Tags: posts polarity-music

Creating a Complex Track with Modulation and Filters

Tutorial | Oct 07, 2022

In this video, I demonstrate how to create a complex track with a basic grid setup. I explain how to use a filter, envelope, and mixer to create interesting drums. I show how to use modulation to open the filter and create a melody generator, as well as how to use voice decks to add multiple melody lines. I also demonstrate how to use randomizers and a swarm generator to add a bit of chaos to the track. Finally, I show how to modulate the drums over time to create an ever-changing sound.

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

Questions & Answers

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

How do I use modulations to create drum sounds?

Modulations can be used to create dynamic and interesting drum sounds. To start, you can use a filter and envelope to generate a kick drum. Then, you can use a gate and modulator to create a snare drum. Finally, you can use a noise generator and filter to create a hi-hat sound. You can also use pitch modulation and amplitude modulation to add further variation and complexity to your drum sounds.

How do I use a filter to create a melody?

A filter can be used to create a melody by modulating the frequency of the filter. To do this, you can use an LFO to modulate the filter frequency, as well as an attenuator to control the note range. You can also use a quantizer to make the melody more musical, and a clock quantizer to make the melody more precise.

How do I create complex soundscapes with multiple voices?

To create complex soundscapes with multiple voices, you can use multiple voice decks and modulators to create different layers of sound. You can also use a blend to mix and match between different sounds,


