What’s distortion in music? The way to use it creatively in your productions

Methods for utilizing distortion

Now you’ve bought grasp on how distortion works and the sorts of distortion instruments which are accessible. However how do you have to use these distortion results in your music? First, let’s have a look at some fundamental methods and approaches.

The place do you set distortion within the sign chain?

It’s normally smart to position distortion after EQ in your sign chain. It is because the distortion will add harmonics to the frequencies which are current within the sign. If there are undesirable resonances in your sound, the distortion will add harmonics to those resonances, making them harder to take away later.

It’s additionally finest apply to position distortion earlier than any time-based results reminiscent of refrain, delay, or reverb. Nonetheless, this rule was made to be damaged. Attempt distorting a closely reverbed sign for a chaotic impact.

Parallel processing with distortion

Distortion results can alter a sound in excessive methods. Usually, the impact sounds thrilling while you first dial it in, however quickly turns into tiring on the ear. Including distortion may compromise the readability and punch of the unique “dry” sign, even because it provides coloration and pleasure.

The answer is to discover a compromise between your dry and distorted indicators. One of the best ways to do that is by means of parallel processing: in different phrases, by that includes each the distorted and the dry sign directly, in parallel. Most distortion instruments provide a Dry/Moist or Combine management that means that you can do that.

Simply get your distortion sounding good, then pull again the Combine management till it’s blended together with your dry sign. Et voila: The very best of each worlds.

Utilizing distortion on a bus

Relating to parallel processing, generally the Combine knob doesn’t reduce it. Maybe you need to add one other impact—reminiscent of EQ—to your distorted sign whereas leaving the dry sign untouched. The reply is to work with distortion not as an insert on a single channel, however as a separate bus or send-return channel.

When doing this, set the distortion Combine to 100% moist. You possibly can then ship sign to the distortion bus from different channels in your undertaking, and management the Moist/Dry combine by adjusting the quantity of the distortion bus.

Working on this approach opens up one other highly effective use of distortion: processing teams of sounds. As with compression, distortion can assist glue sounds collectively, giving them a unified character and vitality. Particularly, strive utilizing refined distortion in your drum bus so as to add grit, tame aggressive transients, and enhance general loudness.


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