Music Production Tutorials

Glitch Effects Part 1July 02, 2013

Enjoy and employ these spot glitch effects techniques for Glitch Hop, Complextro, and performing beats.



I’ll be using the freeware version of Glitch for this tutorial because it’s 9 plugins in one, but feel free to replace any or all of these modules with other plugins from your DAW and other glitch plugins like Glitch 2 or Artillery. You might also check out KVR’s search for Mac FSU and PC FSU.

Technique 1: Grain Delay + Reverse

For the first technique, I’ll use the Grain Delay to change the tone of the sound and the Reverse function to play a beat of the audio in reverse. But first I’ll need to make a simple patch. Using the Length slider, I’ll shorten the plugin’s timeline to one beat and save it.

I’ll set the (Grain) Delay to Solo by clicking the letter S, otherwise Glitch will select any of its 9 effects at random. A Grain Delay works by playing several copies of the audio at the same time, offset by a few milliseconds. The result is a metallic tone that sometimes sounds like it’s playing a note. So I’ll adjust the Delay time so that it sounds more or less in-tune. Here is some audio with the effect on, and then off.

To complete the effect, I’ll click the letter G on the Reverser, which will make it a Global effect that plays after the Grain Delay. By linking the mute/unmute button on glitch plugins to a midi controller, I can select certain moments to effect. Here is the result:


Technique 2:  Bitcrush + Stutter

Starting with a simple patch, I’ll solo the bitcrusher and turn up the Amount until it’s obvious. Next, I’ll click G on the Retrigger effect to make it global, and I’ll turn down the retrigger time to 4.25. I found that triggering this effect between kicks and snares sounds better than triggering it on the kicks and snares.

For an added flourish, consider turning up or down the pitch knob on the retrigger (or better yet, link it to a midi controller).

Final Tips

  • When using glitch effects, try routing the kick cleanly to the master track. This will keep the groove going no matter what you do to the rest of the track. The downside is that it will make the glitch effects less obvious, so it’s up to you.
  • Try using multiple glitch effects at the same time like this tutorial did so that it’s more obvious and modern.
  • Have fun. These are some of the funnest tricks to use!

Drum sounds come from Sounds in HD Electro.

Author Bio: Sean Duncan is an electronic music producer and freelance writer from Seattle, WA. 

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