Have you ever asked yourself why some of the more successful electronic artists seem to get away with a lot of repetition in their beats and songs? Deadmau5 comes to mind… to me, he is a master of repetition. And the reason is because his automation is subtle but yet effective. In this tutorial I’d like to explore some automation techniques that should add movement to your loops and help them come to life.
The first thing I did was to automate an extra reverb on some of the snare hits of the loop. This way as I listen to the track, things keep changing in subtle ways and keep my ears guessing. As a result I don’t get bored of the track. Be careful not to do too much too soon, and also to not be too obvious. This is supposed to be almost like a 3rd layer of detail.
The second thing I did was to add some distortion in some random places, mostly on kick drum hits. I also made sure to add this in different spots from the reverb work I previously did. This way, you get different flavors in different spots. Aphex Twin is a master of this as well, his beats and synths keep changing during his compositions. Check out the tutorial and see if this inspires you to add some spice to your own tracks.
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