Amen Break

Has anyone come close to recreating anything like this break. If so could you possibly tell me how you did it?

Have read on other forums that this style / sound is about impossible to recreate (i.e. you can only do it with sampling of the original) but wondering if anyone using renoise has proved this wrong!

Any tips: VST fx etc. appreciated

:drummer: :yeah: “Amen Brother” Original Break Can Be Found On This Page

what exactly do you mean by recreate ?

if you mean the groove, I guess its possible to recreate.

if you mean the sound, well …

my humble opinion on that is simple, after listening to loads of 70s funk :
somewhere on the way from the 70s to now the knowledge on how to make and mix incredible drums got lost.
I just dont know how the f*** they made all those crazyass great-sounding drums back then. just take (for example) the poets of rhytm, a band which is doing funk music in the present time, their drums suck big time. it seems no one knows what they did back then for those extra-style drumsounds. Its a pity. So I guess, yes, its impossible to recreate that.

Pardon me, as I hear nothing special into that drumloop.

sorry, to bring this up again, but once we get ppqn type timing, I feel it will be better to sysex dump from my sequencers. Umm, any idea when that will be? :D

I cannot view the page, maybe the link is broken…

I guess That the loop is not difficult to recreate. Maybe I’ll try…

I think the answer might be quite simple: back in 70s they played drums instead of creating drum patterns using samplers, sequencers and various electronic imitations of real drums - which are more convenient and easier to play, but limited in terms of sound variety. Just yesterday I’ve been to a let’s say new-jazz concert and at times the drummer played breakbeat style, junglistic rhythms that you’d normally hear created using samples. I tell you: [b]that was it!!!

:drummer: is the way to do it![/b]

I think recreating the classic or - even better - creating some new cool loops would most probably require a really good drummer (and/or a good percussionist) and a studio technician capable of creatively using good ol’ analog compressors and eq’s. I doubt there is a way of creating really funky ass rockin’ loops using samplers and virtual instruments - show me a sampler patch that can offer the sound spectrum and expression range of an acoustic snare drum!

Speaking of which - anybody knows a source of good and preferably free acoustic drum samples / VSTi-s? :rolleyes:

Apart from SampleTank Free that is.

a big fan of the Amen Break and other classic drumloops


give a look to
Natural Sounding Kit, which is a constantly upgraded free drumkit.

you can find a list of free VSTi’s on this thread

Thanks a million It-Alien! You’re the expert :drummer:

Seems that the Natural Sounding Kit is what I’ve been looking for all the time - can’t wait to get home from work and try it out! One more question though - as I’m not very familiar with SoundFonts - what is the best freeware (or not very expensive shareware) VSTi SoundFont player? Especially for those 120 MB long SF2 files (holy sH|^! I’ve just looked at the file size of the NSK BIGKIT) What do you use for SoundFonts under Renoise?

BTW, has anyone suggested native SF2 support for Renoise yet? If not, I do.

Praising the Lord for broadband internet connections and 768MB of RAM in DDR modules! :D

there are for sure some free SF2 players around, but I don’t know any of them.

Take a look to Virtual Sampler, which is now being sold at 40$.

Personally, my main sampler software is Kontakt, which costs 400€ (!!!).

You could also put your hands on his little brother Kompakt for half the price.

Thanks again, It-Alien. NI instruments are far too expensive for me, but I’ll surely check out Virtual Sampler. Also, Jeskola XS-1 has tempting reviews and pricing so I’ll eventually give it a try, though I hate the guy for making the already developped Buzz machine support never appear in Renoise <_<

Not to start a pointless Buzz discussion again, but to clarify things a bit: the actual decision on not including it was done by the Renoise users.

no: Jeskola retired his offer because… hmm… because he is after all a jerk?

Ok, but the outcome would have been the same either way… Let’s just blame it on him since he seems to be a jerk either way! :)

Bantai I liked that little snippet.

