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Neptunes Drum Timing
Old 13th August 2005
  #1
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Neptunes Drum Timing

The first thing I remember about the Nept sound was how hard their **** was. NO ONE had kicks like theirs. It was lunacy. But another thing that worked well was the timing. It has an MPC quality to it, but even more fragmented.
Old 13th August 2005
  #2
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Pharrell plays drums about as well as he sings, but it really does work for their style. It's the first time I've heard sloppy grooves and liked it. "Like I Love You" by Justin Timberlake is the main song that comes to mind.
Old 13th August 2005
  #3
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when i hear a lot of the neptunes drum programming it makes me think that they listen to quite a lot of jazz in that it has an almost polyrhythmic feel. i'm not saying its like full on buddy rich or anything but you get that feeling of two rhythms kind of fighting it out and they do it in a real nice minimalist style as well - you know like a kick thats just a little late that gives the loop a whole different flavour. i think frontin's a good example
Old 13th August 2005
  #4
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Listen to the break from the James Brown song "Funky Drummer".
Old 14th August 2005
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Umlaaat
It has an MPC quality to it, but even more fragmented.


he sequences on a Korg O1W, and a lot of it isn't looped but played through.


and yes, they listen to a lot of different musical styles and are pretty well versed in them.
Old 14th August 2005
  #6
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I dont think its a live playing thing... It sounds like the snares and kicks are moved slightly enough to give it this fragmented feeling.
Old 14th August 2005
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickrock305
he sequences on a Korg O1W, and a lot of it isn't looped but played through.


and yes, they listen to a lot of different musical styles and are pretty well versed in them.
Ummm, did you see that video? It is most definitely looped.
Old 14th August 2005
  #8
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It's interesting because when I hear the Neptunes stuff, I hear it as way too stiff and over quantized. That's the primary reason for my distain for the guys, the lack of feel. But yet many seem to feel just the opposite. Makes me wana do the robot dance. ;-)
Old 14th August 2005
  #9
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Jonny,

No disrespect, but in my opinion, you could not be any more wrong.
Have you listened to a lot of Neptunes?
Could you please cite a few examples of this stiff feel you're talking about?
I promise, for every one you list, I can give you 10 that are contrary.
Listen to the beat from "Grindin". WAYYYYYYYYY outside the grid!
Listen to Justin's album... mostly live drums (looped).
Listen to the track from NORE "Nuthin"
"When the Last Time" Clipse, "Pass the Courvoisier",
man, that $hit is SWINGIN!!!!! Breakin my neck just thinking about those tracks!
You can even take it back to the beginning... "Rump Shaker" and the SWV "Human Nature" remix
I guess we all hear things differently!
Old 15th August 2005
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestral
Ummm, did you see that video? It is most definitely looped.

i said a lot of it isn't looped. READ

some is, some isn't, but most of it grooves.
Old 15th August 2005
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paultools
Listen to the beat from "Grindin". WAYYYYYYYYY outside the grid!
Listen to Justin's album... mostly live drums (looped).
Listen to the track from NORE "Nuthin"
"When the Last Time" Clipse, "Pass the Courvoisier",
man, that $hit is SWINGIN!!!!! Breakin my neck just thinking about those tracks!
You can even take it back to the beginning... "Rump Shaker" and the SWV "Human Nature" remix
I guess we all hear things differently!

YES!!! ok. but the question still remains... how? I'm thinking some kinda manual moving to the left or right via maybe pt, logic?
Old 15th August 2005
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Umlaaat
YES!!! ok. but the question still remains... how? I'm thinking some kinda manual moving to the left or right via maybe pt, logic?
Turn off the quantize function of your sequencer and use it like tape.
That will capture the "feel", but DEVELOPING the feel is another thing...
Old 15th August 2005
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paultools
Jonny,

