In this installment of Beat Dissected, we’re going to create a drum pattern incorporating found sounds blended with saturated drum hits.

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

Here’s the beat we’re building today:



125 bpm




Found Sound

Step 1

Start with a dusty kick, preferably one that has been processed with light tape saturation. Create a steady 4-by-4 rhythm and add a ghost note after the 6th kick with plenty of shuffle to get the groove going.

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Step 2

Here we’ve used two found sound samples, both collected from various impact recordings of wood/plastic/metal sheets.

We’ve pitched them so that one assumes the role of a ‘low tom’ and the other as a ‘conga’ type sound. The pattern is very straightforward. Try not to clutter it up in the beginning, because that would take away from it’s minimalist aesthetic.

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Step 3

Select a dirty/noisy hi hat and a punchy clap, preferably analogue and again…lightly saturated.

Try to avoid using the standard clap on every second beat routinely, and add some movement by making your rhythm more interesting.

Hat Clap
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Step 4

A few more found sound samples can now be added.

A ‘scrape’ sound titled “fx 2′ in our project and two organic impact sounds ‘perc 2’ and ‘perc 3’.

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Step 5

The finishing touch comes via a field recording of street traffic with a long tail and pitched down. The sound plays the role of a hi-hat/reverbed effect hybrid and gives us a warehouse vibe.

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

30th April, 2019

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