Computer Music – DISTORTION SECRETS – Issue 228, April 2016

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Distortion Secrets

Think you know distortion? Think again! To give your sounds and mixes the heat they truly deserve, you can't just pile on the plugins and hope for the best. In this month's cover feature, we'll show you how distortion really works, and what you've been missing out on in the quest for professional, attention-grabbing sounds.

Over 16 pages and 15 videos, we'll expose…

  • The differences between clipping, saturation, overdrive, fuzz, and more distortion types
  • Easy explanations of oft-misunderstood aspects like aliasing and intermodulation distortion
  • Professional methods for controlling distortion across the frequency range
  • When to use parallel distortion for warming up an entire mix
  • Techniques that use multiband distortion to tailor a sound's flavour
  • How to get the perfect tone when distorting vocals, guitars, bass and more

Watch as we explore how to combine EQ and distortion in the below taster video, and get hold of the rest of this feature's videos when you pick up your print or digital edition of this issue!


Get saturation, excitation and bitcrushing with this multitalented distortion plugin from HoRNet. This harmonic-enhancing Swiss army knife will cook your signals with DC offset-adjustable saturation, independent odd- and even-harmonic excitation, and parallel bitcrushing for smoother results.

Check out how Graffio CM works in the below video, and find out more about its full spec on our Graffio CM page. Graffio CM is yours with this issue!

916 FREE SAMPLES - Retro House

Get back to the old school with this massive collection of royalty-free hits and loops, which we've commissioned for this readers-only pack. Inside, you'll find period percussion, dirty basslines, classic keys, FX and loads more, giving you a nostalgic kick back to the heady 90s electronic underground. Just try not to touch anything while you're there!

Mixing for Small Speakers

These days, it's inevitable that many listeners will blast your music out of tiny speakers in consumer gear, so how can you make sure your finely crafted tracks don't get lost in translation? By reading our guide!

We'll show you how to prepare your tracks for a diverse range of playback systems, giving you the knowledge you need to keep your basslines heavy and your mids clear. We'll also explain how you can simulate smaller speakers in your DAW, and give you translation tips to ensure your tunes hit the spot on every system.

How to use Nexus2

This landmark samples 'n' synthesis engine has been a staple in the pro-producer's toolbox for years, so isn't it time you found out how to get the best from it?

In this article and its nine accompanying videos, we'll run through every part of reFX's legendary instrument, giving you the low-down on Nexus2's Layers, Reverb, Filter and Amp modifiers, Effects, Arpeggiator and loads, loads more.

Producer Masterclass: Bentley Jones

Get up close and personal with the self-made production boff and game-music guru in this 50-minute in-studio video, as he shows us how he created his track The Rebellion in Reason 8. See how Bentley creates a simple-but-effective bass sound, layers sampled guitars and pianos, treats vocal recordings, and puts together the all-important beats to arrive at the final product.

Catch part 1 of this video below, and get the rest only with issue 228 of Computer Music.


  • Designer Sounds: Charlie "Break" Bierman totally transforms vocal material into a deep bass patch and a complex pad sound, right before your very eyes
  • Dr Beat: Program virtual claves and timbales using authentic sounds and patterns - Ronan Macdonald will show you how
  • Geek Technique: Owen Palmer's latest video tutorial shows you an incredible technique for revealing the true sound of any reverb plugin
  • Music Theory: The blues continues to influence the cutting-edge music of today, and Dave Clews is here to show you how to use it yourself


  • Elephante: From economics to electronica, Tim Wu charts his rise to the ranks of remix royalty in this five-page interview full of production advice and opinion
  • Klevgränd: Johan Sundhage tells us how the Swedish plugin developers cook up new creative software ideas, and what makes their products tick
  • Christian Smith: The Tronic boss lifts the lid on the five pieces of software that keep his music-making moving


  • Slate Digital Custom Series Bundle & FG-Bomber
  • Wolfgang Palm PPG Phonem
  • eaReckon EAReverb 2
  • IK Multimedia Miroslav Philharmonik 2
  • SKnote Disto
  • zynaptiq Unmix::Drums
  • Soniccouture Ondioline
  • Impact Soundworks Shreddage 2 IBZ

Get this issue now on:

Includes Vault download for all formats.

Subscribe and save up to 40%!

Never miss an issue with a CM subscription, print or digital!

cm228 is on sale now in the UK, Apple Newsstand and Zinio. Overseas dates for print edition are roughly: USA + 4 weeks after UK / Australia +8 weeks / Europe +2 weeks / South Africa +6 weeks / Canada +4 weeks

See more issues in our cmbackissueslist

Computer Music

Computer Music magazine is the world’s best selling publication dedicated solely to making great music with your Mac or PC computer. Each issue it brings its lucky readers the best in cutting-edge tutorials, need-to-know, expert software reviews and even all the tools you actually need to make great music today, courtesy of our legendary CM Plugin Suite.