How to achieve these drum sounds?

Hey everyone,

I really like the sounds that this beat is constructed of in this piece.

My initial prediction is that this is some kind of breakbeat heavily processed and then layered with digital drums.

Starting at 1:48 is what I am talking about.

What is the higher pitched hit that comes after the kicks? Is that more of a hi-hat or more of a snare sound?

Why is the kick so…crunchy? Is has such a nice sound. I hear a lot of layers going on just in that one kick sound.

I appreciate it!

I like the tune for the unusual harmonic progression, it is a bit like an escher optical illusion creating a feeling of an infinite stairway that you think of walking up while at the same time you have to notice that you’re not rising, but falling.

the beat sounds purely synthetic to me, no break beat samples involved in my ears…maybe with drum machine samples as basis…

to get a synthetic kick, normally I would have 3 components as basis (not always ofc). a “thud”, a “click” and a “tap”, I name them. the thud is the bassy part, like hitting from ~300-100 down to 100-30 hz. the click is more like a tight snap, clicking around 500-2000 hz, sometimes with higher harmonics, a sharp click like a very clean drumstick clack noise. the tap is what makes your kick so crisp, like a hat without clanc, or soft crisp felt/paper hit noise, only the high noisy part like 4k-10k. you could for example use some hf noise and filter/envelope it to get a softish yet defined and bright “tap”. each part will have to be eqed to match the desired tonality, and has to be synced in time perfectly to hit together.

If I layer such sounds in renoise, to sync them I use the chorus device on each component seperately in the instrument fx. No modulation depth, no feedback, and 100% wet, and shift the delay with fine tune (hold ctrl) until the components are matching tight enough. This is important to make the hit “sound as one”. Like for a bassdrum, I would first sync the click so it is perfect with the thud, then sync the tap to the whole thing so it sounds one with the click.

the metallic higher pitched hat/snare sound is probably a hat symple (with some 800-2k clank in), fed through a comb filter (or chorus/flanger with strong feedback) that is being slowly modulated in pitch (chorus is predestined for this sound).

1 Like

Kick: 909 kick sample with a really fast envelope pitching down 12 semitones at about 20-30ms, boost high frequencies, add lofi bit reduction to taste, then compression.

High pitch sound: Hi-hat, dunno where from though. Probably just an X0X box or something pitched and tuned.

Squelly hi-pitch sounds behind the kick: Sounds like karplus strong on a send track with the signal coming from the hi-hat track. You can make that using a chorus effect, set rate to 0.2hz and depth to 2% (doesn’t really matter as long as it’s a low number, set feedback to 90-95%, change the delay time to effect the pitch. Bit unpredictable but fun to mess with.

Could also some comb filtering in there to. Pretty easy to set up as well. Use a key tracker to reset an lfo set to Amplitude: 100, Freq: INF LPC, and Mode: Random. Attach a comb filter to a hi-hat sample in the sample modulation editor, apply a macro to the comb filter note input. The have the lfo set to modulate the macro that controls the comb filter note. Instant never ending hi-hat madness.

To be honest there’s nothing to crazy going on with the drum sounds here. Just good sample selection with some nice processing. You can achieve the same results with some simple noodling. If you want to get cool sounds just mess around with modulation and see what comes out. After a while you’ll learn ways to make sounds you like and will be able to replicate it again and again.

Also get a granular vst like Sonic Arts Granite and whack just about anything into it then screw around with the settings. You’ll get decent results from it that you can chop into drum kits.