Chopping Up Breakbeats

ok, let me see, there’s only 2 ways of doing this in renoise but which way do you think is best

i: loading in just one sample and using the ‘09xx’ command?
ii: loading in the break but making selections and pasting into a ‘new instrument’

i think the first way is the best even though you have to look for the xx points in sampleedit view.

is there a 3rd way? and don’t say. wait for renoise2 which will have the ability to load in recycle files - because we don’t know this for sure.

Well in all honesty you will become fimiliar with certain beaks… you’ll remember all the offset numbers and everything will be cake… ex: amen- kick 0900, snare 0920… you’ll get used it and will find your self destroying audio before you know it. Don’t be a pussy and give up… not talking shit, but you’ll remember the offsets lke telephone numbers if you take the time.

Live breaks tend not to be quantised perfectly, so when using sample offset you may not be able to trigger the sound from exactly where you want. Your main snare hit might fall somewhere inbetween 093F and 0940 for example, which may or may not drive you crazy depending on how much of a perfectionist you are. But it’s still usually more than adequate to get the job done, and it can even help to maintain some of the live feeling of the original break itself.

If you want to get absolutely insanely precise and mash up the breaks all the way to hell and back, then you really only have one option in my opinion. That is to cut up your break samples by hand in a sample editor and export each individual drum hit (or each section you want to play with). It gets a bit more hectic to manage but the results always pay off in the end.

Eh? Why not just do it inside of renoise’s sample editor? :huh:

Notice that I wasn’t being specific, I just said “a sample editor”. That could be Renoise’s built-in editor or it could be Sound Forge, Audacity, etc. :)

Personally I do use Renoise’s editor for quick edits but I prefer to use Sound Forge for any lengthy work, processing a lot of samples or doing really detailed edits. Renoise’s sample editor is a little quirky sometimes and still lacks a bit of the smoothness and workflow of a full-featured, dedicated editor such as Sound Forge (in my opinion). It’s getting closer with each new version of Renoise though. :)

I like using the Dblue Glitch plugin (I was gonna buy this after using the demo but now it’s free!) tweak the fx, render certain sections as you please and re-arrange them. If you’re doing something relatively conservative it’s great, but if you want Squarepusher type mentalness it’s a winner as well (randomising throws up some good combinations). If one of the ‘top’ software companies had some imagination and invented it they would have charged a lot of money for this beauty.

To each their own. I regularly use renoise’s sample editor for detailed edits, and think that workflow is it’s strongest suit by far (given how integrated into the sampler it is).

But I agree that the editor does have the odd quirk. For example, when a looped area is also the selected area and “Delete everything outside the selected area” button is clicked, the front loop point moves away from the very start of the sample (where you’d expect it to stay). It also seems to struggle with mp3s over the size of about 15 meg, which makes editing entire DJ mixes a bit of a no-no.

i also wanted to add that a good way to deal with live breaks that arent quantized perfect can be quantized by using something like recycle and throwing into your sequencer> quantise each note and then render and bring back into renoise… or you can manually adjust those little timing issues in you audio editor so that each hit is precise… this way you don’t have to worry about the above mentioned with a hit being not exactly on 093f or 0940… but personally I like things to have a little swing, so when things arent perfectly quantised I don’t mind at all… or you could just get phatmatik and call it a day. It’s a great tool, but I tend to use it on all my stuff that I have made and mash my new breaks together with.

just to ask, why would you need phatmatik when you can do all this using just the sample offsets?

dblue explained it properly. Chopping by hand is essential if you’re working at higher bpms, and even more important if you’re layering breaks…

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i’m not sure i understand why this is.

am i overlooking something here? isn’t using the sample offset just the same thing?
obviously you dont have your hits as separate files, but then you can still access all of the hits using the 09xx command.

why wouldnt this work at high bpms?

i guess he meant that you dont have that much precision with offset command (256 slice points) but by hand you can slice wherever you want

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256 points isn’t really enough when working with a sampled 4 bar break, you never get the hits exactly on the offset point so you end up missing part of the transient or starting too far before it. It’s not a huge problem with one break, but when you have two or more it’s really awkward to get the hits lined up together if you don’t chop by hand. Plus, sample offset points are rarely on zero crossings, so you tend to get clicks. A fade setting (in ms) for offsets would be really cool…

My No.1 feature for Renoise would have to be sample section markers, so instead of chopping with 091f or something random you would just use a command that linked to the specific marker in the break (a bit like a rex file).

I don’t think that chopping up breaks by hand is exactly a huge chore, but when it comes to experimenting with layering breaks you have reprogram the rhythm each time you load the intrument or individual hits… If you save a pre-quantised break as a .wav you loose the ability to pitch it (or at least it still sounds a bit odd if you use sample offset). Saving each break’s pattern to a separate song then copying it across is a nice workaround, but I would be over the moon if a more elegant approach was added at some point. I still love Renoise though :)

that’s a fine idea Dr.Skunk!

I prefer to do all my chopping in a wave editor and load up loads of hits n variations of a break. for me sample offset is mostly for abusing those hand cut slices. have never gotten into beat slicers, like recycle etc. sure sample offset was great for tracking back in the day when you could only have so many samples and memory limitations. now it’s not so necessary, Generate Drum Kit is your friend!

Yep, wicked idea. Lots of us have been begging for this one in the past, hehe. It would be so sweet!

I second the offset markers! (I guess this is the wrong area though)

Agreed, 09xx is definitely a no-go if you plan to chop & layer breaks especially at high speeds, but actually works better for those lower tempos, and is well suited to hip-hop/dub etc imo. Like Skunk said, those zero crossing points are really where you need to slice the breaks to optimise quality…

I use renoise’s sample editor for the ‘clean’ breaks, which have obvious zero points, but for those fuller sounding breaks, renoise’s editor doesn’t have the vertical resolution needed to ensure you have click-free sample playback, so I also use Sound Forge.

ok so once you have your individual drum hits saved, you then have to go about recreating the drum pattern using these individual hits?

dont you lose the groove this way? or are people using the Dx command for bringing some groove back?

just interested in what peoples methods for this are.

Skunk’s idea is great! There is something very similar in FLStudio with the slicer. you have several different options for slicing a beat (including slices based on transients OR sliced evenly with beats/sub-beats - a’la sample offset) and then after that you have the option of saving the loop with these slices intact, so when you open the file in an editor, like sound forge or edison, you have the markers in place and you can f**** around with them more if you like…

anyway i like that you have the option of saving the loop with markers like recycle, but it’s not in a strange proprietary format like REX2 and any regular wave editor can open it.

I think it comes back to what speed you’re writing at mate…

If you’re doing dnb at 170+ bpm you probably want the hits quantised exactly because there is little room for swing. If you’re doing hiphop at 80 bpm then yeah, you probably do want to maintain some of the original groove (then again hip hop is all about the groove you get from MPCs). You will find people from both camps who will disagree with what I’ve just written, but I think it’s true in a lot of cases.

If you’re really interested have a read of this thread at DOA -it’s a Q&A with Paradox who is probably dnb’s most obsessed break chopper :lol:

Yeah it would be great to be able to trigger from a marker in the sample editor…

The markers could start at 01 and move to 02,03,04,05 etc

There could be a command like 0Wxx which triggered said sample from xx marker with out any relation to Ticks on the sample.


The 09xx should still be kept in though. A combo of the two would be excellent.