If you have a look at the ‘new cymbal1’ hits, they’ve been placed on every offbeat of the 4 bar loop. A trick I used was to pitch them up in time for every new hit. This gives a slight rise effect over 2 bars and then repeated again. NB: keep the level of the ‘newcymbal1’ down, as it only acts as an element to create contrast in the groove.
With regards to the conventional clap or snare placed on every second beat of the bar, I broke the rules a bit and only placed a natural sounding clap (dark blue) on bar 1 and 3’s second beat. It really leaves a lot of interest for the listener and helps with our final groove. The trick here is to play around, move them into positions unheard of; but keep it simple!
I’ve taken a very ‘small’ sounding clap (light green) and placed it on the same points as I did with the ‘new cymbal1’, employing the same pitch technique as discussed earlier. Notice how I changed the length times of each clap on the offbeats, this could be looked at as ‘choking’. Choking is when another hit stops the previous hit or when a drummer lifts the pedal of the hi-hat, hits it and then steps down on the pedal.
To add some tonal quality to the rhythm section, I used a tuned drum (light blue) and placed them on every 2nd offbeat. Our drum track is finally starting to sound more and more like Stimming. Note that you can use any drum sample that suits your flavour, as long as the palette is natural…thinking live drumkit!
I added some percussion (green and orange) to break the section at points and ‘throws’ into the next phrase of the drum-track. Be smart and keep these as simple and to as minimum as possible.
Now that we have a relatively good sounding rhythm section, there’s still one VERY important thing we need to do. The whole track needs shuffle. Shuffle is a technique used to employ ‘swing’ or lazy, dragging hits to a rhythm section. We as humans can at times add shuffle to our music to break away from the robotic feel of electronic music and even sometimes play it without us even knowing about it!
I manually shuffled (pushed) my drum hits a bit forward to create the ‘swing effect’. If you are still confused as to what shuffle is, have a look at the grid and how the hitpoints don’t match up. The hits are kept back a few milliseconds to create overall, good sounding, laziness! If you keep it simple, you’ll have tech-heads Stimming away to almost every song in the future!
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Written By : Ryan Murgatroyd and Willie Els