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Using Distortion to Enhance a Chorus

Extra Frequencies Caused by Distortion when Using Fruity Blood Overdrive Plugin

Here is another old tutorial I created which I think still provides A LOT of value to you!

I first show how it sounds WITH and WITHOUT distortion, then I show you how to set up the automation clips yourself.

How to Use Distortion to Enhance a Song’s Chorus

The beat is called Showers of Love from BEAT TAPES By GratuiTous Vol. 6

What is Distortion?

Distortion is one of music production’s most powerful tools to add fullness.

When a sound or audio recording is thin or weak sounding, adding distortion makes it sound thicker.

How does distortion add fullness?

When you hear the word “distortion”, you first think it’s bad, and that can be true, if it’s unintentional. However, we can also have intentional distortion, which is good, because we’ve intentionally applied the effect.

The best example is to take a single sine-wave (because it just has a single frequency), and look at it through a frequency spectrum analyzer. (Fruity Parametric EQ2 is a great choice).

How to Make a Single Sine-Wave 3xOsc in FL Studio
How to Make a Single Sine-Wave 3xOsc in FL Studio

Here’s what a single sine-wave looks like on a frequency spectrum.. (just showing it’s a single frequency):

A Single Frequency from a Sine-Wave Shown on Parametric EQ2's Spectrum Analyzer
A Single Frequency from a Sine-Wave Shown on Parametric EQ2’s Spectrum Analyzer

Now, apply distortion with a plugin like Fruity Blood Overdrive (one of my favorite distortion plugins).

Note, the distortion plugin must be BEFORE the frequency analyzer.

Extra Frequencies Caused by Distortion when Using Fruity Blood Overdrive Plugin
Extra Frequencies Caused by Distortion when Using Fruity Blood Overdrive Plugin

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Using Distortion to Enhance a Chorus (With Automation Clips)

Again, I think this older tutorial is still SUPER relevant.

I found distortion was too aggressive in quieter sections of the song (like the verse), so only in the chorus I automated more distortion to happen on a single instrument, and it made it sound like a distorted electric guitar.

The beat is called Showers of Love from BEAT TAPES By GratuiTous Vol. 6

The end result? It sounded like a super powerful full chorus! Then, in the quiet parts, I automate the distortion to go back to normal, and we’re left with a plucky sound!

Learn more about automation clips (free), or take my Automation Clips in FL Studio Course.

Any Questions About Distortion?

If you have any questions about how to use FL Studio, mixing, mastering, beatmaking, or anything about the music production world, then you feel free to leave a comment below or simply contact me.

My website here offers FL Studio Courses, FL Studio Books.. or you can even listen on the go with my FL Studio Podcast called Music Production Made Simple!

GratuiTous
GratuiTous
GratuiTous (Riley Weller) is a Recognized FL Studio Trainer with over 30 Beatmaking Courses. He writes Beatmaking Books, hosts the Music Production Made Simple Podcast, and helps students with FL Studio Lessons. He also makes lots of his own music!

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