The latest of our step by step drum programming tutorials focuses on main room house. Create a real peak time vibe with this heavy groove.

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:

Spec

Tempo

126-129bpm

Swing

50-65%

Sounds

heavily processed electronic hits

Step 1

Start with a basic four-to-the-floor kick pattern. Choose a kick with a solid tone and fair amount of punch. If you’re using a long kick, make sure it’s tuned to the key of your track. If the kick is very short, you may get away without tuning it.


Step 2

Now introduce an open hi-hat so that it doubles the kick drum. This will add more drive/energy to the kick. The sound of the open hi-hat determines how big, wide and spacious your drums are going to be, so it’s crucial to process it correctly. If you’re using reverb, place any compression or limiting after the reverb so that you have full control over the sound of both the hi-hat and the space around it.


Step 3

Now introduce the closed hi-hats. These mainly come on the offbeats, along with some additional hits as well. We’ve split the closed hat onto two channels – one channel is a slightly lower velocity variation of the same sample. Send the hats through a short room reverb to introduce a little more ambience.


Step 4

A third ‘wide’ hi-hat is introduced to the groove. It has an edgier, more characterful sound than the previous hats and it’s mixed slightly louder.


Step 5

More weight is added to the rhythm with the introduction of a percussive tom pattern. To get the right sound, we’ve layered two different samples. The first is a tom sound with a solid low end – preferably tuned to the key of the track (one octave above the kick often works best). The second sample has a more forward midrange and top end. High-passed kicks can work well as an alternative to toms here.


Step 6

Next, we introduce a clap sample. To give more urgency to the groove we’ve shifted the clap so that it’s triggered just before the beat. Weʼve chosen a fairly short clap and processed it to get a larger, wider, more polished sound. It’s worth layering different sounds together to get the best results here.

Different clap patterns can be tried out at this stage. Many current main room house tracks have a clap on every beat to support the kick, while some donʼt use a clap at all.


Step 7

The final step is to add a transition effect at the end of the loop using a reverse clap sample. If you don’t have one to hand, add a medium-size reverb to a clap, bounce it as audio and then reverse it. The reverse clap can be pushed way back in the mix for a more subtle sucking, breathing sound.

 

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

31st October, 2012

Comments

  • This series gets better and better. KEEP EM COMING!

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  • Thanks for this again Attack Mag! I have a request for the next: Uk Garage/2 step patterns. That would be great! 🙂

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  • Thnx Attack Mag!, again for these wonderful tuts. They really helped a lot of the readers in their programming skills. I’ve got a request for the next: UK Garage/2 Step patterns. That would be great.

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  • We’re always open to suggestions. We have a beat coming up soon which should please the 2-step fans…

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  • nice, but where is some techno 😀

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  • Once again, another GREAT tutorial!

    +1 for the 2 step/Garage tut, BUT, just basically keep doing what you are already doing! =)

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  • @lukic – We have a few techno beats coming up very soon. Would you prefer Berlin, Detroit, minimal or dub? 😉

    @pilzy – Thanks!

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  • @Attack hehe awesome…berlin, detroit and dub for me

    cheers

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  • I’m with lukic on that one. In that order too!

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  • Maybe some tINI grooves ??

    or VID grooves

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  • This is great, but a good drum beat is more than the MIDI pattern.

    It would be nice to see the processing on the drum bus, for example.

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  • @ Daniel

    exactly how to use reverb on claps and hihats ! maybe some new idea ?

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  • TNX….Verry Usefull …. Please Make a toturial for Arranging a mainroom house and Making The Melody Progression ..

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  • Now I can make music #YOLO

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  • Thank You. Love The site guys keep it up.

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  • This is great. Keep up the good work.

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  • Thank you for your sharing , always interesting to understand the beats more style .

    best regards

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  • I’ve literally just found this site and learnt so much already within ten mins. Love the style of the articles too. Can’t wait to get producing! Keep up the good work 🙂

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  • Any melody written tutorial?

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  • Is there any swing applied to this loop? It seems straight.

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  • why can’t I download drums anymore? please help!

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