Creating The Sounds Of FKA Twigs Part 01

We Show You how To Make Beats Like FKA Twigs


In our latest creating the sounds of article, we explore the tips and techniques needed to create beats like FKA Twigs, Bjork, Arca & more.  Referencing our latest Electric Nights sample pack,  we show you the inner workings of a stunning alt-pop selection.  Let's dig in: 




Glitch Drums Using Ableton Buffer

Included within Ableton's Max For live Suite (Free Download HERE) is an incredible VST called Buffer Shuffler.  By placing this on our drum group we're able to process the drum loop into 'slices' and affect each one.  

In the image below we've set the grid to 16th notes so we can get nice and granular with the edits.  Listen in the video as Stu twists the rhythms to create the iconic tones you'd find in an Arca tune or an FKA Twigs beat.  


Make Beats Like FKA Twigs_GlitchDrums


Note: Non Ableton?!  Why not try Effectrix or bounce the audio out and get chopping.  Reverse samples, pitch them, stretch them and go wild! 


Pitch Kick Drums For Abstract Rhythms

A great way to add some abstract movement and interest to your kick drums is to load them into a sampler and start pitching.  Treat them like an instrument and shift them around.  

This beautifully unique concept not only sounds immense but really digs deep into that abstract world.  Ideal if you're trying to create beats like FKA Twigs, Bjork or any other alt-pop artists. 


Make Beats Like FKA Twigs_PitchedKickDrums


Tip: If you're finding your kick drums feel a little light and underwhelming when pitched up, try layering another kick underneath that offers support.  

Treat the pitched kick as an effect and the main kick as part of the rhythm!




Did you know that we took a deep dive into the sounds of Arac in our incredible 'Fluidity' Collection?  Check the demo above and see if it fits the bill! 


Future Music Loops


Formant Shift Hi-Hat Rhythms

We've often found that when creating trap based hi-hat patterns they can become a touch repetitive and lose their impact! 

In the video Stu explores a great technique of modulating these sound using a formant shifter combined with the LFO tool! 


Make Beats Like FKA Twigs_FormantShiftHats


The slight changes in pitch / tone can create unique interest, straying away from the predictable hats you hear in so many records.  


Grain Delay For Twisted Bass Transitions 

We've covered this one before in our Jon Hopkins tutorial and boy it's for good reason!  

Check below as we go into detail about how basses can be manipulate using a granular delay to create iconic FX shifts! 



In the picture below, we'll automate the 'wet/dry' mix to bring the effect in at and out.  Let's get weird! 


Make Beats Like FKA Twigs_GranularDelayBass


Distort Your Own Vocals & Create Amazing Leads 

Last up in line is Stu's incredible use of distortion stacking on his vocal.  For this one you're going to need to be brave but the human voice shouldn't be overlooked. 

The organic nature, inflexions and expression that can be achieved often overshadows any instrument so when combined with distortion creates beautifully unique leads.  


Make Beats Like FKA Twigs_VocalDistortion