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FutureGarageForum.com • View topic - Constructing 2-Step Drums :: Tutorial with pictures/samples

Constructing 2-Step Drums :: Tutorial with pictures/samples

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Constructing 2-Step Drums :: Tutorial with pictures/samples

Postby Kolendo » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:05 pm

This is a tutorial devised for beginner garage/Ableton users.
I've had a couple people now ask me for help constructing 2-step drums.
Obviously the hardest aspect of getting that signature garage sound is swing.
There are many ways to make swingy garage drums, my way is only one way.

This method is what I like to describe as more organic.
Meaning I like to freely place percussion hits (and not use swing/quantize functions).
By the way, this will all be done in Ableton.
*on the larger pictures right click and open in a new tab to see the full thing*
- - - - -
To start I go into arrangement mode and drop an empty drum kit into a midi channel.
Once you've done this, at the bottom left corner of Ableton you'll see a drum palette:

Image Image

Each of those little boxes is where you will place all of your percussion hits/samples. (as seen above)
You can use Ableton's drum library, or even drag and drop samples from your computer.
As well you can drop effects like reverb onto the individual samples loaded.

The next step is to insert a MIDI clip of any length into the channel.
Double click it, you should come to the piano roll. This is where you'll actually make the loop:

Image

Now I start making the beat. I add all the kicks and snares first:

Image

I find most of the "swing" in garage is made in the relationship between the hats, claps, and snares (and other percussion).
At this point I right click the piano roll area and select "off" in the Fixed Grid section:

Image

The reason for doing this is that the hits that really make the groove swing are not on the beat grid.

Next I play out the kicks and snares, and in my head have a good idea of where I want to place other hits.
This is the really hard part: placement. There's no easy way to do this, it's a lot of trial and error.
However if you really know how you want the loop to sound, you should be able to do this fairly quickly.
My loop ended up looking like this:

Image

Now for the finishing touches like volume/panning of each individual hit, I like to freeze/flatten the channel (turn the MIDI clip into an audio clip).
Then I select the clip and play with the volume envelopes until it's as loud/balanced as I like:

Image

Before and after shots of the audio clip, in case you didn't realize. ^ ^ ^

Here's what my loop sounds like:

http://www.mediafire.com/?c148ctbv61ty41t

You are welcome to download it and use it however you like.
- - - - -
That concludes this tutorial, hopefully this will make it a little easier to make your own drums.
Once you have a basic loop down, start to be adventurous and try more complex patterns and weirder percussion!
Have fun! :D
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Re: Constructing 2-Step Drums :: Tutorial with pictures/samples

Postby jgbrenn » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:04 am

Big up man!

Good Guide
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Re: Constructing 2-Step Drums :: Tutorial with pictures/samples

Postby Kolendo » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:51 am

If you guys really like this and find it handy, maybe a mod could sticky it?
I may also make further tutorials on other subjects, who knows.
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Re: Constructing 2-Step Drums :: Tutorial with pictures/samples

Postby ljp » Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:33 am

Simple, boom boom boom straight to the point. I found it helpful fo' sho!' Actually was easier to understand than most videos I've seen.

Detail on some of the effects that can be applied could be useful if you wanna expand it a little?

If you do more, EQ / Compression would be a good ones I reckon!!
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Re: Constructing 2-Step Drums :: Tutorial with pictures/samples

Postby minorchord » Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:54 am

This is a really helpful little tutorial, wish i had known this stuff when i first started. Well done!
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Re: Constructing 2-Step Drums :: Tutorial with pictures/samples

Postby beebmun » Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:57 pm

Nice one man. This is different than the way I make my drums but really cool.

I find using the quantisize option gives a little more control than coming off grid. Just a personal preference as i've got OCD about patterns! haha
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Re: Constructing 2-Step Drums :: Tutorial with pictures/samples

Postby Kolendo » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:25 am

I'm glad you guys find this tutorial useful.
Hey Beeb, I have nothing against quantize ;P
Just personally preference. haha
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Re: Constructing 2-Step Drums :: Tutorial with pictures/samples

Postby Stealth Elf » Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:44 am

Great tutorial, the beginners should find this really useful!

