Some tips to keep your percussion varied/avoid repetition
You are Unregistered, please register to gain Full access.    
Advertisements


Reply
Thread Tools
Old 02-01-2016, 03:31 PM   #1
AlexBridgez
Minor Glitch
AlexBridgez is a jewel in the roughAlexBridgez is a jewel in the roughAlexBridgez is a jewel in the roughAlexBridgez is a jewel in the rough
AlexBridgez's Avatar
Edinburgh
Posts: 45
MC Status: 310
Thanks: 9
Thanked 6 Times in 4 Posts
Some tips to keep your percussion varied/avoid repetition

I asked this question over on Reddit's [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
subreddit and have made a list of the responses. There are some good tips here to keep your percussion interesting:

Avoid copy/pasting.

Make very minor changes to the timing/velocity every 2-4 bars (experiment!).

Don't be afraid to introduce new instruments.

Use your ears, not just the grid (not all good sounds fit exactly on the grid).

Keep changes subtle (change a lot of small things over time).

Automation!

Experiment with panning, send amount, delay feedback etc.

Complicated loops that repeat are more noticeable then simple loops, so keep loops simple.

Steer the focus of the listener. Repeating loops only sound repetitive if the listener notices them. Have complex, non-repeating melodies in the foreground that 'distract' the listener from the repetition. Put pauses in the melody so it has more punch when it comes back in.

Take parts of the loop out, make them their own pattern and edit them so they're slightly different. This can change the feel of the track so experiment.

Euclidean Rhythms are rhythms made using the Euclidean Algorithm and are a great example of non-repetitive rhythm. Here's an online [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
.

Make a lot of alternate loops for each percussive instrument and switch them out or completely remove them for certain bars to keep things interesting.

Don't change the major percussion (kicks, snares) around to much, maybe every 8th or even 16th bar. Keep them steady.

Change from half-time to full-time or vice-versa.

Make no 8 beats identical. The brain is very good at picking up loops. Try making no 4 beats identical.

Try reversing samples and putting them on the 8th/16th beat etc. (like a reverse kick).

Make something happen every 2,4,8,16 bars like a extra hat fill every 2, maybe a different one every 4, a double clap every 8, and a reverse kick on the 16th.

Make longer loops so they repeat less.

Real drummers go up in volume near/just before a bridge or chorus, so raise the volume a bit from the 4th-6th bar up to the break/chorus.

Drum fills at the end of phrases stop things getting repetitive, especially different drum fills every so often.

Listen to KOAN Sound (but you should be doing this already).

Use interesting, unique and high quality samples.

Even better, record your own samples.

Read [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
post about individually laying down instruments, not copy-pasting patterns

Try looping a simple beat you like throughout the track, then go back and add variation.

Listen to Aphex Twin (just stay the hell away from the music videos).

Put an LFO on a low pass filter. Small changes in automation mean the listener know something is changing but can't put their finger on it.

Automate the pitch of percussion to give it movement.

Create loops that cater to specific parts of each track. Make the drums match/set the feel of the track.

Avoid generic rhythms. Try taking a generic drum & bass loop or house loop and add a kick or move one around. Try removing instruments from the loop. Try different alterations at different points in the track.

Match the kick to the melody for a few bars (say, 4). Try doing this and cutting out all other percussion at the same time.

Thank you: /u/KobeWithAccent, /u/x2mirko,/u/edensg, /u/Jaalmakadamia, /u/Wh1tcomb, /u/riley212, /u/passingtimetonight, /u/plamisplam, /u/plamisplam , /u/daijobu, /u/ClydeMachine, /u/Pawtang, /u/SpaceCadetJones, /u/dj_soo, /u/m8that808s, /u/poisonstings, /u/Dagga_Ninety5, /u/simpsje0, /u/Igetyaman

[Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]

Advertisements


------------------
AlexBridgez is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2016, 01:04 AM   #2
Quovent
Granular Poster
Quovent has a spectacular aura aboutQuovent has a spectacular aura about
Quovent's Avatar
Posts: 54
MC Status: 160
Thanks: 2
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Re: Some tips to keep your percussion varied/avoid repetition

"Use your ears, not just the grid (not all good sounds fit exactly on the grid)." I struggle with this one A LOT!!

