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Help with high hats / drum programming
Old 18th July 2019
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Help with high hats / drum programming

So I have been working on this lo-fi psychedelic retro'ish beat and have ran out of talent. I can tell the high hats and percussion isnt quite right but dont know if its something else. I was hoping some one with more experience could chime in and give some suggestions on making drum patterns/song flow better.

Please let me know what you would fix or improve.


Last edited by djkidmt; 3 weeks ago at 07:13 PM..
Old 18th July 2019
  #2
Gear Addict
 
skoolafish's Avatar
I would personally just high pass them a little more but it sounds fine like it is for psychedelic fr
Old 18th July 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
It doesn't sound that bad IMO but there are 2 things I would try out to check if it sound better:

1. the hihat that comes in first sound a bit too dull to my ears so I would increase the cutoff of the lopass filter on them (It sound like there is a lopass filter on them) or raise the resonance.

2. The other hihat sounds a bit dry so I would try a reverb on them or a delay/echo (delay/echo at very low level so you can barly hear it)

peace
Old 19th July 2019
  #4
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atma's Avatar
I don't find anything "musical" about the track, which is my main issue. It's more along the lines of super highly abstract IDM, minus the complex beats/programming (think Aphex Twin, etc.). There's nothing coherent there that's remotely catchy; it's just kind of a highly sparse, non-musical "noodling" that never goes anywhere. "psychedelic" refers to a somewhat specific methodology/ideology that entails the recreation of specific "effects" and more specifically, modulations related to the way psychedelic drugs alter human perception of audio. I don't find any of that in this specific piece, either. It's simply more random than anything else.

I'm honestly not trying to be in any way personally critical about your work; I'm in no way saying that you don't have skills, nor potential. However, it's obvious you have very little experience and are just beginning to find your own way, and believe me, I respect that more than anything. My best guess is that it's simply going to take you a little more time to refine your craft. We all started somewhere really basic, and some of us (over decades) have found our footing—it's going to take a long journey for you (and anyone else in your position) to genuinely figure out how to do what you'd really like to do. So, my best advice is to just keep pushing on, no matter what. Glean as much information as you possibly can from those that have come before you, and hold yourself to the highest standards. With time and experience, you'll eventually realize that you're approaching the artistic level that you've been striving for.

Peace, and good luck!

Last edited by atma; 19th July 2019 at 09:07 AM..
Old 19th July 2019
  #5
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atma's Avatar
I'd also say that one of the absolute most beneficial things in terms of learning the craft, is the utilization of "reference" tracks. This means that you throw into your DAW whatever highest level artist's tracks that are similar to whatever you're trying to achieve. When you can objectively compare whatever you're doing to such "reference" tracks, and feel as though your own work is entirely comparable, you're certainly at least on the right track. There's an immense amount that you can learn and glean from such a practice; don't overlook it.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by atma View Post
I don't find anything "musical" about the track, which is my main issue. It's more along the lines of super highly abstract IDM, minus the complex beats/programming (think Aphex Twin, etc.). There's nothing coherent there that's remotely catchy; it's just kind of a highly sparse, non-musical "noodling" that never goes anywhere. "psychedelic" refers to a somewhat specific methodology/ideology that entails the recreation of specific "effects" and more specifically, modulations related to the way psychedelic drugs alter human perception of audio. I don't find any of that in this specific piece, either. It's simply more random than anything else.

I'm honestly not trying to be in any way personally critical about your work; I'm in no way saying that you don't have skills, nor potential. However, it's obvious you have very little experience and are just beginning to find your own way, and believe me, I respect that more than anything. My best guess is that it's simply going to take you a little more time to refine your craft. We all started somewhere really basic, and some of us (over decades) have found our footing—it's going to take a long journey for you (and anyone else in your position) to genuinely figure out how to do what you'd really like to do. So, my best advice is to just keep pushing on, no matter what. Glean as much information as you possibly can from those that have come before you, and hold yourself to the highest standards. With time and experience, you'll eventually realize that you're approaching the artistic level that you've been striving for.

Peace, and good luck!
Hey great comments and I think youre totally correct. Its absolutely lacking a coherent musical idea, its not just the drums. This isnt what I normally make but I should have realized a bunch of the ideas that you pointed out. Thanks for the honest feedback, gearslutz needs way more of this!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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atma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by djkidmt View Post
Hey great comments and I think youre totally correct. Its absolutely lacking a coherent musical idea, its not just the drums. This isnt what I normally make but I should have realized a bunch of the ideas that you pointed out. Thanks for the honest feedback, gearslutz needs way more of this!
The fact that you can digest those comments without being entirely offended is an amazing attribute. It shows that your ego isn't at the forefront, and you're genuinely interested in learning and progressing. I really think that kind of attitude is integral to what it takes to seriously progress in your art. Best wishes!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Nut
 

no **** this is one of the best tunes ive ever heard from checking a link on any audio forum and ive been on nerd forums for over a decade.

