Check out this hand made distortion feedback microphone with an arcade push to talk function. It’s called a Dr Moonstien. I can see this being used at many a live show around 3AM. It’s available on eBay (link).
“This is a hand built noise machine built by me. it is a push to talk mic with very cool arcade style big red button. you can mix your very overdrive mic preamp with 3 extremely nasty octave modulators. this is the ultimate noise crust mic kind of a death metal version of a vocoder can be used as a feedback machine. this is good noise machine for the person that is more into destructive tambor than clarity. great way to juice up those vocals or control feedback to do your evil bidding. runs on 9v battery has 1/4 inch audio out has regular volume knob and 3 volume knobs for the different octaves of crust. on off power toggle blue led.” – drmoonstien
So there is an all new version of Izotope’s Trash (Trash 2) that was just released. It’s certainly good and has hundreds of paramaters you can mess with. Sometimes however you just want a really good distortion unit with a few killer presets. Think about guitar pedals and imagine if they had a hundred options. That wouldn’t make sense. kiloHearts from Linköping, Sweden have plug-in called Faturator. It’s really nice, lightweight and with a great sound. This reads like a sales pitch and they did give me a NFR license however I really am using the plug-in a lot. Besides the “right” sounding fuzz and distortion there is a great stereo widener which I actually used a few times on its own (turning off the fuzz altogether). $19 USD Mac or PC.
“Faturator can do everything from adding subtle and warm gritty character to your sounds to slam them into a wall of heavy saturation and digital fuzz. Contrary to many distortion effects, Faturator will preserve the dynamics of your sound and work its wonders on it regardless of input gain. For the heck of it, it can also color the input to emphasize a specific tone of the sound, or throw some stereo width into the mix. Everything to give you a fast and easy way of making any input come alive.” – kilohearts.com
I use feedback often in my own productions. In fact the “bat” sounds you here on TTC-001’s track Dark Invader is me holding an SM58 microphone in front of a speaker, sampled and reversed (2.21 in the SoundCloud clip above). The DJ Techtools video shows a hot tip on how to get it all going in Ableton Live with a distortion pedal.
“When sitting in front of a DAW with limitless software possibilities, it can be easy to forget that some of the coolest sounds and effects you can make can come from external effects processors. In today’s video, Mad Zach takes us through one of his favorite hardware wirings, an external distortion pedal setup. ” – djtechtools.com
Audiodamage has released Kominat DVA. I recorded about 45 of the presets over a Roland TR-808 loop. The first 4 bars is the 808 dry. If you listen through the presets you can hear some of them are very musical and useful. $49 USD.
“From mild tone-shaping or adding a bit of grit to full-on total waveform destruction, Kombinat Dva, the long-awaited sequel to our popular Kombinat plug-in, is a complete toolbox of sonic warfare. With 13 different options in each of the three distortion engines (plus pass-through), Kombinat Dva is capable of sophisticated and unique sounds. Want to add a ring mod to the low end, a mild tube clip to the mids, and a bit-reduction algorithm to the high end? No problem. Want to run your signal through three sine-warps or fuzz algorithms in series? This is your box.” – audiodamage.com
I love plug-ins with Wet/Dry Mix knobs. It’s fantastic when you put a carefully selected effect on the Master bus and zoom in an effect for a half of a measure. I’ve noticed my friends use this trick often but rarely with distortion. My tip of the day is that Ohm Force’s Ohmicide distortion has a Wet/Dry Mix knob and it’s pretty tasty when used properly. Is it rare that Distortion plug-ins have Wet/Dry mix knobs?
“Ohmicide:Melohman can work with up to 4 frequency bands, all four bands having their own independent knobs for Noise Gate, Dynamics, Distortion, Feedback Generator and all mixing abilities, in addition of a twist of pre- and post-processing (distortion input, high shelf output and more).” – ohmforce.com
My friend Tal Shoshani at Waves asked me to take a closer look at GTR Solo and their large metal hardware unit GTR Ground. In the video above I discover I like GTR quite a lot. I run GTR through a few Roland TR-606 patterns, a synth line and my voice. Next week I will bring the GTR Ground to Mark Ephraim’s studio and let some real guitarist’s at it.
Here is a screencast I put together showing a few features of D16‘s incredible Roland TR-909 emulator Drumazon and their new distortion plug-in Devastor. I really like both of these. After watching the video I encourage you to head over to the D16 website and download the demos.
I’ve owned a real Roland TR-909 for many years. In fact I bought mine from Chaka Kahn! I can honestly say Drumazon is a better replacement. It’s a joy to use and you get all the nicesties of software (presets). You also get features a real 909 doesn’t have like random and automation. When you add a quality multiband distortion unit like Devastor to it you can’t help but smile. This is audio software at its best.
Here’s a technique I use on almost every song I record. This step gives me a helping hand in making transitions in the arrangement work. It also can add drama at the end of an important verse. I have a few names for this tactic including the Kickverb, Kickboom and the awesome Thunderverb!
Take the kick drum you are using throughout the track and isolate one hit. Make a new audio track and place the single kick drum on it. Don’t forget to render your kick first if you had some effects on it like compression or EQ. Once on its own channel insert a reverb. I usually go for Alitverb convolution reverb or the Korg MDE-X multi-effect which comes with the Korg Legacy collection. Both those reverbs have colors to them. Next, I render a single kick going through a wash of reverb. Do several bounces with different kinds of reverbs. You end up with Kickverb1, Kickverb2 and so forth. If your song calls for it insert a distortion plug-in after the reverb. This gives you a dirty decaying sound. My favorite distortion plug-ins are Izotope’s Trash and Ohm Force’s Ohmicide. Another thing to try is pitching your rendered kickverb down.
I usually create my Kickverbs after the general arrangement is finished. Then, I place them strategically throughout the timeline. Two places they fit include at the beggining of the chorus and in the verse after you say something shocking or important. You can also start and finish the song with them.
Some other things that maybe obvious that you can do is reverse the Kickverb. Place that “Reverse Kickverb” before the chorus comes in to build up tension. Of course you don’t have to stick to the Kickverb at all because real thunder and explosion samples will also work.