It Alien, do you use Kontakt within Renoise, if so why? Yeah it has got nice bunch of effects and filters, but Renoise is a sample player too, why not just add plug ins?

that’s something i was also always wondering about…

you can’t recreate the amen break. it’s UNIQUE :)

In ReNoise I can’t:

  • modify envelopes while playing
  • load multilayered programs (i.e.: group of samples which are played according to the velocity level)
  • load more than 16 samples for each instrument
  • import AKAI programs
  • set more than one LFO per envelope

if next version of RNI format will let me do all of these, I will the happiest man in the world. In the meantime, I just use Kontakt :rolleyes:

Yea, there’s a number of reasons for using an external sampler VSTi in Renoise, as the internal sampler is rather limited, especially in terms of support for sampler formats.

But that’s not what I wanted to say. Getting back to the subject of realistic drums and kick-ass loops - I guess the ultimate answer might be this: fxpansion BFD . I’d certainly get my hands on that thing, if only the price wasn’t $299 …

Let me know how it sounds when you buy it, It-Alien :)


hehe you old pal :rolleyes: :)

anyway, I don’t think I’m going to buy it, for a serie of reasons, some of which are exclusively personal (i.e.: related to myself and what I already have).

  • First of all, this seems to be a closed plugin, as looks like there is no way to import an external sample. This is quite a common situation for specialized sample-based plugins, and that’s why I don’t have any specialized sample-based thing :)
    Ok, it’s very easy to mix different drumkits in BFD, but still I would like to add my own stuff.

  • Secondly, according to system requisites (P3 1ghz, 512MB RAM, which are more than Kontakt’s ones), this is quite an heavy plugin. I have a P3 733, so this is not the right time to buy BFD, but it really seems mad to me to use so much CPU power for a single plugin.

  • my general impression about this plugin is that it tries to ease drum sequencing up; there are a lot of features which just give disgusting shivers down my spine: humanizing slider, auto fill-ins, random swinging…
    Probably I would have loved it if I would have been a guitarist looking for an automatic drummer (something like what Steinberg’s Virtual Guitarist could be for a jazz-piano player, for instance), but these kind of shi… err… features don’t really fit my needs.

  • I already have tons of drumkits: i have recently bought NI Studio Drums collections, which have some very good stuff in it, and also have some other very good kits, which can be used in Kontakt in total freedom.

  • speaking of Kontakt, yesterday I’ve found out something new (I’ve told you that I had still a lot to learn, huh? :) ), so that I had to change my mind about usage of ReNoise’s built-in effects on drums: it’s very easy and effective to use Kontakt’s built-in send effects, so that you can add, for example, an LFO controlled flanger and a good amount of reverb to the snares, a subtle reverb on cymbals and a filter on bassdrum… and the effects are also quite light! whoa!!
    So Mekkah please forget about what I’ve said some days ago about reverb: at least with drums, I will always use Kontakt’s effects! :)

still, this is a very good, easy, flexible and greatly sounding drums plugin; which could be a real killer on next versions, and I recommend it to people searching for a next step in their drum sequencing with no effort.

what exactly do you mean by recreate ?

I mean the sound (effects/ mastering etc.) as you discussed.

Pardon me, as I hear nothing special into that drumloop.

Scores of drum and bass producers in the 90s disagreed. This particular loop has a particular feel which suits the genre well which is shown by its constant reworking and use in this period.

This loop may well be impossible to recreate as people have said (in this forum and others) but would still be interested to see how close it is possible to get!

Bantai, very nice drum work! :yeah: Any tips? or possibly even a short example rns? (will understand if not)

Mekkah, The VST Zs-1 AMEN comes with the wav for this break and can be downloaded at Dance Music Shop if you are still interested.

(you can just extract the wav from the zip)

P.S. to Looza : Have got hold of the new Jaxx album, like track 1 a lot and a couple of the others. Need to listen to it more to pass decent judgement tho. :)

edit by It-Alien:
removed guest post and assigned to the actual author