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Adding swing/Bass tips for techno/deep house
Old 26th January 2017
  #1
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Adding swing/Bass tips for techno/deep house

Hey guys and gals

Just some questions about how to have more swing my drums as well as make my bass layers sound more like some deep house artists like sevenn/alok.... Struggling with their arrangement as well as their sound design and adding swing to my compositions deep house compositions. Any tips would be great. I produce in Logicx, ableton 9, and pro tools 12. Mostly Ableton
Old 27th January 2017
  #2
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Jamie munro's Avatar
 

Just simply use the grid in your daw mate

Don't place everything quantised. Goto 1/128 or 1/64 in the editor and spend time nudging hits in a lazy and rushed manner (forward and backward of the mark) and you'll be there in no time
Old 27th January 2017
  #3
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Sebastian N's Avatar
 

Check out the section on attackmagazine.com called beat disected or something similar. Lots of different styles covered with step by step instructions on how to recreate specific grooves for lots of genres
Old 27th January 2017
  #4
Gear Nut
Here is a crazy idea: Play it in using a midi interface.
Old 27th January 2017
  #5
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Don't know the artists you mention but most DAW apps have some sort of groove quantizing these days or simple swing/shuffle. You can even use percentages of tripets for swing, ie: say you have strict to-the-grid 16th, changing the grid resolution to 16t and then quantizing the midi to say 30% of that will nudge the 16ths off the grid and apply shuffle, the higher the percentage, the stronger the shuffle.

It can be down to personal preference a lot of times as to how you use this, you may want a 'locked in groove' where the shuffle is the same across all your parts or you may prefer a looser feel where only certain parts are shuffled or parts are shuffled to different amounts. Or you can create your own grooves by manually nudging midi events as mentioned above. I personally don't like the latter as I can end up forgetting what was shuffled and I get a bit OCD about it all but each to their own on that one.

For what I do and in Ableton Live, I record in so it quantizes to 16ths, then either quantize to a percentage of a groove or quantize to a percentage of 16t. You could obviously try recording with no auto quantizing on and first see how your own timing comes out. It's worth experimenting with all options to see what works best for your needs.

About moving notes around manually: Some sounds/samples do not start on the attack transients, things like shakers, some claps etc etc can sound out of time when grid quantized because of their slowish attack, these sorts of sounds really do benefit from manual placement.
Old 27th January 2017
  #6
Gear Maniac
On logic X you could try mixing apple loops and eq them to fit your programmed stuff to enhance your beats. Also chop them up to create subtle fills and grooves.
Old 28th January 2017
  #7
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getting drumsticks and a practice pad will help you learn how to program drums, getting a drumset is even better
Old 17th May 2018
  #8
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practice practice and yes more practice .
Old 17th May 2018
  #9
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One thing I’ve been doing is quantizing the kick/snare to hard 8ths or 16ths and then tapping in the hats by hand. Best of both worlds.
Old 6th April 2020
  #10
Gear Head
 

Just reading thru this old thread, 90% of the replies do nothing to answer the original poster’s actual question, but seem to digress to why selecting a combo of swing percentages is either lame or un needed. Silly little internet.
Old 8th April 2020
  #11
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NawSon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sammymyman View Post
Just reading thru this old thread, 90% of the replies do nothing to answer the original poster’s actual question, but seem to digress to why selecting a combo of swing percentages is either lame or un needed. Silly little internet.
How do I express myself? Please tell me.
Old 12th April 2020
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildOneTruss1 View Post
getting drumsticks and a practice pad will help you learn how to program drums, getting a drumset is even better
A decent swing dial on a drum machine is much quicker though
Old 13th April 2020
  #13
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Barfunkel's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildOneTruss1 View Post
getting drumsticks and a practice pad will help you learn how to program drums, getting a drumset is even better
A real drum kit has very little to do with how techno drums are programmed though. Spending thousands of hours on learning how to play a kit is a wasted talent, unless you want to play in a museum rock band. Very few top techno producers are trained drummers, it'd be wiser to learn to do what they do, not practice irrelevant skills.
Old 14th April 2020
  #14
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Don't have anything hard quantised, drag notes slghtly off grid to give it a skippy feel, however try not to do this with notes that land on a kick drum as it can make it sound out.
Old 15th April 2020
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barfunkel View Post
A real drum kit has very little to do with how techno drums are programmed though. Spending thousands of hours on learning how to play a kit is a wasted talent, unless you want to play in a museum rock band. Very few top techno producers are trained drummers, it'd be wiser to learn to do what they do, not practice irrelevant skills.
The only reason you think it's irrelevant is because you haven't done it yourself.

