As a producer, a technique I have found that is an effective way to develop the dynamics of a performance is by adding expression through automated processing. In this phrase of synth from a composition that I’m working on I have applied automation to add an expressive quality to the recording.
I have always been fascinated by the Doppler effect as it is mechanically applied to sound through the use of Leslie speaker cabinets. I own a Leslie cabinet that I had modified so that I was able to run instruments through the amplifier, other than Hammond organ, and control the speed with a foot switch. My goal was to play my Rhodes through a Leslie, and this is something I did during live performances for years to come.
My favorite characteristic of the Leslie is the slowing down and speeding up of the motors that control the speaker rotation. This can be simulated quite well with plugins or virtual instruments such as the Native Instruments B4. In this example, rather than use Leslie simulation, I opted to simply automate the “Rate” parameter in Live’s Auto Pan effect. Leslie simulators often add other characteristics like motor noise, filtering and distortion, but I wanted to keep the signal relatively clean while still getting a speeding up and slowing down expressive quality to the instrument. To get the full effect of the automated panning, listen with headphones firmly planted on ears.
Automated Auto Pan