Making Breakcore In Renoise

I have some questions about making breakcore in renoise. I’m kind of new to the whole making electronic music thing as far as sample based music goes. I’ve made some amateur trance in fruity loops and some experimental synth music in renoise, but now I want to try and make breakcore.

Heres what I do understand:

From my understanding breakcore is based on this drum break called the amen break. In order to make breakcore you cut and slice up the amen break to get six slices of the snare and bass drum hats etc. And you use those slices and rearrange the amen break around, and add distortion to the drums.

Heres what I don’t get:

I really hear so many different kinds of breakcore out there that I don’t get what some of the artists are doing. For example some seem to not even cut and slice the amen break up, and rather just loop it some how. Some seem to take that loop that they have of the break and make the bass stand out, with some kind electronic echoing effect. How would you make that effect if you were just looping the amen break? And how do you loop the amen break?

How do sync up the amen break with the tracker is another thing I don’t get. Also When I try to speed up the tempo or slow it down it won’t do it. This is before I cut and slice.

I’m also a bit confused as to what kind drums besides amen breaks are typical used in breakcore. I hear some artists using bongos and others it sounds like there using a mix between the renoise drum kit and the amen break to make layers of drums. Are all drums in breakcore sample based, and is the amen break the break typical used?

Also distorted drums seem to be a problem for me. I hear a lot of distortion in songs, it kind hard describe, its like the drums aren’t really even drums there just there for distortion and than there’s like other drums and breaks that aren’t as distorted, kinda hard to explain that one.

Another thing is what type of synth basses are used in breakcore? Some songs I can barely hear the synth bass and others it’s really loud. Is distortion often added on the synth bass when that is what is emphasized in the song?

Pretty much since there’s so many ways to make breakcore it seems to overwhelm me, and I need to know all my options and try everything out at least once to form my style.

I think some one should make some kind of e-book or video on this subject of “making breakcore” cause I literally found barely anything on it. I didn’t even know what the amen break was until I found this website. So it’s a bit of a challenge for someone that doesn’t know some one who is interested in breakcore, and lives were there are no shows. Cause over hear on long island NY I haven’t met a single soul who knows how to make this stuff at music shops or anything. Most of them know about aphex twin and ventian snares cause they have seen their myspace or whatever. But a lot of them don’t even know that there even called breakcore. I think if some one decided to make a site dedicated on how to make breakcore that would be pretty cool, and would help expose more people to breakcore and make more artists because of that. Cause right now it seems that breakcore is under the underground at least where I’m from. I hope in the next twenty years breakcore becomes as common of a word as techno or trance.

That is all!

Thanks to who ever help me!

you dont have to use the Amen break,make some of your favorite breaks into renoise instruments,that will really help you and speed up your work flow


renoise is massive for this :drummer:

edit:grab this samplepack of 79 variations of a wellknown break,and make them into renoise instruments,that will get you started…8eada0a1ae8665a

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Incorrect…to an extent. Yes, the amen is an integral part of breakcore, but to say that breakcore is sliced amen and only sliced amen +dist would be a very…for lack of a better term, stupid assumption

Breakcore is a very wide genre. It varies from who you ask. In my opinion , Breakcore is a genre that draws from many sources, mainly Drum ‘n’ Bass, Jungle, and similar genres. It focuses on intricate drum slicing, editing, sequencing, glitching and shuffling, as well as, sometimes, a moderate to heavy use of gabber kicks. Breakcore can be any speed really. I’ve heard breakcore as slow as 150 BPM, and as fast as 360 BPM.

That’s just my definition, but if you’re just getting into electronic music production, specifically breakcore, I’d say you might as well stick to the amen in the beginning. It’s a very versatile break, and a good beginner’s break. Easy to slice, and it sounds very nice.

Hope that helped some :)

I think this is an exaggeration. Find a track that has elements that you find interesting and figure out how to recreate them in Renoise. If you’re using Renoise then you know you can recreate the effects by, say, Venetian Snares. Listen to what he does and figure out how he did it. Then, rather than trying to figure out some other thing that somebody else might have done, figure out a different thing you might do using the same techniques.

Breakcore is an experimental art form; emulating others too closely is missing the point, I think.

To paraphrase a friend of mine: ask not how to make breakcore, ask yourself how breakcore will be made.


