Analysis of S5E09: Halogenix – Soulful Breaks
- This topic has 1 reply, 1 voice, and was last updated 5 years ago by ,Harry.
2018-03-07 at 21:55:25 #39739,HarryParticipant
Topics: Breakbeats, Drums, Drum Layering, Drum Loops, Drum Processing, Mixing, Mixing Drums
This is Halogenix’s second tutorial for this season of Sample Genie, and it is a look at “soulful breaks”. First thing I noticed is a switch from Logic X to Ableton Live 10. In this video he is going over drums that are not as techy sounding, but more organic.
01:00 – plays just the drums from a forthcoming track (“Only Ever Kind”?), and references Ivy Lab & Alix Perez’s “Maiden”, and his own track “Cliché” as examples of tracks with this style of drums.
03:30 – begins going through each drum track:
1. Serum white noise to layer on top of the main snare
2. Rim shot with some reverb, which is hi-passed
3. Another rim shot, a different tone to #2, and bandpassed
4. Hi-passed noise to layer on top of the main kick
5. Kick drum re-used from “Maiden”, with some processing (EQ -> Multi-Band Compression -> Transient Shaper)
6. A break layer used between some of the other hits, adds a shuffle/skip
7. Straight closed hi-hats
8. Open hi-hat at the end of every two bars
9. Shaker loop, one he got from a sample pack and uses it often, has some processing (slight sidechaining of compressor -> EQ)
10. Another shaker loop
11. Another straight hi-hat loop
12. This one comes in later in the video (@16:00), a ride layer that comes in after 16 bars
09:00 – states that these drums remind him of old Calibre tunes that used old funk breaks
09:30 – looking at the drum bus
– EQ shelf pushing down the hi-end tops
– Cytomic’s The Glue SSL-style compressor
— Aims to keep the compressor from going past -5 dB. Uses a slow attack (10 ms), 4:1 ratio, fast release (.4 s), and a threshold around -23 dB.
— A/Bs the compressor on/off, can hear how much it is squashing the kick & snare, while also bringing up all the other sounds.
– Another EQ with lows and highs rolled off, FabFilter Pro-Q 2 with the linear phase setting at Very High
– Spectrogram analyzer
13:00 – looking at the snare bus, which he uses so he can process the snares a little differently before sending that bus to the drum bus
13:25 – drum bus has a send going to a room reverb (Valhalla Room), which he describes as “super super, super super sick”, and that tis brings the drums to life
– States that the room reverb creates a sound similar to recording drum overhead mics.
– Has an EQ inserted before the reverb.
15:15 – touches on arranging drums.
– Looking at a four bar lop, he likes having an element unique to the end of the second bar, in this track it is an open hi-hat. So, in an 8-bar section, you would hear the open hat at the end of bars 2 and 6.
16:00 – an Ivy Lab staple, a ride loop that comes in for the second 16-bar section. Barely audible, but adds a noise layer, “slightly elevates the whole thing”.
17:00 – explains a new fill/turnaround trick he has been using lately, having a little ghost snare before the last main snare of the section
18:20 – further talk about arrangement, this time in terms of a 32-bar section.
– Music crescendo to the end of the 32-bar, then automating levels to bring down energy, then the next bar starts back at the normal level, giving a boost.
20:45 – in this track, he actually cuts off the drums four bars sooner than a typical track, going in to the breakdown; 16 bar section A –> 16 bar section B –> 16 bar section C –> 12 bar section
21:15 – says there is not much going on in the track’s drums technique-wise, just carefully chosen drum hits.
– Explains why he used these particular drums.
– Main snare was bounced and resampled, then audio edited within Ableton to make it a tight drum hit, shorter sustain & release basically
– A/B’ing just the snare with reverb on/off
– “Three snare layers, two kick layers, seven percussion layers”
29:00 – more talk about how much the reverb is doing for the drums
30:30 – looking at the master bus
– EQ with mid/side settings
31:30 – talking about characteristics of drums in techy tracks (“militant sounding”), and more soulful tracks, drums with warmth & tone
32:15 – adding a musical sample to give an example with the drums
36:20 – thoughts on this approach to drums, then plays “Maiden” as a reference point
THOUGHTS & QUESTIONS
– I don’t have The Glue, but another SSL-style compressor, as well as Logic’s native compressor, which has an SSL-style module
– What’s the fundamental frequency on the snare? Is it higher than the typical 200 Hz range, since it sounds more like just a rim shot?
– How does it utilize the spectrogram analyzer? Is he just looking at the frequency amplitude/energy?
– I’m not super in to the native reverb in Bitwig, so I need a few options. When in Logic, I just used the native reverbs. Been meaning to pick up Valhalla Room, thought the way it was used & described in the video was good, so after watching the video I checked KVR’s buy/sell forum to see if anyone was selling their license, got one for $40 USD.
"Knowledge kept is knowledge lost." - Bobbito Garcia
2018-03-27 at 14:25:59 #40054,HarryParticipant
I sent Halogenix some questions via FB Messenger, but I think my timing was really bad, as a day later he was off to Iceland to work with The Upbeats, and then a few days later the news of his split from Ivy Lab.
"Knowledge kept is knowledge lost." - Bobbito Garcia
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