Automating Distortion with Ohmicide in Ableton
Right this is long overdue, I’ve been trying to get something down about this for a while. So basically, a while ago I made a track using Ohmicide’s distortion VST, I automated the gain of each level of distortion, it sounded pretty good, but I thought recently if I can automate that surely I can automate the type of distortion, I worked out and here is my experiment and tutorial with distortion automation.
So first of all you need to get yourself and instrument/some audio to apply the distortion to. It doesn’t matter what it is, but I am going to load up a drum rack and put some kick samples in it.
Simply load it into the channel at point 1, by dragging it from the highlighted area in yellow. it will load up the drum rack below, if you do not see the drum rack as shown, you should be able to click the top of channel 2 to bring it up.
You can load in your samples by using the 1, 2 and 3 folder buttons, on the left hand side. Here I personally would create a clip to test the distortion out with in the next stage, so just double click on any space on that drum rack channel, you should get a block of colour like below.
Once you have done this we are ready to move on to setting up the distortion VST. As seen above I have already added the distortion VST to the drum rack, Ohmicide once installed should be located in your plugins folder, if you do not have Ohmicide these techniques can be applied to any VST, with any controls as far as I know. To add the VST, simply go to your plugins folder and drag it onto the channel at the bottom where it says audio effects go here.
Now comes the fun part, open up Ohmicide and we shall set it up, the spanner on the VST will open it up and close it too. once inside we can set the VST up how we want it for maximum flexibility.
So as you can see above, I have set the parameters as follows;
Distortion Bands so that they cover all the frequencies, you can change this if you wish to concentrate on the higher or lower end frequencies.
I have set the feel of the distortion to suit the frequencies more, phatter for the lower end and sharper for the higher end, again this can be changed to suit your needs.
The gain for each distortion type is 0, to give us a fresh start to the sound and the types of distortion are all set to none for same reason.
Now for the fun part play around see what you can come up with for a bit and get it set to a distortion type, gain phatness etc that you like for all parameters and then we can work on automating, maybe you could find a few different types that you like?
So ready to automate some of this, right well click on your created pattern the clip you created earlier and press ctrl+c (windows) and then we need to switch to arrangement view and paste the clip in on the track there.
I’d get a loop of this clip for around 12 bars to give us some time to experiment with different automations you can set it however you want though using the loop markers at the top and don’t forget to make sure it is set to loop. Just right click on the bar at the top to fix this if it doesn’t work. You also need to make sure that the arrow pointing to lines at the top next to the OVR button is not lit up, mine goes pink. This will ensure you are hearing arrangement view. Give it a play and we can get started!
So you need to click on the drum rack channel and look at the VST on the bottom section, click on the arrow and you should open it up revealing a configure button, this will enable you to configure parameters you wish to automate, when you click on this button you will be show Ohmicide and all you need to do is tweak each parameter that you want to be able to automate, you can tweak it back so you don’t lose your settings and then you can return to ableton ready to automate!
Above is what I decided to set, types of distortion for the two low end, the two shape parameters and the gain too, from here it is simple to then automate the distortion in many ways, below you can see that under Drum Rack, on the right hand side it shows a parameter from below, you can select the parameter here, but usually it automatically shows up if you move it in the configuration below.
Now all you have to do is change the pink line on the parameter and away you go, you can also press ctrl+b (windows) to toggle the drawing tool. Please note there is also an option to move the automation onto its own separate track, within the drum rack channel, this means you can see all automation lines at once and copy easier from them without altering/copying the pattern!
Gabber would be a music style I would use this is in a lot, so give it a go, thats it basically have fun!
http://soundcloud.com/noroch/tutorial-distortion is a sample of what I did with it