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programming dance beats that push?
Old 13th November 2009
  #1
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programming dance beats that push?

.........Maybe an odd question, however I'm going nuts here trying to sequence a beat for a song.....and can't seem to get the feel I'm looking for with things gridded. It's basically four on the floor but I'm finding with the kicks at 0 on the grid it doesn't push enough....is it common to make kicks push ahead of the beat ie. have them a few ticks before the downbeat. or should I be trying to achieve this by other means. ie early snares, percussion, open hats. Or indeed with processing them to make them appear early... transient design. I am mindful of the click and staying true to the sequencer. Have been attempting to get the feel I am looking for with the addition of loops to the kick, hat and snare and at the moment the moment I am mainly using Vengeance samples but the loops are all fairly laid back and seem designed mainly for that kick on the downbeat and snares a few ticks late. Anyway any advice would be much appreciated. Cheers!
Old 13th November 2009
  #2
impossible to answer.
depends on the track
moving some stuff "forward" means the rest is "laid back"
trail and error heh
Old 13th November 2009
  #3
Gear Head
 

swing & paralel compression
Old 13th November 2009
  #4
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there arent any rules brother... the general feeling with snares before kicks will be speedy. snares after will make it more laid back. if the track sounds better with the kick a couple of clicks back, move all the other elements a couple of clicks forward. if you move your kick instead, keep it firmly quantized for dj'ing. wacky hihats can cause mayhem when beatmatching as well, even though they sound much better unquantized - just not too much movement from the grid and it should all be fine...
Old 13th November 2009
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
trail and error heh
Old 13th November 2009
  #6
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XAXAU's Avatar
Take one beat, which has four 16th´s. Have the second one early and the fourth late. This makes some sort of gravity field around the kicks and it feels like shit is getting sucked into it
Old 13th November 2009
  #7
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Entrainer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by butterfly View Post
......... I am mainly using Vengeance samples but the loops are all fairly laid back and seem designed mainly for that kick on the downbeat and snares a few ticks late. Anyway any advice would be much appreciated. Cheers!
Good advice from everyone. Going to have to try the 2nd and 4th beat trick that's been suggested.

My other thoughts, without having the samples you are working with, is to nudge the loop up a few clicks, 1 at a time.

A lot of loops I've tried in the past aren't cut exactly to a bpm, or have been cut a little to early or late and require nudging.

If you have Ableton, you can try using the warp markers on a percussion loop to line the downbeats up to the grid. The "beat" algorithm works well when only percussion is being warped.

Then bounce w/out effects, or record out in realtime via rewire into your main DAW.

So, I guess determine if it's a slightly off edit, or designed to be "laid-back".

You can do a similar "warping" of your kick in ableton to match the loop. Warping dead air is pretty transparent.
Old 13th November 2009
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by XAXAU View Post
...This makes some sort of gravity field around the kicks and it feels like shit is getting sucked into it




.
Old 13th November 2009
  #9
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
Nobody mentioned sidechaining yet, so I will.
Old 13th November 2009
  #10
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

To get the type of hang/push for a beat exactly how you want it one of the biggest things to me is the shape of the drum sound's envelopes.......no one ever says that for some reason. Kind of so the sound itself has a very definite 'direction' to the way it drops. Always loved Kurzweil samplers for this, as they have plenty-stage envelopes to shape the right suck into a sound while it runs in the groove........obviously all samples tightly trimmed on the starts.....and then track delay.......lol....depending on sequencer, this is where it gets hairy. With Atari/C-lab this was cool, whereas it seems to me with Macs I can never stay with track delays....keep moving them around.........all about feel, do what you have to do
Old 13th November 2009
  #11
Gear Nut
 

keeping the kick a few ticks late off the grid is one of the most classic techniques in dance music. that what gives the forward drive

gridded drums have never worked for me, it looses all the groove. its weird cause i dont find that to be true when using hardware drum machines with their own sequencers
Old 13th November 2009
  #12
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timbreman's Avatar
 

I guess I dont get what you mean by "push" but for me alot of what helps get my beats swingin is actually what happens on the upbeat.

