Slicing up your samples
Video: Slicing up your samplesIn this video, we'll slice up a drum loop to create variations that might make that perfect breakdown or B section of your track whatever style of music. This is an all-time favorite technique for building a drum groove and introducing that sense of the drummer getting busy. On track 1, I have an audio file called Beat 1. Let's listen to it with everything else, then soloed, so you can really hear, at the end of Bar 4, how I sliced it up. Let's listen. Let me zoom in a little bit, (music playing) right here.
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Let internationally recognized music producer and Logic Pro presenter Dot Bustelo guide you through the process of creating professional beats for hip-hop, electronic dance, or other commercial music genres in Logic Pro. It all starts with choosing the right drum kit for your song, after which Dot covers recording, quantizing, and arranging your tracks of drums, bass, and synth lines. She then introduces the built-in drum machine Ultrabeat, showing how to step sequence, design your own custom sounds, and create glitchy effects. Next, discover some creative uses for Apple Loops, to adapt completely to the pitch and feel of your song. Then dive deeper into the unique tools for making beats and learn how to time-stretch, quantize, and regroove with Flex Audio, as well as add the most advanced, subtle swing to your beats and broaden your sounds with drum replacement. The final chapter focuses on techniques specific to electronic music, including warping a beat with Space Designer, side-chaining, and making DJ and turntable speed fades.
- Rehearsing the beat
- Recording kick and snare drums
- Understanding Logic Pro regions and quantizing effectively
- Sound designing your kits
- Step sequencing
- Making stutter vocal effects
- Customizing Apple Loops to lock in pitch and feel
- Finding your tempo and changing the tempo of audio
- Slicing your samples by transient and by beat
- Flexing like a pro
- Making groove templates and other advanced quantizing techniques
- Making retro Logic groove techniques with the Transform Editor
- Vocoding and side-chaining in Logic Pro
Slicing up your samples
In this video, we'll slice up a drum loop to create variations that might make that perfect breakdown or B section of your track whatever style of music. This is an all-time favorite technique for building a drum groove and introducing that sense of the drummer getting busy. On track 1, I have an audio file called Beat 1. Let's listen to it with everything else, then soloed, so you can really hear, at the end of Bar 4, how I sliced it up. Let's listen. Let me zoom in a little bit, (music playing) right here.
And now let's listen to just that beat soloed. I'll start at Bar 3. (music playing) That's the steady beat. So I have isolated this beat in an exercise file for you to experiment with, but I'm going to continue working in the full project now. I'll copy Beat 1 to another track and rebuild what we've done. I'm just going to Option+Drag down, and let's make three copies of that with the repeat Regions key command. The default is Command+R. And let's zoom in right on-- and I'm going to cycle around Bar 3 and 4.
I could have done it by highlighting the regions and selecting to the set locators up here, but I just went down into the transport and typed in the left and the right locator here. Okay. So here is our copy, and I'm going to grab my Scissors tool from the floating toolbox by hitting this Escape key, and here is the Scissors tool. If I cut into the beat with the Scissors tool, it will simply cut the region wherever I make the incision, just like that.
However, I'm going to cut with the Option key held down. Let's do it with this beat before. So again, we have the Scissors tool and holding the Option key, I'm going to make a slice right over here. When I hover over the region, that info bar pops up, letting me know that I'm slicing at the second beat of Bar 3. I also use the bar ruler as a guide. Now again, holding the Option key, this is the difference.
We've made equal slices of that region. So what I'm going to do now is go back to my Pointer tool. I hit the Escape key, and I'm going to switch this drag mode here from Overlap to No-overlap. And now I'm taking that fourth slice and I'm going to Option+Drag to place it on top of the first beat of Bar 4. The reason why I replaced that No- overlap is so that we wouldn't have the region underneath. Let's delete this, and I'll take this new region that I've placed on the downbeat of Bar 4, and now I'm going to slide this over to alias that first beat, just like above.
And now I want to get these kicks that lined up for the last beat of Bar 4. So what I'm going to do here, we need one kick, I'm going to take this beat right here, which is its own region, and again, grabbing the Scissors tool in my Option key, make a slice. And again, I'm looking at the Info Bar as a guide, and there it is. I've got my kit isolated. I'll go back to the pointer tool, and I'm going to color this for you. I'm holding Option+C to get the color palette. It will be more visible what we've done. And I'll take this slice.
I'm going to Option+Click+Drag it to make a copy of that kick, use my Repeat Region key command, and this time we want three copies of it, and let's have a listen. I'll mute the original, and here we go. (music playing) There it is. (music playing) So we've now created a very simple stutter kick effect. The more you do this, the more you'll get a feel from just looking at an audio file whether to cut into quarter-note slices, 8th-note slices or even tighter and make 16th-note slices, and how to make re-arrangements of the beat that sound good.
Let's see how I use this technique in another track that's a little bit more complex. There is an abridged version of this in your exercise file, with this Trip Hop Bounce Audio File to slice up. So, let's listen to these bars that I have cycled, and again, it's the track on top. This one is the Trip Hop Bounce audio file that's been sliced up. (music playing) A little bit of slicing there, and more over here. (music playing) So what happened was, not only was I able to make those stutter repeated kicks, but I actually rearranged some of the slices of this beat from the way the beat originally played that just created an interesting variation, as if the drummer got busy.
Let's see if we can rebuild this and reverse-engineer that beat. I'll copy it down, make a new track, Option+Drag the beat, and let's just cycle around the four bars. And we'll use our Repeat Regions key command, make a copy of that. Let's zoom in a little bit more, and with my Scissors tool, holding the Option key, I'm going to place the first slice a little tighter than in the last example, at 51 1 31, which is going to give us not quarter-note, but 8th-note slices per bar.
Here we go. Now, what I did, I don't remember. It was hear in the moment. I just started rearranging some of the slices. It's amazing the creative results you get from just experimenting like that. So let's just cycle these two bars. (music playing) Clearly, what I did was, I have-- let's take that slice out, and this one I repeated. I'll color it again so it's easier to see.
And I copied it over, like that. This slice got changed out, get rid of that and I pulled this one from the end. Let's color that quickly. Option+Drag to bring that over. Let's see how it sounds so far. (music playing) And then with this tight stutter kicks over here--let's zoom in again and I'll grab my Scissors tool and I'll just cut this in half. No need to use the Option key because I'm just cutting it once.
And now we'll get rid of that hit and take this kick, slide it over, get rid of that, slide it over here, and now we've got something pretty close to how that beat had been rearranged. (music playing) Now I can see one more that I have rearranged these two slices. Let's pull this one over and slide that here.
To be perfectly honest, sometimes I just have lucky accidents from experimenting with these slices. It's really hard to do something that's not going to sound good, because the slices are all on the beat. And that is how you quickly slice up a beat and make useful variations, muting, copying, or rearranging the slices.
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