I think you need to look at some .xrns songs in the fast-ass breakbeat style. Mute channels, and do some ‘remixing’ in the beat department to steal/rip/learn from it. Like said here previously, when you are able to apply the tracking basics you can try out your own stuff and ideas.

The rbi baseball compo has some drilly xrns’s to look at:

For example check out padlock - 240 & for more experimental style UncleC - OA

There’s was a vid from Computer Music featuring Shitmat, where he sort of shows how he does things, no renoise tho, but I guess it could be interesting. It was called “Shitmat Remix Video Tutorial” or something similar. It’s most likely available for download or watching somewhere on the net.
Other then that… just go nuts, and you don’t have to use the amen, you can use whatever, even tho the amen is probably the most common break.

To sync up a sample with renoise, you need to open the INSTRUMENT SETTINGS TAB, and then type in the number of beats you want it to fit into (the PATTERN LENGTH, found at the top left of the pattern editor that tells you how long, or how many beats each pattern is)
Then click SYNC

this will stretch the sample into the specified number of beats. Make sure the sample is in time with itself though, without speedups or slowdowns, or it wont be in time regardless of whether it fits exactly into the number of beats.
When you’ve done this, playing the sample anywhere on the keyboard will get you the same pitch/speed. The only way you can speed up or slow it down will be with the 02XX/01XX command.
Another fun little diddle that suits “BREAKCORE” is the 04XX command. This cuts up the sample and only lets an amount of it (the amount you type in…goes up to 09) through. Once you’ve cut it, you can start it again with 040A… Another way of doing this is running it all through a gate and setting the threshold respectively.
As for cutting your sample up into SN/HH/CYM/BD, i would say you don’t necessarily need to do this. You can trigger the sample from different points in the sample with the 09XX command. The X’s standing for the number you see, under your desired starting point, in the sample editor (the snare being 0940).
As for artists you hear boosting the kick or high hats etc of a sample, this is done simply by doubling up the drum part with other samples in seperate tracks (this can be quite time consuming if you have written an intricately chopped sample)…or you can boost certain frequencies with EQ or Filters.
I hope this helps… above all, you don’t need to write breakcore…write what you feel like writing initially, and then move into more intricate chops once you know what you’re doing and you can use it as a creative outpour, fitting everything you know how to do into one pattern at a time :D

Check the Renoise files of the godfather of breakcore here!! ;)
(=Benefit of the Boomerang)

richtclick --> save target

and offcourse shameless selfpromotion:

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i have never used the sync in my tracks,but i guess it could be usefull for some people :D

as i wrote in my first post,making breaks into renoise instruments is a fast way to get great control over your "beats"and it is a fast way to work

It’s fine either way really. Chopping up the sample and writing breaks that way saves effect column space by not using the 09XX command.

Protip: if you use Recycle, you can export a recycle file as an akai instrument which turns each slice into its own wav, then you can just drag and drop them all into sample slots. Instantly turns a break into a renoise instrument.

Yes recycle is nice for auto-slicing breaks, same for zero X beatquantizer, but why export breaks in recycle to akai instruments when you can directly export the slices to .wavs?

Because I also use an akai sampler. =)


I’ve found that the Amen is more central to Jungle than Breakcore, but both sub-genres draw from one another and intermingle more often than not (Cardopusher, Bong-Ra, etc).

I mostly use Amens and Amen-type breaks (my percussion style is closer to Jungle/Drum and Bass than true Breakcore) with a sample bank of low kicks and assorted cymbals to accentuate the breaks.

09XX, 01XX, 02XX, and 08XX are your friends. Render to sample is your friend and buying a Renoise license is also your friend so you can be friends with Render.

Layering beats is your CLOSEST friend.

I’ve also found Gating to be handy, at least on one of the percussion layers. Salt to taste.

Download XNRS files from some of the more seasoned tracker vets here, and just study their compisitions, build your chops that way, theres always somebody out there you can learn from. Lots of my chops were influenced by a renoise replication of a Venetian Snares song, say what you want about Aaron’s music, but he’s mastered tracking IMHO. Analyze his music.

This might be the best quote in this topic ;)

I often use 5 snares to make the snare sound like I want.


Thanks for sharing, it’s very helpfull :P