As the name implies, Trance-gate is an effect generally associated with Trance music. It kicked off in the 1990s, at the height of Trance’s popularity. The Trance-gate is basically a sequencer that breaks up a continuous sound based on a pre-programmed rhythm. As a matter of fact, many producers still use this effect in modern music genres. Today, I will show you how to use the Trance-Gate Effect to alter the rhythm of your instruments.
As an illustration, I have prepared a short sequence in our SoundBridge: DAW, which contains most of the full mix instruments. Let us listen to it.
~Full Mix – Pad (Unprocessed)
You Can Use the Trans-Gate Effect to Alter the Rhythm of Continuous Pads
The audio example above shows that the pad sound dominates the sequence. It sounds rather lush and open. However, I think a different groove would fit better in the mix. As was mentioned in the introduction, the focus of this tutorial will be on the use of the Trance-gate effect, and this pad sequence is an excellent candidate for it. We will first hear how the pad sequence sounds solo and unprocessed.
~Pad – Solo (Unprocessed)
Let us place a new instance of a Trance-gate effect on the pad channel’s effect rack, to begin with. In this case, I opted for A1 Trigger Gate by Alex Hilton. But many more options are available. The upper portion of the A1 Trigger Gate effect interface features a 16-step sequencer. Following that is the envelope section on the bottom left and the wave display on the bottom right, which displays the output signal as a waveform and contains a set of controls. The “Run” button enables and disables the effect and the mix knob below. The run button is in the center of the plugin GUI. This is how our pad sequence sounds with A1 default settings.
~Pad – Solo (A1 Default Settings)
Listening to the pad sequence alongside the other elements of the whole mix, I decided to modify the groove by rearranging the A1 trigger gate step sequencer steps. In addition, I altered the envelope setting and increased the makeup gain to increase the overall sound volume.
~Pad – Solo (A1 Main Settings)
Add Movement to Your Groove Using Other Effects Like Delay
I’m happy with the groove, but the sequence still sounds dry. To add movement, I used the A1 trigger gate embedded delay effect, which appears if you click the “Expert Mode” button in the interface’s upper left corner. Among the other valuable features available in “Expert Mode,” I chose the delay effect for this purpose. Finally, after using the Trance-Gate Effect to alter the rhythm, the final processed pad sequence sounds solo and in the context of the full mix.
~Pad – Solo (A1 Main Settings + Delay)
~Full Mix: Pad Sequence (Final Processed)
If you liked this article about audio processing, here are some more on the same subject:
- What is exactly a trance gate?