Subliminal Automation Jonesboro AR

By applying what I call "subliminalautomation," you can hold listeners' attentionwithout resorting to abrupt shifts. The idea isto use very small brush strokes to keep a partchanging continuously but subtly.

Arkansas State University (Arkansas State University Departament of music)
(870) 972-2094
P. O. Box 2490
Jonesboro, AR
University of Central Arkansas
(800) 243-8245
Conway AR
Conway, AR

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John Brown University (John Brown University - Department of Music)
(479) 524-9500
2000 West University Street
Siloam Springs, AR
University of Arkansas - Monticello (Division of Music - University of Arkansas at Monticello)
(870) 460-1026
Monticello, AR
University of the Ozarks (University of the Ozarks - music department )
(800) 264-8636
415 N. College Avenue
Clarksville, AR
Henderson State University
(870) 230-5000
Arkadelphia AR
Arkadelphia, AR

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University of Arkansas - Little Rock
2801 South University Ave.
Little Rock, AR
Harding University (Donald W. Reynolds Center for Music and Communication)
(501) 279-4343
915 E. Market Ave
Searcy, AR
University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Music - University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff)
(870) 575-8000
1200 N. University Drive
Bluff, AR
Arkansas State University-Beebe (Music Department of Arkansas State University-Beebe)
(501) 882-6535
1401 DeWitt Henry Dr.
Beebe, AR
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Subliminal Automation

As one of Brian Eno’s ObliqueStrategies cards states, “Repetition is a formof change.” For dance music, this isn’t merely astrategy, but a mantra. However, the fact of thematter is — unless your audience’s intoxicantsare extremely good — too much repetitiongets old fast. Too little, and you risk breaking the spell you’re casting on the dance floor.

The most common technique for keeping a riff interesting is to dramatically morph the synths and effects, creating crescendos andpeaks to enhance the listener’s journey. Thisis well-suited to progressive dance, sometypes of house, and of course, trance. Butdrastic or sweeping changes don’t always mesh with the tech and minimal genres.

By applying what I call “subliminalautomation,” you can hold listeners’ attention without resorting to abrupt shifts. The idea isto use very small brush strokes to keep a part changing continuously but subtly. To illustratethis, we’ll automate an analog-style square wave riff over a beat from Loopmasters’ JoeyYoungman library. The end result is a cyclingriff that keeps tickling the ear, while leaving sonic space for embellishments in the drumsand other synth bits.

0.001_StrobeStep 1. Create a simple riff with a sound that’s not too complex and has a bitof room to morph subtly. Here’s the isolated square wave riff, created withFXpansion’s Strobe synth from DCAM Synth Squad (reviewed Nov. ’09).

0.002_FilterAutoStep 2. Let’s start with a touch of filter automation. Inthis example (using Ableton Live), we’ve lowered thecutoff ever so slightly, then put a slight peak at themiddle of the eight-bar loop.

0.003_SawAutoStep 3. To change the wave shape slightly, we’llblend in a bit of sawtooth twice, with peaks atbar 3 and bar 7.

0.004_SustainAutoStep 4. Another useful parameter to automate is theenvelope sustain level. Large shifts are great forbuilding peaks and crescendos. A tiny amount addsjust a dash of flavor.

0.005_NoiseAutoStep 5. As a final touch, we’ll blend in a bit of noise. Aswith sustain and filter, a little goes a long way. For thepeaks, you can get a lot crazier, as we’ve discussed inprevious columns.

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