Making your own breaks

Discussion in 'Production' started by Stadia, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. Stadia

    Stadia New Member

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    I'm sure there's people out there who make all their own breaks from scratch.

    I've been playing around with my own ones recently and they are starting to sound decent, but they still feel too fake and programmed.

    Anyone have any advice for how to make them flow better like an Amen?

    Also what kind of drum hits work best with breaks? Don't know if this makes sense but I find going.....

    hat----hat----hat----hat--snare--hat--snare--hat----hat----hat--snare


    is kind of how most of the famous breaks are structured,

    any help would be sick!
     
  2. rysk

    rysk Part-time waster

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    now, i'm no professional... but i'm pretty sure there should be some kicks in there.
     
  3. ApeCat

    ApeCat Human Dubplate

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    The Amen is a recording of this one dude grooving along on his drum kit, so every hit is recorded in the same room, all the background noise and the cymbals ringing and shit gels the whole thing together, and he's probably put together a kit that sounds good.

    Mess about with distortion, compression, bussing, adding a little bit of reverb, maybe short hits of white noise layered over each hit.

    As with everything there's no one definitive how-to, you've just got to experiment lot and lots and sort of do your thing a million times and after a while you'll "get" different parts of "it" and realize how much you've actually learned by tinkering about and how much you still have no idea what you're doing.
     
  4. June Miller

    June Miller Member

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    You need EZ Drummer in your life :)

    http://www.toontrack.com/products.asp?item=7

    Its basically a drum sampler but multi microphone, lots of hit variations and sounds great! You will still need to layer up here and there to thicken some sounds out and we normally still tend to process a fair bit after but you'll get a much more accomplished sound using the same kits :)

    Additionally I love the fact, you can visualise the drum kit :) Loads of other features too, very flexable :)
     
  5. JimpaDirt

    JimpaDirt Vettvilling

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    Heres how I make breaks from hi-hats broken down to 1/16

    1 3 5 8 9 10 11 13 16
    Kick-2-hat-4-snare-6-7-hat-lower hat-hat-kick-12-snare-14-15-hat and thats one bar!

    Maybe got a lil' messy haha. Lower hat means lower volume or velocity as well ^^



    edit: gdam.. why wont it show the spaces between the numbers on the first row :(
     
  6. Innovine

    Innovine Active Member

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    There are two important, and distinctive things to think about.

    1 The beat. You should learn about drumming. Especially ghost snare hits (thats when the drummer just taps the snare in between the hihat hits, also known as a shuffle). That's the snare parts you've written above. The funk drummers were very interested in these ghost notes, playing them also on the hihat but even the kick. Learn something about syncopation, especially in the context of funk drumming (just reading some articles will give you good info on what they were experimenting with, and why). You should learn to read basic drum notation, cos it'll help you not only describe what you are after, give you a language in which to think about beats, but it will also let you study the HUGE amount of breakbeats that have already been transcribed. watch this guys older videos, some of the videos he shows you very slowly what is going on and this will be quite interesting I bet. Some of it is exercises for drummers and probably less interesting: http://www.youtube.com/jungleritter

    2. The sound. The 70s had quite a lot of big room sounds on their kits. It wasn't all close mic'd like today with 20 close mics pointing at the kit. If you use a sampler plugin thing like ezdrummer, make sure to bring up the levels of the overheads and room mics to help get that 70s recording vibe from the kit. You may then want to artificially age your beat, so vinyl noise, eq, very mild dist/tape sat or even bit reduction. A lot of that high end metallic shimmer in the amen break is digital noise from several generations of resampling, the original probably sounded a bit different.
     
  7. heuristics

    heuristics New Member

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    programming a break to sound as lively as a recorded break can be real tough. This is why many producers still use recorded breaks in their productions.
    You could try bangin' away on an mpc or some sort of midi surface to get a less programmed feel to your break.
    Not sure what DAW your using, but you could try getting some swing on your break and messing with note velocity for a more lively feel.
     
  8. subprime

    subprime Dysjoint

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    Remember that real drummers don't have a quantise or snap to grid function. Easiest way to make a break sound false is to have every single hit perfectly in time.
     
