drum programmin

squinkysaurus

Mmmemmber
when you programme drums for a drop of a tune (this question is aimed more at full-on producers), how much "background" percussion do you have goin on? would you layer up shakers, dif highhats, tambourines, bells, quieter snare beats, etc for a fuller sound or do you keep it simple with one or two elements in order not to clutter the mix?

ive recently started adding more elements to make the drop more powerful, but im thinkin this sometimes sounds messy. and i remember someone posting that they keep their percussion down to a few elements...

other peoples input would be appreciated....
 

Faction

Proto-col
What exactly do you mean by 'drop'? Where it all goes away, or where it all comes back in after it's all gone away?

Making something sound huge is all about contrast - it's got to sound big compared with what's gone previously. If every single sound in the track is massive, the track as a whole will sound small because there's no proper context in which to judge the bigness of large. The more percusiive elements you add, the smaller-sounding some of them will need to be. If it's sounding messy then you should check the timing too - tight is good IMO.
 

Darren Lynch

Junior Members
I'm saying this with 'full on' in mind:

One problem with drops in full on choons is what I call 'Roadrunner syndrome' - that bit in the old cartoon series when Wil E Coyote runs off a cliff, realises that there is nothing beneath him and falls. If you are programming a longish drop, I think you still need to maintain the flow, but in a different way. You can keep it busy with a number of percussion elements, this will keep people shuffling around up top before the kick returns and gets 'em going again. I'd recommend filtering the percussion during the drop, restricting it to upper-mid 'chank' before the return of the main drums complete with ear-tingling top end and stomach churning bass (In a good way you understand).

From the perspective of the dancefloor punter, I've often been consigned to milling around the floor with other peeps during drops. During these occassions I yearn for something percussive and funky to keep things going before the main drums return. Its a different kind of strength, that's all.

Hope that makes sense. Just returned from one of Brixton's fun Acid Techno nights. Having a lot of thoughts at the same time :Smile3:.
 

Darren Lynch

Junior Members
One more thing:

With main drums absent, remember that you don't have a 'one' against which to work syncopated percussion parts. You may want to simplify them, preventing the timing confusion which OOOD mentioned.
 

squinkysaurus

Mmmemmber
sorry to be unclear; - by "drop" i actually mean when all the elements come in again after a build up, the big-dancey-dancey-lets-go-crazy bit. not where the elements drop away in the breakdown.

i guess what im askin is how many elements would you put in this bit? one of my firends whos production style i really like puts quite a few consistant shakers n tambs n triangles in the background, at such a level that you can't reallly consciously hear them, but they just make the sound fuller. whereas until recently ive just had my kick, snare, offbeat open highhat and one shaker/closed highhat on most of the 16ths.
 

Darren Lynch

Junior Members
aaaah will I be able to show my face at The Coronet tomorrow with that mistake!!

Well...personally I like my heaviest bits with lots of percussion, but obviously this has to be given some thought so as not to sound like a real dogs dinner. It came be tempting to pile loads of sounds on to the offbeat, but beats 2, 6, 10 and 14 in a 16-beat pattern deserve some attention, a prominent sound on 2 and 10 for instance creates a 'toppling' feel to the rhythm.

One thought - for the heaviest section of a tune, does anyone change their staple kit sounds? I'm thinking just making the snare, claps, hats just a bit more cutting. A few subtle pushes could work, but you'd have to guard against extreme changes which disturbed the basic trance flow.
 

squinkysaurus

Mmmemmber
Darren Lynch said:
aaaah will I be able to show my face at The Coronet tomorrow with that mistake!!

hehe don't worry those were all interesting and valuble points. i feel the same actually...knowing that none of my tunes are gonna be played on a dancefloor anytime soon leaves me with a bit more freedom though
 

Darren Lynch

Junior Members
er why not? do I really have to make the same threats to you as I have with my luvverly psy producer mate Dave? Do I have to say "Stop fucking around with the hi hat balance, burn your three best choons onto CD and get some feedback from the DJs you know...OR I SHALL CUT OFF YOUR DREADS"


...apologies. Did an acid techno night yesterday, been up all day...tired and emotional.
 
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