Constructing new rhythms from classic breakbeats

Here’s my approach to creating new breaks from existing ones.

Sorry for the late reply man, works been keeping me busy.

Anyways, I haven’t gotten my hands on a copy of Ableton yet, hoping to soon.Some real great stuff here to work with. Especially the multiband expansion and compression, still in the process of learning about all that stuff but from what I’ve tried so far it’s beefed up the sound of the breaks real nice. I actually started pitching the breaks up in semitones not long before I read your post, before I’d been pitching them arbitrarily and it was screwing up the timings of the hits in the breaks, so they never matched. So I did the math and figured out how to speed up two different tempoed breaks so they match correctly.

My work flow was basically this:

~ Set the tempo

~ Set pattern length to 192 lines, LPB to 24

~Load a break

~ Choose a pitch in semitonesthat fits with the tempo as close as possible, creating an almost perfect loop,using the computer keyboard, [i.e original file played at C4 – play break one octave up at C5 {12 semitones}]

~ Find the corresponding beatsync value that matches that semitones pitch

~ Hit transpose
~ Deselect beatsync[now the break plays 12 semitones up but is positioned at C4]
~ Apply pitch shift plugin to sample effect chain, down pitching in semitones as close to the original pitch as possible without losing clarity particularly on the hi-hats
~ Auto slice
~ Remove slice markers if too many, move if off position[all slices are now transposed and will change in pitch to correspond to song tempo if editing needs to be done at slower tempos}

~ Find the corresponding beatsync value that matches each slices pitch

~ Round the beatsync value of each slice down to even numbers i.e if a snare has a pitch that matches a beatsync value of 7, round it down to 6. Even numbers add up better mathematical.

[I suppose this is like quantizing but I’m not sure]

~ EQ

~ Compress
~ Destructively render slices [each slice can now multilayered with new samples if necessary]
~ Create DSP effects chains

~ Create Modulation effects chains

And that’s pretty much what I’d been doing recently. I don’t know if the way I’m using beatsync would constitute as quantizing or not I just figured that because I’m working with 192 Lines at 24 LPB, that beatsync values which divide into 24 would result in perfect sync. So basically 24 = 1/4, 12 = 1/8, 6 = 1/16 and that way sliced phrases would transition smoothly into one and other.

As for Soul Pride, I’ve stayed away from it this far. May take a look at it and see what my sanity is like by the end :PI read your analysis of Beep Street and listened even closer and heard everything you described. He really is a gifted lad. His arrangement of slices are fantastic, I suppose having a trained background in jazz helps.

I’m pretty certain now I know what my issue is when it comes to constructing new rhythms from old breaks. It’s just inexperience basically. Back to practice I guess :drummer:

Heres a quick thing I made about a week or two back. Just some random patterns using mostly single hits chopped out of full breaks, some larger sliced phrases from breaks, and a 303 plugin render down to an instrument. I didn’t finish it or turn it into song, and it’s very kinda janky and unhinged because it’s mainly just noodling around and practicing using lots of different samples together in one track. Couldn’t upload the .xrns file cause it exceeds the upload limit sorry

A trick when you need to fill a gap is to reverse the sample, add some silence in the end and apply some reverb to it. Now turn it back around and let the reverse reverb fill the gap. Works sometimes, can’t do it with sliced samples though.

Hmm I tried it with a vocal sample but it didn’t work? The reverb just behaved as normal?

1. Load the sample

2. Right click sample waveform – process – reverse

3. Sample effects chain – add reverb

4. Right click sample again – process – reverse

Is this right?

Scratch that figured out how to do it using the render to sample button in the pattern editor.

My work flow was basically this:

A different approach for the same results :wink: I got stuck with doing this in Ableton just because I came to Renoise from using Live for about 7 years or so for all my timestretching and generally fucking-things-up needs (main DAW was and is and will be Cubase though, I love it hopelessly :smiley: ).
Multiband compression and expansion are for me hit-and-miss a lot of times tbh, unless I’m working with a break that has not been processed at all, I will probably not even touch it if there’s no glaring issues to be fixed. As a guideline for MB compression I’ve been using this: (picked it up ages ago from DOA):

Example Settings for a Multi-Band Compressor (5-Band)

LOW - tighten up bottom end.
Frequency Range: 0Hz-150Hz
Ratio: 2.5:1
Attack: 20ms
Release: 150ms
Threshold: very low to almost always trigger compression.
Gain: make up gain lost in compression.

LOW MID - tighten up the mix.
Frequency Range: 150Hz-600Hz
Ratio: 3:1
Attack: 20ms
Release: 150ms
Threshold: trigger regularly, but be about 2dB below the point of
rarely triggering.
Gain: make up for compression, or just a little more for warmth.

MID - add punch to the mix.
Frequency Range: 600Hz-1.5Hz
Ratio: 6:1
Attack: 10ms
Release: 150ms
Threshold: set fairly low to almost always trigger compression.
Gain: add 4-6dB or more to make up lost gain and add guts.

