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Key Secrets: When Wrong Is Right

March 3, 2017

One of the fastest ways to get new sounds is to play your keyboard “wrong.” For example, playing sampled sounds well outside their intended range creates earcatching artifacts. For example, the complex attack of a slap bass adds a bell-like punch when you play it three octaves up as a lead. Instead of playing percussive sounds precisely, try slapping clusters of keys for clouds of sound. And pitch-bending sounds that don’t normally bend adds sonic surprise: A low piano note gains a wiry warmth when bent up slowly. Small pitch blips humanize drum hits and make chord stabs stand out; large bends create trippy or monster drum grooves. A video showing examples of this concept can be seen at

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