Just one example would be the old reverse snare leading up to every other snare hit. Seems to me that what happens on the upbeat can help lead to a more driving downbeat.
Old 13th November 2009
  #13
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patrickg's Avatar
 

lets hear a sample of a beat you're working on, then we can have more focused and opinionated converstaion, imo
Old 13th November 2009
  #14
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mullet's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by XAXAU View Post
Take one beat, which has four 16th´s. Have the second one early and the fourth late. This makes some sort of gravity field around the kicks and it feels like shit is getting sucked into it
coming from the guy who suggest side chaining a fx with an fx lol
Old 13th November 2009
  #15
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mullet's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by timbreman View Post
Just one example would be the old reverse snare leading up to every other snare hit. Seems to me that what happens on the upbeat can help lead to a more driving downbeat.
I thought that was a reverse hi hat or an open hi hat with medium attack.?
Old 13th November 2009
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickg View Post
lets hear a sample of a beat you're working on, then we can have more focused and opinionated converstaion, imo
yeah, example would be nice - one music loop speaks a 1000 words
Old 14th November 2009
  #17
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Cheers everyone, good advice, will post something in next day or so for some opinions.
Old 14th November 2009
  #18
Here for the gear
 

Timing

Use extremely subtle, beat-timed reverbs and delays. Make them so quiet that they're almost inaudible, but put them on a lot of your instruments. At first, you'll think it hasn't made a difference, but collectively, it works wonders.

Also, don't move your kick forward. Since it's the root of your track, moving the kick forward is essentially the same thing as moving EVERYTHING ELSE back, and that'll make your track lag rather than lead. In my experience, the best track to move forward is the shakers, and sometimes the hats.
Old 14th November 2009
  #19
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Entrainer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by corwinstephen View Post
moving the kick forward is essentially the same thing as moving EVERYTHING ELSE back, and that'll make your track lag rather than lead.
UNLESS, unless....

you move the kick SO much forward that it's actually behind the loop.

There is the Theory of the Möbius...
Old 15th November 2009
  #20
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aof21's Avatar
 

of course you have to use your ears and it all depends and blah blah blah, but here's a couple of good tips that I've learned over the years (some from fellow GS members) that might be helpful.

1. Shaker or tambourine loops! Sometimes mixed very low. These can do wonders.
2. Any perc loops. You can often keep the kicks and snares 100% on the grid, but having hi-end perc that was programmed in a way so it has more "groove" and is not all exactly on the grid. Of course, you can program it "off the grid" yourself, but I've always liked using loops. Also, taking loops, but then chopping them up. Sometimes if the loops already have reverb / ambiance in them, the chopping creates weird effects that actually work in your favor. Similiar to what another poster mentioned about using strategically timed reverbs and delays to make things move and / or sound bigger.
3. sure you can put the kicks late, or just put whatever shakers / hh / snares / claps that hit on the same beats as the kicks a touch early. That will give this effect of things closing down onto the kick.
4. consider very carefully the relationship between your kick and the main bassline or strong rhythmic synth parts. solo just your kick and the bass and make sure the groove is there. if not, play around with those elements and make them work. if your bassline has really long decay / release on the notes, your kick might need to be snappier. otherwise, maybe you can get away with a boomier (bigger) kick.
Old 16th November 2009
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

Low volume swung shaker loops are a sure bet, as is moving the snares a bit off the grid. I usually keep my kicks locked and move things around it.

