Noise el­e­ments in beat pro­gram­ming

Future Music - - FEATURE -

If you make mu­sic which re­lies heav­ily on beat pro­gram­ming, you can still take an ‘at­mo­spheric’ ap­proach to the sounds you choose There’s no rea­son why the tex­tu­ral tech­niques we’re look­ing at through­out this ar­ti­cle can’t be equally ap­plied to drum pro­gram­ming. As we’ll see be­low, how­ever, iden­ti­fy­ing the ‘pitch’ of the drum and per­cus­sive el­e­ments you choose and seek­ing to unite these helps bridge the gap be­tween at­mo­spheric/drone sounds and tra­di­tional rhyth­mic in­stru­men­ta­tion. We start by iden­ti­fy­ing a groove from FX­pan­sion’s Geist, which we’ve pitched up. To this, we’ve added other el­e­ments which re­in­force the groove and build a pat­tern but also add key in­gre­di­ents seen else­where in this ar­ti­cle – noises and spa­tial treat­ments – which blur the bound­aries of our source sounds. But it’s the fact that the per­cus­sive parts have a clearly de­fined pitch which lets them con­nect to the drone parts found a bit fur­ther into the process.

Start with a groove from FX­pan­sion’s Geist, which we’ve trans­posed up. The pitch of this loop is fairly dom­i­nantly the note ‘D’, which we’ll re­mem­ber when adding other parts. The next in­stru­ment is a kick from Bat­tery 4 (also tuned to D) pro­cessed with FabFil­ter’s Pro-R.

Next we add a pair of white noise el­e­ments, from a sec­ond Bat­tery kit. We pan these so that one is across to the left, while the other mir­rors the width to the right. To these we add a more gen­er­ous re­verb length but also some bitcrush­ing, to rough the sounds up.

Group these drum sounds and put an LPF over the group with an au­to­mated cut­off rise across an eight-bar se­quence. Un­der this, put two drone sounds, both play­ing D. The drums ‘emerge into’ the tex­ture, with the pitched na­ture of the groove mak­ing a bridge to the drones.

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