Hocketing is a technique where the same melodic line is split between multiple instruments (or voices), such that alternately one instrument sounds while the others rest. This technique dates back to the 13th and 14th century when it was primarily used in vocal music. By employing hocketing we can create some truly interesting trance arpeggios.
Arpeggios are a fundamental element of trance music. In this tutorial we will not explain how to create an arpeggio from scratch, but rather how to make them more interesting and dynamic using hocketing.
Step 1: Program (or import) an arpeggio
You can use any arpeggio you want, but for the purpose of this tutorial, we'll use an arpeggio based on a chord progression where each chord consist of 4 notes. See below:
Step 2: Split the Arpeggio
Next, we'll split the arpeggio as follows:
We'll put each line in a different channel/VST.
As you can see, I used four instances of reFX Nexus, but that's just for convenience. You can use any generator plugin/VST you want.
Step 3: Make Variations
Now, because we've split the arpeggio across multiple channels, we can manipulate each channel individually. Here are a few suggestions:
Choose a nice plucky synth for your top notes. Spice it up with a reverb. In my example I did this for the reFX Nexus channel.
Pick a bassy sound for the lowest notes. I actually used a deep voice for this part.
For the notes in the middle (my reFX Nexus #2 and reFX Nexus #3), experiment with delay, reverb and other effects.
The best way to achieve a nice sounding effect is to tweak while you play the arpeggio.
Step 4: Use Automation
To make your arpeggio even more interesting, automate various parameters, such as reverb, delay, panning, etc. You'll be amazed with what you can achieve. Listen to the result below.
Sounds quite cool right? Four reFX Nexus channels, each playing their part of a single arpeggio and each of them spiced up with effects and automation.