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Sound Design Deep Dive: Creating Complexity in Glitchop Music

Tutorial | Sep 16, 2022

In this video, I discuss how I created a track for my YouTube shorts playlist. I start by explaining my mastering chain, including a glitch plug-in, DSEQ, and a multi-band limiter. Then I move on to discuss the drums, using a Transient Clicker preset and UltraFat to bring out the frequencies. I also use a Deep Blue Glitch, DSEQ and hard clip to add complexity. For the bass, I use a pattern of three notes and a quantizer, as well as a phase four. I also use a pitch map to create melody harmonics, a tool device for side-chaining, and a Poly-Grid to make a "scratch" sound. Finally, I discuss how this track is unfinished, and I use it to practice and learn new techniques.

You can watch the Video on Youtube - support me on Patreon

Questions & Answers

Maybe you dont watch the video, here are some important takeaways:

What plug-ins do you use for sound design in your tracks?

I use a variety of plug-ins for my sound design, including a deep blue glitch, DSEQ3, a hard clip, UltraFat, a phase four, a pitch map, a tech tool device, and a Poly-Grid. I also use automation, a crossover, and a multi band limiter to shape the sound.

How do you create complexity in your track?

To create complexity in my track, I use sound design to layer different effects and textures. I use glitch plugins to add edits and glitches to the sound, and I also use automation to bring in effects at certain points. Additionally, I use note repeats to chunk up the sound, and I create variations of the same sound by cloning the initial track and making modifications to the settings.

What is your workflow for creating a Glitch hop track?

My workflow for creating a Glitch hop track typically involves starting with a simple pattern of notes and then layering sound design over it to create complexity. I use noise and filters to create a scratchy sound, and I use the note repeat to create


This is what im talking about in this video. The text is transcribed by AI, so it might not be perfect. If you find any mistakes, please let me know.
You can also click on the timestamps to jump to the right part of the video, which should be helpful.

