How to Use Breaks to Create Chill-Hop Percussion with Native Instruments Battery
I’m an old school hip hop, born in the 80s and raised in the 90s. The way my golden beat era producer heroes created their beats is very different from what I did for over a decade. But we share a common bond – drum sampling.
For a long time, using drum breaks has been a staple of hip-hop. In the 90s, he began to permeate many other genres, from R&B to reggae to pop. One of the most famous drum breaks of all time, starting at 01:26 from The Winston’s Amen Brother, even spawned its own subgenres: drum & bass and jungle respectively. That’s the power of sampling in a nutshell.
The most famous drum loops have been reinvented into tracks many times. But rather than getting bored listening to them, I always find it interesting to hear how other producers have interpreted them. Part of the reason these drum sounds have endured is that they just sound great! Find the right drum sound and it can greatly improve your track.
Heaven by Emeli Sandé, produced by Naughty Boy, used the break from Funky Drummer by James Brown. With her soaring vocals and the synth strings, it made the song epic. The same drums were cut in Public Enemy’s seminal Fight The Power and even featured in the Powerpuff Girls theme song.
I’ll show in this tutorial how you can use and develop drum samples to elevate your own tracks.
Step 1: The starting point could be very different for you. You might just want to use a drum sound that you think sounds good. Maybe you’ve already composed a song, but you can’t get the drum sound right. I recommend finding collections of famous drum breaks and uploading them to your sample library.
2nd step: My method usually involves finding the right drum sound to go along with my existing track being developed. I will be patient and go through hundreds of drum breaks to find something that appeals to me or suits my job. Hip-hop generally uses old funk, R&B and rock drums.
Step 3: Once you have a drum break you like, bring it into your DAW to slice it up. You can use a sampler to do this so that you can break drum parts down to their transients. Personally, I like to manually clip the sample to the transients on
Step 4: I use the slice tool to cut out the basic drum components: kick drum, snare drum, hat
and anything else in particular sound. I find that by manually trimming I have a lot more control over when transients start and end, and I’m also able to fade in and out slightly so there aren’t any clicks in the sound. audio.
Step 5: Once the drum loop is cut into separate components, I save each one to my folder as a new audio file. I use the Native Instruments Battery 4-cell grid. So I load each drum part into Battery and assign it to a key on my MIDI or APC keyboard.
Step 6: Next, I’ll consider various track-specific functions. The drums may need to be tuned to the track so I can move the cells up or down to match. Transients can be too long or too short, so I can adjust the length.
Step 7: Because the drum parts are cut, not just in the standard loop of their original recording, I can now play my MIDI keyboard performance to create whatever drum patterns I desire. It gives some variety in my interpretation of the source material.
Step 8: Your drums may look fine as they are, but chances are you can improve them further. Think about your different components – especially the kick drum and snare drum. Does it look complete? Is the kick too serious and needs a bit more weight at the top? Could the snare drum sound fatter/fuller?
Step 9: I search Battery 4’s own drum sample library to find items that can accompany or enhance my drum sound samples. You can have your own drum libraries or recorded sounds for it.
Step 10: When I’m happy with the components, I can create a drum bus to help bring the sounds together in the mix. One of my little secrets sometimes is adding a guitar amp effects rig to the chain in the bus. You can achieve truly unique lo-fi/organic sounds by trying different guitar amps to cycle through them.
Step 11: I’ll put in as many guitar amp effects as I want to give the drums an edge, then add a compressor to the chain to glue it all together and make it bounce.
Step 12: Another thing to think about is the relationship between your drums and your bass. We have published previous sidechain compression tutorials for bass. Definitely review these to make sure your drums sound great and aren’t fighting for the same space as your bass.