Drum & Bass Layering Breaks?

parsons19

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#1
Howdy,

apoligies if this has been done before, redirect me if I missed something!

I don't know if you have heard any of my tunes but for those that have it is probably clear that I am working with Hats, Kicks and Snares. I am wanting to really push as of now and try improve by quite a fair bit :)

I am going to start with percussion!

Now I have watched loads and loads of producer tutorials etc and it is clear that pretty much everyone layers breaks just to give the percussion that extra element to make it sound full.

I am sort of puzzled though! How do you get breaks to fit in with your beat? I have heard about chopping them up which makes perfect sense but have also heard not to chop them uo as this can ruin the effect of break!

And most importantly! Where can I get these breaks? Sample them? I am looking for Amen breaks too :)

It seems like it is a MUST if you want to make a top D&B track but I think I could do with a little more info if you guys would be so kind ;)

Jordan :)
 
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#2
sample them , then chop them up in the sampler

if you layer your breaks well it wont matter how chopped they are

make sure if you want the hits in the break to match your sample hits , otherwise it will sound strange

also if you just want the percussion or shuffles ect then high pass them
 

tv_g

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#4
layering is a broad topic and there many approaches:

putting like hits with like hits (snares on snares, kicks on kicks, etc)
different patterns so it sounds like multiple breaks (was more common 2 decades ago :lol:)
layering specific hits only
using a certain frequency band (usually highs or kicks)
any of the above combined

and many reasons to layer:

more intensity
variation
fill in missing frequencies/width
emphasizing certain hits
changing transients or body
changing timbre
obfuscating the original sources

what is it you would like to achieve?
 

Attire

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#5
Few things to remember here;

you will want to high pass the break, cut out most of the kick and the snap of the snare so it doesn't conflict with your main kick and snare, whilst leaving the shuffly hats to fill the gaps.

As mentioned, you also need it to match the beat you have. You can either find one with the exact pattern (boring) or cut up the break sample and piece it together again to match yours :)

And you'll want to mix the break behind you main kick, snare, and running hat, this will give it a nice shuffly feel.
 

d-low

I know you got soul
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#7
2 words: sample packs


i have so many sample packs just bursting with 200 breaks each it makes my job so much easier
 
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#8
I don't layer breaks, i make them... Now rolls and shuffles are another thing....

I have TONS of breaks packs from all sorts of genres and artist. When i want to sit down and have a drum session i start there and work on. or i go to other sample packs and see what's lurking in the dark corners of my hard drive..

It's all about the shuffles and rolls. You can make some sick patterns but if they don't have any shuffle or rolls, they won't groove much...

I tend to like the big two steppy breaks...
 

elmaruk

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#9
really depends what kinda beat your going for bud.

if you want a classic drum and bass break, with a real live sound to it then you wanna start thinking about getting hold of the highest quality, think, funky drummer, amen, helicopter (the list goes on) breaks you can.

if your going for somthing more punchy, that most drum and bass, spesh liquid. seems to have these days then as far as i know they use alot of hi passed breaks, dance samples and side chaining.

what kinda break you going for? give an example and i'll see if i can help.

also. less is often more. a nice quality sample & some eq will often sound better than a load of shitty samples layered up.
 
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#13
I will never give up all my samples and packs. It's like my vinyl..

I do however only use a couple different folders of samples now. Most of them are kits i made...
 

parsons19

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#14
Massive thanks for all the responses! :)

I will check out that video later on :D

As for what breaks I want, I have no idea :lol: anything at all just so I can have a play around I guess :)
 

Mr Fletch

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#15
Ok I'm zipping up a folder of breaks for you all as we speak, including the more famous ones such as the amen, the think, and the apache.

To answer some more of your questions, getting them in time really depends on what DAW you use, I remember when I used FL I used to find it really difficult, it included time stretching, chopping etc etc. Now I use Ableton it's a s simple as dragging the sample into your window and it will warp to the correct tempo (Another reason why I love Ableton)

You will still want to create your main pattern with individual hits, then put a break into the track, and usually most people will high pass it, taking out the main punchiness of the break. Also lowering the volume so all you really hear is the subtle shuffles of the break in the background.

Should have that folder in about ten minutes for you all
 

groelle

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#19
im currently doing it this way:

searching a break that fits the kinda tune i want to make ( nice shuffle for liquid, dirt and snappy snare for harder stuff etc) then i stretch that to fit the tempo, eq a little, maybe pitchshift it back or forth a little, some distortion maybe and then bounce that down and reimport into slicex. from there on i seperate kicks and snares and send everything to different mixer channels. layer kicks and snares and even the hats, maybe even with another break with the same^^ treatment before and then buss everything together, compress by a few db and limit.

does it for me.
 

parsons19

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#20
Thanks again Fletch :)

And cheers for that extra bit of info groelle!

In fact! Thanks to the whole forum! I have got loads of vital advice, links, downloads and tips over the past few months and I am going to put it to use and spend a lengthy amount of time on the next D&B track. Might not see any tunes from me for a while but hopefully it will be one of my better tracks :)
 
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