"Even better, record your own samples" For this one, i recommend buying a cheap mic and record yourself beat boxing (lol jk)

OMG, i laughed so hard at that KOAN Sound and Aphex Twin comment.

This is a good thread. Thanks
Quovent is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2016, 07:28 AM   #3
Kvlt O)))
Is a retard
Kvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MCKvlt O))) is a savage MC
Posts: 6,764
MC Status: 153360
Thanks: 3,344
Thanked 3,067 Times in 2,150 Posts
Re: Some tips to keep your percussion varied/avoid repetition

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexBridgez View Post
Listen to KOAN Sound (but you should be doing this already).
Good thing you didn't write that, because that's the dumbest shit I've heard in my life
Kvlt O))) is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Thanks to Kvlt O)))
Mctoast (02-02-2016)
Old 02-02-2016, 09:01 AM   #4
Crude_beats
Banned
Crude_beats is a savage MCCrude_beats is a savage MCCrude_beats is a savage MCCrude_beats is a savage MCCrude_beats is a savage MCCrude_beats is a savage MCCrude_beats is a savage MCCrude_beats is a savage MCCrude_beats is a savage MCCrude_beats is a savage MCCrude_beats is a savage MC
Rocking my boat across the seven seas
Posts: 2,663
MC Status: 115728
Thanks: 1,268
Thanked 461 Times in 353 Posts
Re: Some tips to keep your percussion varied/avoid repetition

Automate the EQ of snare, hats, claps etc to introduce additional movement and create harder/thinner hits.
Crude_beats is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Thanks to Crude_beats
AlexBridgez (02-02-2016)
Old 02-02-2016, 09:23 AM   #5
Johnson Academy
IDMf Supporter
Johnson Academy is a savage MCJohnson Academy is a savage MCJohnson Academy is a savage MCJohnson Academy is a savage MCJohnson Academy is a savage MCJohnson Academy is a savage MCJohnson Academy is a savage MCJohnson Academy is a savage MCJohnson Academy is a savage MCJohnson Academy is a savage MCJohnson Academy is a savage MC
Johnson Academy's Avatar
Streets of Lojo
Posts: 583
MC Status: 13798320
Thanks: 20
Thanked 39 Times in 35 Posts
Re: Some tips to keep your percussion varied/avoid repetition

Hah! What a small world!

u/KobeWithAccent here, this summary is great stuff!

------------------
Johnson Academy is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2016, 10:00 AM   #6
LustHouse
Analog Lurker
LustHouse is just really niceLustHouse is just really niceLustHouse is just really niceLustHouse is just really niceLustHouse is just really nice
Posts: 86
MC Status: 410
Thanks: 9
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Re: Some tips to keep your percussion varied/avoid repetition

good
LustHouse is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2016, 10:55 AM   #7
Macspider
Granular Poster
Macspider is just really niceMacspider is just really niceMacspider is just really niceMacspider is just really nice
Macspider's Avatar
Vienna
Age: 27
Posts: 51
MC Status: 360
Thanks: 2
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Re: Some tips to keep your percussion varied/avoid repetition

I usually export Kick, Snare, Hihats and Cymbals in 4 separate tracks (as everyone does) but then I re-import them as audio-files and cut-copy-paste and randomize the shit out of them.
I usually do it with audio files and not with midi patterns because this was I cut also the FX feedback when I cut the track. Otherwise, If you have a reverb or a delay f.e. you would still hear the echo and have to work on further automation on the track's volume.
I think this was a very basic advice that you already do, though. But I think it's one of the best and most used approaches to avoid being boring! And I also think that you don't need much more than this... creativity is all you need
Oh, and add some -only-once- sounds, that are present only once in the whole song. This raises curiosity a lot in who listens. Like he waits for that sound to be played again, he expects it, and it doesn't come.
Macspider is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Thanks to Macspider
AlexBridgez (02-02-2016)
Old 02-02-2016, 10:59 AM   #8
Macspider
Granular Poster
Macspider is just really niceMacspider is just really niceMacspider is just really niceMacspider is just really nice
Macspider's Avatar
Vienna
Age: 27
Posts: 51
MC Status: 360
Thanks: 2
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Re: Some tips to keep your percussion varied/avoid repetition

