This weekend I’m testing out the beta form of Audio Damage’s pending chorus plugin, Fluid. One of the things I usually do when I’m beta testing effects is set up an automated three or four bar A/B project in Audiomulch and then run various permutations of the effect’s parameters and various input sounds to get a good sense of what the effect can do.

This is an example of that, an organ drone, run four bars dry then four bars through Fluid. And you’ll note, a pretty nice sounding chorus.

I then often proceed to fiddle about, to get a sense of how the effect fits in to a musical context. I start layering a few tracks and then layering other effects in. As I was doing this today, I set up a droning sound that I ended up listening to for a reasonably long time. I have three sound sources, the organ drone from above, a copy of it running at a lower pitch, and a sine wave that bounced between 400Hz and 440Hz every four bars.

The dry sound mixed sounds like this.

Not changing the sounds at all, but sticking in some effects, it sounds like this.

The affected version, as it happens, employs only Audio Damage effects (sorry for the apparent shillery, but they really are the first things I turn to, because they are good, I know them inside out, and have them all). The organ drone was followed by Fluid, Pulse Modulator, and Dubstation. I created a second channel with the organ drone run dry. The third channel was the lower register organ drone followed by Fluid, and the fourth channel was the sine wave followed by Liquid, Audio Damage’s recently released flanger plugin.

The most immediately obvious change is the expanded stereo width, a common side effect of using modulated delays, and in this case, primarily caused by Liquid on the sine wave. More interesting to me is the creation of the pulsing upper harmonics, which if you listen to it closely sounds slightly like an attack heavy sound played in reverse. That sound, which feels to me like a separate voice in the mix, is entirely a result Pulse Modulator and accentuated by Dubstation, created by the effect’s distortion stage and complex amplitude modulation.

The original, dry sound gets dull quickly if you listen to it looped at length, but as a result of the added dimension and frequencies created by the effects, I found I could listen to it looped for a long time, despite it on paper being the same stretch of music.

Much of the SIGHUP way of making music is based on the method in this example, taking a single sound source and building as much of a complete orchestration out if its various affected copies.

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