  9. Southern

    Southern Member

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    This is a great tip and one I was going to mention. Drums can be as good offbeat as on, especially matched with a decent ghost snare. I like to build all my breaks from instruments as it gives you that freedom to do what you want and add beats and shuffle wherever you fancy.
     
  10. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

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    room acoustics play a massive part as already said, if you dont have access to multi-mic'd drum kits, you can use Reverb (carefull with your hi-low pass settings, room size, reflection size etc etc because things will get very messy otherwise, subtle is often best, unless you are going for the 80s synth pop sound).

    Volume levels are also extremly important, a hihat riff doesnt have to be very loud at all to carry the groove

    Use plugins like Velocity, Pitch and Quantize Randomizers, to give subtle changes each hit, subtle tho! and dont forget to edit/automate all those settings manually aswell, hits should vary between loud and quiet, in diffrent patterns thru the track

    Carefully compressing your reverbed kits can help tighten things up aswell, and bring the sound together

    Layering up hihats, closed/open, shakers, rides etc will help to fill up your break, again they dont need to be loud at all

    also dont forget to automate the velocity of your Kick, Snares, Toms etc (and maybe the pitch/panning aswell except for kick)
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012
  11. RUSSLA

    RUSSLA DNBF Monarch

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    Hahah lmao!
     
  12. Dom!Reavers!

    Dom!Reavers! Member

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    Thanks for the tip, in terms of layering up and thickening, dyou just mean the kicks and snares? can the plug output to multiple channels? Love the latest release btw, brave man is a banger, fat drums aswell, big ups!
     
  13. June Miller

    June Miller Member

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    yeah correct :) With Brave Man, we used one of the EZ kits actually (can't remember which one but can pull open the project if needed)

    From memory we layered the kick with something alittle fuller in the low end, we added an electronic clap over the snare and used the FM8 to fill out some of the hats. In terms of filling out the hats, we just programmed some simple white noise on an arpeggiator, where you can automate the velocity and accent. This should make the whole thing sound less ridget :) Its pretty low in the mix to be honest but does its job :)

    In terms of Mutil Channel routing, yeah that is possible (and essential! :D)

    So a standard processing workflow would look something like this:

    BUS 1 (Hats) - High Pass to 100-200hz, Compress
    BUS 2 (Snare) - EQ, Compress
    -> BUS 3 (Hats & Snare) - Multi Band Exciter, Multi Band Transient shaper, Compress
    BUS 4 (Kick) - Multi Band Exciter, Multi Band Transient shaper, Compress
    -> BUS 5 (All Drums) - Compress, Noise Processor, Limit
     
    lostnthesound and Riisu like this.
  14. RUSSLA

    RUSSLA DNBF Monarch

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    ^ Big post, will deffo be giving that ago :)
     
  15. June Miller

    June Miller Member

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    Shout me if you need some clarification :) Lots of variations to that method though, I would be here all week going through them all :)

    TBH i'm not that proud of the Brave Man drums... couldn't get the mix and balance right :/
     
  16. Dom!Reavers!

    Dom!Reavers! Member

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    cheers for that :) good to see my processes and workflow are fairly similar to you guys already. And arpeggiating white noise out've FM8 is such a cool idea, will definitely be trying that out. Good to see you guys on the forum, hope you stick around :)
     
  17. Salvus

    Salvus Member

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    This.
    Really nice helpful posts. Will try out that bus layout at some point. Never thought of sending a bussed track to another.
    I'm on ableton and have been grouping tracks instead of using sends and returns. Not sure if it will let me group 2 groups together... Hmmm I shall have a play tomorrow
     
  18. June Miller

    June Miller Member

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    :) anytime! I like this forum compaired to any other, lots of positivity and actually helpful responses :) Would rather spend some spare time here than playing Chess or something haha (not that I have anything againist Chess :p)

    Give it a go in Abelton! Tbh I am not even sure of that functionality but you must be able to do it. Buses and sends are my friends :D
     
  19. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

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    in Ableton you can use Groups, virtually unlimited nesting aswell, leads to some interesting routing possibilities
     
  20. troublemakers

    troublemakers Origins Unknown

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    It will and there are definitely advantages to using bus's and sends. You won't lose attack on your drums if you bus them which is a very good thing, i find i might create a group channel and then send my drums to the group for final compression to glue it all together but outside of that i like to use bus's..