Rhythm Creation - Music Production and Sound Reocording

Looking back on the music that I've made in the past and there is one thing that annoys me which is that the drum beats sounded a little weak. You can hear my previous tracks on my website. So before I get really down to work with this album I wanted to improve the sound of my beats as well as give them a certain style of my own and then also fit it into the niche I've chosen which is to make a modernized version of 1990 - 1992 Old Skool/Rave as I described in the post entitledFinding a Niche for the Album Project.

I'm pleased to say that I have come up with a style of beat that I am pretty happy with, I feel it is an improvement on my previous attempts, it has a nice feel to it and is also a dancey feel to fit into my chosen niche. But it also sounds quite modernized.

One thing I have wanted to do with this album is to make sure that I am not breaking any copyrights and this could be tricky as the Old Skool style of music was basically made up of samples from various places. Many of the drum beats are sampled breaks from classic records where the drummer would do a solo, such as the popular Amen Break. Because I prefer to make everything myself and also to stay fully within copyright law, I decided that I would basically make my own breaks by using a single shot sampled drum kit and also some of the techniques to make the drums more human like. Here is my own made drum break made using one shot samples...

It's just a basic sampled kit from some royalty free samples I've found, kick drum, snare and ride cymbal complete with some parallel compression (which I will explain in a separate post) and some room styled reverb on to make it sound more of a live drum sound. Different intensities of the drum hits were used to make it sound more human like.

Secondly I created a similar beat pattern to this break but this time I made it in a similar way to the beats that I have made for my other tracks by using various samples of different drum hits and a bit of drum layering. This came out sounding like so and is quite a simple drum pattern to make.

The only thing I did with this which may not be obvious is that I layered up quite a few different hi hat patterns and then made them just audible with a bit of distortion on. This fills the higher frequency range with an almost white noise sound. Also notice that I didn't add any hi hats to the previous fake break I created.

Next came the interesting part as I am now going to add both these drum parts together to make one beat.

They fit well because they are basically the same drum beat pattern and I have to say that I a pretty pleased with the results. The drums sound full and contain elements of both real sounding and processed drums. I felt I wanted to write this post as this is the way of making drums that I have decided to use throughout the album project. The final drums will have a lots and lots of variations in drum patterns and due to the style the drum beats are going to be a very big part. I feel that after the experimenting I have been doing am now a little further to starting my first track. I might even use this beat for the first track.

This layering technique should work extremely well in other genres such as Hip Hop and should go some way to helping some people out who are looking for fuller and tougher sounding drums.

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