Humanizing you electronic mixes is not a daunting task, all you need to do is to put more sugar on it, humanized beats sounds amazing …
Yeah I mean lot of amazing producers for eg j dilla humanizes the beat they produce , I mean when you listen to those mixes or tracks you can feel the swing , I mean it totally doesn’t sound like a drum machine but has a hybrid kinda feel to it , in this abstract I will share some light on how to humanize the mixes, I will not share all the points because it will just increase the length of the article, even with these points your drum loops, beats, tracks , mixes can get a human feel.
So first let’s talk about the drums , the drum loop will have lot of instrumental element , be it hi hat , tom, snare so on and so fort , the elements of the drums will have 2 factors these factors are the velocity and the release velocity , now just change them in a symmetrical way and then you can feel that it has a certain dynamic to it which was missing before , I mean every musician has its own dynamic structure of playing and that is what makes them kinda unique, by modulating the attack and the release velocity you can add so much real feel to it , and it fits real well in the track adding that extra intonations and accentuation, making the mix sound more flowy and dynamic.
The second thing to follow is to add compression , I mean compression is real important because it brings out the sound more if done right , the right attack and release time along with the right threshold setting will make the drum or instrument bus very human centric , by this I mean something that is played live , I mean in order to achieve this a good compressor is for sure important, your DAW can will have some good stock compressors to carry out real good dynamic range processing.
Third thing is to add reverb in a well balanced way , not on all the channels but where the sound has to be made wide and distant, I mean reverb adds a feel of distance and separation and adding reverb to the electronic drum loop make it sound like it is being played live , like in an echo chamber, so to add the natural sense of space reverb is an amazing tool to achieve that wideness. But go easy on it, overdoing reverb will make a mix sound real bad and muddy.
Fourthly , we all have the grid system in our DAW to layout MIDI imports and to even add them visually via piano roll , I mean whatever way you choose try to not completely quantize all the channel tracks but few of them add a little swing to em, in other way add elements of surprise by de-quantify them thus adding subtle changes that can replicate the dynamism of a musician.
These are few points that can add a lot of human kinda feel and dynamism to your beats , tracks or mixes…