Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Abusive Recycling

Sometimes the most interesting sounds in electronic music come from using software in ways its creators never intended. It's easy to get boxed in to what a piece of software is 'supposed' to do, that it might never occur to you to try utilizing it new ways.
Propellerhead's venerable Recycle has been the dominant drum loop-slicing utility pretty much since it first came out way back in 1994. I always thought they sold it short by calling it loop slicer, though. Sure, the transient detection makes it ideal for using with drum loops, but if you are experimentally minded, just about any sound source (provided it is not too long) can be sliced to bits and reassembled as well. Sounds that work best are ones that evolve a bit over their length. Load the sound into Recycle, turn up the sensitivity, and Recycle will insert slices in odd places as it tries desperately to find transients. Export the sliced samples and bring it into any sampler that supports REX files, and try playing a random pattern using the sounds. The abrupt cuts and timbral changes can be really striking if arranged correctly, and taken to ridiculous extremes can get you into the territory of the Clicks n' Cuts subgenre of IDM. Try processing each slice individually and doing other crazy stuff to take the sounds even further into mutant territory. Try it on vocals too! It can be fun rearranging the lyrics of a song to say something entirely different than the original.

1 comment:

Aikighost said...

Thats good stuff, I've been doing similar for a while. I use recycle to cut up a piece of music or beat and then plop it into the NN_XT in reason as a chromatically layed out drum patch. The go to work :D