When drums meet de­lay

Echo ef­fects are ideal for spin­ning groovy rhythms and ef­fects out of drum ma­chine hits. Let’s go!

Future Music - - FEATURE -

While tra­di­tion­ally used for vo­cal am­bi­ence, sound ef­fects and general re­peat­ing, de­lay ef­fects can also be a fan­tas­tic cre­ative tool when you don’t know where to take a ster­ile drum groove. Plus, with the sheer amount of feature-packed de­lay hard­ware and soft­ware avail­able, you can quickly play around and spit out weird fills, stut­ters and em­bel­lish­ments that you’d never think to pro­gram with a mouse.

Ren­der­ing and re­piec­ing au­dio works well with th­ese tech­niques, as you won’t be at the mercy of a feed­back-heavy de­lay’s ran­dom­ness. In this quick­fire tu­to­rial, we’ll start with a bog-stan­dard drum ma­chine groove. By fir­ing per­cus­sion hits into cre­ative de­lay plug­ins, it’s easy to gen­er­ate quirky loops, ghost snare-style skips and en­tirely new rhythms that can be bounced out to your sam­ples folder.

This 130bpm 808 beat is as sim­ple as you can get: a two-step kick, snare, and sparse closed hats. Send­ing the hats to a de­lay (set to tempo-synced 16th notes) cre­ates sprin­kling hat flour­ishes spread to the sides of the stereo field. We bounce the de­lay sig­nal to au­dio and move on…

Next, we send the snare sig­nal to an aux re­turn con­tain­ing a tape de­lay plugin. By wig­gling the de­lay time as we record the re­turn’s sig­nal to au­dio, we in­duce pitch-wob­bling echoes, cre­at­ing an au­dio loop of trans­posed ghost snares that would be tough to pro­gram man­u­ally.

For a fi­nal round of ex­treme loop syn­the­sis, we send ev­ery drum chan­nel to an aux and load up a cre­ative de­lay plugin. This sat­u­rated, fil­tered de­lay pep­pers odd hits through­out the groove, adding life and mo­tion through­out.

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