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BattleDrone BattleDrone is a male
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Tutorial: Making breaks from single hits Reply to this Post Post Reply with Quote Edit/Delete Posts Report Post to a Moderator       Go to the top of this page

1 Before doing anything
- For starters, use some sampled drum kits, you'll already have everything it takes to make a break then, they fit quite well and have been sampled in the same environment so it 's easier to get a natural "glued" feel to the result.
- Later on you can use any single hits you pick up from anywhere, I even made a break from windows sounds (you know, those anoying pings and bleeps from microsoft).
- Always work at the exact same speed (in my case 174 bpm) and always use the exact same pattern (reason will be explained later).


2 Picking sounds
- A good kick sounds like kicking a soccer ball, boomy techno and house kicks are no good.
- A good snare sounds like a boucing basket ball.
- Hihats should sound quite natural for me, you can make them more artificial yourself, but turning a robotic hihat (707, 808, 909 and the likes) into a natural sound is almost impossible.
- Actually anything goes, I've heard breaks with just a rimshot instead of a snare and that worked too, it all depends on the feel you're after.
- Anyway, in the beginning you might want to go for average sounds. When you are climbing the ladder of experience you might want to pick some odd sounds here and there. The best sampled breaks I heard have an odd sound to them.
- Avoid kicks and snares with a lot of reverb on them, they'll give you a hard time when you want to make the break glue together.


3 Placement of the hits in a pattern
- I mostly use the basic pattern editor (the 16 knobs you can switch on/off) instead of the piano roll, choose what you like though.
- In the beginning I thought that odd placement of the hits (slightly away from the standard 16 positions, thus use the piano rol for that) would improve the natural sound of the break, but I gave up on that because the "natural sound" is about milliseconds which you can't really get right in the piano roll and you should know if it has to be milliseconds early or late, the wrong way will make it sound even worse.


4 Simple 2step pattern from single hits:
- Place the kick (K) on the typical spots (1 and 11)
- Do the same with the snare (S) (5 and 13)
- Now load a nice closed hihat (H) and put it on the odd positions that aren't taken up by a K or S (3, 7, 9, 15).
- Clone the H channel (I'll call it "h") and add a vol-envelope to the clone, the attack should come a tiny tad too late.
- Turn the cut off from h a quarter counter clockwise, turn the volume of h a bit down.
- Now add h hits on the even positions after the 2 H hits which are placed after the first snare (8, 10).

You'll see a HhHh structure between the first snare and the second kick now, you probably know this pretty well, I'll call it "the main shuffle"

This will result in a K_H_SHhHhK_S_H_ pattern which is snare centered 2step.

Techstep breaks can do without h elements in the main shuffle quite often or they are just added every 4th bar or so.

4b Steppy pattern
You could also use a different pattern that sets the kicks on position 1 and 9 (kick centered 2step) and set the second snare earlier (5 and 11).
This way there is no room for the main shuffle on the position you would normally add it so it moves to the end of the bar like this: K_H_S_H_K_S__HhHh.

Your basic stuff is now ready, you should hear some kind of silly break now. Don't expect too much from it.
You might want to play with the pitch of the instruments at this point to get everything to sound like one drumkit.
It's also a good idea to play with the FL general pitch to check out what the break sounds like on different pitches. The bigger the range of goodness the better you're doing in general.


5 Ghostsound variety in your break
The best thing to do with the main shuffle is to make sure that both H hits don't sound identical, same goes for the h hits. I hope I'm still making sense here, the point being that you don't want to get a robotic CHAKACHAKA sound but have 4 different sounds so that later on, when moving around the slices of your break you won't make pure repetitive junk. Just listen to the ghost hits in the real amen, no 2 bits are identical although some of them come quite close. You can acomplish this by making slight changes to the volume and the cut off of the hits.


6 Further edits
To get this clumsy break turned into a good break you might want to layer some stuff, especially the snare, if you add a really snappy layer on the snare you can also play this at a low volume and with the cut off slightly lower and place it on the H or h hits you'll instantly notice that the ghost bits gain credibility that way.
On the H hits in the main shuffle you could layer kick hits with a lower volume and the cut off turned a quarter anticlockwise. Layer the kick on the h's and the snare on the H's or the other way around, but never kick and snare at the same position, just see what works for your actual break. None of these things are a guarantee for success though.

You could add an open hihat or some kind of bell-ish percussion on 1, 5, 9 and 13, but it should not be too long because it would ruin the mangling of breakbits later on (as you would hear bleeding of hits in an ugly way).

Layer on a tambourine for funkyness. You need a 2 or 4 step tambourine sample. This means it's not just CHICK, but CHICK-A or CHICK-A-CHICK-A.
Mess with various sounds to layer on top for various effects, best ones are bongos (but they're hard to get right), open hihats (short ones), shakers, rimshots, ... almost anything goes.

If the break still sounds too robotic after all this I use a tiny tad of swing (to be found on top of the pattern editor), but be careful, it sounds dull when overused.


7 To make the break "glue"
Sometimes you hear a collection of drumsounds rather than a break, this can be improved by adding H hits on the S hits and using multiband compression as a first element on the master.
Slight distortion on the master bus can help too (I prefer Camel Crusher's "British Clean" setting for that).

