Future Music

Atmospheri­c drone beds

Sometimes the best bits happen after the MIDI stops. Here we’re using Regenerati­ng Delay to ‘sustain’ synth textures before resampling them


01 >

We’re starting with an atmospheri­c sound from Absynth 5. Then we’re inserting several effects; UAD’s EP-34 Tape Echo, SoundToys’ FilterFrea­k, FabFilter’s Pro-R Reverb, Waves’ H-Delay and SoundToys’ Devil-Loc Deluxe. We’re setting high Feedback levels in the Delays to get the sound ‘regenerati­ng’. So long after the MIDI trigger ends, the sound continues with its own atmosphere.

02 >

We set up a second sound, this time adding Waves H-Delay with a non-tempo sync’d, ping-pong delay. The high Feedback level keeps the sound ‘sustaining’. Next comes a FilterFrea­k treatment where the cutoff frequency is modulated by the input level. Lastly, a second round of delay ‘smear’ is provided by Logic’s Tape Delay.

03 >

For the third sound, we use a Sound Generator from Reaktor 6: Space Drone. We insert another low-pass Filter Freak treatment, UAD’s Roland Space Echo, Eventide’s H3000 Ultra-Harmonizer for some auto-panning, and Unfiltered Audio’s BYOME, which adds granular processing. For all three, we capture a long slice of audio.

04 >

We import all three audio files and use the bits we like. With Sound 1 we loop a section late in the file. With Sound 2 we find a section where the high frequency content gets louder. So we duplicate and reverse the file using the original and duplicate alternatel­y. Sound 3 is filtered (again) and has extra reverb added.

05 >

We re-render these audio files ‘as one’ and import the new audio file into Kontakt 6. We map the sample across the entire keyboard so that we can trigger it across different octaves. We add a MIDI region, with the sample triggered at C2 and C1, one and two octaves below the original bed.


We assign all four layers together so that they can be processed ‘as one’. We program some beats and set up a compressor on the atmospheri­c bed which receives the beats as a sidechain, ducking them each time they receive a hit. We also add an amp envelope pattern using SoundToys’ Tremolator.

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