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kvlt O))) View Post
Good thing you didn't write that, because that's the dumbest shit I've heard in my life
Why do you say so? I've always found their percussions very worked-out. Do you have any reasonable argumentation except from personal taste to say this?
(I'm not attacking, I really want to understand why )
Macspider is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2016, 11:36 AM   #9
AlexBridgez
Minor Glitch
AlexBridgez is a jewel in the roughAlexBridgez is a jewel in the roughAlexBridgez is a jewel in the roughAlexBridgez is a jewel in the rough
AlexBridgez's Avatar
Edinburgh
Posts: 45
MC Status: 310
Thanks: 9
Thanked 6 Times in 4 Posts
Re: Some tips to keep your percussion varied/avoid repetition

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macspider View Post
I usually export Kick, Snare, Hihats and Cymbals in 4 separate tracks (as everyone does) but then I re-import them as audio-files and cut-copy-paste and randomize the shit out of them.
I usually do it with audio files and not with midi patterns because this was I cut also the FX feedback when I cut the track. Otherwise, If you have a reverb or a delay f.e. you would still hear the echo and have to work on further automation on the track's volume.
I think this was a very basic advice that you already do, though. But I think it's one of the best and most used approaches to avoid being boring! And I also think that you don't need much more than this... creativity is all you need
Oh, and add some -only-once- sounds, that are present only once in the whole song. This raises curiosity a lot in who listens. Like he waits for that sound to be played again, he expects it, and it doesn't come.
I've been doing everything in midi with no exporting so that the percussion effects sound cohesive and natural, and not obviously chopped up, but I see what you mean. Chopping up the effects with the instruments prevents overlap and clears the track up. It appears I lack some fundamental production knowledge...........gonna go read some books.......

------------------
AlexBridgez is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2016, 02:40 PM   #10
Macspider
Granular Poster
Macspider is just really niceMacspider is just really niceMacspider is just really niceMacspider is just really nice
Macspider's Avatar
Vienna
Age: 27
Posts: 51
MC Status: 360
Thanks: 2
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Re: Some tips to keep your percussion varied/avoid repetition

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexBridgez View Post
I've been doing everything in midi with no exporting so that the percussion effects sound cohesive and natural, and not obviously chopped up, but I see what you mean. Chopping up the effects with the instruments prevents overlap and clears the track up. It appears I lack some fundamental production knowledge...........gonna go read some books.......
This thing I said is really something that belongs to today's taste. I've been DJing in the Drum & Bass world before approaching IDM, and I had the chance to meet some famous producers (Phace over everyone else). He personally told me that he follows this schematic:
  1. If he's in a creative day, he lays down patterns and shit
  2. If he's more in a repetitive task day, he loads a drum rack and starts doing loops with the same sounds, changing something each exporting round
  3. One day, it will be the occasion to use all that loops in the background of a song, cutting them and randomizing the most.
It's like doing work in advance, so you can benefit of it some weeks later.

Macspider is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2016, 05:57 PM   #11
liquid_air
IDMf Supporter
liquid_air is a savage MCliquid_air is a savage MCliquid_air is a savage MCliquid_air is a savage MCliquid_air is a savage MCliquid_air is a savage MCliquid_air is a savage MCliquid_air is a savage MCliquid_air is a savage MCliquid_air is a savage MCliquid_air is a savage MC
liquid_air's Avatar
Corny
Posts: 2,186
MC Status: 41710
Thanks: 814
Thanked 834 Times in 622 Posts
Re: Some tips to keep your percussion varied/avoid repetition

Pretty good stuff.

