Build super phaser drum groups

12th Jul 2013 | 09:31

Phasers are great for making specific sections of your project stand out. Here we discover how entire drum busses can be processed to produce sweeping effects

One way to make a section of your track pop is to treat it to retro phaser action. High feedback settings and low modulation speeds instantly create psychedelic textures, suiting any number of instruments but especially effective when applied to an entire drum group.

In this particular walkthrough, a dry drum group is sent to an intense phaser and fine tuned to produce a long sweep. The LFO speed is tuned manually due to the lack of automatic sync and high pass filters are employed to ensure a clean, low end mix.

phaser 1

1. Select a section of the drum track you want to process. It's a good idea to take any musical elements out of the equation for now. Considering how we will be applying intense processing, simple percussion works best. In this case, we have a mix of drums and straight up effects samples.

phaser 2

2. Apply a phaser as an insert to the main drum group. Any fully featured phaser should do the trick and Logic's stock plug-in has been used forthis part. The default setting is probably far from ideal so we have some work to do yet.

phaser 3

3. The phaser has a useful high pass mode and will stop any unwantedlow frequencies from being processed. With this control in place, more feedback can be added to enhance the effect's intensity and make movement of the LFO much more apparent.

phaser 5

4. Let's look at the speed of modulation. We're after a classic slow sweephere. As this phaser doesn't have a sync function it must be manually entered. Timing the sweep with the music is pretty easy and doesn't have to be exact to sound pleasing.

Phaser 5

5. Although some warmth was added in the last step, we can use extra processors to bring the effect to life. Any sort of distortion before themodulation plug-in will do. We turned to bit-crushing to add serious crunch. An extra high pass filter was also put to work.

phaser 6

6. One available feature while using this specific phaser plug-in is dual LFOs. They can be set to different speeds and mixed together tocreate some mad cross rhythms. Not all phasers have this feature but if yours does, take advantage.

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