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FutureGarageForum.com • View topic - swing and skip meta-masterclass

swing and skip meta-masterclass

Discuss Production Techniques and ask Production Questions here.

swing and skip meta-masterclass

Postby Blackdown » Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:14 pm

I've spent the best part of a decade agonising over the black art of making garage drums, especially hi hats, sound 'garagey'. it's a decepively difficult skill to learn - and there's nothing worse than a track that nominally has drums in the "2step" positions but has no swing or skip to it. it's totally stiff and 'on grid.'

so i thought i'd start this thread so we can all share our tips on the best tips and skills of this dark art.

mine are

swing

shuffle your hats so that some of them are off the grid

skippy

pitch your hats so that they have a flex to them

offbeat 8ths

it took me years to realise this but 2step drums aren't about the snares on the 2 and 4, they're about the hats on the offbeat 8th notes (2,4,6,8 and their interaction with the kicks on the 1, 5 and whereever else you put them)

what other tricks do people know? i've always wondered if old garage producers compress their hats so they smudge into each other...
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Re: swing and skip meta-masterclass

Postby Dom » Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:35 pm

I find sending all the drums through a bus with a gate on gives that clipped sound. a little automation on the threshold can provide some interesting results too.
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Re: swing and skip meta-masterclass

Postby Blackdown » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:15 pm

iiiinteresting Dom!
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Re: swing and skip meta-masterclass

Postby wascal » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:53 pm

If you use Ableton 7 the global swing amount can be automated on the master channel, affecting anything you have running as midi (ie sampler/simpler, synths etc). Using this you can set the swing amount to change subtly or drastically in a bar then copy and paste it across the length of your tune for a heavy non-standard swing. Also you can use the global swing amount to make the start and end of your tune a bit easier to mix if you get carried away with this trick ;)
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Re: swing and skip meta-masterclass

Postby Cluelessbeats » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:57 pm

I almost always use an exteme amount of shuffle- or rather, I simulate an extreme amount of shuffle - manually - with where I place the beats. IMO shuffle/swing is best when it's just a bit too much, or too little - just right sounds too correct.

btw one of the trickiest 2step beats I've heard is Burial "Broken Home". Genius beat placement.. Garage curriculum
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Re: swing and skip meta-masterclass

Postby Littlefoot » Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:02 pm

Dom wrote:I find sending all the drums through a bus with a gate on gives that clipped sound. a little automation on the threshold can provide some interesting results too.


this

It makes the hats cut off depending on the hit before them.


Here's how to make that hi hat mess ala Tuff Jam / Todd Edwards:

Take a 909 Open Hat, duplicate it like 4 times, pitch it to several different varietys, shorten the longer ones so they are all the same length, preferably resample the pitched ones into an Akai sampler at low volume and gain up (for that CCRRHH bit crushed effect)
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Re: swing and skip meta-masterclass

Postby Dorcas Pelling » Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:26 pm

How do you feel about triplet hat shuffles?
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Re: swing and skip meta-masterclass

Postby Notecrusher » Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:02 pm

Dorcas Pelling wrote:How do you feel about triplet hat shuffles?

the characteristic garage hihat shuffle is more extreme than a triplet shuffle, i.e. the 8th note off-beats are closer to the downbeats.
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Re: swing and skip meta-masterclass

Postby Dorcas Pelling » Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:10 am

Cool. I meant more does anyone use hi hat triplets in their tracks. I quite like putting in a triplet hat roll and the end of 8 bars (like in a fill). 8-)
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Re: swing and skip meta-masterclass

Postby Littlefoot » Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:47 am

Dorcas Pelling wrote:Cool. I meant more does anyone use hi hat triplets in their tracks. I quite like putting in a triplet hat roll and the end of 8 bars (like in a fill). 8-)

yeah like Bump and Flex and Artful Dodger, it's a neat trick!
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Re: swing and skip meta-masterclass

Postby gremino » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:12 pm

I tend to mostly sample my hats, and I'v noticed that 70's dub reggae's hats are the king of grit. Funk/soul are ofcourse classic sample sources too. And to get that classic garage feel, it's good to gate them in little snippets, and flatten them with compressor/distortion. I think cutting hi ends to some extend are a good idea, to make them sound not too harsh, and then mix them loud!

Then it's good to complement sampled hats with classic drum machine-hats, 808's for example, to get a bit sharpness/strongness into them. But then it's good to compress/distort them to not sound too separated.

A good way to get a smooth groove is to create your own swing, by putting second and fourth 1/16 note hit late (or ahead of time) differently to each other. Meaning:

If this is normal swing: x x(late) x x(late) x x(late) x x(late) x x(late) x x(late) x x(late) x x(late)

Then this is what I'm meaning: x x(late1) x x(late2) x x(late1) x x(late2) x x(late1) x x(late2) x x(late1) x x(late2)

Or then you could put the idea even further by making different delays to every twin hit.
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Re: swing and skip meta-masterclass

Postby Notecrusher » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:30 pm

Dorcas Pelling wrote:Cool. I meant more does anyone use hi hat triplets in their tracks. I quite like putting in a triplet hat roll and the end of 8 bars (like in a fill). 8-)

oh i getcha. kick triplet rolls can be dope too.

nice one gremino!
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Re: swing and skip meta-masterclass

Postby spooks » Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:16 pm

Good thread! Being a FL Studio user though I have no idea what 'buses with gates on' are - conjures up some interesting images...
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Re: swing and skip meta-masterclass

Postby Dom » Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:50 pm

spooks wrote:Good thread! Being a FL Studio user though I have no idea what 'buses with gates on' are - conjures up some interesting images...


can be done in FL no problem. I use it too for some tunes. a bus is a simply a group channel eg if you send your kick snare and hat channels to another channel.
Image

select insert1 and then right click on where number 9 is on insert 3 and select route to this channel only. repeat for as many channels as you want. you could then compress the drums as a whole rather than a compressor on each channel. hope that makes sense!
A gate is a noise gate http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noise_gate
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Re: swing and skip meta-masterclass

Postby Blackdown » Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:53 am

i sent this thread to a few old school headz, El-B replied with this tip:

"I only swing the percussion BETWEEN the kick, snare & main hats. Its your choice how to swing them, via groove quantize, 16T or just by hand. I personally do it by hand to keep a natural/live feel to the drums."
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