Nov 022011

Often times, I feel that electronic music can feel a bit too rigid. One of the ways that I combat that robotic feel is by introducing tiny bits of imperfections in my programming. For example, most delay/echo plugins allow you to set the time between the delays in two ways, either synced notes (say, every 1/4 beat) or in milliseconds (say, every 500 milliseconds). Using synced notes is great for four-on-the-floor dance floor bangers, but if you want a more organic feel, try using milliseconds and set the delay off by a few ticks.

Using the attached chart, we can see that a quarter note at 126BPM is 476.19 milliseconds long. So instead of setting the delay for "1/4 notes", set it for, oh, about 475ms (1.19ms off from a true 1/4th note). This will shorten the delay just enough to give it a bit more of a human feel, but not too much to make it sound off-beat. Similarly, setting it to 478ms will make the delays drift a touch behind the beat, giving the feeling of "dragging" a bit without being out of sync. As always, experiment(!!!) with the numbers, your mileage my vary.

While you can download the BPM to Millisecond chart here, you can always just remember the formula:

1/4th Note = 1000 / (BPM / 60)

Download BPM to Millisecond Chart

 Posted by at 2:00 pm

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