How I Make A Break.

How-To's written by members of this site... Don't know how to do it? Stop crying and read.

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How I Make A Break.

Postby JohnMerrik » Mon May 21, 2007 8:55 pm

Here is a small tutorial I wrote earlier today for someone, and thought I might as well share it, so others can discuss, pickit apart, and share there input on the subject.

There is no single correct way to make a break, But this is essentially how I go about doing it.


First thing that I recommend is getting a good kit. either look for a pre made kit, or select a variety of drum samples that seem to mesh well together. and of course you can take an old break beet, and cut all the "hits" from it. (snare, kick, hat, ride, etc)

Then make different velocities of the snare, take the clean/raw hard hit, maybe beef it with a bit of distortion, and run it under some compression. you may want to even back it with another snare. the frequencies tend to mesh well if this is done pre-processing. for example, if you have a really nice high end on the snare, but it seems to be lacking a touch of low. add a snare that has an encompassing low end, even pitch it down a bit. the compression should sort these frequencies together nicely.

Next make a "ghost/phantom/fantom/etc" snare. make this one really tight, gate the thing so its basically just a click, and resembles even more of a hat/rim than a snare. thats fine, because when sequenced, it will add a lot of dimension (especially because it is the same freq as the main snare)

Kicks are best done with a slight overdrive and clip. not alot needs to be done, just make sure there is a good bottom, employ the same technique as per the snare. Make sure it hits all the frequencies you want it to.

Hats, cymbals, etc if sampled, I recommend Pitching so they mesh well with the snare/kick. you want it to sound natural, so you might as well take the high end of the snare, and have it blend nicely with a ride, makes it sound much less muddy this way.

Placement of high hats, are simply to fill the dead space of the break, if you have a space between the kick and snare, add a hat, or even make a shuffle using the hat, and ghost snare..

To make the break seem to hit harder with the track, use syncopation. blend the stabs with the snares, the mid, and lows with the kick. This will not only beef out your break, but also let the break beef out your synths/hits.

Another great thing to use is hidden vocal hits. Take a cut from an old vocal sample. and cut a few words from it (no ones going to know however if you want you can be creative with that) Take these vocal hits, and layer them along with the kick or snare. They add a little human touch, and if melded right, cant be distinguished from the drums themselves.

Sequencing the drums, is to your own discretion, and there is now correct way to do it. trial and error, and repete it till it sounds right.


Maybe Ill later discuss how I make it glitch, and twitch a bit, I guess this is more of a Step 1 than anything.
Last edited by JohnMerrik on Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby 133crazydirector » Wed May 23, 2007 9:02 am

hell, what does it mean 'break'?))

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Postby Braakselkoor » Fri May 25, 2007 11:40 am

pause 8)

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Postby sheelbe999 » Thu Jun 21, 2007 7:59 pm

i know what ghosting sounds like in a song, i.e. i can tell the difference between a break with it and a break without but how do you programme a ghost snare?

post a an example of the drum tabs?

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Postby Numpad » Sun Jun 24, 2007 7:58 pm

this is really helpfull thx m8

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Postby LaUnCh OctoPUS » Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:47 am

download one

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Postby 1achtzeven » Sat Sep 01, 2007 3:39 am


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Postby mindkontrolultra » Fri Oct 12, 2007 1:16 am

good info

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Postby ObedMarsh » Sun Oct 14, 2007 7:23 am

nice work

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Postby Beaverdog » Sat Oct 20, 2007 12:14 pm

Thanks, this has helped me a bit in getting started :twisted:

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Postby aden.exe » Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:08 pm

Thanks, this will be helpful.

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Postby Lycan » Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:39 am

very good interesting stuff man!

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Postby iseeclouds » Mon Nov 26, 2007 3:12 pm


Supah No0b
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Postby anqiqiqi » Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:26 pm

very NB

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Postby avisupchurch » Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:06 pm

very nice, this is making more and more sense each time i read it every few weeks


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