DR BEAT

Ro­nan Mac­don­ald talks ana­logue-style dis­tor­tion

Computer Music - - Contents - Ro­nan Mac­don­ald

Hav­ing pre­vi­ously served as Ed­i­tor of drum­mer’s bi­ble Rhythm as well as Com­puter

Mu­sic, Ro­nan is clearly the right man for this par­tic­u­lar gig. He’s been play­ing drums for over 30 years and mak­ing mu­sic with com­put­ers since the 90s. Drums and dis­tor­tion go hand in hand, par­tic­u­larly in the elec­tronic mu­sic arena, where drum ma­chines and sam­pled sounds very of­ten ben­e­fit from the ap­pli­ca­tion of ana­logue sat­u­ra­tion and/or dig­i­tal qual­ity re­duc­tion. Al­though the im­me­di­ate im­pli­ca­tion of the word ‘dis­tor­tion’ might be the in­tense, su­per ag­gres­sive over­drive em­ployed by rock gui­tarists, the tech­nique has far more to of­fer than just that, bring­ing life, en­ergy and weight to any sound when ap­plied with a less heavy-handed ap­proach.

There are many types of dis­tor­tion ef­fects plug­ins avail­able, from ana­logue-mod­el­ling preamps, wave­shapers and tape em­u­la­tions, to gui­tar amps, clip­pers and bitcrush­ers, each of­fer­ing its own sonic char­ac­ter­is­tics and fea­tures – this month’s soft­ware give­away, In­ferno CM, is a mag­nif­i­cent ex­am­ple that’s now yours for free (see p58 for de­tails). Like In­ferno CM, most dis­tor­tion ef­fects are very easy to use, with the all-im­por­tant in­put gain and/or drive con­trols be­ing your first (and pos­si­bly only) ports of call.

In this and next is­sue’s tu­to­ri­als, I’ll walk you through var­i­ous ways of dis­tort­ing drums, both the kit as a whole and in­di­vid­ual el­e­ments within it. This month we look at ana­logue-style dis­tor­tion – tube preamps, tape, etc – be­fore ad­dress­ing dig­i­tal al­ter­na­tives next month.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.