The usability of sequenced effects

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion
User avatar
KVRian
1230 posts since 16 Jan, 2004

Post Wed Aug 04, 2021 1:43 pm

I own a few plugins that do sequenced effects (Shaperbox, Tantra, Infiltrator, Stutter Edit (although not installed)). While these are fun to play with, for me I don't tend to get results from any of them that I consider fitting for most of what I want to do musically.

Sidechaining (volume pumping) effect is useful and I use that. Outside of that, I find that most of the results I get have a similar feel that doesn't result in anything profoundly musical. A lot of it ends up in the "swishy filter" realm. Or, the stutter/glitch stuff just feels very tacked-on - it's a very obvious sound and, dare I say it, boring?

I guess context is king - and so I shouldn't/wouldn't expect it to be fitting for say, rock, or pop, or whatever. Or maybe the key is to use it all very subtlety.

Anyone have any cool examples (with before/after if possible) with this stuff in action, that they consider outside of the typical filter swishes or glitchy stuff?

Thoughts/opinions? I should say, I realize that my opinion is very subjective to what I like, but still felt like opening the topic.

User avatar
KVRAF
6867 posts since 7 Sep, 2006 from Roseville, CA

Post Wed Aug 04, 2021 2:03 pm

I tend to like many of them, but I totally see your point and often find that, what seems simple enough in concept, tends to be more difficult in practice with some of these plugins. And, yeah, I've also drowned in that sea of boring "swishy filter" sounds more times than I've cared for. I think they're definitely aimed at the electronica/experimental crowd, but with some degree of crossover to pop, and less so for rock. That said, I've heard some stutter effects used to good effect with some rock. Going Under by Evanescence comes to mind... mmmmm.... Amy Lee :love: :love: :love: Oh, wait, what are talking about again?

User avatar
KVRAF
2253 posts since 12 Jan, 2019

Post Wed Aug 04, 2021 2:08 pm

Here is something I made a year or so ago--just a start. It uses Effectrix and Backmask, I think.
https://soundcloud.com/fritz-e-18766441 ... -uhbik-g-3

Haven't done anything with it though. I have other rhythmic stuff using Shaper Box and other other such plugins, but it's hard to remember their names. Might post some more.
"Have you ever noticed how anyone driving faster than you is a [jerk] and anyone driving slower than you is a moron?" - George Carlin

KVRAF
1785 posts since 2 Jul, 2010

Post Wed Aug 04, 2021 2:18 pm

I find it very helpful to use such effects (e.g. Tantra, Shaperbox) with REAPER's "take FX" feature. Then instead of repeating the pattern throughout the track, you can program a short variation in one or two places.

User avatar
KVRAF
4521 posts since 8 Jul, 2009

Post Wed Aug 04, 2021 2:59 pm

I found a happy place for these kinds of effects in my music: to supplement the rhythm parts, drums and sequences. For example, I might have a number of different drum machine tracks and have these kinds of effects on a couple of them to make the over-all rhythm sound interesting. I work to get all the drum machine parts sounding cohesive, like one drum part. Here's an example. This has about 6 different drum machine plugins running some with these stepped sequenced effects...


https://soundcloud.com/musicofplexus/st ... on-epsilon

KVRAF
22757 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:06 pm

Numerous times I've set Absynth to do a very drawn out, involved thing with modulation over time but the idea is something happens which I have a sense of, abstractly, but concretely is unknowable. cross-rhythms and tension, quasi- chaotic.

once I got very interested in a synced delay and the composition absolutely relied on it. it was a living breathing timing, not some set BPM. it was eminently musical although when I set out to get it it seemed almost cheesy.

Most of this kind of thing I find tiresome, and will avoid.

KVRAF
4224 posts since 26 Jun, 2004

Post Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:46 pm

I dont really like any kind of 'multi' effects usually, but I do use kind of a lot of tempo synching things.
The secret for me is that I never use anything perfectly sync'd.
Free running at some complimentary indivisible speed, or more often, free running but at 5/8 or 11/16 or whatever.
This is why my music is such a mess. :)
ImageImageImageImage

User avatar
KVRAF
2253 posts since 12 Jan, 2019

Post Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:50 pm

Two more:
https://soundcloud.com/fritz-e-18766441 ... rbox-chill

and

https://soundcloud.com/fritz-e-18766441 ... rhythm-6-1

Just things I made messing around--won't use them for a track, likely. I also use these plugins with drum sample loops when I want variations--Shaperbox is great for this.
"Have you ever noticed how anyone driving faster than you is a [jerk] and anyone driving slower than you is a moron?" - George Carlin

User avatar
KVRAF
4218 posts since 15 Oct, 2017 from U.S.

Post Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:05 pm

When I do use a glitchy sequenced effect I'm arming a track to record the output of the effected track in a way that's just trawling for happy accidents n bits that can be cherry picked & used in a sampler or something to that effect
Have at it

User avatar
KVRian

Topic Starter

1230 posts since 16 Jan, 2004

Post Wed Aug 04, 2021 5:51 pm

plexuss - cool tune, and yeah, I can hear the usage there. I like it. It's not over the top, and works well.

Dirtgrain - I particularly like the "Song samples into chaperbox chill" stuff.

Thanks for the replies, all. It seem some similar experiences to me, but also it seems that a number of you have figured out how to tame things to make them usable.

I think a lot of the presets with these things really are over the top, but I guess show off what can be done.

I was playing around tonight with a short chord progression into Tantra and got something really nice out of it. And also some nice gating with Infiltrator on some strings.

Subtlety really seems to be the key to me. The over the top stuff is out of my domain.

Cheers all :)

User avatar
KVRAF
1512 posts since 10 Jul, 2008 from Orbit Sol III

Post Wed Aug 04, 2021 7:16 pm

Mostly i find them fun in live situations. Not as much in recording.
gadgets an gizmos...make noise
https://soundcloud.com/crystalawareness

KVRAF
1691 posts since 26 Aug, 2012

Post Thu Aug 05, 2021 1:16 am

no, in the real world volume shapers and things like dat are of no use. If i want a filter rhythm, i use a kick to trigger it so it aligns with the actual track.

Ive not heard too many tracks that would use something like Gatekeeper on. reversed sweeps would be used with rendered audio, not some volume shaper.

Stutter edit is pretty much useless. I dout too many use it with intent, it's all random/experiment like glitchmachines and our brains dont work that way

KVRist
137 posts since 18 Jul, 2021

Post Thu Aug 05, 2021 2:12 am

three tactics you can use:

1 - stick it on a send or fx channel and use it mixed well into the background as a subtle "what's going on?" ear candy

2 - mess around switching presets and whatnot, and render out happy accidents as ear candy (melomood already mentioned this one)

3 - use wet/dry or other automation so that the glitchy stuff only pops up at the end of a phrase. play it more like a performance - this is where stutter edit comes into its own, or maybe sugar bytes artillery or turnado.

User avatar
KVRian

Topic Starter

1230 posts since 16 Jan, 2004

Post Thu Aug 05, 2021 10:12 am

Good advice, hermits. I don't have a regular habit of using the sends in my DAW - I should, and that sounds like a great application for it.

KVRAF
1691 posts since 26 Aug, 2012

Post Fri Aug 06, 2021 1:01 am

OzoneJunkie wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 10:12 am
Good advice, hermits. I don't have a regular habit of using the sends in my DAW - I should, and that sounds like a great application for it.
No worries, Kermit :tu:

Return to “Effects”