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 guys, welcome back to another video. I thought maybe I built a grid today and I
[00:06.060] already started here but I thought maybe I should switch on my OBS just to
[00:11.460] record the process and yeah I want to do something like or start at least with
[00:18.060] some kind of rhythmic content so making some drums in the grid. So I thought
[00:22.980] you're just using a filter and an envelope to get some sounds. Let me see
[00:30.780] here. We'll switch this off and maybe I can also pitch modulate here the filter.
[00:45.460] So we can save basically another envelope to everything just with one envelope.
[00:55.900] So the pitch modulation and the amplitude modulation here.
[01:00.900] Something like this. So this could be a nice kick drum. Maybe to make a snare
[01:21.780] drum we could maybe increase the speed of this and then switch between
[01:27.540] different settings. You know what I mean. Let's use a gate just to save on some of
[01:38.820] these modules. Now when we hit basically this step here we want to use a
[01:49.220] modulator. Want to switch it to different frequency. Maybe shorten this.
[02:20.220] Maybe we need a bit of noise. Maybe I mix this in here. So let's use, let's use a mixer maybe,
[02:36.340] because we need them.
[03:07.340] So something like this right. So we modulate this here for the hi-hats.
[03:14.580] And for the kick drums it's just default state and for the snares we have also
[03:20.180] your modulations.
[03:43.540] Maybe a hi-pass here, stereo noise. Okay, we can put this here.
[04:13.540] Yeah, this is more like a...
[04:26.980] Maybe a bit of distortion.
[04:45.140] So this is for me, for me this is limitation, right? You limit yourself to just one envelope
[04:51.940] and the filter and the mixer and then you focus yourself on modulations. How you can tweak this
[05:02.740] smaller patch with modulations to get the most out of it. Now you get a kick drum, a snare, kind of a snare.
[05:23.460] Yeah, remove the modulation here, the pitch modulation for the snare a bit.
[05:34.020] That's better. Maybe hit play here. Let me see, just loop this and then use groove.
[05:56.740] Maybe we can tweak this a bit here with some band pass filtering. Let's start with the SVF here.
[06:19.220] Maybe we should modulate this here a bit.
[06:21.060] Let's use an LFO and just change the frequency.
[06:40.660] And I think there needs to be some kind of delay here.
[06:43.620] Maybe use a blend also to mix it with a dry signal.
[06:49.780] Let's do it like this.
[07:06.500] Maybe slow this down now to 3 bars.
[07:17.220] Sounds better. And then maybe also a mixer here.
[07:38.260] And we go with dry signal in there and also here with the fit route signal.
[07:42.180] I'll maybe put this down here.
[07:52.900] Yeah, we could maybe also
[08:11.940] maybe use here a quantizer to pitch this more like a bit more musical, right? This
[08:25.940] opening of the filter, we go with the LFO then in the pitch quantizer here.
[08:32.660] We dial in of course D sharp polarity and then we go here into the pitch mod all the way up.
[08:42.260] And then we change the amount with an attenuate instead.
[09:04.980] Yeah, we can even use this as a melody maker. So instead of the LFO, maybe I use here
[09:16.900] something different. Let me use here an oscilloscope.
[09:23.780] So we have basically an up and down movement here.
[09:28.340] So maybe we can interfere this or make this a bit more interesting by using a long delay.
[09:36.020] Long delay. Now we can go back into the LFO and do some self modulation.
[10:06.420] That's more interesting, right?
[10:17.220] So maybe put this here after and change this and also go bipolar because we want to have
[10:24.900] something also below C3. So bipolar as we go also the negative range.
[10:30.740] Oh, that's too much.
[10:41.460] It looks good. So we need a sample and hold here.
[11:11.780] Okay.
[11:22.180] And we need also transpose because I want to go here to D sharp 3.
[11:42.180] Okay, fine. So now this is a melody generator here.
[11:46.340] This is basically this modulation to open up the filter became some kind of melody generator.
[11:57.060] So you also can do is maybe use an octaver.
[12:15.140] Just to pull this down one octave.
[12:28.340] So we basically do drums, kick, hi-hat snare with just this filter and also the melodies.
[12:37.860] Not with this filter we do with this filter here, but over this filter is the melody here on top.
[12:53.060] So maybe we can diffuse the signal a bit more to get something more than just only a delay.
[12:58.900] Okay, let me see. So this is the melody and the filter of the drums. So let's use some
[13:11.780] outcast filters here and maybe a merge in the split. So before we go into the delay here we go
[13:32.420] into this and then we go into the delay and maybe we use also blend here so we can mix and match.
[13:47.860] I'll put this over here.
[13:52.900] Okay, our bus goes on top.
[14:06.180] So we can basically plant here between the tri-signal going from the SVF into the mod delay
[14:11.300] and we can also blend into the signal goes into our bus devices and then in the mod delay.
[14:20.020] So we can mix in here the outpass diffusion.
[14:36.900] So we need some different settings for the left and the right channel. Maybe I go to
[14:40.580] 80 here and 90 there.
[15:04.980] 90 here.
[15:05.780] 80 there.
[15:36.420] So here we could maybe modulate the resonance also so we can switch between
[15:47.620] only the drums and then when we increase this we get these melodies.
[15:51.460] So maybe I try a dice and I trigger the styles. Of course here are the triggers.
[16:09.700] Get the modulator out and then modulate this.
[16:23.380] So every time we trigger this we get a different resonance and sometimes it's just pure drums
[16:41.220] and sometimes it's self resonating. We could also delay the second signal from the trump signal
[17:03.620] just with a long delay. So now the melody signal here is three 16 notes offset. It's a 16 note.
[17:17.060] Yeah. So they are not basically synchronized or on top of each other a bit offset.
[17:36.740] Okay. So what else can we do? We can change the melody of course here with the self resonating LFO.
