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Mr. Bill's Guide to Sound Design with Mud Pies

Mr. Bill’s Guide To Sound Design with Mud Pies

Mr. Bill is one of our favorite sound designers and glitchy, bass music producers and we had the honor of hosting him for an elite session here in San Francisco. In the following video you’ll learn all about his sound design technique of making mudpies or mud pies, whichever you prefer.

Mr. Bill explained his overall production flow and technique when it comes to making glitchy, sound design craziness. He keeps everything else as simple as possible. To make the crazy sounds he has, he creates a mudpie.

What is a mudpie?

A mudpie is where you take a bunch of audio samples and clips, process them with any effects you like to use and then record your performance to a new track creating a crazy audio file that sounds mostly like noise. “It’s a long file of sound design, just a bunch of noise basically.”

The mudpie is not meant to have much musical element to it, it’s just meant to crate random and chaotic sounds that you’ve never heard before. After you’ve got your mud pie, you go back and cut it up, pull out pieces you like, edit them further, layer, arrange, etc.

Using the mudpie source material also helps create one cohesive sound because you have a wild collection of soundwaves that all have the same overal tonal center. Using these sound design techniques is how to make a song like Mr. Bill. He even believes that a lot of the crazy sounds you would download from Splice are people’s own mudpies, cut up and sold to you!

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How to edit and arrange a mudpie

After you create the mudpie you can then chop it all up and create a riff from the mudpie source material.

  • He starts by stretching it a lot
  • adjusting the pitch to match the song
  • playing with the warp mode to get different textures
  • adding various sound design plugins like OTT and Disperser
  • cutting all the lows to not interfere with the sub
  • he sometimes drops the mud pie into a sampler for more unique effects
  • he sometimes uses an all pass filter like the one from disperser that makes everything sound squishy. (you can also do it with 5, EQ 3s – see video)

Bonus production and workflow tips from Mr. Bill:

  • 24:26 How to make riddim yoinks
  • 22:49 Harmer Additive Synthesizer
  • Make decisions quickly efficiently and simply
  • How do you know when a song is finished? When he gets sick of working on a song he decides it’s done and then shifts his entire world view of the song to being finished.
    • Art is never finished, it’s abandoned.

This was an amazing session filled with tons of sound design and production workflow tips and tricks so watch the full video above to hear it straight from Mr. Bill.

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