If you've gone though the process, you would know that it's literally the single best piece of advice you can give to a n00b dance producer.
Old 15th April 2020
  #16
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Barfunkel's Avatar
 

It most certainly is not standard practice for modern techno and house producers to become accomplished drummers first. Maybe some are, but a very small minority. If you want to learn an instrument to help with house and techno production, keys would be far more useful.

I have some drummer friends actually and we sometimes listen to techno records. They've several times commented that a real drummer would never do many things you hear in techno simply because they're impossible or very difficult to play, or if not that they are just "wrong" in the classic drumming sense. Yet those things work in techno because, well, techno isn't rock'n'roll.
Old 28th April 2020
  #17
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"Deep House"lol those artists aren't Deep House the least bit and you are way overthinking the rhythm as well.it all sounds like groove quantisation templates to me

BTW that remix of The Wall of theirs is easily the worst thing i've heard this year
Old 30th April 2020
  #18
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What are all you ****S not ****ing helping this guy and chatting **** about your own agendas, **** OFF or stick to what the guy wants help for.

Check out 5Pin media who has full drum kits for the styles your talking about, you can then go into the kits and understand what's happening, there is also similar kits on Loopmasters as well. Analogue Drums it's called, there is about 100 programmed patterns and all you do is throw them in to your projects for a drum foundation to work from. You can then go in and change the midi or samples as you wish.

In regards to swing, go onto Samples From Mars and you can buy swing settings from old drum machines. Once you have these you simply throw one of your full drum kits into Ableton and then load up a **** load of grooves in the 'Groove Pool', then simply play your loop over whilst switching the different swing settings with one click from the 'clip settings' at the bottom left of Ableton (when you have selected the drums you want to affect). You can further tweak the % of swing in 'The Groove Pool'.

I usually just get a swing setting I like and the play with the percentage to either increase the intensity or decrease it. Don't overthink all this and just stick with a decent swing setting you like and apply it to most of your programmed parts to keep them in the same ball park. But it is also okay and very nice to throw in some shaker and percussion loops on top of the bedrock of your drums as extra layers, these have there own swing embedded in them and can create an additional layer of groove, especially if you get a sample pack of real instruments being played. Earth Moments are incredible for organic instruments.

Using loops like this and chopping them in arrangement view retains their groove and you can create some very interesting layers that use the natural swing of being played. Having a simple bedrock of drums like Kick, open hats and claps on the grid can anchor your groove and the other parts can dance around them. Claps do go very well with a layered on manually pushed or pulled but the anchor is still there to ground everything.

This very same principle outlined can be used for all parts of your tracks. As for adding leads and other main elements to your groove I like to add the notes in on the grid and shift them with the setting I used on my foundational drums OR 'extract a groove' of an organic loop that is predominantly give the drums it's character swing.
Old 4th May 2020
  #19
WDM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barfunkel View Post
A real drum kit has very little to do with how techno drums are programmed though. Spending thousands of hours on learning how to play a kit is a wasted talent, unless you want to play in a museum rock band. Very few top techno producers are trained drummers, it'd be wiser to learn to do what they do, not practice irrelevant skills.
That is not entirely accurate. Practice never hurt anyone, but anyway if someone don't want to learn to play real drums with real sticks, it's possible to just hit the table with bare hands. I would argue that to program a nice groove, or swing, or shuffle, one needs to understand it first in their head. The real drums exercise with sticks could give you a rocket speed in learning exactly that.

