It was like a “Santa Claus is not real, it’s uncle Bob who puts the presents there” moment.
Naive young me, many years ago: thought that the drum bars, solos and loops in jungle/breakbeat/breakcore etc types of music were recorded with a drummer, or someone played it on midi-pads or someone programmed a drumm-achine to do all the ‘Td-Bum-Bum-Thssh-D-Tp-Tpm-Thsss’ stuff - note by note on an editor grid.
Now I can’t listen to that stuff - I just see Renoise or FL Studio patterns.
Actualy some guys are programming all that stuff note by note, or playing live drums, recording them, slice. I`ve learned few years ago fingerdrumming (my interest was playing drumfunk in 170-175 bpm and actually there is nothing really hard to do ). So this all up to you - take one loop of amen and duplicate it through entire track and make this boring as hell or do some creative stuff. You can search on Youtube for Spinscott - that man plays live full jungle tracks on akai mpc without any preprogrammed patterns.
That’s how it’s done. That’s how anyone should do it. Create your own beats! It’s not that hard.
I cannot listen to all the “common” Breakbeat and Jungle stuff anymore because everything is based on the very same loop for decades… A different approach and variation would be nice, this music style deserves it.
I love to compose my own breaks, then make them sound the way I want, slice them after all in to oneshots, map to pads, or sequence them in renoise with sample offset (Usually it is like 70% of time I spend on break programming, variations, tuning, sound design, pads, atmospheres and 30% is actually playing with all that stuff and making a track). Or do some oneshot stuff from found sounds. And I know many producers doing like this
I’ve heard from many musicians that learning too much about theory and techniques can spoil a little of the fun that music has. This also happened to me in the past. Don’t worry, the disillusion will fade, and you might be able to enjoy the music again one day. It is the same for many instrument players, musicians or producers…once you know what is going on under the hood, many songs can lose a little of that emotional magic. It’s because your brain now has strong focus on the technical aspects due to you learning your craft, and the aesthetics can get lost a little in the background from that point of view. You’ll see, if you keep going and listening critically etc., there might come the point where you have grown confident in your knowledge of techniques that the aesthetic/emotional aspects start coming back to the foreground again, just then you don’t only focus on emotional or technique, but both at the same time. It’s what makes great artists btw., they are great in their techniques but never lose that feeling for the sound and the subjective effects. So like…making music that will sound great to any ears, not just to those who are schooled or unable to see behind the curtain of production.
Maybe it helps you to think of that there are indeed producers who program the breakbeats hit for hit. In the beginning it might just have been triggered/sliced drum loops…but the styles progressed, and there are different approaches to get such beats nowadays, even up to live drummers recorded for some tracks. Well, for fast stuff you need a good drummer, but some people really do it that way. I myself like to cut up the classic breaks for single drum hits in multiple versions, beefing them up a little with layering and fx, and then I sequence them really note for note to program my own rhythms, and I even at times extract groove or timing irregularities from breaks to impose them on my own rhythms. Yes, you can also do this with the amen break or funky drummer. Renoise is great for this actually because of the flexible sampler and the tracker pattern way of composing rhythms.
SO the re occurance of the james Brown ’ UUUggghhh’ vocal in almost every (funky drummer ) drumbreak didn’t ring a bell it was sample based ?
Anyway, , the breaks are there to splice , dice and re-arrange
Yeah. I started listening and enjoying music before I had any knowledge, or practical understanding of music theory and technology.
You could say, I was just enjoying the morphology of sound, the aesthetic form of whatever was that I was listening to.
I did not even thought about that a guy saying ‘uughhh’ on every bar was maybe sampled, I did not know what sampling is - my resolution was Drums vs The Other Stuff. And I wanted more drums back then. And my understanding of popular music was rock concert videos of late 80s - many of them I sus were phonograms. Hairy dudes banging drums.
Later in mid teens I started trying making hip-hop beats in Fruity Loops, and that gradually opened my understanding of finer nuance of music- theory, technology and praxis - and other genres of music and sound arts. Went to see Kraftwerk ‘live’
My hip-hop beats - I never sampled beats or loops - because I thought it’s cheating and stealing and lame - and I was massively disappoint, when discovered that many popular 90s/00s rap beats ar just sampled and rearranged funk/r-n-b/rock classics. I still feel cheated - I thought Ice-Cube was a guy with a band or something lol lol lol
Bought a Korg ER and ESX, and a synth. Now I play bass and some guitar, but it has to be fret-less.
I mean - I sus there must be more like me, who started their music education from the other way round.
I hear you. I used to think “how do all these producers get a hold of fantastic drummers and sometimes even orchestra’s to play their music!?”.
Part of me still feels that sampling is lame. And often it is lame, as people are lazy. At the same time I do think that sampling can also be an art form.
For example, what The Prodigy did back in 1997 is great, creative use of sampling. Taking existing pieces and re-shaping and combining them into something new and original.
Despite the thumbnail, this is a making of “The Prodigy - Smack My Bitch Up" in Ableton by Jim Pavloff”:
It looks simple and easy, but re-creations in modern DAWs always do. You know what it is supposed to sound like. So you can work towards it. In 1997 the Prodigy had an empty canvas and thus they had to find, record and match the sampled material. Using primitive computers and hardware samplers. There is no doubt in my mind that this a fully legit artistic expression and a new, original work that required skill and dedication to create. And decidedly not lame.
Agreed – This and early De La Soul made an art form of deeply relating the meaning of the samples to the meaning of the song in a way that was both intellectually satisfying and devastatingly funky. After sample IP owners got savvy about milking money out of every audio clip used, hip hop hasn’t been as free to create these sound collages in the same way.
That’s an interesting topic. So what exactly is allowed nowadays and what’s not?
Are songs like this, that brought the knowledge about sampling into my life when I was a kid, still allowed?
That’s actually what it is.
But it’s not if you change it significantly and make something own out of it. Like chopping and rearranging beats. It just gets pretty boring and same-sounding if it’s always the same source like the Amen break. And personally I think it’s better to create a beat hit by hit right away instead of chopping a beat to get single chunks just to rearrange them.
Yeah man, I always think of Vanilla Ice when Under Pressure by Queen & David Bowie starts to play on the radio. It always takes a few seconds to realize it’s the original and not Vanilla Ice.
This history of sampling and how-to- guide for producers (from Red Bull, of all places!) actually does a good job of explaining the state of sampling and how it changed from this era we’re talking about to the modern era:
While this goes deeper into the legality and the recommended paths for clearing samples: