That Fat Drum Beat Sound

I’ve been using Renoise for a few months now and it’s been utterly fantastic. First time I’ve ever used anything to make electronic music, and I’m starting to get my bearings, and all is almost well.

The one thing that bothers me is how my drum beats sound. Primarily I’m interested in making Dubstep, Drum and Bass and Breakcore-ish tunes, and at the moment I’m using the Drumatic, or various breakbeat samples which I’ve found scattered around the internet. With the samples, it’s not so bad, but when I make my own beats, it seems that no matter what I do, I am unable to get that crunchy, gravelly noise, specifically out of the snares and cymbals.

I’ve asked my producer mates about it, and they always say I need to get into layering the various parts. I can’t really get an explanation out of them as to how to do this- I just understand it as having them fit in against one another. As in, let’s say, having a kick playing in time with a breakbeat sample in order to make it punchier.

Another thing I was told was to try resampling, but I suppose what I’m really asking is where I can find some online tutorials to hold my hand through the basic idea of it a few times. Apologies if it’s already on here somewhere.

They way I do it often:

put every sound (snare, hihat, base, etc)
in different tracks twice

Let’s take the snare for example.

you have 2 snare tracks
keep one clean, and put a lot of heavy compressing on the second one. and a tiny bit reverb after the compressor in your track dsp.

the compressed sound makes the snare dirty and the clean keeps the transient oke.
try to work out the right balance between those two so that it seems one massive snare!

this is just one way. The easyest way is still: search for massive drumsamples on the internet ;)

The more I produce drums, the more I find that having a good solid fat drum sample to start with, the easier it is to make it sound even fatter and nastier.

As for resampling or layering beats, the general idea is that you can do stuff like trigger 10 different kicks at once, and render the result to a new sample. Rinse, repeat.

You want your beats to sound gravely? Go out and record yourself walking on gravel, then apply envelopes and mix with drum sounds.

Also, vinyl and tape distortion can help dirty up your beats.

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Video Tutorial 4 phat beat
This is in the video tutorials section.

909 = gold for phatening hits, btw ;)

Nice one, thanks for the advice, guys!

Your friends are correct.
Layering is the key to drum beat happiness.
I layer the different hits either on different instruments, play each sound on it’s own channel, adjusting levels, then render selection to sample.
Or I just load samples in kontakt 2 and then I can adjust levels afterwards if things don’t quite fit.

Don’t be afraid to layer more than 2 drum sounds for a single hit.
Also, listen for any other non drum sounds that might fit alongside a normal kit sample.
I read an article in Computer Music where a guy said he used the sound of a basketball being
dribbled as a snare drum I think.

Aphex Twin by chance? There’s a basketball sound in at least one track on Drukqs

naw, i read the same one, some drum&bass duo or techno boffin or summit.

I’ve been playing around with filtering whitenoise to add to kicks and snares layers recently.
Can give some great (and original) results with decay envelope controlled filters and volume.
Eg. Use the LFO device on one shot with a steep slope lowpass or bandpass set low for kicks.
The sounds can be very bare on their own but add characteristic “GIN-SAY-QUAW!” when layered.

Also, if you want ringy snares play around with layering samples that have been amplitude modulated with pitch and amplitude decayed sine waves or use ring mod

Also, I guess Lofimat and distotion are your friend for “gravelly” purposes, but I would still recommend layering or including the dry signal most of the time. Again automate for sounds that sound as if they’re “being hit”.

Look at kaneels/ Mr Baguette’s tutorial on render selection to sample for resampling.

Cut hits out of the loops you like.

If you want to be fast you should take the time to create a template song just for building drum sounds, taking care to name things. Create instruments within this, one containing all of your snares; all of your kicks; all of your cymbals etc… This won’t take ages and it will be there whenever you need it.

I heard R. James did an S Club 7 remix with using the original track as a snare drum.

I think a basketball hit would make a great tom sound.