How to create Astrix-Style Rhythmic Squelch sounds
A very prominent aspect in Astrix sound is the way he uses rhythmic squelch sounds, let’s look into that.
We have looked into various ways of creating a basic squelch sound if you’re familiar with Psytrance – I’m sure you know which sound I’m talking about. The basics of the sound are simple, it’s a saw wave, with some pitch modulation and a filter – with further effects to taste. I think the trick to getting them to groove like Astrix does, lies in the elements that are coupled with the sound, and the overall groove that those sounds are creating.
This technique works particularly well alongside bass lines which make use of alternating octaves or higher notes to create a groove. Often it helps to start by duplicating the bass’s MIDI clip, remove all the notes that aren’t higher or octaves of the root note, and use the remaining notes as the basis for the squelch sequence. Once you have the main groove laid out, it helps to apply some of the concepts we discussed with regards to percussion – most notably ghost notes.
Ghost notes can help to accentuate the rhythmic effect, especially when you link the velocity to the filter or amplitude of the sound and play around the velocity variations and note lengths.
If you’re wanting to create some variations with note length, it can certainly help to program the sound in a lower octave – that way when the note sustains, it’s so low that you’re not really hearing a tone – rather a clicky effect. When coupled with a high-pass filter, this creates the basis of the squelch sound, you can use one envelope to control both the pitch and filter or create an individual one for each for a bit more variation. This technique works with almost any synth or plugin, although it definitely helps to use something which offers slope control on the envelopes.
For an in-depth walkthrough of this technique check out the tutorial video here:[youtube_sc url=”https://youtu.be/KCBI3JjAjf8″]