[18:06.740] And we have here the attenuate, which is the note range.
[18:26.420] Maybe here the modulator. This is always hard to find your sweet spots until it sounds nice.
[18:56.420] Maybe a second melody line would be nice.
[19:26.660] We could try here to use voice decks to just duplicate this whole thing.
[19:38.980] Switches the two voice deck modulator. And the second voice is a bit different from the first
[19:47.140] voice. It uses different triggers.
[20:17.460] Maybe I should use a clock quantizer here. And another trigger.
[20:36.820] And then this one octave lower.
[21:06.820] Or we could even remove the drums in the second voice completely.
[21:36.820] Now we have two melody lines.
[22:06.820] Hmm.
[22:36.820] It's not really up.
[23:00.500] Maybe chorus.
[23:30.500] It's more like a bass probably.
[24:00.500] I kind of like it.
[24:30.500] Oh yeah, sure. You don't see what's going on on this voice now.
[24:46.180] Of course we have multiple voices, damn it.
[25:13.860] Oh it can all voice it. Okay I see.
[25:43.860] This is chill out for me. Just tweaking around and having a nice background melody.
[26:07.540] So maybe we can switch this here for probabilities and make the probability a bit lower.
[26:37.700] Yeah and maybe also an envelope here. After the melody this could be nice.
[26:49.220] Let's use an AD here. Switch this off.
[27:12.900] And also a dice because we want to open up here. We filter a bit so we trigger the dice.
[27:23.460] Take the value of the dice and change the decay time here a bit.
[27:53.460] So this sounds nice but it's still missing a bass so we probably have to introduce
[28:15.140] another voice because I just increased this voice here by 2 octaves higher.
[28:31.220] Maybe make this a bit quieter. The second voice here.
[28:47.860] Okay so voice deck three voices and the third voice. It's also no drums and the octave is
[28:57.780] three octaves lower.
[29:09.460] Or maybe three octaves lower.
[29:29.140] So now we need something to change basically the melody over time because you can see when
[29:44.180] we dial in here a self resonating or a self feedback kind of thing at certain point it settles for a pattern.
[30:04.420] So we can change the melody by changing here the modulation amount or we can change it by
[30:10.660] changing the delay times.
[30:22.340] The second voice is still too loud.
[30:52.340] So this should change here every four or eight bars. We get a different melody.
[31:20.740] This would be nice.
[31:34.420] Let's see if this goes into here.
[31:54.100] So how do we change this? We can just use
[32:09.780] the dials here and use a trigger which is a value and this modulates
[32:31.620] this long delay here. Maybe start with one. Go all the way up to seven or to eight and
[32:41.060] then we use an classic LFO. Go for 32 bars.
[33:02.660] I'll see it's pretty trick out when you switch back here to zero.
[33:16.340] Or maybe we can also use random maybe. Polyphonic 3 bar. Maybe 16 bars every 16 bar.
[33:31.620] And then we modulate here the value. When the value reaches above 0.5 then we trigger the
[33:38.900] styles. The styles then generates random value. So random value then changes here the long delay
[33:44.820] setting which generates a new melody. This is the plan.
[34:14.820] Okay, we've placed this with the probabilities. Lower probabilities here.
[34:26.500] So the rhythm changes a bit.
[34:54.180] Ah, repetitions are too short here.
[35:24.180] Want to have more bass.
[35:53.860] Nice. I think that's already it. Because of the voice decks we have basically this three
[36:06.980] times with different modulations, different settings. So it's much, much complexer than
[36:12.860] it actually looks. I mean it looks still complex but not that complex.
[36:33.100] So let's get a swarm here. Let's get a pitch quantizer here.
[36:58.300] And also a sample and hold. No range, transpose.
[37:18.420] Let's trigger the Sloan here.
[37:46.900] Fade in. So we need to play this a bit slower here.
[38:16.740] And continue it.
[38:39.140] It would be nice to have this also here on the FX.
[38:46.420] Alright, it's basically here.
[39:16.260] It's kind of a bad hat in the background.
[39:46.100] Okay, let's try your Wavetable.
[40:15.940] With unison.
[40:45.780] Okay.
[41:15.620] Not sure. Maybe more in the background, okay.
[41:30.980] A little bit of Tetris.
[41:52.500] It doesn't do much but kind of fun to have something in the background.
[42:22.340] Ah, it doesn't fit really.
[42:52.180] That's better.
[43:22.020] Okay, so maybe we can introduce here just some more
[43:51.700] oscillators. Let me see. Maybe another Wavetable.
[44:07.060] And pitch quantizer.
[44:23.100] Let's get a sample and hold AD here.
[44:42.540] And this on here. And we need to trigger this, of course.
[45:01.180] I only want to have someone voice.
[45:15.260] Filter. Let's go for an MG.
[45:45.100] Sounds way too random.
[46:13.420] Maybe we can make this a bit less random with the delay. That's for sure.
[46:21.180] Also get some repeats in there.
[46:51.020] Maybe we pitch this up an octave or something like this.
[47:20.860] Okay.
[47:50.700] A bit of diffusion would also be nice up here.
[48:18.300] Let's blend it to the dry signal.
[48:28.620] Maybe this in front of the delay would also be better.
[48:58.460] Okay.
[49:18.300] So that's it for this video.
[50:06.180] And be a low pass.
[50:31.180] It's almost like a track, like a real track, complex enough.
[50:55.180] I'll be modulating this here with some modulators.
[51:03.180] I'll be modulating this here with some modulators.
[51:30.180] I'll be modulating this here with some modulators.
[51:46.180] I'll be modulating this here with some modulators.
[52:03.180] I like it.
[52:18.180] Yeah, when we modulate this here the drums also change a bit over time.
[52:47.180] I'll be modulating this here with some modulators.
[53:16.180] Nice, I like it.
[53:25.180] Maybe this is a bit quieter here.
[53:40.180] And I think that's probably it.
[53:58.180] Okay, let's save this.
[54:05.180] Generators.
[54:16.180] What's the name?
[54:26.180] If you like this.
[54:42.180] Okay, done.
[54:44.180] Thanks for watching guys.
[55:14.180] I'll see you in the next one.