No disrespect, but in my opinion, you could not be any more wrong.
Have you listened to a lot of Neptunes?
Could you please cite a few examples of this stiff feel you're talking about?
I promise, for every one you list, I can give you 10 that are contrary.
Listen to the beat from "Grindin". WAYYYYYYYYY outside the grid!
Listen to Justin's album... mostly live drums (looped).
Listen to the track from NORE "Nuthin"
"When the Last Time" Clipse, "Pass the Courvoisier",
man, that $hit is SWINGIN!!!!! Breakin my neck just thinking about those tracks!
You can even take it back to the beginning... "Rump Shaker" and the SWV "Human Nature" remix
I guess we all hear things differently!
Well, I can't be wrong about the way I feel when I hear music, not even if it makes you feel different than me. And when I hear Neptunes tracks, I feel a lack of soul and robotic timing. Maybe there are some songs they have done that DO have good feel, and when I hear them I will deam them as having good feel, but so long as they keep putting out stuff like "Holla Back Girl", "Slave For You", Snoops last single "Drop it like it's hot" and many many many more are just plain awful. I think stuff like Rump SHaker, and Hot in Here were wonderful, as with much early stuff. The Justin Timberlake album to be sounded like Micheal Jackson reject songs.

Everyone hears everything differently. If I could enjoy a Neptunes production, my life would be A LOT easier since every one else is basically just copying them. But until then they bore me to sleep, and the knockoffs make my work day miserable. If you can enjoy it, then you are very lucky.
Old 15th August 2005
  #14
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They were surely going for an "Off the Wall" vibe with Justin, but I hear nothing "robotic" about it. "Drop It" was not my favorite track of theirs, but still has a pretty slippery groove to my ear. "Holla Back" has the marching-band cheerleader vibe... I think they meant to have it sound a little rudimentary.

What songs to you feel are Neptunes knock-offs by other producers?
Old 15th August 2005
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyclueless
Well, I can't be wrong about the way I feel when I hear music, not even if it makes you feel different than me. And when I hear Neptunes tracks, I feel a lack of soul and robotic timing. Maybe there are some songs they have done that DO have good feel, and when I hear them I will deam them as having good feel, but so long as they keep putting out stuff like "Holla Back Girl", "Slave For You", Snoops last single "Drop it like it's hot" and many many many more are just plain awful. I think stuff like Rump SHaker, and Hot in Here were wonderful, as with much early stuff. The Justin Timberlake album to be sounded like Micheal Jackson reject songs.
It's amazong how perceptions can be so different. I love all three songs you mentioned thumbsup
Old 15th August 2005
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestral
It's amazong how perceptions can be so different. I love all three songs you mentioned thumbsup
True, I'm not a brittney fan but I thought "Slave 4 U" was an awesome track.
Old 15th August 2005
  #17
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The fact that the Neptunes is as big as they are is a good reminder about how mediocre most pop hip hop r&b has become these days. I like some of their stuff, but it sounds so AMATEURISH.

I used to buy albums because I LIKED the music, now I just buy stuff I don't HATE.

If I don't hate it, I might buy it.

Most stuff I hate so I won't buy it.

There's nothing special about the drum timing with Neptunes tracks, nothing wrong with it either. It's ok.
Old 15th August 2005
  #18
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newsflash, Pharell really can play the drums. He's good too.

I think most of their work is incredible. They've created a sound that's unique and pleasing to listen to.
Old 15th August 2005
  #19
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Interesting points about the Neptunes! I do agree though, that some of their stuff is very quantized........but alot of their stuff swings too, that's like almost all rap i heard anyways.

I think they're great though. I Just look at their production list and i am really impressed all the work they have done at their age!
Old 15th August 2005
  #20
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I think it comes dow to a matter of simplicity. Neptunes' tracks are very simple and minimal.

A lot of people like tracks that are dense with layers upon layers.

Neptunes tracks have very few parts that come in and out at various times but the few sounds they do have are very nicely fat.

I think this is where things are trending for now. Too many tracks with complex layers up layers of loops in the past while. Neptunes stuff is great in the it's usually a simple slamming beat and a few nice parts arranged very tastefully. Less is more.
Old 15th August 2005
  #21
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just finished reading an article about chad. he said they quantize snares and kick (most of the time) but will play hi hat live. but if you listen to their early nore stuff, its so UN - Quantized.

Its funny someone said it has a swing to it. I dont think it swings, per se... if anything an anti swing, a kinda super choppy feel. (Anyone listen to Marc Ribot? - kinda like his gtr playing in a sense) almost has this 6/8 thing, but super subtle...

as far as people imitating them... um, like everyone?
Old 15th August 2005
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paultools
Listen to the break from the James Brown song "Funky Drummer".