Personally I switch between off the grid/quantise depending on the tune. Just gotta go with what feels right at the time innit.

On a side note, how the hell can you make drum beats with the kick in the middle of the piano roll like that? Just looking at the picture is doing weird things to my brain XD
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Re: Constructing 2-Step Drums :: Tutorial with pictures/samples

Postby beebmun » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:06 pm

Stealth Elf wrote:On a side note, how the hell can you make drum beats with the kick in the middle of the piano roll like that? Just looking at the picture is doing weird things to my brain XD


I thought the same thingf! haha. OCD = KICK MUST BE AT BOTTOM, SNARE ABOVE, CLAPS ABOVE THAT, OTHER PERCS THEN HATS


OCD OCD OCD
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Re: Constructing 2-Step Drums :: Tutorial with pictures/samples

Postby Stealth Elf » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:41 pm

beebmun wrote:
Stealth Elf wrote:On a side note, how the hell can you make drum beats with the kick in the middle of the piano roll like that? Just looking at the picture is doing weird things to my brain XD


I thought the same thingf! haha. OCD = KICK MUST BE AT BOTTOM, SNARE ABOVE, CLAPS ABOVE THAT, OTHER PERCS THEN HATS


OCD OCD OCD


+1

You gotta have the drums as the top track in your sequencer too!
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Re: Constructing 2-Step Drums :: Tutorial with pictures/samples

Postby beebmun » Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:18 pm

Stealth Elf wrote:
beebmun wrote:
Stealth Elf wrote:On a side note, how the hell can you make drum beats with the kick in the middle of the piano roll like that? Just looking at the picture is doing weird things to my brain XD


I thought the same thingf! haha. OCD = KICK MUST BE AT BOTTOM, SNARE ABOVE, CLAPS ABOVE THAT, OTHER PERCS THEN HATS


OCD OCD OCD


+1

You gotta have the drums as the top track in your sequencer too!

YA DUN KNOW
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Re: Constructing 2-Step Drums :: Tutorial with pictures/samples

Postby Kolendo » Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:49 pm

:lol: I'm usually the same way, but for time reasons I made this tutorial as quickly as possible.
I think organizing by frequency is usually the best bet.
Also labeling everything appropriately!
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Re: Constructing 2-Step Drums :: Tutorial with pictures/samples

Postby Messiah » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:39 pm

I think its a great write up.

I kind of disagree about turning off the beat grid though. You can accomplish a swing with the 1/16 grid easil, and I find it makes things simpler for me, especially when you want two syncronous drums. It is all personal preference, but there is some musical theory to it. There is a reason why sheet music doesnt have a symbol past the 32nd note, and even that is rarely ever used. At a BPM around 130-140, try laying out a beat using 1/16, then try shifting the beat after switching to 1/32. In many cases, its already an inaudible difference.
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Re: Constructing 2-Step Drums :: Tutorial with pictures/samples

Postby blnd! » Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:13 pm

Messiah wrote:I think its a great write up.

I kind of disagree about turning off the beat grid though. You can accomplish a swing with the 1/16 grid easil, and I find it makes things simpler for me, especially when you want two syncronous drums. It is all personal preference, but there is some musical theory to it. There is a reason why sheet music doesnt have a symbol past the 32nd note, and even that is rarely ever used. At a BPM around 130-140, try laying out a beat using 1/16, then try shifting the beat after switching to 1/32. In many cases, its already an inaudible difference.
We make music with computers (at least most of us). Listen to a recording of any band, probably it wont be perfectly on grid (Even Weasel Walter cant pull that off). I like to "get rid of the grid" sometimes, can give a more live / organic vibe or something if not everything is quantised. I prefer to think about the grid as a useful but not vital thing, it's really helpful, especially if you write "dance music" but i like the fact that i can switch it off any time.
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