IMO, though, listen to some top notch drummers. Clyde Stubblefield, Buddy Rich, Dylan Elise come to mind. Listen to some hip hop drummers in particular (J.J.Flueck). You get some interesting ideas. I wish I could use ghost notes effectively, albeit that's more genre specific.

Get drum pads for finger drumming. There's several good ones, above all Maschine, and do some drumming.

Resampling is the way to go for some genres. I also found Breaktweaker to offer terrific functionality (that I have yet to put to productive creative use).

As usual: have a lot of ideas. Chances will improve that one or more of them are good ideas.

------------------
Techno starts with a capital 'T', as in TB-303 and TR-808.

liquid_air is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2016, 06:13 PM   #12
FunkMasterBrown
Bastard!!!IDMf Artist
FunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MC
FunkMasterBrown's Avatar
King's Head function room
Age: 25
Posts: 9,120
MC Status: 222279234
Thanks: 2,923
Thanked 2,561 Times in 1,709 Posts
Re: Some tips to keep your percussion varied/avoid repetition

to me this list is more of an oblique strategies for hi hats. You pick one of them if for some reason youre struggling with your hi hats

avoid copying/pasting is not advice or useful in any way...

reddit is dog tits for music threads

sorry for criticising I'm merry in the train home I promise ill edit this when I get home later to include something I would consider iseful

------------------
FunkMasterBrown is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2016, 06:14 PM   #13
FunkMasterBrown
Bastard!!!IDMf Artist
FunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MC
FunkMasterBrown's Avatar
King's Head function room
Age: 25
Posts: 9,120
MC Status: 222279234
Thanks: 2,923
Thanked 2,561 Times in 1,709 Posts
Re: Some tips to keep your percussion varied/avoid repetition

Make no 8 beats identical. The brain is very good at picking up loops. Try making no 4 beats identical

what does that even mean

edit: Arfh man I'm really sorry but that list is awful

------------------
FunkMasterBrown is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Thanks to FunkMasterBrown
Son of Akira (02-06-2016)
Old 02-02-2016, 06:24 PM   #14
AlexBridgez
Minor Glitch
AlexBridgez is a jewel in the roughAlexBridgez is a jewel in the roughAlexBridgez is a jewel in the roughAlexBridgez is a jewel in the rough
AlexBridgez's Avatar
Edinburgh
Posts: 45
MC Status: 310
Thanks: 9
Thanked 6 Times in 4 Posts
Re: Some tips to keep your percussion varied/avoid repetition

Quote:
Originally Posted by FunkMasterBrown View Post
Make no 8 beats identical. The brain is very good at picking up loops. Try making no 4 beats identical

what does that even mean

edit: Arfh man I'm really sorry but that list is awful
It means have no 4 beats of your song be absolutely identical. Add variation (one shots, fills, taking away an element for a beat or two etc.). By not allowing yourself to just copy-paste loop you force yourself get creative. Even a minor change in the hi-hat arrangement accomplishes this. I find that tinkering with each 4/8 beat loop so that it is subtly different engages me more in the process than just copy-pasting a part of a song I like to fill the track out.

This is by no means a masterclass in percussion. It's a list of small, simple ideas that should be followed up with more research/in-depth reading.

Last edited by AlexBridgez; 02-02-2016 at 07:59 PM..

------------------
AlexBridgez is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2016, 07:57 PM   #15
Eli Roxx
Granular Poster
Eli Roxx will become famous soon enough
Budapest
Age: 25
Posts: 73
MC Status: 60
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Re: Some tips to keep your percussion varied/avoid repetition

any experience with refx nexus 2's dance drums expansion?
Eli Roxx is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2016, 09:18 PM   #16
candlesayshi
Imperfect
candlesayshi is a savage MCcandlesayshi is a savage MCcandlesayshi is a savage MCcandlesayshi is a savage MCcandlesayshi is a savage MCcandlesayshi is a savage MCcandlesayshi is a savage MCcandlesayshi is a savage MCcandlesayshi is a savage MCcandlesayshi is a savage MCcandlesayshi is a savage MC
candlesayshi's Avatar
Chicago
Posts: 2,857
MC Status: 39277599
Thanks: 881
Thanked 1,101 Times in 716 Posts
Re: Some tips to keep your percussion varied/avoid repetition

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexBridgez View Post
Have complex, non-repeating melodies in the foreground that 'distract' the listener from the repetition.
Why?

