Hihat Loops

Wee Waw

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Hello All,

Could anybody who has any hints and tips on making a nice hihat loop share their secrets please? At the moment I'm a shameless theif, stealing loops and cutting them to fit my tracks.

What I'd really like to know is where to get some good hihat samples from and how to make them sound natural and flowing, rather than awkward and blatently sequenced. So far I have tried adding a little shuffle to the rythm.. This just makes it just sound like a UK garage track!

I have heard rumours that compression is the solution, but what sort of settings for the compressor are we talking?

Thanks all!
 

AEON

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yes velocity is really important... also pitch (a lil tweak upwards every coupla notes can add 'lift' and that ever-elusive 'groove'). a bit of distortion on the hi-hats can add crunchiness (cheers andrew @ organic for that one!), and i generally use a very short-tail reverb to give them more presence. also e.q. all the lower freqs out so that they sit better in the overall mix.

as far as patterning is concerned, i always find it's useful to think outside what i'd normally consider doing; try something new & see where it takes you. also just sit & really listen to how other people put their patterns together, slow it down if necessary - it's a good way of learning.

i tend to use 'rock' drum samples for most percussive work; try to find a bank of 'real' and decently recorded hits then muck around with them. also i find that most samples, if they're just whacked straight in, are too long to fit nicely in a 140bpm+ bar; so i tend to cut em short to strip the sound back a bit.
 

JPsychodelicacy

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Use of mutegroups and fast-decay volume envelopes can get you a very nice 'snappy' sound. Also, try sticking the open hat anywhere other the off beat every few bars. Gives a nice sense of variety. :Smile3:

J.
 

AEON

dipthong mong
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JPsychodelicacy said:
Also, try sticking the open hat anywhere other the off beat every few bars. Gives a nice sense of variety. :Smile3:

J.

said the open hat:

'please, please, PLEASE release me from my predictable off-beat bondage!'

:Grin:
 

Wee Waw

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Off beat hats! I have a serious love/hate relationship with them. I've used them in so many tunes I've made but I really need to stop using them because they're so predictable and un-inspiring!!

So how would I go about adjusting the velocity of a downloaded wav sample then? Am I right when saying velocity is similar to attack?
 

AEON

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a strong open off-beat hat is kinda essential tho - adds so much of the 'dance' feel to a track, and additionally a lot of DJs use them for beatmatching... i know what you mean about feeling trapped!

i thought velocity was more akin to volume - i.e. a lower velocity gives a quieter sample? in the sequencer i use velocity can be adjusted on a note-by-note basis using a graph... i'm sure all the big programs will use a similar system.
 
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makdaddy

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Wee Waw said:
So how would I go about adjusting the velocity of a downloaded wav sample then? Am I right when saying velocity is similar to attack?


noo noo noooooo velocity & attack are 2 very different things, but were on the subject of velocity here so.....

Velocity by default on sequencers (well all the ones ive used anyways cubase , logic & live!) is set to control the volume of the midi part thats being played, be it a note or a drum trigger etc.

This can be set in various ways and it differs from sequencer to sequencer, ive never used FL so cannot point you in the right direction there but its a pretty basic function so shouldnt be too hard to work out.

good luck!

imak x
 

JPsychodelicacy

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Of course, a prerequisite is that you've got to load the downloaded wav into a sampler first and control the velocity through the MIDI data sent to the sampler (which really sounds trickier than it is when written down)!

I don't think there's anything wrong with the 'tsssch' sound on the off-beat, just use something other than a friggin' 909 open hihat occasionally! :Wink3:

I had a mate of mine who'd got some really odd hi-hat type sounds by scraping different materials on sandpaper. Your imagination's the limit!

J.
 

Wee Waw

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Oh yes I do remember velocity now!! Right, when I get home I'm using all these ideas on a hihat loop. I'll post the final track up on here when It's done and I'll let you give me an opinion!
 

AEON

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if you're using FLStudio:

at the top right of the piano-roll frame (where you see all the instruments/samples loaded up & where you can draw in patterns) there's a two-part button with two small pics - one of keys from a keyboard, one of a few bars in a bar graph.

click the bar-graph one and a drop-down should appear underneath the pattern that's highlighted. by scrolling left and right you can select a number of parameters - the one on the far left is velocity, iirc.

i'm sure you know this but god am i bored @ work today :Grin:
 

Goran

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Don't stick to quantise grid. If you're using a MIDI sequencer, move notes/hits a few "ticks" ahead/behind to add some character. How many "ticks" depends on the PPQN resolution (usually 384 or 480) and BPM... eg: 1/4 note at 144bpm is about 417 milliseconds, so at 480ppqn a tick is just under a millisecond. Use whatever sounds good, but in general stick below 10-15ms. Record yourself tapping in a simple groovy pattern, then make a copy, quantise it to death and compare the differences. Don't do this on the kick as it will loosen up your entire mix (it's OK for non-electronic rhythms though).
 

JPsychodelicacy

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Trust you Matt... :rolleyes:

I've yet to figure out how to do that manual shifting in SX, it seems to be more hidden than it was in VST5.

J.
 

Goran

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JPsychodelicacy said:
I've yet to figure out how to do that manual shifting in SX, it seems to be more hidden than it was in VST5.

Make sure "Info bar" is on in the MIDI (Key) editor, then tweak the start with the mouse wheel - works for length too, but if my RAM serves me correctly, it's tied to one of the quantise settings.
 

Wee Waw

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Purusha said:
Another tip:

Ghost hits!

Relatively quiet triggers of the sound at other points in the loop can work *really* well.

Yeah you're right.. Ghost hits, I was wondering what they were called. I really need to learn the lingo of this music production shiznit.
 
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makdaddy

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ive been playing with sequencers for a fair few years and thats the 1st time ive ever heard of "parts being re-triggered at lower velocities" referred to as "ghost hits!", so dont take the lingo as gospel :Smile3: hehe... however the technique is a goodun no doubt
 

soliptic

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ghost hits are common as hell in breakbeat related stuff.

never heard em used WRT low-velocity hits of a drum-machine stylee tho
 

ChrisCabbage

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I totally made that term up guys!

LOL!

Actually, I have talked to some musos who use that term to describe that technique, but hey - they might be wrong too.

:Wink3:
 

JPsychodelicacy

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Wee Waw said:
Yeah you're right.. Ghost hits, I was wondering what they were called. I really need to learn the lingo of this music production shiznit.

It ain't music production - 'tis simply drumming. :Smile3:

Jeff Porcaro (RIP) will tell you.

http://www.drummerworld.com/Videos/jeffporcaro.html

I defy you to play what the bastard is playing without working on it for a month though... :Wink3:

J.
 
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