Arts & Entertainment, Music

Beats: Part 2


Lesson time 12:28 min

Dive deeper into deadmau5's rhythmic techniques, with lessons on snare sounds and a closer look at the drums tracks in Snowcone.

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Topics include: The Secret to Snare Sounds • Making Your Drums Breathe • Case Study: Snowcone Drums


So you know, your snares. [DRUM BEAT] Now this is one common thing that kind of drives me nuts about EDM in general. It works for the most part. But the way that this is set up is, as I'm moving my cursor here, it's highlighting to a grid of strict eighth notes. So this is one beat. That's two beats. This is a whole bar. And everything is all very quantized, meaning that it's going to lock right there. And the one mistake I hear in EDM is, you know, all these pre-transients don't go through because everything, if you zoom in, is being triggered right-- I'm, like, in sample land right here. Meaning the time scale is-- you know, moving it from here to here is not noticeable at all. But as you can see, everything is perfectly locked to the thing now. So I hear a lot of-- [DRUM BEAT] While that may sound all right to some people, it's just too bang-on to me-- well, at least for the snare. The kick, it doesn't really matter. The kick can be bang-on and all that stuff, and that's great. But you know, the rule for me is basically the kick is the lock track. And then everything else can kind of go back and forth between that. So now if I want to bring the transient out on a snare a bit, what I'll end up doing is taking that snare-- maybe I'll just reduce this clip so that the snare only plays once. And then what I do is I drag that snare just a little bit earlier than it should. Now you're going to notice, as I start to do this, you're going to hear a different sound. [DRUM BEAT] See, now too far out, you're going to get-- you know, it's out of time. But if you find a spot halfway in-between-- [DRUM BEAT] --you're actually going to get a different sound than you would if it was locked in, because you're hearing a little bit of the snare before the kick. And you know, there is bottom end, in some cases, and low end and mid-range frequencies in a snare drum. A kick is an exclusively low end. And a snare isn't typically like mid and high. Frequencies are all over the place. So if I put this one back to-- [DRUM BEAT] --you'll hear the difference between this section, which is going to be red. Right, this is the wrong way, I guess I would say. And then, if I play this other one-- [DRUM BEAT] --you get a different sound. [DRUM BEAT] So you know, that's something you've got to go into detail in and get really finicky about and experiment with in your times. And the same applies for, say, the top end of a kick. And delaying it-- you know, like I can go in and move and nudge this way and that way on the timeline. But there are other ways around it, too. So if I want to move-- [DRUM BEAT] So now you hear the top way out of time because it's negative 600 samples playing earlier or something like that. But Ableton goofs it up a lot because of the latency that plug-ins induce and all that stuff, too. So that's a whole other world of ...

About the Instructor

Before he was deadmau5, all Joel Zimmerman wanted for Christmas was old toasters to take apart. Now, you can watch him take his music apart. In his first-ever online class, Joel teaches you how he approaches melodies, mixing and mastering to make unique sounds you can't find in a cookie cutter sample pack. You'll not only get his lessons, you'll learn how to create your own music without spending money on million dollar gear.

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6 hours of instructions, 23 video lessons, and a downloadable course workbook.

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