A raw chillout beat with hip hop influences gets the Beat Dissected treatment in the latest from our resident drumsmith.
Beat Dissected is a regular series which deconstructs drum patterns, showing you how to recreate them in any DAW. Just copy the grids in your own software to recreate the loop.
Here’s the complete beat we’ll be making this week:
mostly organic drum samples
The beat features the kind of kick pattern which is prevalent in hip hop programming. The first kick of each bar should be bang on the grid and at full velocity to accent ‘the one’ of the beat and give the rhythm a firm foundation, but you can experiment with velocity and small timing changes on the other kicks to make the groove looser. (Click the image to expand.)
In come the snare and clap, which are layered in order to create a hybrid sound. The snares and claps are solid on the 2nd and 4th of each bar. Individual hits can be shifted slightly to give a sloppier, more human feel.
Enter the hats. A simple closed hat pattern to propel the groove and two open hats to give the requisite hip hop ‘slurp’. Remember to set up the relevant mute groups to choke the open hat when the next closed hat hits. Again, velocity variation – as heard in our audio demo – can give a more human feel to the pattern here.
The beat is completed with a subtle but effective conga and tom pattern, programmed to balance the start and the close of each bar.
And finally… a gentle vinyl crackle is mixed at a low volume to give the finished beat a straight-from-record flavour. Sending all elements to a drum bus with a compressor and/or tape emulation plugin will help gel the elements even better and make the sound even more retro.
If you enjoyed this tutorial you might find our book ‘The Secrets of Dance Music Production’ a helpful resource for similar tutorials.