This post focuses on using ring modulators, vocoders, or other tone resonating devices to produce artificial chords.
Creating unique sounds is a constant challenge. Sometimes things just sound too ‘plain’ and you need to pull something totally off-the-wall out of your hat. In these situations, it can be really interesting to grab resonating devices such as ring modulators, vocoders, and even pitch-correction plugins for some unconventional usage.
Ring modulators are basically devices that produce a resonance where there wasn’t one before, usually pitched to a note or a frequency. There are a good number of free ring modulators. One of my favorites isn’t exactly just a ring modulator… Frohmage by Ohmforce.
The technique is basically the same regardless of which type of resonator you’re using. Split the track you want to mod off to a group of three or four aux or effects tracks. On each track, throw up an instance of the resonator/modulator. Keep all of them muted except for one and fiddle with the freqeuncy/note values until you hear a nice fundamental that resonates in the key of the song. I would set the resonance to 100% as you can blend in the effect on its return fader. Head to the next plugin and fiddle another frequency that blends with the first and with the rest of the music. Do this in succession until you’ve built a chord around which the sound moves. It can be pretty weird stuff if done right and each type of resonator gives a different result.
Try this on drums for a particularly strange effect. If you have pitched toms in the track you can actually tune the toms with Antares Autotune in this fashion.
The Waves Morphoder actually has built in chording abilities, which can be helpful for achieving this effect quickly.