[00:00.000] Hey folks, welcome back to another video.
[00:03.360] I recently posted a track of mine on my YouTube shorts playlist and people asked me to make
[00:08.640] a video about it, what I did.
[00:11.360] So this is the track here.
[00:41.200] And so on and so forth.
[00:59.680] So it's basically, it sounds like it's pretty complex, but it's actually not.
[01:05.400] It's musical wise, it's just three notes and the simple drum beat and the rest are just
[01:12.160] edits and glitches and switching up sounds.
[01:16.760] So you put all the complexity into the sound design and the bass or the musical content
[01:23.640] of the song itself is actually pretty simple.
[01:27.280] So to explain this here from the top, I have this all track here, what I'm doing all the
[01:34.780] time, where all the mastering plug-ins are on there.
[01:38.680] It's actually a glitch plug-in also on the master, just to have this possibility to bring
[01:45.280] in here some glitch effects and I sometimes blend them in here with the, so you can see
[01:53.720] with the automation at this point here and just to, you know, maybe make a transition
[01:59.520] or maybe just it sounds cool and then DP meter here and to bring it up to minus six
[02:06.200] loves then drive it into DSEQ to get rid of the harshness here.
[02:12.360] And then of course, at the end, a new fangled audio multi band limiter with input gain
[02:18.840] of zero just to, you know, get all the, edge all the peaks and to balance out the spectrum
[02:26.480] a bit with the filtering section here.
[02:30.120] That's it basically for the mastering chain so far.
[02:33.440] Then I have down there after drum bass bus where the bass and the drums are in there
[02:38.880] and it's the name and only I'm just using a crossover of EST, which fits up everything
[02:45.320] into multiple bands and on each band, there's a hard clip on there and yeah, bringing up
[02:51.960] basically the spectrum balance and clipping a certain bands here if needed.
[02:59.360] So this is the drum bass bus and it sounds like this.
[03:07.080] So it's just the drums and the bass, the drums itself is based on the kick.
[03:13.920] As you can see, there's no sample used here.
[03:17.360] I'm using the transient clicker preset I made.
[03:20.960] I made also video about this and yeah, that's the kick.
[03:28.640] So pretty basic a snare to that.
[03:30.760] It's the E snare by Bitwig also using it to transient clicker and the hard clip XO is actually
[03:41.680] playing nothing, I think I used this to create some patterns here.
[03:48.960] Then the E hat, also pretty basic.
[04:02.760] So nothing really special there.
[04:05.640] On the drums bus I'm using UltraFat, which is also a preset of mine and UltraFat is
[04:11.360] not really a compressor, it's actually a compressor gone wrong.
[04:16.680] I try to split the frequency bands into three parts.
[04:21.160] So it's an FX3 basically and on each band, there is an auto gain which brings up the
[04:29.360] level of each band to 0 dB.
[04:32.880] So it pushes up everything until it peaks at 0 dB and how fast you do this, you can define
[04:40.920] by attack and decay and it sounds like a compressor or it works like a compressor, but it's actually
[04:46.360] an, I try to make a frequency balancer, but it kind of sounds like a compressor when you
[04:53.320] use it here with short decay settings.
[04:55.880] So that's on the drums basically.
[04:58.360] I actually listen to that without UltraFat.
[05:16.160] So it brings out all the frequencies to the same level.
[05:20.360] Then I'm using a deep blue glitch of course again and I'm using also automation to bring
[05:26.480] this in at certain points, so it's not on all the time, only here at the end basically.
[05:34.920] And then go into DSEQ3, also you get rid of the harshness of the high heads peaking at
[05:41.120] certain points, it's just you're at minus 1.5 dB with a 3 dB per octave slope and just
[05:49.920] to get rid of the harshness basically.
[05:52.920] It's actually not doing that much as you can see here.
[06:00.800] And then a hard clip at the end to drive the loudness a bit.
[06:04.000] So that's the drums and I'm actually not doing anything really here, sometimes I've changed
[06:10.040] the pattern I think or maybe I remove your certain things, but the complexity comes in
[06:15.920] from the deep blue glitch here at certain parts, I actually moved here some of the deleted
[06:25.520] some of the parts.
[06:26.520] So it actually doesn't make sense here what I did.
[06:28.480] But yeah, I used the deep blue glitch basically to create some parts here.
[06:34.160] I think these melody bits here are made with a glitch plug in and just bounced out and
[06:43.800] put into that to have this nice little transition.
[06:52.800] And because I bounced it, it's always the same at the same position, so it's easy and
[06:59.480] lazy work to create drum fills basically.
[07:05.560] Then we have the bass track.
[07:22.400] So the bass pattern itself, it's always the same notes as you can see here, it's basically
[07:29.240] only these three notes over and over, and also the pattern itself is created by using
[07:38.520] the note repeats here in Bitwig, which basically chunks up the long note into multiple short
[07:45.320] notes.
