In the latest Beat Dissected, we create an 80s-inspired new wave beat.

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:

Spec

Tempo

110-125 bpm

Swing

50%

Sounds

Various Drum Machines

Step 1

The kick, sourced from a Boss DR-550 MkII drum machine, plays a familiar 80s pattern.

new wave 1

To shape the sound, we’ve rolled away a good portion of low end so that it isn’t too heavy. We’ve also made two precision cuts at 3 and 6 kHz to notch out unpleasant spikes while retaining the kick’s snap.

Finally, we’ve introduced a touch of lo-fi shaping using Voxengo’s Crunchessor compressor. Note the use of the Drive setting (19.1), the fairly speedy attack and release settings (31.7 and 125) and the use of the Clear style for a punchy but transparent sound – perfect for 80s recreations. The Crunchessor signal is mixed 50/50 with the dry signal.

bd_new wave drums_step 1_crunchessor

Step 2

The snare is a layered combo featuring a Linn LM-1 snare (for body and weight) overlaid with an DR-550 snare (for era-appropriate character and a big reverb tail).

new wave 2

A high-pass filter at around 100 Hz controls low-end overlap with the kick. A few tight cuts between 3 and 5 kHz reduce the snap that’s already supplied by the kick. A Pultec emulation cuts highs at 12 kHz for a more authentically vintage feel.

bd_new wave drums_step 2_EQ

bd_new wave drums_step 2_Pultec

A second instance of Crunchessor roughens things up with a touch of Drive (16) on its more characterful Punch setting.

bd_new wave drums_step 2_crunchessor

Step 3

For the hi-hats we’ve selected an open and closed hat from the Boss DR-660, programmed to play 16ths. Note the different velocities, which help maintain a live feel. Note that the closed and open hats occasionally play on the same hit. This is unnatural (a real hi-hat can’t play a closed and open hit at the same time) but works for this beat.

new wave 3

The Fabfilter Pro-Q2 EQ plugin makes a dramatic low-end shelving cull of unnecessary signal below 1.6 kHz. This is twinned with a wide cut at around 4.6 kHz to pull back on harsh overtones. Finally, a phaser (set at 35% wet) helps give the hats a more fluid sound.

bd_new wave drums_step 3_EQ

bd_new wave drums_step 4_phaser

Step 4

A tambourine sample reinforces the snare drum, adding both high-end definition and a lively feel. It hits a few milliseconds ahead of the snare.

new wave 4

A low-cut filter at around 3 kHz keeps the bottom of the mix clean while a 2 dB dip at 7 kHz helps tuck the tambourine in with the rest of the drums

bd_new wave drums_step 4_EQ

Step 5 – Master channel

On the drum bus the Pro-Q is used to sculpt away 3.5 dB of build at 950 Hz while the Pultec MEQ 5 cuts 3 dB around 700 Hz for a classic ‘hi-fi’ feel.

bd_new wave drums_step 5_master_EQ bd_new wave drums_step 5_master_Pultec

9th July, 2015

Comments

  • like, are the audio clips broken for anyone else?

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  • tked – apologies, there was a glitch that appears to have affected the audio players for some users. We’ve fixed the problem now and the players should be working correctly across all browsers

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  • gracias! cheers from chromium

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  • Audio players are not working (firefox) 🙁

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  • That’s a great sounding pattern keep them coming.

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  • Thanks a lot for the template! Which drum machine or sample kit did you use for this project?

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  • The matter has resolved itself 🙂

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