Having said that, some DAW's have tools that will allow you to "steal" the groove from lets say a loop ... but once again, one still needs to understand what to "steal" first and where to look for

Of course it's possible to learn it a "hard way", dragging a mouse around the grid or change the percentage of aligning to the grid, but it's like to send a turtle to the nearest store for tequila, only to realize few hours later, that the turtle just made a first step...
Old 5th May 2020
  #20
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Barfunkel's Avatar
 

The point was, to learn to play the drums really well would take thousands of hours. If you wanna make house music, it's probably wiser to spent those precious hours on house music, no? If something, keyboard lessons would be more useful.

And anyways, if you look at the producers of house music that's popular in 2020, how many of those are trained drummers? Are Sevenn or Alok trained drummers?

I don't hear anything requiring drummer training in these, for example:





That said, I don't hear anything I would call deep house in them, sound more like mainstream EDM. But that's just my opinion, being quite old.
Old 5th May 2020
  #21
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NawSon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barfunkel View Post
The point was, to learn to play the drums really well would take thousands of hours. If you wanna make house music, it's probably wiser to spent those precious hours on house music, no? If something, keyboard lessons would be more useful.
You do not need to be Bernard Purdie to make knowing a little something about drums be a useful thing as a producer of groove based music.

Quote:
And anyways, if you look at the producers of house music that's popular in 2020, how many of those are trained drummers?
Clearly not enough. This is why house music mostly sucks now.

Quote:
Are Sevenn or Alok trained drummers?
I don't hear anything requiring drummer training in these, for example:

That said, I don't hear anything I would call deep house in them, sound more like mainstream EDM. But that's just my opinion, being quite old.
This is not deep house by any definition of the term. So the OP maybe has more pressing issues than whether or not they can play drums.

Like if this is the kind of music you think the world needs more of, you should just give the **** up.

Learn to play rhythms that are interesting, music that is interesting. Maybe be like this instead:



Old 5th May 2020
  #22
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Barfunkel's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NawSon View Post
You do not need to be Bernard Purdie to make knowing a little something about drums be a useful thing as a producer of groove based music.



Clearly not enough. This is why house music mostly sucks now.



This is not deep house by any definition of the term. So the OP maybe has more pressing issues than whether or not they can play drums.

Like if this is the kind of music you think the world needs more of, you should just give the **** up.

Learn to play rhythms that are interesting, music that is interesting. Maybe be like this instead:
Stuff like this makes GS pretty useless. When someone asks "how to make music like X", people often reply "X sucks, you should make something like Y instead ". And often the Y is something decades old or something completely different than what the person who asked the question is into.

Don't get me wrong, I love Theo Parrish but making pastiches of his work is simply not what most young and aspiring producers like to do. Or should do, young people should live their own era, not that of their parents. 90's was a great, or let's say the greatest, period of house music but many of these young cats weren't even born then. It's pretty much the equivalent of someone in the 90's asking how to sound like Theo Parrish and people telling him Theo sucks,you should make stuff like Coltrane instead. Ie. it doesn't answer the original in any meaningful way.
Old 5th May 2020
  #23
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NawSon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barfunkel View Post
Stuff like this makes GS pretty useless. When someone asks "how to make music like X", people often reply "X sucks, you should make something like Y instead ". And often the Y is something decades old or something completely different than what the person who asked the question is into.

Don't get me wrong, I love Theo Parrish but making pastiches of his work is simply not what most young and aspiring producers like to do. Or should do, young people should live their own era, not that of their parents. 90's was a great, or let's say the greatest, period of house music but many of these young cats weren't even born then. It's pretty much the equivalent of someone in the 90's asking how to sound like Theo Parrish and people telling him Theo sucks,you should make stuff like Coltrane instead. Ie. it doesn't answer the original in any meaningful way.
Yes I said make a pastiche of theo parrish. And then also posted a clip from two years ago of something totally different and not at all like the theo parrish.

