Chord Generator VST
Particularly in Future Bass, getting unique sounding chords can make your tracks really stand out. One way to do this is by using a chord generation VST plugin (such as Xfer Record’s Cthulhu) to generate interesting sequences. Doing this will take you away from the strict rules of a scale and wield some interesting results.
Vocal Processing (pitching + sampling)
Using vocal samples creatively can produce interesting tones add character to your tracks. One way to do this is by pitching a small “vocal run” up or down then adding plenty of effects such as distortion, reverb and filters.
Another way vocals can be resampled is by using a sampler. Take a vocal track, find a long sustained note to resample (preferably without any vibrato) and drag that into a sampler such as Kontakt. Add some glide or portamento and instantly will have a unique vocal lead.
The Rhodes electric piano is a signature sound of this genre. You can find many decent Rhodes emulator plugins but the best sounds tend to come from instruments that have sampled a Rhodes in the studio. Sample Magic’s “Soulful Keys” is a great place to start.
Layering percussion can be a great way to give your track extra energy and rhythm. It works best to use lots of high percussion sounds at fast rhythms such as 1/16th notes and lower percussion sounds – such as toms – to be less frequent in the sequence. If you have a microphone it can be fun to use pots and pans and other household sounds to layer rhythms on top of each other.
Another technique used massively in this style is the use of fast tempo’d arpeggios. Take the notes of the root chord in your sequence. Then, simply make a 1/16th pattern ascending and descending with these notes. Then, use a MIDI function such as “double tempo’ to make the previous 1/16th note pattern into a 1/32 or 1/64 pattern. This can give your track some extra richness and subtle harmonics.