Drum & Bass Most effective way for creating lively drum beats?

Discussion in 'Production' started by AlienWeapon, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. AlienWeapon

    AlienWeapon Member

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    whats the best way? i know for dnb, drums are high priority so whats the best way to breath life into a drum beat?
    I often go down the root of dropping samples into my sequencer and making a beat that way, but i never feel totally satisfied with that for dnb. I could use loops or i guess i could use them both. I was considering layering some loops combined with some slicing and then throw in my own samples on top. How would this work out? probably a train wreck. Im curious to know what you guys usually do.
     
  2. lewis797

    lewis797 Member

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    Id say the best way for me, Get a good drum break, and put your samples over it. Make sure you high pass the break and maybe side chain it to your samples! And then just keep layering your beat with percussion etc!
     
  3. AlienWeapon

    AlienWeapon Member

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    why should i high pass it?
     
  4. cele

    cele Well-Known Member

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    so it doesn't interfere with your kick/snare samples, if it works you don't needto do this but its especially recommended if you layer multiple breaks

    as a rule of thumb highpass everything thats not a bass or a kick to gain headroom (obviously some pads and stuff don't need that and some sounds loose too much life when you highpas them but in general you should highpass most stuff to get rid of low frequency rumble
     
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  5. teenious

    teenious Member

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    Hi AlienWeapon,

    I'm quite new to production too, and I would really appreciate other producers' responses on how to turn mediocre drum loops into awesome ones.

    Two things I have already learned about creating drum loops:

    • slice up a nice break and vary the single hits in volume - emphasize the hits you want
    • slightly displace the hits across the timeline to give the loop a more human groove

    And then there's some other tips I have read over and over on the internet, but I could not yet really figure out how to properly do them, like

    • layer up multiple kicks or snares (I always seem to end up with "muddy" sounds)
    • sidechain other elements of your track to the kick or to a muted "ghost kick" (so what effects should I sidechain best?)
    • use compression (honestly, I have no clue how compression works)

    I would be grateful if someone could explain those :)

    Aside from all that, I was wondering if I could actually create my beats using a midi controller with pressure sensitive pads to hit on...so that the human feel to the drums (slight delays and accentuations) would come naturally...has anyone tried that?

    Greetings
     
  6. Mason John

    Mason John 21st Junta

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    ^ To answer your question, theoretically yeah, you can do that. You could just splice each hit to a sampler capable of holding multiple samples (maybe you could adjust the pitch for each hit in the sampler or just have to do it manually in another program; some samplers will also adjust the tempo for each pitch shift which may end up w/ a non-ideal hit) and get a cheap pressure-sensitive midi usb keyboard (I got a korg nanokey 2, $50 no messy drivers works perfectly). Just making sure you put your samples per key in an arrangement that makes it easiest to hit them when your doing the recording of your play is the semi-tricky part, depending on how many hits you have in there.

    You could also step up and get something like a full-sized drum keypad (I think Akai makes them) and do basically the same thing but w/ a LOT more control over parameters and able to load different samples on the fly. There's a dude on Youtube named spinscott who has one of these and does live drum playing on them, each hit mapped to a different key. Awesome dude, and awesome kit that I'm sure costs a fair bit more than a Nanokey but is probably well worth the money.
     
  7. AlienWeapon

    AlienWeapon Member

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    hi teenious, i find with layering different snares its best to pick a couple that sound quite different, for example one with more high end then another with a beefier mid then just eq them slightly. Thanks for the tips, i cant help you much with the other points though.
     
  8. Dugg Funnie

    Dugg Funnie Well-Known Member

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    If you've got your beat arrange in your sequencer and it's all quantized sounding, just deactivate snap-to-grid and move the hits off the mark by tiny fractions and you'll be jammin' in no time.
     
  9. alz

    alz compress to impress

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    delays are your friend
     
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  10. D-Jhepz

    D-Jhepz ◕‿◕

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    also consistent verbs
     
  11. Interruptor

    Interruptor Member

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    About sidechaining I usually go with sidechaining the bass to under the kick, in heavier songs also the snare. This though is not any "golden rule" - in more liquid stuff it is possible to sidechain nothing. If I don't sidechain to fill a sound design purpose (e.g tempobased ducking) I use sidechain to get kick and snare through and punch in yo face. :)

    About compression: basicly a compressor reduces the amount of dB between your lowest and highest dB in your sound = reducing the dynamics in the sound. For example, if I want a really punchy snare, I first EQ it the way I want it, and then apply a compressor. I'll see that it reduces a few decibels of the dynamics and then make the attack slower so it doesn't destroy the transient (=the attack) of the snare sound, but it gets the rest of the sound up that few dB, usually resulting in a bit more punch. Putting a compressor to a live drum loop or so and tweaking around with the parameters should pretty quick give you the idea of what it does.

    Back to OP, I'd go with sliced up vintage (or new whatsoever) drum loops processed the way I want, highpass them and then put sample kick and snare, maybe hats too, on top of the loops - as said above already too. Gotta try moving the loop parts slightly off grid as someone said, really hasn't ever crossed my mind!
     
  12. RUSSLA

    RUSSLA DNBF Monarch

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    FML I always forget this.. Cheers for reminding me!
     
  13. alz

    alz compress to impress

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    One of the best tips I was ever given was about sample selection; choose samples that already sound good, I know it sounds kinda patronising but it really makes a difference. I only ever use one kick, fuck layering them, one decent kick that I pitch to the key of my song and add a little processing magic to.

    Don't layer for the sake of it, do it as an effect for a sound you want, sometimes i put a hat on my snare for a bit of extra fizz. EQ your layers too, if they sound muddy it could be because you have the low for both of them in there, EQ the bits you want to use for each. Sometimes I pitch a cymbal down and use it as a clap. Be creative, have some fun, when you get something you like bounce it down and use it.

    Read actual production articles too, written by professionals, not just forum gossip ;)
     
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  14. elijahsymons

    elijahsymons New Member

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    Add some high passed amen breaks over the hits to add some movement and some energy to your drums then once your happy with the sound that you have add some parallel compression to the main hits to bring the kick and snare out about and make sure you E.Q everything so nothings causing friction with any other sounds. you can also use parallel compression for the breaks aswell to bring out certain parts of the break... you can also side chain the breaks at certain points to give it some flair kinda thing... good luck :L

    Im not sure what daw your using but this tutorial is quality for parallel compression... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-K-Slp6jQo

    This tutorial is quality for just an overall idea on how to make mega D&B drums worth checking out aswell some wicked tips in here....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJLJ88AHyY4