im really into stuff like lowec, kassem mosse, some mix mup. trilogy tapes etc... i reckon ur vibe is a little similar.

this doesnt sound like hip hop tho. it sounds like the abstract techno guys i listed. dope!

make more tunes theyre great!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
Here for the gear
 

I don't hear any issues with the creativity of the track... nor do I have a problem with the drums. As mentioned, it is a bit off from what is generally considered hip hop. What I personally would do to spice it up would be adding a live trumpet, in a jazzy way.... Perhaps a Miles Davis sample here and there. If it is to rap over, adding just a touch of trap hats would help the song follow more of a pattern to lay a voice over. I wouldn't say that it isn't musical, but more of a melody layered over this would help to tell a story.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
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I like the sense of depth and space here. How did you treat the main elements in the track?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffy View Post
no **** this is one of the best tunes ive ever heard from checking a link on any audio forum and ive been on nerd forums for over a decade.

im really into stuff like lowec, kassem mosse, some mix mup. trilogy tapes etc... i reckon ur vibe is a little similar.

this doesnt sound like hip hop tho. it sounds like the abstract techno guys i listed. dope!

make more tunes theyre great!
Thanks for appreciating the weirder techno flare, thats my heaviest musical influence and what my local scene is built around.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by K. Avaztar View Post
I don't hear any issues with the creativity of the track... nor do I have a problem with the drums. As mentioned, it is a bit off from what is generally considered hip hop. What I personally would do to spice it up would be adding a live trumpet, in a jazzy way.... Perhaps a Miles Davis sample here and there. If it is to rap over, adding just a touch of trap hats would help the song follow more of a pattern to lay a voice over. I wouldn't say that it isn't musical, but more of a melody layered over this would help to tell a story.
Adding some trap hat fills could be the ticket to make the drums/groove sounds more alive.

As you and a few others have mentioned, adding a more consistent melodic idea like trumpet samples or synth line, would really help change it from a beat into a song.

Dissecting an unrefined track like this with you all has given me a much better perspective on what to do next. Im happy with most of the sound design and want to refine this idea more.

Im definitely feeling inspired by all the insight in the all the comments you guys have left!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by creegstor View Post
I like the sense of depth and space here. How did you treat the main elements in the track?
The sound design was the classic 90's hip hop process of re-sampling audio through various hardware effects and feedback combinations on a small analog mixer.

The main method in more detail - sampled about twenty minutes of youtube videos for vocals, vinyl recordings of strange sounds, various drum hits from some sample packs, next I pitched all those recordings up an octave without time stretch and ran them through a really **** guitar amp distortion effect on a DP/4 (couple other effects too) and recorded that back into Live. When you pitch everything back down the distortion added a ton of cool artifacts and texture. The distorted re-sampled audio can be pitch shifted back down several octaves revealing even more interesting sounds and textures

I also turned the digital wave form up as loud as possible which exposes these tiny little sound tails and pops which I freeze and collect to use as percussion and effects.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djkidmt View Post
next I pitched all those recordings up an octave without time stretch
Can you explain how you went about this and what do you mean by "without time stretch"?!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
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BezowinZ's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by djkidmt View Post
So I have been working on this lo-fi psychedelic retro'ish beat and have ran out of talent. I can tell the high hats and percussion isnt quite right but dont know if its something else. I was hoping some one with more experience could chime in and give some suggestions on making drum patterns/song flow better.

Please let me know what you would fix or improve.

Percussion wise, maybe some fills here & there. I dig the groove & sound as is.

And I agree with KA. An occasional riff answering that synth maybe, but I personally wouldn't overdo it. I like the sparseness of this.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by creegstor View Post
Can you explain how you went about this and what do you mean by "without time stretch"?!
No problem. I recorded all the sample ideas into ableton and then raised the pitch knob of each sample up one octave (12 steps). This simulates a vinyl turntable being sped up to increase sample time of older samplers with limited memory, after recording you can pitch the samples back down to normal and basically double the memory of the old sampler. This process adds digital artifacts because information is lost as the sample rates of the computer are constant no matter what pitch you record at. Adding a distortion effect to the pitched up samples before they are re-sampled adds even more texture.

If you pitched the sample up without time stretching the playback time of the sample decreases. for example a 1 second sample pitched up one octave would playback at .5 seconds, where as a time stretched sample pitched up one octave would still play back at 1 second.

In ableton the timestretch option is called "Warp" and its a yello button that can be toggled off, its usually on by default.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #17
Here for the gear
if you haven't already done something new with the hi hats, I would suggest adding a parallel sample, one with the same rhythm and velocity etc, underneath (or on top of) the other hi hat that IS another hi hat with more high end. I saw a lot of replies suggesting you turn up a hi pass, but all that will do is cut out more of whats there, not increase anything. Instead of trying to bring out what isn't there in the other hi hat, I suggest adding another tight, realistic hi hat with crispy hi end on top of the other one and then blend the two to make it sound like its one sample.
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