Drums lay at the core of every good track, providing the rhythmic energy and beating heart of the music. Making sure that those drums are solid and satisfying is, therefore, an essential part of producing high-quality tracks. On this in-depth course, experienced producer Simon Shackleton will take you on a journey as he builds up a number of complete grooves from the ground up, explaining every decision meticulously along the way.
The first part of the course focuses on a Jackin’ House or Tech House beat, starting with the kick, which is designed using a combination of samples and sub-bass, before moving on to the accompanying hats and snares. A large selection of loops are hand-picked, chopped-up and artfully combined, using effects within custom-made channel strips to carry out the various processing required.
Claps are then added to the groove, with 2 different workflows demonstrated. The first is a simple but highly effective do-it-yourself approach that includes recording claps, then editing the clips together to form a multi-layered, continually varying clap. The second meanwhile shows a quicker technique that involves a 3rd-party plugin.
Additional layers of percussion are then incorporated, with a jackin' loop initially to add syncopation and interesting textures, followed by high-frequency shakers and tambourine, designed to be used in isolation or combination as desired. The final module then delves into methods for applying ‘layers of intrigue’, meaning extra samples for fills and breakdowns, and various ways of using both insert and send effect processing to create depth, anticipation and much more!
Sample Module - Building a Jaking House Beat
Module 1 - Recommended Software and Channel Strips
In these first 2 lessons, Simon talks about the additional tools and settings used at certain points in the course, namely Loopcloud and FX racks in Live that contain factory devices and free 3rd-party plugins. He walks through setting up the 2 channel strips in Live, with basic and advanced strips for analysing and processing sounds in later modules.
Lesson 1 - Intro to Loopcloud - 10.15
Lesson 2 - Channel Strips Setup - 11.18
Module 2 - Kick Drum
This module focuses on how to create a chunky Kick Drum, including sample selection and then how to blend kicks together to create a big and unified sound. Techniques shown involve audio editing, level balancing, EQ, compression, saturation and limiting.
Lesson 1 - Choosing Kick Drums - 11.47
Lesson 2 - Blending Kick Drums - 28.18
Lesson 3 - Sub Kick - 19.51
Module 3 - Straight Loop Creation
In this module, Simon shows how a number of different loops can be combined to form a ‘straight’ loop, which adds upper textures like hats and snares on the downbeats and upbeats to support the kick. He meticulously edits and processes sounds individually and together on the group channel using effects like dynamic and mid/side EQ, parallel compression and saturation.
Lesson 1 - Loop Selection - 14.24
Lesson 2 - Straight Loop 1 - 21.35
Lesson 3 - Straight Loop 2 - 25.09
Module 4 - Percussion Part 1
This module focuses on 2 different workflows for creating claps, with the first being a do-it-yourself approach that includes recording your own claps and then editing, mixing and processing them to form an interesting and varying clap loop. The second then shows a 3rd-party plugin that can be used as an alternative option.
Lesson 1 - DIY Claps - 20.48
Lesson 2 - El Clapo Claps - 08.35
Module 5 - Percussion Part 2
The first lesson in this module works a new syncopated loop into the groove, to add character, interesting rhythms and textural layers. The following two lessons then show how to edit and process top loops like tambourines and shakers, so that they can be combined or added individually to the drums for extra energy.
Lesson 1 - Jackin’ Groove - 30.32
Lesson 2 - Tambourine - 13.05
Lesson 3 - Shakers - 07.52
Module 6 - Layers of Intrigue - Arrangement, FX Automation and More!
Now the main groove has been created, Simon arranges it into a lengthier phrase, explaining all of the edits and embellishments required to make the beat interesting and dynamic, whilst also including the necessary cues a DJ might expect. Additional samples are incorporated to help with fills and breakdowns, and various spot FX and automation are used to add extra dimensions and anticipation to the drums.
Lesson 1 - Layers of Intrigue Part 1 - 24.50
Lesson 2 - Layers of Intrigue Part 2 - 26.02
Once you’ve enrolled on the course, you’ll have instant 24/7 access to 4 hours of streamed tutorials, as well as downloads of the projects from each module, and finally a bonus pack of drum samples from Loopmasters. Sample modules are available as examples of the course style and content, so you can see how articulate and engaging a tutor Simon is before signing up. Enrol now to start learning from a master in the field and turbocharge your beats production knowledge today!
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