You just read what you want to read.

When someone says deep house and means something not deep house, I’m here to show them what deep house and interesting rhythm actually looks like.

I’m sorry I live in this objective world where words have meaning and rhythm matters when making dance music.

Maybe others should try this.
Old 5th May 2020
  #24
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NawSon's Avatar
 



Make a pastiche of this.

lol

No trained drummers out here making deep house music.



Let’s be real though this music is decades old and nobody listens to it now. This was made allll the way back in <checks watch> 2016! No live drummers involved now since Tony Allen is dead.



This music would be better if Steve Aoki remixed it. Get that percussionist off the stage he is unnecessary!
Old 5th May 2020
  #25
Gear Addict
 

Guess who was a jazz drummer in high school before they helped invent minimal techno?

Jeff Mills

Guess who was a drummer in all kinds of bands from rnb to progrock before they invented deep house?

Larry Heard

Guess who was a drummer before they literally redefined our sense of time across multiple genres of music?

J Dilla
Old 5th May 2020
  #26
IEC
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guess who wasnt a drummer and made some great house tracks?

probably thousands of people

the odds are not with you
Old 6th May 2020
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IEC View Post
guess who wasnt a drummer and made some great house tracks?

probably thousands of people

the odds are not with you
I know, right? It's so dumb to make the effort to internalize a physical understanding of rhythm when you are trying to make music based on the physical expression of rhythm.

Like why would you even bother to make an effort to persue excellence when you could just make mediocre music?

It's like there is a spice missing in modern house music, but I can't figure out what it is.
Old 6th May 2020
  #28
IEC
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given unlimited time any sort of training could be touted as beneficial. i sure for every person claiming drum lessons as the key to success there are probably 20 lamenting the lack of musicality and melody these days and claiming that piano lessons are the actual key to making modern music that suits their sensibilities. i guess maybe though people arent interesting in making music specifically to satisfy the nostalgic rose tinted memories of random people on the internet. maybe spending 10000 hours mastering the kazoo would make my white noise risers 56% more awesome but it really comes down to opportunity cost when so many people are trying to juggle a full time job, family commitments and other hobbies along with churning out EDM bangers the kids can gurn to.

but hey telling someone learning acoustic drums is the best solution to improving their commercial EDM chops makes about as much sense as telling them they should should be making jazz instead so it seems you are in good company
Old 6th May 2020
  #29
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NawSon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IEC View Post
given unlimited time any sort of training could be touted as beneficial. i sure for every person claiming drum lessons as the key to success there are probably 20 lamenting the lack of musicality and melody these days and claiming that piano lessons are the actual key to making modern music that suits their sensibilities. i guess maybe though people arent interesting in making music specifically to satisfy the nostalgic rose tinted memories of random people on the internet. maybe spending 10000 hours mastering the kazoo would make my white noise risers 56% more awesome but it really comes down to opportunity cost when so many people are trying to juggle a full time job, family commitments and other hobbies along with churning out EDM bangers the kids can gurn to.

but hey telling someone learning acoustic drums is the best solution to improving their commercial EDM chops makes about as much sense as telling them they should should be making jazz instead so it seems you are in good company
If you want to make house, making jazz first is a way way way better path than making EDM.

This is pretty much objective and unarguable.
Old 6th May 2020
  #30
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NawSon's Avatar
 

If you want to make good house music, copying house music that’s already made is a gateway to making derivative bull****.

For an example go to any download site or record store, close your eyes and pick a random track or record. There are literally countless examples of this released daily.

If you want your **** to be good, study any other funk or jazz based music. Boogie, soul, disco, free jazz, fusion, Hiphop, etc are all great places to look for inspiration.

****, even industrial, new wave, no wave, and ambient are better places to look than copying generic bull**** house tracks.
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