I think that`s gotta be the most sampled piece of music ever and not only in hip hop.

The funny thing is once you started hearing that everywhere it became the official beat for real drummers backing chick singers with hybrid acoustic stuff going on though they played the beat a bit tamer.
Old 15th August 2005
  #23
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But instead of merely sampling it, they incorporated that rhythm into many of their beats. Listen to Jay_Z 'Give it to Me".
Old 15th August 2005
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paultools
But instead of merely sampling it, they incorporated that rhythm into many of their beats. Listen to Jay_Z 'Give it to Me".
Yeah definately.
Old 15th August 2005
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Umlaaat
The first thing I remember about the Nept sound was how hard their **** was. NO ONE had kicks like theirs. It was lunacy. But another thing that worked well was the timing. It has an MPC quality to it, but even more fragmented.
There timing is their worst aspect as far as I'm concerned and their sounds are the 2nd worst. The timing is half quantized from what I hear. The snare and bass might be quantized while the kick and hat aren't. You can hear little inconsistincies where the kick is a little too fast or falls behind. There is always something a little out of sync. They definetly don't swing. Their sounds are stock. You can find them in all of your favorite synths. I still think they are great, but not for the above reasons.
Old 15th August 2005
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Igotsoul4u
You can hear little inconsistincies where the kick is a little too fast or falls behind. There is always something a little out of sync. They definetly don't swing. Their sounds are stock. You can find them in all of your favorite synths. I still think they are great, but not for the above reasons.
Ahhhhh they do that ON PURPOSE so it does not sound ROBOTIC.
They know how to quantize to the grid if they want to. Somebody out there likes it exactly how they do it.
How many producers have those same stock sounds, and the same amount of plaques? Zero.
Old 15th August 2005
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paultools
How many producers have those same stock sounds, and the same amount of plaques? Zero.
It's funny how we hear it so different. To me it does sound robotic, but I think it'sbecause we all interpret groove differently and what moves one doesn't move another. I also think their sounds leave a lot to be desired and have been copied to death. And yes they do have a lot of plaques because their songs are selling the most right now. But if you think about all the artists they are working with, the sales are nowhere near up to par with what those artists used to sell. Sure Slave 4 U was a big hit, but nowhere near the sales of the stuff Britney did with Max Martin. Sure th Justin stuff was a big hit, but again, nowhere near the sales that Nsync did with Max Martin. Sure Holla back girl was a big hit, but nowhere near the hit level as the hits she had with No doubt. Sure Snoops drop it like its hot was a big hit, but nowhere near the sales of his older stuff. They're the biggest thing, in a shrinking pool of talent.

I think if one likes the timing, then that's all that matters, so long as it's understood that not everyone does. I remember when Duran Duran came out and my complaint was that they sounded too out of tune, while my best friend felt they were too intune (we both liked them though). Obviously you have a good ear, we both do.
Old 15th August 2005
  #28
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Defense

I notice every time there is an anti Neptunes comment, Paul gets defensive.

Just how many points per record do you get? Man guys are allowed to not like them. LOL but you always explain away their reason for not liking them

Someone says they use stock sounds I dont like em.

U ask "how many others have sold as many with those sounds"
We know u are a Neptunes fan
Give it a rest. LOL Just kidding
Old 15th August 2005
  #29
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jonnyclueless,

There's an old saying I heard that always stuck with me:

"Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and f--- the prom queen."
Old 15th August 2005
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestral
jonnyclueless,

There's an old saying I heard that always stuck with me:

"Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and f--- the prom queen."
I don't think there is anything wrong with the Paul defending the Neptunes and more than me offending them. We're all just discussing what boils down to personal taste and he likes em. Can't blame him for that, I sure wish I liked them. But Kestral, if you are implying I am a loser who is just whining, then I feel sorry for you. What I am poining out is that not all of us are falling for this current "fad". A lot of your winners will be tomorrows losers. Perhaps you should question your definition of a winner. If that means being a sell out so be it. A lot of those hair bands were the winners in their day, Now many of them paint houses because their fad ended. Most of todays winners will never be heard of in a few years.

We all know the best stuff is the stuff that most people will never hear.
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