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Layering drum loops

From: Remixing a Song in Logic Pro

Video: Layering drum loops

Before we dive into the nuts and bolts of this movie, Layering Drum Loops, I took the time to clean up the session a little bit and actually put the vocals in a little bit of context and I'll show you what I did very quickly. Command+2 is also another way to get to the Mixer window. I went ahead and added reverb and delay to the vocals and all you have to do is if a Bus is at 0 all the way down like this, if you hold down Option and Click it automatically sets it at 0dB and I'll show you the same thing on Bus 2 which is our delay, there we go.

Layering drum loops

Before we dive into the nuts and bolts of this movie, Layering Drum Loops, I took the time to clean up the session a little bit and actually put the vocals in a little bit of context and I'll show you what I did very quickly. Command+2 is also another way to get to the Mixer window. I went ahead and added reverb and delay to the vocals and all you have to do is if a Bus is at 0 all the way down like this, if you hold down Option and Click it automatically sets it at 0dB and I'll show you the same thing on Bus 2 which is our delay, there we go.

So the Sends are actually at zero, and over here our corresponding returns this is send to Bus 1, here is the return on Bus 1. This is send to Bus 2, here is the return on Bus 2. I went ahead and just pulled the levels down, so that they weren't overbearing. I also lowered the Output of the Master Fader down to -8dB, because as we add elements to the mix right now, that Master Fader will overload and live in the red and we don't want that. So I went ahead and pulled the Output down. Let's close the Mixer and move on to Layering Drum Loops.

Drums can make or break a remix, so let's continue on by building up the track and layering some additional drum loops. Now for the purposes of this movie I'm actually going to choose a couple of drum loops that will not be the loops that we use in the final mix, but this is a very important concept. We've chosen the kick drum. (Music playing) Let's say that we would like to add a loop, but the loop has a kick drum in it. We have to reconcile that. Open up the Audio Bin window, choose the Loops tab, I'm going to bring this Club Dance Beats 006 in.

(Music playing) And as you can hear, it does have a kick drum in it. I'll drag this onto the Arrange Window, close the Audio Bin, hit L to Loop the audio file, and now, what's going to happen is the kick drum that we chose is going to play on top of the kick drum that's in this loop. Let's take a listen. (Music playing) That's a little too much kick drum. How do we reconcile this? Well, we simply roll off the low end of the loop we just brought in.

Up here in the Plug-in section I will choose EQ>Channel EQ and I will select a high-pass filter which simply means that all frequencies to the left of this curve are removed. I'll slide this over. I know that the meat of the kick drum lives around 80 or 90 Hz. So I'm actually going to roll off more than that, because I don't want any of this loops kick drum to clash with the kick drum that we've already chosen.

So I'll go as high as maybe 300-400 Hz on a High-pass filter, and now we can take a listen. I'm going to play this loop in AB, the EQ in and out, so you can hear the difference between leading the kick drum in the loop and having two kick drums fighting each other and high-pass filtering it out. All I do to bypass a plug-in is hold the Option key and click on the plug-in and you can see that it bypasses it in this fashion. (Music playing) So as you can hear, the kick drums almost flam. They're playing on top of each other, and it doesn't sound tight; it's sounds a little bit woofy.

So this is a huge, huge, huge part of layering drum loops. You have to examine the frequencies that are being combined as you combine the loops. Before we exit this movie, I would like to open up the EQ Plug-in and show you how you can visually look at the frequencies that are occurring in your mix. Here is an Analyzer button right here, I click it and when I play the track -- (Music playing) As you can see, you get a visualization of the frequencies that make up your track.

Now bear in mind that these frequencies are after I've engaged the High-pass Filter, what we call Post-EQ. A few things to keep in mind when layering the drum loops; Are the percussive elements working together? For example, do the rhythms of the hi-hats work with the shaker or tambourine patterns? Also, what is your reasoning for choosing this loop, what is it bringing to the table in terms of making the drums better and most importantly, does it work well with the vocals?

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This video is part of

Image for Remixing a Song in Logic Pro
Remixing a Song in Logic Pro

35 video lessons · 6604 viewers

Josh Harris
Author

 
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  1. 16m 14s
    1. Welcome
      1m 8s
    2. Using Logic Pro as a remixing environment
      4m 45s
    3. Optimizing Logic's performance and monitoring system usage
      4m 29s
    4. Working with software synths
      3m 15s
    5. Using the exercise files
      58s
    6. Relinking audio files
      1m 39s
  2. 22m 51s
    1. Setting up your session
      2m 34s
    2. Determining and verifying source BPM
      1m 30s
    3. Lining up vocals over a kick drum
      5m 36s
    4. Choosing destination BPM and time-stretching in Flex mode
      4m 30s
    5. Exporting time-stretched vocals and importing into a session
      4m 23s
    6. Thinking about your direction
      4m 18s
  3. 22m 50s
    1. Using Apple Loops
      6m 8s
    2. Auditioning drum loops
      5m 46s
    3. Layering drum loops
      4m 45s
    4. Drum loops and drum programming
      6m 11s
  4. 19m 56s
    1. Chord changes and harmonic structure
      4m 18s
    2. Getting bass sounds and programming bass lines
      8m 50s
    3. Layering bass sounds and side chaining
      6m 48s
  5. 34m 20s
    1. Choosing foundational synth parts and sounds
      11m 46s
    2. Layering synth parts
      10m 21s
    3. Lead line hooks
      5m 37s
    4. Synth candy
      6m 36s
  6. 12m 19s
    1. The importance of arranging
      2m 26s
    2. Arranging your track
      9m 53s
  7. 23m 3s
    1. Creating vocal samples and transitional sounds
      11m 57s
    2. Advanced vocal editing techniques
      5m 44s
    3. Filling holes in the arrangement
      5m 22s
  8. 47m 30s
    1. Mixing philosophies
      6m 30s
    2. Mixing drums and bass
      5m 40s
    3. Mixing synths and transitional sounds
      12m 14s
    4. Mixing vocals
      10m 36s
    5. Final touches, referencing, and mastering your final mix
      5m 17s
    6. Listening to the final mix
      7m 13s
  9. 47s
    1. Final thoughts
      47s

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