[07:46.400] And I'm also automating this here, note repeats, it's here, as you can see, I'm changing basically
[07:53.440] here with automation, the note repeats, speed setting, and then driving this into a quantizer
[08:00.440] on a 16 note grid.
[08:02.120] So I'm ending up always with a 16 note pattern or 16 note grid pattern, but it changes rhythmically
[08:09.480] because I'm changing at the speed setting.
[08:12.280] So it sounds much more complex than it actually is.
[08:15.640] It's basically a custom operator if you want to call it that way.
[08:20.840] And then I'm driving this of course here into a phase four, and this was my first initial
[08:25.280] bass preset here I started with.
[08:34.160] And I took a bit of time here to dial in all these automations just in the beginning.
[08:38.640] So this was basically my initial loop where I started, bringing down here the notes or
[08:44.760] getting these notes done and then adding automation to that until it sounds nice.
[08:53.680] And then when I'm happy with this, I'm starting to make alterations of this.
[08:59.000] So basically I started to make, I think, this phase four here, which is just using this
[09:03.800] track and cloning it and then making some modifications to it, right?
[09:08.760] Maybe changing here some of the, there's actually no automation on here, maybe changing some
[09:13.560] of the automations, but that's basically what I do.
[09:17.160] Pretty stupidly cloning the initial track, adding different modifications to it and then
[09:24.880] using it at different positions as you can see, it's always the same, the same patch
[09:30.360] I'm starting with here, but cloning it and changing the settings.
[09:35.480] That's basically all I'm doing here.
[09:39.080] So in the second party, it sounds a bit different.
[10:02.560] You can see it's, it's almost the same sound that this one, but here we have a reverb on
[10:07.200] the bass and it's a bit more open sound wise and I'm changing as some of the modulations
[10:14.440] in there just to get a different sound, a different feel, but not too much different
[10:19.960] than the first initial one just to get this or have this familiarity between the sounds.
[10:33.920] But you can see it's the same, it's the same notes here basically, or the same notes everywhere.
[10:41.880] Only at the first, the first beat here, the first note is on a different phase four patch.
[10:51.960] It's just a basic bass with a sign on it.
[10:56.880] And I even, I even cloned, I think that the complete effect chains here and made also
[11:04.240] some decisions here are changed just to make a different sound and until it feels right.
[11:12.400] And in the end, it looks much more complex than it actually is because it's, it's only
[11:18.360] this clip with these notes and this patch and then just cloning it and making a different
[11:25.720] version of it.
[11:27.320] And then you move on, move on, move on, and at the end, you end up with 14 tracks and
[11:32.840] it looks much more complex than it actually is.
[11:37.400] Okay, that's the bass.
[11:40.920] And on here, there's also a glitch, this EQ three, of course, ultra fat also on the bass,
[11:46.440] just to get this OTT feel that people use in these dubstep sounds and Glitch hop sounds,
[11:53.760] right?
[11:54.760] Just push to the max and it's, yeah, it's this genre.
[11:58.400] I usually wouldn't do that to my ambient tracks or to my normal kind of chill out tracks or
[12:06.000] drum bass tracks, but, but Glitch hop and yeah, it's the way it sounds and it's, it's
[12:12.240] the way you have to do it.
[12:15.160] Then of course, you have a tool device also using the kick for side chaining, completely
[12:21.640] ducking the bass out of the way to get the maximum or to get this kind of chunked, chunked
[12:28.840] up feel between the sounds.
[12:30.440] You have one sound of the other and Glitch hop, it's more, most of the times that you
[12:35.120] have only one sound at a time, there are no overlapping sounds.
[12:39.560] It's not like that you have a bass and then on top of you have a kick and then you have
[12:42.840] the snare and the hi-hat.
[12:44.360] It's more like you have only the kick and then you have only the bass, which is pretty
[12:49.960] ridiculous, but that's how it is.
[12:53.960] So I'm completely ducking at the bass with the kick drum and then everything goes into
[13:00.720] drum bass bus where the crossover is on to balance out here, of course, again, the spectrum
[13:07.480] making it loud as fuck.
[13:09.760] And then at the end, you have a music bus.
[13:12.840] That's basically also how I structure my drum bass tunes and my ambient tunes.
[13:20.080] So in here, I have a lot of melody bits I created from the drums and from the bass.
[13:27.120] For instance, with the pitch map, this pitch map plug in, you probably all know.
[13:37.760] This one here and then feeding in some noise and some bass sounds, creating nice little
[13:44.560] harmonic or melody harmonics and then bouncing this out to wave stems or the wave tracks
[13:52.720] here, right?
[13:55.480] I think that's just the bass line here through this pitch map plug in to have some kind of
[14:05.320] bits I can throw in at certain points.
[14:13.600] That's my voice, I think.
