Enhancing breakdowns with mod FX
23rd Jul 2013 | 09:42
If your breakdown needs a little extra yet adding instruments doesn't help, treat it with lush modulation.
Breakdowns are hard to get exactly right. Play it safe and they can be too minimal, go all out and they're in danger of becoming cluttered and too full on. Sometimes the best remedy is modulation processing.
In this walkthrough, we see a breakdown treated with psychedelic modulation then fed through a retro delay unit. This treated signal is mixed with the original dry audio to produce a lush, spacey mix that's perfect for an atmospheric break.
1. Start off by selecting your breakdown. It's best to play back a small section before and after at this stage to get a feeling for what needs tobe added and, more importantly, when everything needs to happen. Place your locaters around the section you plan to work on.
2. Next, send all the channels you plan to process to their own group and add a phaser – any retro style phaser should do the trick. In this case,Native Instrument's Stoned Phaser was used to ensure a truly psychedelic effect. To achieve the perfect sound, you will need to tweak.
3. After the phaser is tuned to create a long, rolling phaser sweep, a high pass filter is added to the return channel to keep things tight andclean. Now use automation to add the send at the point the breakdown starts and back to zero as it ends.
4. Extra stereo delay is added at the end of the process. Any delay can be used and it's possible to get away with some pretty high feedback amounts. As long as you keep an eye on the level of the return, you can addany amount of extra processing.