Repetition is a very powerful musical tool.

------------------
candlesayshi is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2016, 09:39 PM   #17
AlexBridgez
Minor Glitch
AlexBridgez is a jewel in the roughAlexBridgez is a jewel in the roughAlexBridgez is a jewel in the roughAlexBridgez is a jewel in the rough
AlexBridgez's Avatar
Edinburgh
Posts: 45
MC Status: 310
Thanks: 9
Thanked 6 Times in 4 Posts
Re: Some tips to keep your percussion varied/avoid repetition

Quote:
Originally Posted by candlesayshi View Post
Why?

Repetition is a very powerful musical tool.
It is. These aren't hard and fast rules and don't apply to every genre or every track. If you notice a part of your track sounds repetitive and it's negatively impacting the track, then experiment with a complex melody that doesn't repeat. Use your best judgement as to whether it makes the track better. For example, the nature of deep house/techno means repetition enhances the track, but a downtempo/chill track might benefit from a more varied melody.

------------------
AlexBridgez is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2016, 03:49 PM   #18
Macspider
Granular Poster
Macspider is just really niceMacspider is just really niceMacspider is just really niceMacspider is just really nice
Macspider's Avatar
Vienna
Age: 27
Posts: 51
MC Status: 360
Thanks: 2
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Re: Some tips to keep your percussion varied/avoid repetition

Quote:
Originally Posted by candlesayshi View Post
Why?

Repetition is a very powerful musical tool.
But only if the jingle sticks into your head. Otherwise it is just laziness in production
Macspider is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2016, 06:54 PM   #19
Johnson Academy
IDMf Supporter
Johnson Academy is a savage MCJohnson Academy is a savage MCJohnson Academy is a savage MCJohnson Academy is a savage MCJohnson Academy is a savage MCJohnson Academy is a savage MCJohnson Academy is a savage MCJohnson Academy is a savage MCJohnson Academy is a savage MCJohnson Academy is a savage MCJohnson Academy is a savage MC
Johnson Academy's Avatar
Streets of Lojo
Posts: 583
MC Status: 13798320
Thanks: 20
Thanked 39 Times in 35 Posts
Re: Some tips to keep your percussion varied/avoid repetition

Quote:
Originally Posted by FunkMasterBrown View Post

reddit is dog tits for music threads
How come?

------------------
Johnson Academy is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2016, 07:06 PM   #20
FunkMasterBrown
Bastard!!!IDMf Artist
FunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MCFunkMasterBrown is a savage MC
FunkMasterBrown's Avatar
King's Head function room
Age: 25
Posts: 9,120
MC Status: 222279234
Thanks: 2,923
Thanked 2,561 Times in 1,709 Posts
Re: Some tips to keep your percussion varied/avoid repetition

well I wasn't able to find a decent thread anyway. Dunno if there's a secret area. Seems to be full of Americans that just discovered EDM and talk about Steve xanderson (or whatever the 18 year old EDM superstar guy is called) like were all on the same page and its the only electronic music being made right now

Advertisements


------------------
FunkMasterBrown is offline   Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Repetition makes emphasis? NeonGnats Music Theory & Composition 34 08-18-2013 06:55 PM
[Deep Progressive] Orquesm - Repetition (WIP) orquesm Listening Booth 2 03-26-2013 09:38 PM
Tips For Simplifying Percussion Mr.Zae+ The Studio 9 03-21-2013 03:29 AM
Tips for percussion? jasondasilva The Studio 13 09-08-2011 12:54 AM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 02:55 PM.


Electronic Music Forums

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.