Propellerhead Software
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Old 2003-04-24, 18:54
kirktoyou kirktoyou is offline
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 0
Tips on IDM/Aphex/Autechre type tracks

First things first...

Make your own drum samples. Easily done with the Subtractor Unit. Open up the percussion settings, listen to the presets, and please tweak them. Make 'em shorter, longer, deeper, whatever. Make a boatload of bass drums, hihats, snare drums and various odd percussion sounds. Do not be afraid of the FM knob or the preset ring-mod. Use two filters! Use that envelope generator for the pitch. Easy stuff.

Next, make your own mono-poly synth sounds. Real easy stuff. Using the first five basic tones and general modulation, you can make several variations of a square wave, a saw wave or any other wave. Try to make them sound as "old-school" analog as possible. Not too hard, the Subtractor does a great job of it.

Ok, you got drums and tones. Now what...
Don't program a house beat. Don't program a jungle beat. Don't use the Dr. Rex. In my opinion, these types of things just might kill whatever bizarre, or abstract musical idea you might have.

Reason is great at doing odd-time signatures. Use it! If you must make a rock-beat, use the odd time, so it clips off part of the beat, making it very hard to dance to. Assign your home-made samples to the Redrum, and start with a one-bar pattern. I use 5/4 or 7/8. 3/4 is cool too, but often over-used. Make sure your beat has dynamics and make good use of the little red bars for controlling velocity. Give your beat a human feel using just velocity. You do not have to un-quantize a beat. After making one bar, copy it maybe 4 to 8 times, and add or remove stuff every bar. Once you have a complex loop, highlight the whole thing. Run it once, then copy it again. Next loop, use the quarter note pencil tool, and cut out stuff at random.

Do the same type of thing with the tones. Break molds, use other scales, detune the synths. Do what you want. Double time a pattern, half time it. Make it as random as possible. Make it hurt your ears or give you the chills.

Then layer the hell out of it. Add other tones poly-rhythmically. Same with drums. Add pads for ambience. Run ReDrum through the Malstrom. Run Subtractor through Malstrom. Use an LFO from the Subtractor to Modulate randomly the Filters on a Malstrom while it is being run through the machine.
Use reverb on the drums, directly beneath the ReDrum, then turn the room size to something like Large Room, and Turn the room size down to zero.

Ahhhh so much to do!


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