[14:18.440] And also especially as to the scratch preset I made for, that's I'm using the Poly-Grid
[14:25.520] for that.
[14:27.520] And I'm using basically just a filter and noise.
[14:31.000] Also noise goes into the filter and then some, I'm not sure what I did here.
[14:40.840] That's going into the tech, oh yeah, I'm changing some of the settings inside this patch.
[14:51.600] And to make the rhythm, I'm using also a note repeat, note repeater, going into quantizer
[14:58.760] and then the quantizer is modulated here.
[15:01.280] So I'm switching, I think, between 16-note grid and 8-note grid or something like this
[15:06.800] just to have this kind of scratching feeling when the DJ actually switches between 16 and
[15:14.640] 8-notes.
[15:16.440] It sounds not really like scratching but kind of rocks in this context.
[15:42.280] And this started basically with this patch so I thought maybe I should use some noise
[15:47.160] and feed this into a bandpass filter, then crank up here the resonance to get this, you
[15:52.600] know, this high-pitched tone.
[15:55.720] And then I'm just changing the frequency of the XP rhythmically and yeah, I'm using the
[16:03.800] quantizer and the note repeater then to trigger this and it's kind of rocks.
[16:10.080] So that's the special scratch sound.
[16:12.800] Yeah, I think I share this actually on my Patreon because a lot of people ask for that
[16:18.040] but it's not really fleshed out or anything fancy, it's just made while I'm doing this.
[16:26.320] I think I took 10 minutes to make this, it's not really fleshed out preset.
[16:35.600] Okay, so that's that.
[16:38.160] And then I have here what's that, that's a Poly-Grid again.
[16:43.000] I thought I tried to make some bubbles here but not really succeeded.
[16:56.360] It's also not really finished so I stopped at this point with sound designing and that's
[17:01.960] what this clip shop is all about, it's not about notes and fancy chord progressions,
[17:07.200] it's not about arrangements, it's all about sound design and you switch up your initial
[17:12.040] pattern in all kinds of different ways, you bring in all the plug-ins you have, bounce
[17:17.800] out stems from all your different glitch plug-ins you bought years ago and then you cut up everything
[17:26.640] and put it at some random places to get a nice cool sounding track at the end.
[17:33.760] There's also no intro at the moment here, it's just something I made here, it's not
[17:41.120] really finished like I said.
[17:46.520] I completely focused only on the drop and the main part and it's also only made for
[17:57.600] me to practice this kind of stuff, I'm doing ambient all the time, I'm doing chill out
[18:06.160] all the time and drum bass and I'm not really finishing anything of that most of the times,
[18:13.520] it's just made to practice some stuff, try out new ideas I have to create sounds and
[18:24.200] this kind of genre is not really what I do every day, but from time to time I have actually
[18:34.600] desire to make something like this and then I try it out and something, I get something
[18:40.160] cool out of it and I learn, every time I do something I'm not familiar with, I'm learning
[18:46.040] something and sometimes I get a cool little snippet or draft I can maybe finish some day.
[18:56.040] I have actually a lot of these Glitchop tunes on my hard drive but I'm not really happy with
[19:03.400] all of the outcomes or the results, so I'm seeing this only as a practice thing and also
[19:10.080] a lot of producers on the market right now they do this way, way, way better than me right
[19:15.680] because they do this all the time every day and I'm not having the practice, but that's
[19:21.240] what I'm, that's my current state of skill in these terms of genre or in this kind of
[19:29.600] genre, maybe I'm also sharing this project on my Patreon, I'm not really sure if people
[19:35.840] actually interested in this because it's all over the place right, I'm just going in making
[19:41.080] drums, making bass, making iterations and it's not really made to learn something from
[19:48.120] it and it's also probably way too complicated to change something, I probably never changed
[19:54.120] this here anyway right, I just created this and then I created duplications of that and
[20:01.160] changed the duplications here on all of these tracks right, I don't think anyone would want
[20:08.080] to go in there and want to change this to their likings, if I don't like actually what
[20:15.680] I did here and I end up with a track I don't like, I just delete this project or make something
[20:20.400] new and take all the knowledge I gained from this track and put it in the new track and
[20:25.760] then at some point I'm happy with the results and then I'm putting it out as a release,
[20:30.280] but for now it's just made for practice, there's something else I have to talk about here,
[20:38.400] not really I think, I think I covered everything, it's just sound design basically in the end,
[20:44.880] that's all it is, okay, thanks for watching guys and hope you learned something, leave
[20:51.040] a like if you liked the video and subscribe to Patreon to download some of this stuff
[20:55.000] here and I'll see you in the next video, thanks for watching and bye.
[21:25.000] Bye bye.