Are you bored with your hi-hats? Here’s a quick tip to make them a bit more “fancy”. I remember noticing this technique listening to Kraftwerk’s epic song Trans-Europe Express. Simply send your hi-hats to their own Channel, add a flanger and set it’s wet/dry knob to at least 70% wet. Play with your flanger’s settings to control how much movement takes place.
I wouldn’t use this method on every song but it adds some nice spice once and a while. Remember you don’t have to have your hats flanging through out the entire song. Often I will only put my “flange hats” during a drums break or to add tension to only the last verse. Here’s some examples on how it can sound:
Are there any songs you know of off hand that use this technique? Do you have a favorite flange plug-in or hardware box?
Not so long ago computers for producing music were all seriously underpowered. I remember on my old Mac clone, a Power Computer PowerCenter Pro210 I could only open 2-3 plug-ins before the computer would click and glitch to a halt. However, today we live in an amazing time as far as music technology. I can load up my Macbook Pro all day long with plug-ins and it seems my CPU never jumps past 50%. It actually took me a few months to get used to piling on plug-ins without freezing or bouncing tracks. I realized I was wasting time bouncing everything by watching younger kids demo their Ableton and Cubase tracks on YouTube. My keen eye caught mountains of plug-ins placed frivolously over twenty plus channels. I realized I better “un-old fogey” myself and start painting with thick strokes of live effects or be left behind.
So today’s quick tip is to start a song with plenty of effects placed on assorted channels before you ever even place a sound producing synth, sample or voice anywhere. What do I mean? Well how about putting Altiverb with a Neuman Mic IR (Impulse Response) on the Master Channel? Why not also put a nice compressor there too? Now as your build your song and mix as you go building into those plug-ins. In effect it’s almost like you bought a new sounding mixer.
There’s no reason to be subtle either. Try creating a sub-mixer of 6+ channels and on the Group’s master fader and have a flanger set to 100% wet. Next place all your synths in your new flanger group and adjust the oscillators and filters toward the flanger not the other way around. The key is to start off fully loaded with effects on so everything you hear isn’t the same ole, same ole…
Related post: Making Groups in Ableton Live is really easy.
photo credit: Pulpolux !!!