Audio Plug In effects give musicians with experimental tendencies a lot of options to play with. Here are a few cool ways to create some original sonics.

EVER CHANGING BACKGROUNDS (OR DRUMS) (pictured): Create three or four radically different effect buses featuring several plug ins as inserts, and using your DAW’s mixer automation, slowly (or quickly if you wish) change the ways a background sound is affected by feeding its sound to different buses. For a more noticeable effect try progressing from a more mono to a radically stereo sound. On Radiohead’s records you can hear this idea applied to drums: drum sends are switched on and off abruptly, creating sudden bursts of a distorted version of the main drum sound, often panned hard left or right.

THE HANGING DELAY: This effect (very popular in dub and some psych rock) is commonly used on vocals and guitars but might work on any isolated sound: set up a rather long delay on an effect bus, synch it to the song’s tempo. Keep the main vocals dry until you hear a word in the song you want to highlight (make sure it’s in a note that works with the following chords). Edit the vocals’ “send” automation values so that the signal is sent to the bus ONLY when that word is sung: during playback you’ll hear the word repeating a few times after the first occurrence. Adjust the delay’s volume, tempo and feedback so that it works in the arrangement.

“VOCODE” YOUR DRUM LOOPS: We are all familiar with how vocoders interact with the human voice. But this weird robotic effect does very interesting things to any more or less rhythmic signal. Experiment through feeding drum loops instead of vocals for some truly different textures. – Nancy Kuo

This article was published in the 30th issue of The Deli Magazine.

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