When it comes to arranging a Minimal Techno track, often it can be a struggle to maintain movement and interest due to the lack of parts we have to work with. However, the best producers in the world are able to take very few core elements and make them feel like they are constantly evolving throughout their track. So what’s their secret? Creative Automation! In this tutorial I show you a simple way to make a very minimal sound come to life using some creative tape delay techniques.
A lot of the deal with this genre of music comes into the automation of very simple sounds, and a lot of like cool techniques that you can use this mega mega popular is the altering of delay times, and as you’ll probably know – and I’ll just pull up an Ableton plugin for this, but honestly I could pull up a whole blooming bunch of different things that would have this. This isn’t just Ableton specific for anyone worrying that we’re going down that down that road. We’re certainly not. So many many delays, third-party ones inside of our DAWs, you can select things like reap itch mode. It’s sometimes called tape mode as well. So inside a minimal techno, the changing of delay times is huge often when you’re not synced to the tempo of your track. So again as we were talking to Ray, you can find out the exact milliseconds that match the BPM and in fact, I said milliseconds to Ray and I should have said hertz. These calculators, you’ll type in right I’m working at 124 BPM and it will then say to you “okay the Hertz value for a single cycle to lock in a quarter note is this” and it’ll do exactly the same with a milliseconds.
So you can set up a delay that is you know a particular. In fact, we could kind of probably do same here. Let’s just turn that off and let’s actually have a bit of sound coming out of this thing why not. Let’s go for an audio track. I will stick a ping pong on here. Now I don’t, in fact, we could, I can even cheat because I can show you something in here that you can do most DAWs as well and let’s go for some kind of weird but cursively bleep or beep or something along those lines, probably something in here look. There we go, a screaming the kind of minimal techno sound.
Okay, so here’s what I’m talking about. Now most DAWs, if you highlight the grid, it will tell you somewhere the duration of the length that you’ve highlighted so you can probably see down here in the bottom, it’s telling me this duration is 121 so that tells me that if I’ve got a delay time set on my ping pong delay here of 121, this is going to delay perfectly in time with 16th because that’s what I’ve got my grid set to. So what we can now do is just play this and that’s perfect in time with a grid and of course we can start messing with multiples of this. So if we put 1 for 2 in, that’s obviously now in fact teller complete line 242. We’ve now gone up to an 8th note. And if I just put the metronome on, so I can literally mess around with these timings I could go to 484, now we’re at a quarter note timing. So that’s really handy shim because what you can do now is set this up to any particular time you want and then we can automate and we can use, we can mess about basically with delay time so we could start on this quarter delay, and then as I said we could have this so that what was that that was going to give us 242, so why don’t we bring that down maybe here perhaps and I can get this now locked in at 242. There we go. And let’s see one a bit more feedback on this. Can you hear that’s perfectly locked into the time? So you can start doing very cool things like that but where the power comes in is when we change these things to repeat your type mode and in fact what I’m going to do is just drag this thing a believe, it’s using that parameter. And we’ve now get rid of this you can hear it more clearly.
This is a kind of classic minimal techno weird delay type things, and so you can basically start pitch pending this doing weird things I mean just for the the crazy sake of it. Get the feedback right out. You can hear all these weird little glitchy mad things going on. So that goes on loads and loads and loads in minimal techno and that’s the way that you can time that to your project tempo so you can go right I want to go from here to this mad kind of behavior and move it around. Minimal techno is welshing keep thinking of the Q&A this so A-B. A variation B, A another variation B variation A/B, and you just start doing lots of little bouncing around between your Q&A and you can go from miles with that stuff. But have a listen to things on Richie Hortons Minus label, Geiser is another great artist who’s brilliant at these things and check those out.
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