How To: Make Your Own Sexy Drum Loops

music production tutorial

There seems to be a never-ending debate about whether it's ok to use full samples in your own tracks, and no matter what side of the argument you're on, there are a few things you can do to give any sample your own unique touch.

One of my favourite techniques to make unique drum loops involve granulation. There's a few ways you can apply granulation to your sounds. I've already spoken about one of those techniques in my How To: Granular Synthesis Like Flume blog post.

This technique doesn't involve any extra software like Quanta or Granulator 2If you have Ableton this is a very simple trick you can do from the clip view. 

Step 1: Load up your sample.

First, you want to find a good drum loop, I find hip-hop, funk or soul loops to be the best but you can also find cool sounds with future bass drums loops too, or pretty much anything to be honest.

The trick here is to find something that has a fair bit going on, the more interesting the drum loop in the beginning, the more interesting it will be in the end (pretty obvious).

Step 2: Halve the tempo

So from this:   To this: 

Step 3: Change the Granulation Resolution

The granulation resolution is the preserve menu.

Change this to 1/4 (you can also experiment with 1/8 & 1/16)

This is a fixed note value that will preserve the beat for every quarter of the sample.

Step 4: Change the Transient Loop Mode

This can also be experimented with, you can find good results using any combination of the 3 modes. I find the Off setting works the best, but it is purely up to how you want it to sound. 

Step 5: Reduce the Transient Envelope

This again is something that can be experienced with, I find the best results somewhere between 40 and 70.

Step 6: Experiment

And there you go, you've just made a sorta weird, but unique drum loop. From here what you do is up to you. I'd recommend putting Fracture by Glitchmachines on and messing around in there (it's free) - and when you've found a sound you like why not put my Sexy Drums effect rack on top to make it punch.

Another thing you can do after you've made a cool loop could be exporting the audio file to MIDI and adding your own drum sounds on top (I heard these samples are pretty good).


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