This is a widely used technique for giving an instrument more life, and for creating buildups. In most software sequencers, you can automate knob settings over time. One of these is the cutoff frequency of a filter. Try using a low-pass filter or high-pass filter on a sound and automate the cutoff frequency.
Check out this example from “echonomix” by infected mushroom. They are using a high-pass filter and automating the cutoff frequency here.