This classic rolling deep house beat uses a shaker, 909 tom and an afro percussion hit to create a driving 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.

Spec

Tempo

125 bpm

Swing

60-70

Sounds

TR-909 samples

Step 1

Open with a standard four-to-the-floor kick pattern. Start with a kick sound with good mid-range definition and a bit of low-end bulk; in this example we’ve picked a 909-style kick run through some gentle tape saturation.

Drum and beat programming in Ableton


Step 2

Enter the hi-hat and shaker. The choice of sounds here is paramount: both must work sympathetically together, the shaker taking the traditional role of the closed hat (you may even want to send them to the same mute groups). Choose sounds that contain similar frequency content. In this example we’ve gone for a smoother feel to both – but a raspier choice might also work well. Note the lower velocity of hi-hat hit on the 10th division of the bar that introduces a subtle shuffle.

Drum and beat programming in Ableton


Step 3

A 909-style tom on the 3rd, 9th and 11th reinforces that shuffle and gives the groove a jacking feel. Take special care with the velocity envelopes: to keep this groove clean and defined the sounds have keen kept deliberately short, with no messy overlaps.

Drum and beat programming in Ableton


Step 4

Finally – if you want it – you can introduce an additional percussive element on the 2nd and 10th divisions. Tuning is important here: remember to tune it relatively against the 909 tom hit so that the two work in tandem, and alongside other track elements. And there it is: a rolling percussive pattern, in a rolling deep house style, in which analogue and natural percussion hits are combined.

Drum and beat programming in Ableton

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

28th June, 2012

Comments

  • Wow! Been looking for stuff like this for years. Would love to see something a bit more tribal?

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  • I agree with Ross!! Can’t wait for further releases of beats dissected ….

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  • Seems the general consensus is that these here tuts fookin ROCK!
    I have learned more about beat and groove creation in 20 mins of being on this site than 3 years of reading magazines and watching video tuts.
    Love what Ya doing here. Keep em coming……. PLEASE! =)

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  • Same as above! Just discovered the site and loving it! Really useful info!

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  • what bpm ?

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  • Hey meroslav; it’s in the spec box… 125bpm is a good start, but experiment a little until you find the tempo that works best.

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  • Great stuff guys!! Really enjoying these;-)

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  • Hey guys….love this tuts….will you make a tutorial on how to re-create an MPC swing style drums programmin’?

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  • Holy Crap this is great thanks folks!

    Only question is; why does the tutorial refer to the 10th box as “measure 10”?

    Whichever, I know what you mean. Thanks!

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  • Hi Bill. We think our writer meant the 10th division of the bar. We’ve amended it now. Thanks for pointing this out.

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  • Great tut.

    Did you use 909 samples throughout or mix in some other sources?

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  • @Stephen – yes, there’s a mixture of sounds in there. 909 samples are a great starting point but experiment with different percussion sounds, toms, etc until you find the perfect collection of sounds for your own version.

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  • Just randomly found this site through one of my forums, and holy s**t these tuts are the bomb. Clear, concise info delivered in simple language with helpful audio and visual aids? Where have you guys been these past 4 years!?

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  • Great way to learn about the different styles of House out there.

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  • I think the consensus from all who have seen this is that this section and this article in particular rocks! Can you do some simpler patterns with more layers for those working with apps like TNR-I for the Iphone which only use a 16 bar measure? The 32 bar examples are a little trickier for me to program but the 16’s are just right. And thank you.

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  • Mark, most of our beats use 16 steps per bar so they should still work OK on TNR-i. You could use the two separate bars as an A and B variation.

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  • I can’t switch to an A/B variation on my current version of TRN-I but what I CAN do on the 32 bar examples is shrink the size of the placement points down to each one being placed every 2 instead of every 4 places but also turn the loop speed down to 2 instead of 4. It’s strange but it works and it allows me to put all 16 points on my grid in whatever place they fit. The processing of sound is a bit trickier as we’ve only 48 total slots for samples but that’s what external apps are for, I guess. 😀 Hopefully this will help for TRN-I users and others (Beatwave, etc.) And again, thanks!

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  • Please continue these beats dissected, all different genres, and maybe put the samples up for free download as well? 😀
    Well done Attack mag, brilliant stuff.

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  • Amazing …this is by far my favorite web site .been making music for years and always struggled with beat patterns .thanks so much ..

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  • Thank you so much! These tuts are exactly what I was looking for. I just bought a drum machine and you are helping me a lot with my first steps

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  • Thank you! I’m trying to try everything that you guys uploaded, thanks for sharing this lessons :p

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  • pretty cool beats. let’s try!

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  • I have just found your website, and this series is the shit, OHMYWOW!!! You don’t know how much I have been looking for somenthing like this, please NEVER EVER STOP THIS SERIES.

    I LOVE YOU 4 LIFE <3

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  • grEAT!!

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  • What kind of percussive instrument did you add in step 4? Usually these articles are great at explaining how to recreate or find a similar sound, but this one didn’t say anything about the percussive element. Is it some type of tom?

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