Breaks with personality
How can you freshen up classic drum grooves to appeal to modern audiences? Pro producer Ed:it shows you how in this session
When starting from scratch, I usually begin by laying down drums. It sets the pace and groove of things to come, and gives you a solid foundation to build on. Being a DnB head, I love to slice up classic breakbeats. They’re probably the defining elements of rave, DnB and jungle; and have paved the way for all the tracks you hear today. Sampling one of these essential cuts can help get a groove rolling.
In this tutorial, I’ll demonstrate the significance of adapting a sampled break, using only seven DAW channels to achieve a simple yet wellrounded drum sound. I’ll layer individual hits for weight, then EQ and compress for maximum effect. These techniques can provide punch and fatness without ruining the break’s original flavour.
As you (hopefully) already know, the most essential step is finding the right break to begin with. After that, you’ll probably want to resequence it to your needs. In terms of processing, every drum hit and break is unique, so listen carefully. In most cases, less is more, and subtle treatments go a long way. In some situations, though, you may want the aggressive sound that comes from heavier manipulation.
I’m not including any files or video with this session, since I’m using a copyrighted breakbeat, but it doesn’t matter – every break is unique, so tailor my advice below to your own situation.