Create Tone through Distortion

distortion mixing reverb tone Dec 29, 2018

I love to mangle my effects to get different character rather than your straight-forward reverb or delay. By adding distortion and messing with the pitch, you are not only creating different tones and textures, but you're expanding the harmonic content.

Remember the lower a note is played, the lower its cycle (hz) becomes. So by modulating pitch on a reverb or delay, you are increasing and decreasing the frequency at which that sound occurs, creating a wider span of audio content. Now you could argue; “But won't this make my thing out of tune??" Probably! But that's what is so awesome about this. Depending on the type of music, it may be a good thing. It may mix things up a bit to make things a little bit abnormal.

For example, look at Boards of Canada. They use modulated pads that make the character of the notes go in and out of tune. It's all done in a matter of cents on the pitch scale, but they do it nonetheless. So let's say you are doing a vocal reverb/delay send, you can create that same type of texture and mood. Something that moves up and down. Not too far out, but enough to make it not "perfect" and instead making it interesting. Step outside of the same old same old sounds and don't be afraid to do something "wrong" because it's not! If it sounds good then it sounds good!


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