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Our in-house beatsmith turns his attentions to a DJ Sneak style jackin’ house workout in our latest beat deconstruction.

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.

Here’s the beat we’re building today:







dirty raw analogue drums

Step 1

Start with a basic four-to-the-floor pattern. Choose a kick with some punch, snap and crunch that still retains a solid low end. If you can’t find a sample with the right flavour, get layering! Additional ghost hits with a lower velocity help fill out the groove and supply the turnaround variation. (Note the illustrative grid is set at 32 divisions in this step.)

Step 2

Now for the clap and snare: the defining ingredients of a jackin’ groove. First up, add a subtle clap/snare hybrid on each beat except the last, reinforcing the kick. Now for the jack… This is generated by the additional raw cardboard-style synthetic clap that hits on 2, 5, 9 and 13 in bar 1 and then 3, 5, 9 and 11 in bar 2 to drive the beat forward. Invest time in finding the right sample for this element: it is the defining sound in the beat. Claps can be nudged to the left by a couple of miliseconds to loosen up the groove.

Step 3

Now introduce open hi-hats to the offbeats. You can use a single sound for this if you want, but to generate additional life and interest, we’ve used the same sound tweaked very slightly to give two variants that share the duties – Open Hat 2 has slightly different attack and release settings, and is tuned down very slightly too. Add an additional open hat at a lower velocity on the 16ths for variation. (Note that the grid in the image shows 32 divisions again.)

Step 4

The beat is pretty much there. A final step, to reinforce the all-important jack, is to add in a dirty analogue percussive hit (our one has a low and mid-range thud). Adding this last percussive sound on the 15th (and 11th is useful) helps emphasise the swing, powering the beat ever-forward.

Author Israel Medina
14th August, 2012

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