these are the techniques i’ve used most frequently over the years. feel free to add!
for fast breaks to sound intelligible (whatever that means, just sounded right), you’ve gotta use note offs. i use it in a ridiculously simple way: always put a note-off before the next sample and usually keep a break rinse limited to one column. by using note offs, the punctuated bits of silence (milliseconds or less) are in time with the bpm. it’s arguably below conscious perceptibility, though it’s a beautiful thought to know that the song is then perfectly divisible by these bits of silence.
i made an xrns using this and other techniques. it may not sound the best (i’m in a public place and without headphones) but it demonstrates what i’m talking about.
Don’t you guys work on you drums? The above “technique” doesn’t split the drumloop up to work in detail? This is the reason most of the self-called breakcore music sound noisy with unambitious acoustic patterns?^^
Not that it’s particularly breakcore, but here’s the way I approach beat-slicing in my most recent finished track
I prefer to use 09xx commands rather than manually chopping the break into individual hits as this preserves the human playing dynamics of the sampled phrase which IMHO is the whole point of breaks. I know the sample offset markers are not properly accurate yet, but I think a bit of dead air adds to the live feel, especially on snares and hats - saves having to fuck about with the delay column!
I also use 09xx for to improve timing accuracy as with the string samples and also to spice up some of the guitar parts I record.
PS. Uses one instance of FM8 and several instances of Audio Damage’s Rough Rider Compressor (free to download and fucking great on drums!)
i don’t necessarily make breakcore (although i would like to be able to do sick shit like vsnares, but nobody - including me - really enjoys a copy-cat), but i do use some of these techniques, and i agree on the use of the 09xx command with beats as said by Rex. it preserves the beat, and on top of that just randomly guessing some of the values with the added inaccuracy often leads to surprising outcomes that sound much better than trying to mathematically figure out that stuff in detail, making it sound like it’s ‘supposed to’ sound. this, of course, involves trial and error, but it’s the errors that make it work so often .
the name ‘rex’ made me think of the Reason DrRex device, which can be quite useful for creating strange beats as well. try loading up a nice beat, copy the midi-notes to track, and load up a new beat in the same DrRex, thus letting the previous drum rhythm play the new drum sounds. this is a lot of trial and error again, but it may work wonders for inventing new rhythms. (yes, this is not the Reason forum but who cares).
by the way, nice track Rex. and indeed, nice use of the 09xx command (on the acoustic guitar), i’ll remember that technique.
in the xrns i posted, i used one-hits out of the amen, this is common; the fun alternative of course being the aforementioned 09xx. suggesting using one-hits is not working “in detail” is kinda silly; i split up the drum loop, split it even more, then used 8 lpb and 400bpm precisely for detail.
“us guys” do work on our drums, and sometimes grammar.
both techniques are able to give you the same results if used in a certain way (e.g. if you finetune your 09xx commands to be right on the beat), but as mentioned above, i prefer the 09xx command (most of the time) because it does not cut away the end of the sample, but just starts the sample in a different position. to me, it feels like the difference of nice and controlled paddling down a river (cutting up beats and placing them where you want) versus wild rafting, and constantly having to control the way the water is making the boat shoot off in different directions (using 09xx, because of the sample-pieces that are being played at places and timings you might not have planned them, which you then have to control by more 09xx commands, or not cuz it sounds fat). i hope you get that analogy, because i don’t know how to express this in a better way.
in short, ‘basically’ is the important word in your comment
but you could just as well just copy the sample from where the hit starts all way to the end of the break and load that to a new note. that way one can jam the break on the keyboard and it’s easy to see if a note is a hh, sn or bd hit by just looking at the note in the pattern editor.
Again, for me it is about trying to maintain the natural flow of the drums (even if they are pitched up or down to sound unnatural, and cutting up the break into separate samples means you lose the tail on snares, cymbals, boomy kicks, etc. On a real drum kit the only thing that would interrupt the tail on a particular drum would be that drum being hit again by the drummer or another part of the kit coming in to dominate the mix. I find that the 09xx method maintains that dynamic, and occassionally if I wanted abrupt stops or silences I use note-offs, or even better volume slides down (07xx) to simulate quick decay envelopes.
If you have a particularly long break then it helps to split it into 2 or more even parts and then reference these in the same note column to keep the monophonic vibe. I like to keep a pen and paper handy when I’m working on a track, I then just go to the sample editor and scribble down a list of the marker positions for each hit and what that hit is, i.e. 0922 = hard snare, 0948 = soft kick, 0972 = ride cymbal, etc. It’s all mapped out on paper like a kit then without any manual slicing. This also still lets you take advantage of the sync check box which manually chopping doesn’t.
The other tip which I recently learned is that once you have checked the sync box, you can hover over to get a tool tip for the exact tuning / fine tuning that the sample is at when synced. You can then uncheck the sync box and enter these manually which means the break will be perfectly synchronised but still allow you to mess around with the pitch which is an old junglist trick for detuning drums for things like gradually pitched up/down snare rolls which you will hear loads of in venetian snares drum programming - particularly on Detrimentalist.
I spontaneously decide either I split the drumloop(if I am using one) up or if I’m using 09xx. Every part gets an extra track i.e. bd=Track01 sn=Track02 chh=Track03 etc.
Maybe some layering to each piece of instrument. This means maximum controll, maybe routing it all back together to one sendtrack to give compression/eq/filter etc. to the sum. I think this is the most common way most producers use today?!
thank you! i sometimes do this manually, and sometimes do this by mistake (120bpm sample, renoise bpm to 360 and then… i don’t know i suck at math but you understand 360/3=120 so it fits), but now i know how to do this on purpose! i’m gonna totally sound like vsnares now that i know this trick!