In this house beat a bouncy, jacking kick and snare pattern is supplemented by afro-inspired percussion for a deep groove.

Beat Dissected is a regular series in which we deconstruct drum patterns, showing you how to recreate them in any DAW. Just copy our grid in your own software to recreate the loop.







djembes, congas and bongos

Step 1

This beat features a fairly busy kick track, with the characteristic bounce emphasised by the added syncopated hit on the 7th measure. Choose a sample that is deep but with some character in the mid-range – a bit of rough round the sonic edges. Play with the kick’s sustain and release envelopes to shape the sound; longer decay values will give a deeper sound.

Step 2

Enter the hi-hat and tambourine parts. Here the interaction between the two bestows the infectiously crispy jackin’ shuffle. Note that the tambourine (a tight, rather than loose sample) is mixed relatively low – really just sonically adding definition to the kick part. Also note the velocity differences in the hi-hat line, with the hit on the 4th and 12th measures 20-30% softer than the 3rd and 11th hits.

Step 3

Now for the percussion that delivers the afro feel. You can experiment with anything – from light djembes to deep, throbbing congas. In this example a bongo hit is used. Keep the sample length relatively short so that it fits with the tambourine and hi-hat samples. You can experiment with different (short) reverb settings on this percussive hit to inject some life into the beat.

Step 4

Finally we introduce some cone-flapping sub-bass action to underpin the groove in the form of the off-beat deep synth shot. You can try any kind of sound in this spot – from lower percussion sounds to slices of artificial noise or chopped field recordings.

If you enjoyed this tutorial you might find our book ‘The Secrets of Dance Music Production’ a helpful resource for similar tutorials.

9th July, 2012

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