Also, I could recommend an inexpensive video series I did on making house grooves, which you can find here -> Producing House with Ableton Live : Drums - by Timothy Allan

It's in Live, but the techniques are applicable to any DAW really.
Old 16th November 2009
  #22
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shaft9000's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
To get the type of hang/push for a beat exactly how you want it one of the biggest things to me is the shape of the drum sound's envelopes.....
+1

Time is only one element of the groove, and should remain flexible...pre-fab loops are made independent of your composition and may cause smearing or cloud your arrangement unnecessarily; especially if it's "pre-swung"

PROGRAM those drums! then loop the whole groove if it's right, but not before everything agrees.
Old 16th November 2009
  #23
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NewSc2's Avatar
 

Use dotted 8th rhythms (3/16th intervals).
Old 16th November 2009
  #24
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Beermaster's Avatar
 

Most of the the 'drive' or 'Push' in a beat is down what the other elements of the track do around a fixed four on the floor. ( or quantaized strong beats that you have )

As has been said, Keep the kick solid on each beat if need be ( and certainly never mess with beat 1 ! ) if you play in a 16th note tambourine line with light acents on the very first 16th of the first beat and 3rd beat and heavy accents on the first 16th of the 2nd + 4th beat ( so basically a a rhtyhmic riff with a heavier off beat) - quantize it to Swing 16B - so a very light swing and delay the whole track by 5 cents then you should noow have a grooving slightly loose tambourine over a rigid four on the floor - if you now put open 909 hats on the off beats and throw in your snares where you want them and maybe some other loose perc then it should all happen.

It's also down to your bass playing chops to make more or less of this depending on how funky you want the bass part to be - this can add or detract to the push depending on whether you syncopate the bass lines with some off beat pushes or play vanilla. Most essential is how the end of each note is played ( whether you call this gate time or articulation doesn't matter much ) but a sloppily played bass part that holds notes on a fraction too long ( and we are often talking milli secs here ) can kill an otherwise great rhtythm

Drive and push happen because of the loose groove of other elements in the track. ( I think)

Beer
Old 16th November 2009
  #25
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Very good point! No one has mentioned note lenghts yet! Crucial part of how a groove feels......
Old 16th November 2009
  #26
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Entrainer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewSc2 View Post
Use dotted 8th rhythms (3/16th intervals).
XTREME swing!
Old 16th November 2009
  #27
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mullet's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beermaster View Post

if you play in a 16th note tambourine line with light acents on the very first 16th of the first beat and 3rd beat and heavy accents on the first 16th of the 2nd + 4th beat ( so basically a a rhtyhmic riff with a heavier off beat) - quantize it to Swing 16B -
Should this be done to hi hats as well?
Old 16th November 2009
  #28
Gear Maniac
 

No-one mentioned the use of Velocity changes. I feel it can really help make things more natural and dynamic.
Old 16th November 2009
  #29
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mullet View Post
Should this be done to hi hats as well?
Definitely! I'd go as far as saying not making the hihat note lenghts sit to angle the groove where you want to lean is newb territory. Especially open hihat lenght, whether you make it cut off with polyphony or just make the played note lenghts specific, but also the closed, as between envelope and length lies the 'twitch' or your groove and you'll have no control over it otherwise. All percussive elements and in house and such especially chords as well need specific lengths as this length is the amount of time they hold their position in the tension of the music, and there is always an optimum letting go point for the desired groove.
Old 16th November 2009
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Definitely! I'd go as far as saying not making the hihat note lenghts sit to angle the groove where you want to lean is newb territory. Especially open hihat lenght, whether you make it cut off with polyphony or just make the played note lenghts specific, but also the closed, as between envelope and length lies the 'twitch' or your groove and you'll have no control over it otherwise. All percussive elements and in house and such especially chords as well need specific lengths as this length is the amount of time they hold their position in the tension of the music, and there is always an optimum letting go point for the desired groove.
this is what I do with my hats for each bar - the 1st hit has the greatest velocity, then the 3rd hit, then 4th, then 2nd. Also, the attack is greater on the 1st and 3rd hit. Therefore, I slow the attack on the 2nd and 4th hit.. This seems to give me the most natural sounding hi hat pattern..
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