Some more dirty tricks...
- When you are using a kick and snare sample that dont originate from the same drumkit they often sound a bit weird together. To make them match a bit more you could copy the snare sample, lowpass it at 150Hz and play it together with the kick one octave lower than the normal snare, Adjust the level of the snare to avoid clear audibility of the snare. You'll just get a slightly different kickdrum which sounds more "related" to your snare. Cut off any long tales ofcourse.
- You can do the same with a highpitched and hi-passed kick on the snare.


8 Mastering the various elements
Don't put everything on one mixer bus, at least make a separate bus for K, S, H&h and one for other stuff. Snares can use a tad distortion to give them bite, kicks too, but far less. I compress everything now to give it a bit more power. The compression is done individually for K, S, H & h and might be on the rest (taste, follow your ears).
Cut the low end of snares from 80Hz down.
Don't take all of the low end out of H and h because hi-passed ghost bits sound fluffy.


9 The masterbus
I mostly use the Izotope Ozone 5 plugin
Favourite settings are:
- 4 band master - Strong tape saturation
- 4 band master - warm mids
- General purpose master - warm mids
- DrumAndBass&breaks master (any of them)
- Drum Break enhancer
Try them all, see what you like, adjust to taste.

I can't stress it enough that you should go really easy on things maximising, compression, exiting, ... It is really easy to squash your break to a level where it sounds dull and flat or even distorted. The classic breaks where all recorded with modest processing and exactly that makes them so versatile and good.

Add just a tad of reverb to it all. Not too much, you should not really hear the reverb itself, but if you bypass it you should notice it is gone.


10 Bouncing the result
When you bounce your break you might notice that older versions of FL have the nasty habbit of adding a pause in front of the break and cut the last part off. This is due to the latency of e.g. Ozone 5 on the master.
The best way to deal with this is to upgrade to FL version 10 (with auto delay compensation) or make a song rather than a pattern and just put pattern 1 twice in the playlist, then bounce the song.
Open the result in an audio editor, cut of the blank at the beginning (precise job required) and cut off the second bar of the break (which is damaged anyway as the last part is cut off by stupid Fruity).
Now you have one clean version of your break. Save as mono unles you like the stereo you had on your hihats and percussion and want to keep it.


11 Fullness, the real deal
Once you have some ok results in terms of rollyness you can start layering. Layer 2 breaks on top of eachother - that's why you need the exact same speed and pattern to make them match easily. Make sure you take out the low end of conflicting kicks.
You could also pick a break you kinda like, pitch it up (jungle time baby) and add a new kick, snare and H & h bussiness on top. You'll be surprised about the result, it sounds way better.
Once you get the hang of this you can go anywhere, start from a mediocre self made break, layer some stuff on, layer (bits of) a hi-passed classic breakbeat on it, add more stuff, bounce, ...


12 Learning curve
Your first 10 attempts will suck, your next 10 will be better but not good enough to use in a tune, your next 10 will have 1 good break and 9 mediocre, after about a 100 breaks you'll have about 15 good ones. This means they sound empty and you can still hear they were electronically arranged. Keep at it, you'll get the hang of it as you notice you're improving with every break you make.
I've made over 800 breaks before I felt ready to put some stuff out.

And most of all, have fun while doing this.

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22-10-2009 20:36 Send an Email to BattleDrone Homepage of BattleDrone Search for Posts by BattleDrone Add BattleDrone to your Buddy List
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Excellent post Sir Battle Smile

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10 out of 10 Battle! Bigup You never stop being helpful to this website mate.

I wonder if there is any way you could post a little clip of a drum pattern next to each stage (or at least the stages to which a drum pattern would apply)? I presume those breaks you sent me a few weeks ago were built on these tips. They're wicked, you should get then on here.

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quote:
Originally posted by Tomos
I wonder if there is any way you could post a little clip of a drum pattern next to each stage


Ask chron to adapt the site Big Grin

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22-10-2009 21:38 Send an Email to BattleDrone Homepage of BattleDrone Search for Posts by BattleDrone Add BattleDrone to your Buddy List
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great tut man very easy to understand Drummer
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i think this thread needs to go in the be knowledge base Bigup

great work BD!

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Just added a couple more tricks, cleaned up the layout a bit and corrected some zbelling errawz...

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Wow! Such a detailed post on how to make a break! Wicked man.
I really appreciate the time you put into that.
Izotope Ozone can be a little tricky but after I read your post I'll give it another try again.
cheers

Dauntless

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Nice one BD! This is especially one of the elements i'm pumping too much time in(while it most of the times turns out shittier then a turdsucker) compared with the rest. Will work with this out after my school exams! thx

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Good thread brutha, thanks/Cheers. Z

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Nice one! You're the break man BD Smile

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cheers drone m8 Smile

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Very nice tutorial Bigup

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Awsumness sauce Battle! Big Grin

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nice one dude Bigup
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Can somebody tell me how to make a kick with crash, and to sound something like in Chase and Status-Is it worth it ( VIP Version).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUYiRXRwtb8

This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by Glodaragz: 23-04-2010 17:20.

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just add a splashy crash to every kick m8.

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quote:
Originally posted by Close Proximity
just add a splashy crash to every kick m8.


Yeah mate i try to make that but i fail,I make the crash shorter longer and i fail again it not sound like that.Maybe have some special magic Tongue . I work on my beat alone but i really need help about this Smile
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you could always post a link to your break
so the good chaps here at .be can try and help out.

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Thanks or the tutorial BD. Very informative and helped with my tunes Big Grin
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