MID HI - add presence and increased clarity of individual instruments.
Frequency Range: 1.5KHz-6Hz
Ratio: 3:1
Attack: 10ms
Release: 150ms
Threshold: trigger regularly, but be about 2dB below the point of
rarely triggering.
Gain: add 1-3dB for presence/clarity.

HI - reduce harshness without losing sparkle
Frequency Range: 6KHz-15Hz
Ratio: 2:1
Attack: 10ms
Release: 150ms
Threshold: only trigger when harshness present.
Gain: maybe add 1-2dB to recover sparkle lost in compression.

I like those beats a lot mate, could you maybe upload the .xrns to something like Dropbox?

I still haven’t gotten the whole chopping thing down 100% yet though. There still seems to be some disconnection between the slices when I use the workflow I wrote out above, like brief pauses and samples cutting off too early. Some of the problems seem to be from how I processed the breaks i.e weak hi-hats, and kicks creating silence in between hits causing the disconnection. I’m fairly sure my math is just a slight bit off as well though. But it’s too late at night to try sort it out now though. Hopeing to get a look at it tomorrow and see if I can fix it.

I got my hands on a copy Ozone 7, and did some EQ Matching and compression with it on some shitty sounding breaks. The difference afterwards was bloody amazing. I compared them to one of Weyheyhey’s breaks and mine were still a fair bit too boomy and the dynamics still weren’t even enough, his have just the right amount of tone and clarity to them on all the drum hits. Gonna have another crack at it again tomorrow and use those compression settings you gave me and see how I get on :walkman:

Sure no problem. I dunno if the file is considered excessively large for a music file or .xrns, but I don’t have any experience with audio file management, only text and image based. Here’s a link to the file in Dropbox anyway

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jjl7ji5v09jwznj/FAF%20%231%20%5B4%5D.xrns?dl=0

If your slices are too short, time stretch! Akaizer is a tool to get for Renoise

Also, remember, sometimes the best way to fill in gaps is to just replace the hit with another sample or a hit from another break. Sometimes reverb helps a lot as well to add a tail or some decay (maybe a short delay). But often times even if there are gaps, other elements of the song will fill it in. You have to imagine how it may sound in the context of the track, but if it’s the meat and potatoes, layer! Most times you hear breaks they are composed of layered breaks or breaks with samples overlapped, you usually never hear just one break.

I remember watching this a long time agohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JKFdYqUEwg and was surprised how many breaks they were using (the trick of layering a really processed break, super high passed to make the top end sound more natural and busy helps a lot at times). I though it was good or complex processing, but nah, just eq, compression and layering. It is really important, it fills things in sort of like parallel processing (which is also super great btw!!! Probably more useful). But again, in the context of a song, if things cut out other elements can fill it in. And I should add, don’t add layers because you can, sometimes less is more with stuff, layering, processing etc. Like take your high hat channel, re-sample it, process it, dirty it up, etc then just tuck it in and maybe gate it/sidechain it to give it that staccato feel. Could sound neat…

(ps. that file uses a few external plug ins, not sure how that affects the sound)

(pss. this has all probably been mentioned in the thread, or you already know it. Sorry if it’s redundant!)

If your slices are too short, time stretch! Akaizer is a tool to get for Renoise

If so fair avoided time stretching, but I’ve downloaded Akaizer and I’ll give it a go when I get a chance.

I’ve only lately started using multiple breaks in tracks. I found that if I program a pattern and then repeat it, but replace the hits with different samples I can aid more dynamics to the track by creating the illusion of complexity. I picked up on from listening to Aphex, I noticed it in Ziggomtaic 17 I think it was, some patterns have the same positions but the chnaging of samples makes it sound like a new patterns. Really saves me time.

Great video, really short and sweet too. Much appreciated. I like the advice regarding filtering out specific frequencies to make room for others in the mix. I hadn’t been doing that until today. ^_^And as for re-sample, that’s something I haven’t touched on either, but I’m meaning to now soon simply cause I really like to f**ck up my drums and twist them all to hell :badteeth:

Yeah sorry I forgot about those plugins. Most are Ozone 7 compressors so thats definetly gonna affect the sound. And the other main one is AUpitch, I use a mac and AUpitch must come bundled in with Garageband or something so yeah that’s really gonna mess the sound.

No nothing of that was redundant at all. Cheers for the input :walkman:

As regards to my programming and chopping skills, I figured it was best to just have a go at recreating Beep Street from scratch using the Soul Pride break myself. I’ve only got about 1/2 the intro down and the main beat that kicks in after the intro. But I learned a hell of a lot so far from just studying the track.

Hi friend, I just wonder how did your reply not get any like so far. I consider this post really useful and inspiring. Cheers! :slight_smile: :heart: