Riser effects are without a doubt one of the aspects of modern electronic music genres that contribute to the desired impression of tension and release. It is vital in many types of electronic music when producers need to create dramatic and dynamic builds right before the drop. We all are familiar with the euphoric sensation that comes from a well-executed build or drops that slams down into the drop with full energy. To be honest, most of us use pre-made riser effects from various sample libraries that can be found online. Instead, in the next tutorial, we will illustrate how to process and create a unique riser effect.

As usual, we have prepared a short sequence in our SoundBridge: DAW containing most of the elements of the full mix. Let’s take a listen to it.

This is a picture of my full mix taken before the making of the riser effect.
~Full Mix – Without Riser Effect

To begin, we will import a riser effect that we previously created with a soft synth onto the new audio channel. Here’s how it sounds when it’s unprocessed.

This is a picture of the riser effect audio channel and its waveform.
~Riser Effect – Unprocessed

Our riser effect sounds fairly dry and common. To change that, we must first deal with its stereo image. Make two more copies of the original sample and place them on separate channels beneath the original. We will decrease the pitch of the first copy by 12 semitones by entering the audio editor. Secondly, we will do the opposite with the second copy (increase the pitch by 12 semitones). For better orientation, we have named the copies differently from the original as you can see in the image below. Let’s hear how our riser effect sounds now.

This is a picture of the riser effects copies and audio editor where the pitch is decreased by 12 semitones.
~Riser Effect – Copies

We will now group our riser effects channels for easier control and further process them by adding effects to the group channel rack. The first effect we’ll apply is tremolo. The tremolo will add movement to the sound and change its dynamics. We chose the SoundToys Tremolator for this. By entering the Tremolator interface we will automate depth and rate parameters to gradually introduce the gated effect. Let’s hear how that sounds.

This is a picture of the tremolo effect interface used, and automation of its depth and rate parameters.
~Riser Effect – Tremolo

After adding the tremolo, it might be a good idea to further color our sound with a bit of reverb delay effects. Finally, let’s find out how our processed riser effect sounds in the context of the full mix. This is how you create a unique riser effect.

~Full Mix – With Processed Riser Effect