Thursday, November 12, 2015

the building of a new break

Boymerang, aka Graham Sutton, on building a brand new break, with a "new old" feel, back in the day:

You'll have to throw your mind back to a time before computers were audio-manipulators, to when everything was hand-made in a hardware sampler, and the computer was merely a MIDI sequencer.

The gear at the time consisted of:

Atari ST running Cubase

Emu E4 - 16 outs

Roland JV1080

Boss SE50

Mackie SR24:4

Sony Portable DAT

...and that was pretty much it!


Step 1: got the original Amen Break, played at original speed, and hand-chopped it in the E4 up into *every* constituent hit, including tiny-tiny flams etc etc.

Step 2: sequenced all the fragments, moving the pieces by the tiniest of amounts, so they played identically time-wise to the original.

Step 3: Using the timing refs from step 2, replaced all
the sounds (still at old skool original tempo). Only rule was no sound could come from a break that I'd heard already used. You can probably spot at least a JV ride in there.

Step 4: Kept engineering different layers of background noise etc etc, til it sounded "new but old", at least to me.

Step 5: Resampled the whole break to DAT, then dumped it back to the E4.

Step 6: Replay back at sped up DnB speed to check for tone and vibe etc. Usually this would then involve going back to Step 3.

Step 7: CHOP CHOP CHOP - one new break to use!

Hehe, it sounds like an easy operation written like that, but honestly, it was fucking time consuming. Probably took a week or two til I was happy. 

I was so happy when I started hearing others using it, starting with Dilinja's Silver Blade, as I'd left a couple of free bars of just the break in the track so it could grabbed.

[via Droid in this interesting Dissensus thread on the Studio as Instrument]

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