Using mix elements to trigger filter modulation
With Cytomic The Drop’s external sidechain input, we can use any audio from our DAW to trigger modulation – here’s how to make the most of it
We asked Cytomic’s Andrew Simper for filter-modulating tips. “Since The Drop has a secondary audio input, you can use any audio signal as the source for modulation. This opens up a world of creative possibilities, because suddenly you can have a virtually unlimited number of mod sources. You can use the regular summing in your DAW to process modulation signals and send them to the plugin; or you can use delay, reverb, EQ, compression, or anything else you can do to an audio source. In other words, you can get some seriously cool sounds!”
To put Andrew’s tip to the test, we’re going to demonstrate some creative filter modulation in the context of a track. By routing a duplicate copy of a kick into The Drop’s sidechain input, we create a silent signal to trigger modulation that moves in tempo with it.
After piping an identical copy of our track’s kick into The Drop’s external input, we head to Envelope 1, selecting IN SC as the Source, so that the envelope resets every time an external signal is received. We pull down the rightmost low-pass filter’s cutoff to muffle the chords.
Let’s set up modulation in The Drop’s centre mod matrix. To wobble LP frequency via the first envelope, we’ll toggle LP FREQ in the upper row of destinations, then select ENV 1 along the bottom row of sources. Cranking up ENV 1’s Amount applies positive modulation.
Our external trigger signal is resetting the first envelope with each hit. We can customise the filter sweeps by adjusting ENV 1’s Attack, Hold, Release and Sensitivity amounts, causing the chords to dance and weave around the track’s broken kick pattern.