Glitch Effect Guitar Tutorial - Sci-Fi your Guitar. "It's not the spoon that bends…"
In recent years we’ve seen a heavier influx of electronic music flavors influencing genres of rock and metal. Now that we’re able to cross-pollinate effects onto our guitars that would otherwise be exclusive to drums or synthesizers, it opens up a wider range of possibilities for a much more interesting musical journey. For this tutorial I’m going to show how to get a popular “glitch” or “stutter” type effect on your guitar tracks. This effect can of course be used on any instrument. The plugin that we will be using for the glitch effect is a free plugin called DBlue Glitch.
Watch the full tutorial by Tim Carter
To get started, I’ve imported a song section into my DAW. You will want to make sure that the instrument that you wish to have effected or “glitched” is completely isolated. This will probably be the case anyway if you are effecting the track before the final mix. Below the guitar track I’ve inserted a blank audio track. This is where we are going to insert our glitch effect with the intent being that we are ultimately going to be splicing and dispersing the sections of our guitar track that we wish to have the glitch or stutter effect to this effected track.
To assist in the learning curve in using DBlue Glitch, if you hover over any of the parameter controls on the graphic interface you get an explanation of what that dial or parameter does next to the question mark at the very bottom left of the DBlue interface. To begin getting used to how DBlue Glitch can effect your sound you can default to the Randomise option.
To understand what Randomise does and how it works in a timing sequence that fits the section of your song, we can look below at the step sequencer that allows for the manipulation of how effects are placed into the track.
Beneath we see the 9 effects that will be placed in the step patterns that can be randomized in length by hitting the randomise key. You can randomise just the steps, the effects, or both.
Again, this is a good way to get started and understand how the plugin works, but you will get more satisfaction by creating your own patterns that fit more musically in a dynamic sense.
Note: Reading through forums online, Dblue Glitch is configured differently for each DAW, so if you’re having problems assigning Dblue it might be best to Google DBlue in regards to your DAW. In Sonar, DBlue Glitch has to be assigned as a synthesizer instead of a plugin and then triggered with a midi track. The output of the midi track needs to be assigned to DBlue Glitch.
With the first track of guitar I’m going to simply slice a hypothetical section of the track that I want effected and move that section to the empty audio track with DBlue Glitch assigned to the FX chain for the empty track.
In the case of my final track that you heard in the video, I have chopped and dispersed 4 sections that I wanted the glitch effect on. I inserted 4 instances of DBlue, each with a preset created and saved inside Dblue for each section of the guitar part that I want to glitch. Lastly, I inserted a static instance of Dblue on a clean guitar to give an example of layering wet and dry signals. I’ve over exaggerated some of the effects on the clean guitar so it can be heard more clearly in the mix.
Remember to experiment to find the best results when using DBlue. You may want to record automation while your twisting and tweaking filters or other parameters to get even more diverse effects or insert other plugins on top of Dblue to color your palette even further. The key of course is to find something musical and interesting while still maintaining a sense of cohesiveness in the song.