How to add a little bit of magic to a track with no sample.
*Please note I wrote this with pictures attached but my post count is to low to allow links go to beatfire.net for the full tutorial*
When working on beats for my label Park Productions and this website I have to make instrumentals without using samples to avoid copyright infringements and expensive clearance negotiations. For some it can be quite a challenge to make an exciting instrumental from scratch without sounding generic and lifeless. This post will explain an awesome method of sampling your own creations using Propellerheads Reason and Recycle.
I play a lot of guitar and use it a lot in my creations so Iím lucky enough to have an organic sound as the basis of my songs however I still find sometimes my beats fall a little flat and require some magic to push them over the line.
My solution was to setup my recordings on my midi controller with each pad triggering at either the kick or the snare. An old trick I learnt from producer boon doc. It is amazing the amount of variations you can add into your initial song structure and can be really helpful if your into making glitch/hip-hop/dubstep.
Step 1. Bounce Your Instrumental Loop
I produce using reason so I bounce my beat out of my Daw ensuring that my audio is cut so the start and finish end exactly on the bar. This allows faster chopping in Recycle. I also only export looped sections of the entire beat to save memory and space on the pads (I use an mpk61 with 4 banks of 16 pads).
Step 2. Open Your Loop In Recycle
Once in recycle I change the bar/beat settings so it matches the tempo i was working in - if it's a short loop I usually just enter 1 for the bar count. Next I turn the grid view on to show the rate of cuts that will be added. Sometimes I have to play around with the settings so the grid only lines up with kick and snare.
Step 3. Add Slices At Grid
It's now time to use the handy 'add slices at grid'. It's pretty straight forward, the function will automatically add new slices at the bar length defined by the grid. The best thing about this function is that your chops will each be the exact same length, so even if they are a little out you can still maintain pretty solid rhythm. Once you're happy with your chops, save your rex file and get ready to have some fun in Reason.
Step 4. Jam Out With Your Favourite Instrument
The best way to set your rex file up like an MPC is to create an NNXT instrument, open your rex file in via the main patch loader. Next you'll want to expand the NNXT device by clicking the small expand button at the bottom of the device. Hit the small 'select zone via midi' button and press your pads or keys to highlight the samples and turn the polyphony down to 1 so the chops won't overlap. To make the samples play all the way through without holding a key/pad down you'll need to turn the release knob all the way up! That's it, your ready to jam out and remix your loops.