simplicity's sake for this demonstration.)

2.) On the track or instrument in question, call up an effects send and set the wet/dry mix to around 50%.

3.) On the effects send itself, assign a short reverb, such as a room type reverb. You should now hear your drum loop with the room reverb applied to it.

4.) Now, on the same bus as the reverb, and AFTER the reverb, assign your favorite glitch effect. In my case, I'm using MDSP's excellent LiveCut effect.

If you've done everything correctly, you should hear the steady beat, but with the glitches happening on the reverb bus, thus giving you the interesting effect, but without interrupting the groove of your drum loop. I've posted an example below. The first 16 bars are with no effect, and the final 16 include the more subtle glitching effects via the send.

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