Intense Tech with Defense Mech – Kicks Part 2: Kick Heaven in Version 7!

- Posted November 8th, 2019 by

Welcome back to Intense Tech with Defense Mech! This week we’re continuing with Part 2 of making kicks in LSDj including a big update! By the end of this lesson you’ll have a wide arsenal of kick techniques to choose from. Keep reading to learn more!

Art by @dethrood

Big changes ahead!

Last week, LSDj developer Johan Kotlinski made an update to LSDj and it is now at version 7! (The latest version is 7.0.6 at the time of this writing.) An exciting update in this version is that Transpose now works with DRUM pitch, as well as “P/L/V” being renamed to “PITCH” to avoid confusion.

“PITCH” was formerly known as “P/L/V”

Let’s take a look at this feature with a kick drum that transitions into a bass note. I’ll start the kick two octaves above the note where I want the bass to be. The table on the kick uses a fast P command followed by an L command along with the transpose value of E8 to slide down two octaves.

Other uses of DRUM pitch

As I mentioned last week, DRUM pitch is also effective for making snare drums or toms. When making a snare drum, I usually follow the same general table design as a kick, using a fast P command followed by an L command to transpose to a note where I’ve tuned the snare drum. This gives a sense of tonality to the snare that can then be augmented with a noise snare for a very full-bodied sound. In this example I also lower the volume with E commands to shape the decay.

DRUM pitch in the pulse channels

DRUM pitch also works in pulse channels. Here, I’ve created a pulse kick along with a snare and toms. I use the 50% duty cycle aka square wave to get the most impact. Although the pulse channel can’t reach the lower octave that the wave channel can, it can still generate effective kicks! The snare table is similar to the wave snare table except that I remove the E commands and use the instrument envelope to control the decay instead. The tom instrument has a shorter instrument length and I place the P commands directly in the phrase to tune the pitch slide instead of using a table.

Drums with Hardware pitch sweep in Pulse Channel 1

Pulse channel 1 has a hardware pitch sweep that is mostly good for making pitchless, bleepy bloopy sounds reminiscent of old video games (yes I realize the entire sound chip on the Game Boy is good for this!), but it can also be used to make kick, snare, and tom sounds. In this example, I used the S value of F4 for the kick and E3 for the snare. Similar E values could also be used to make toms.

Noise kicks

Last but not least, even though it doesn’t produce the most elegant sound, the noise channel can be used to generate low pitches that serve well as a kick. This noise channel tutorial by Boy Meets Robot explains the noise channel in depth, but for a quick summary, any noise shape that ends in 0-7 will produce a more tonal sound in the noise channel, and we can exploit this to create a smoother kick sound. Transposing down by values of 10 will lower the octave of this buzzy tone and create a descending pitch for a noise kick.

Combining channels

When we use two channels for a kick, we can combine their strengths! In this example, I’ve created a very short kick using the lowest octave in the noise channel, and I’ve combined it with a pulse kick. Since the noise channel produces the low frequencies and the pulse channel provides the downward sloping pitch and the tonal content of the kick, the result is a fuller kick sound than using either of the channels by itself. This example is from my remix of Cyanide Dansen’s tune ‘Dox The Fash’ (you can find the save file here):

That’s all for this two part series! Come back next time in 2020 (I’ll be off next month) to learn about even more LSDj techniques, and let me know what you would like to learn! This is DEFENSE MECHANISM, signing off!

Note: traducción al Español por Pixel Guy encontrado aquí.

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