What You Can Do With Just One Break

Mick Rippon invited me to take just one drum loop sample and make something of it. I liked the challenge, and decided to stretch as much as I could to get something that resembled both ‘art’ and ‘music’. Whether or not I achieved that is open to debate, but for education purposes there is much on display here:

Using a combo of traditional tracking commands, native VST effects and (importantly) LFOs I’ve aimed to make something textural that can evolve and fold over a long time. This is a CPU heavy approach, so some of you may need to increase your latency for proper playback. Please feel free to use this or parts of this in your own music.

A good way to learn what is going on here is to solo each track and peel back the layers of effects by turning the off (and then on again). Also, the loop is beatsynced, so changing the bpm of the song will totally change the sound here.


Remixes welcome. :walkman:

Much work has been done to the loop, and still the mastering is WORLD CLASS. :) Well done.

Thanks AA!

Remix anyone?

Definitifly an excelent example :w00t:
I was just starting to learn about sample manipulation, this will be of great help !
Thank you for sharing this

Should be pinned as tutorial file


On my laptop with renoise 1.9 the file seems to be corrupted or invalid! : (
Please help!


Be sure that the file stored is a rns file
Some donwload manager download it is a zip, don’t know why but I had the same initial problem
Saying that it has to store it as a rns file solved the problem here


Thank you very much KARA !!! :)
I have solved the problem with your councils!


Running this at 8% of my cpu. Can’t understand how you did it.

can you explain what you did with the drums? I dont understand whats going on with e1 bo and e109ff… can someone explain what that does?

Thanks for the feedback everyone, I’m not sure what that error is all about? Works fine here on my 1.9? Anyone else? Could be a hosting issue.

Now for a quick explanation on the slicing techniques:

  1. The break is beat-synced, which makes even slicing easy.
  2. EX (in this case E1, E2, E3) is a retrigger pattern effect in the volume and/or pan column. This re-plays the sample every sub-beat (tick): E1 is every tick, E2 every second and so on.
  3. As above with 0EXX in the effect column.
  4. BX is backward: B0 is reverse sample audio, while B1 switches back the other way. Cool eh?
  5. 09XX is worth learning properly as a pattern effect, so go look it up in the wiki. You can use it to play the sample from different positions.

The above techniques achieve most of the sounds in the song, but to get them sounding great/magical you’ve really got to get into filtering, parameter automations, and dub-atmosphere techniques. So get into each channel and look at what I’ve done!

Great job… I like how you did a very good drone only using a drum loop (wow)

Speed report: Works (just barely though!) on a 733mhz machine.

LOL: 733mhz!

With drones if you repeat any sampling at a fast enough speed you get oscillation - to make that sound ‘useful’ get into filtering the tone. The narrower the better. You could render that drone down and use it as an instrument, or keep it slicing and change the speed to get pitch changes.

Really awesome tutorial. This got me thinking about what I can do for some dong ideas. Thanks!

Can someone post this in mp3 so I can listen to it at work plz? :P

Mp3 is not as fun as XRNS in this case. There is a lot of RND LFO action to keep this interesting play after play. It’s only one pattern long, all native effects.

I thought you didn’t believe in the concept of “random” in music? :P

i cant view the file :( win rar is opening the song up as an xml file then the sample data in a seperate folder

I’m a big believer in it! :D

Just checkout here for proof: http://m.thequietrevolution.net/albums/futurology.htm

Dunno why some people are having probs with the file. I’ll check that out when I’ve got a moment…

this is a problem on your end. file associations, mime types or whatever. check “file types” in explorer for XRNS.

if using IE try firefox or vice versa