Creating Glitch Style Stutter FX in Logic - Part 1

One of the most famous experimental glitch artists today is BT. His album "This Binary Universe" is a favorite in my collection and features carefully crafted microsounds that stutter in and out of ti  

One of the most famous experimental glitch artists today is BT. His album "This Binary Universe" is a favorite in my collection and features carefully crafted microsounds that stutter in and out of time - sometimes speeding up and other times grinding to a halt. Meanwhile the other sonic elements and rhythms continue to sculpt a mesmerizing and colorful musical landscape.

Artists like BT have made the use of certain slowing down (or stutter edits) a staple of the Glitch genre. In fact many would call this type of effect BT's signature sound. In this series of tutorials we'll look at how to recreate this gradual slow-down stutter edit effect in Logic or any DAW of your choice.

01 - Finding Inspiration

This topic was suggested to me on the Forums by Rob. He wanted to know how to create similar effects (focusing on style over sound). Take a listen to BT's track "All That Makes Us human". Around the 2:33 mark in the background is an example of the type of effect we're aiming for.

02 - Short attack, short release

The trick here is to pick a sound with a short attack and release. A percussive sound like a snare, rim shot or hi-hat can often be perfect. There's plenty of sounds in Logic's EXS24 and loop browser that could be used. I've decided to use Sculpture's Xylophone preset and have shortened the attack and release and disabled the Delay parameter.



Here's what it sounds like:

03 - Bounce to audio

After recording a very short note on the Sculpture track, it's time to bounce the region to audio. Rendering the sound to audio makes it easier to cut up or resize the sound as we can see the waveform and make decisions accordingly.

Choose Region > Bounce Regions in Place



04 - Editing the Audio region

Let's resize the region to make the sound even shorter in duration. Preferably as short as possible while retaining enough of the sound itself...




As you can see from the Bar Ruler in the images above, I've shortened the length of the region dramatically. You might prefer to perform these edits in the Sample Editor. Here's my example sound. Blink and you might miss it!

05 - Zoom right in and placing the hits

Zoom as close in to the Arrange area as you're comfortable with. In my case I can see the entire first bar. Now comes the time to experiment.

The idea is to create a slowing down effect (like a reversed bouncing ball), so we're going to copy these regions to create a pattern that doesn't directly fit into Logic's timing grid.

Option-drag the region to create a copy very close to the first region. Repeat the process and gradually space each region further apart. Here's what my Arrange area in Logic looks like:



Listen back to it and keep experimenting until you are happy with the spacing between each hit. You might want to experiment further and create a stutter edit which slows-down and then speeds-up gradually or more quickly. The only rule to obey is whatever fits best into your compositions and creates the desired effect.

06 - Adding movement

I've added some Pan Automation by choosing View > Track Automation ("A"). Select Pan from the Automation Parameter Menu on the Track Header and click to create nodes and drag the automation lines as desired.



07 - Automate the Reverb

My final step here is to add reverb on the last hit to give it more impact. This would help make an interesting fill in a piece of music as well as add space and bring

I've added a Space Designer to the insert slot of the track and am using 0.7s Clear Vocals with the Reverb Output set to -35.0dB. From the Automation Parameter Menu on the Track Header I've chosen to automate the Reverb Output. I've drawn in two nodes before the last hit and increased the value to -22.0dB.



Here's what it sounds like.

You may wish to experiment further by moving some of the hits to different tracks and process each track with it's own set of effects and add further automation to those tracks.

In Part 2 we'll look at how to create the stutter slow-down effect using Logic's plug-ins.

Rounik is the Executive Editor for Ask.Audio & the macProVideo Hub. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic (and a self-confessed Mac fanatic) he's taught teachers, professional musicians and hobbyists how to get the best out of Apple's creative software. He has been a visiting lecturer at Bath Spa University's Teacher training pro... Read More


What an interesting post!

I have no idea how many times I've listened to this album... definitely one of my favorite electronic album of all time.

Thanks for all your posts Rounik. I enjoy reading all of them. :)

Thanks Christian! That's very kind :)

This Binary Universe quickly became a favourite of mine too...
This seems effective, but an extremely long way to do this. You can take the edit from "04 - Editing the Audio region", and use a delay, or multiple delays on it to record to an audio file and edit (saving time and effort to be spent elsewhere).
Rounik Sethi
Hi, there are benefits to being able to see where the audio is in the Arrange area... but you're right, using a Delay plugin (like Delay Designer) makes it so much easier!! Check out Part 2 and Part 3 of this Glitch series here:
and here:

for more info on how to do that! Thanks.

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