If you ever want to spice up your music, then adding some well placed glitch effects and sounds will bring on the heat. I love taking a violin part, vocal, or lead and glitching it out. It adds a really unique sound and captures the listener. There are lots of tools out there to morph and mangle. In this article I am going to give you a rundown of the top 6 VST’s and effects I use for glitching out samples.
1. Hysteresis by Glitchmachines
Let’s start off with a pinch of some smeared out granular delay. Hysteresis is a free VST for Mac and PC by Glitchmachines.com. This device will take any input and stretch the sound, though a combination of delays and granular filters. In their words, it “creating robotic artifacts and abstract musical malfunctions.”
I love throwing these devices on drums or leads and using the Random button. I will then tweak it until I get these strange mechanical stretching sounds. I’ll resample that sound and use it as a strange layer in my track. This VST definitely makes some strange noises, and many of them are unusable. Just mess with it and edit the sounds to give you some interesting top layers to your track. Check out their demo video.
2. FIRE by MDSP
FIRE is a hidden weapon in my arsenal. It’s a combination of short delays and panning to give this sharp little sparkles. It’s very easy to use and is available for MAC and Windows. I love using this VST on instruments more then on drums. It can add a really unique ghost delay. Perfect for pianos, or plucked instruments.
With shorter settings it works great on snare and high-hat to give a stuttered tail to things.
3. dblue Glitch
First off lets get this out of the way, this VST is Windows only. Yeah… I know, bummer. Luckily I use a PC (Yes, you can tell me how my life can be better in the comments). I have been using dblue Glitch free VST for a long time. The random feature and simple controls make it really easy to come up with new rhythmic glitch patterns. All you have to do is throw it on any track and start tweaking the pattern and the different effects. It’s similar to Effectrics in this way, but it only has one layer.
Good News for the MAC users out there is that Glitch 2.0 has come out on PC and Mac. It is, however $59.
Danaides is a free VST for Windows and MAC made by Inear Display. On their site they have a vault of legacy VST’s/AU. They are all free to download. Danaides is a new device for me and I have been digging the glitchy sequenced results. The device is a Sequenced Sound Mangler. You can add strange pitch changes, Filters, “Drillers”, and bit crushers to the sound based on a step sequence. This is great for adding some super tweaks and squeaks to your drums. This instrument also has a great random button for some strange and unexpected results.
5. Rhythmic Glitches with Dummy Tracks
We also don’t have to just use VST’s. There are some on board effects in Ableton Live that are great for adding some gating and glitch like patterns. It’s also free if you use live. The video below shows how I can take any sound and use dummy clips and return tracks to make strange results. I love using this on Pads and instruments to create these very specific rhythmic patterns and glitchy stabs in my track.
6. FRACTURE by Glitchmachines
Fracture is another free VST/AU from Glitchmachine. This thing mangles the sound to oblivion. They describe this device as:
Fracture features a buffer effect, a multimode filter, three LFOs and a delay. The order of the effects in the processing chain can also be reconfigured. This plugin is geared toward adding glitchy articulations and abstract textures to your projects.
I use this VST a lot in production for texture. It is a little to chaotic for use on instruments or drums, but I can make some really strange sound effects and morphing sounds. This definitely gives me an inhuman sound palette to play with.
Another way you can mangle your sound in creative ways is using the Warp Modes. I did a free video series on the basics of warp modes and using them to stretch the sound, make risers, and making new sound designs. This has a little of a learning curve to it, but it’s a great way to level up your sound design skills. Check out the article to learn more.