Tagged: linear

Video: Making Linear Drum Loops in Reason 6

One of my most popular blog posts is the one I wrote a few years ago entitled “Linear Drumming for Dummies“.  It’s a concept made famous by Steve Gadd (he’s no dummy) and oddly enough, Wikipedia references this very blog when talking about the most widely discussed song featuring linear drumming, Paul Simon’s “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover”.

In the video below, I demonstrate how to create linear drum loops from non-linear sources. In this case, a straight forward indie rock loop. By using slice edit mode in Reason 6, along with ReDrum, I’m about to deconstruct and then build up an entirely new groove:

Rocking The EVOC

I had good intentions of recording a rather straight ahead, Gadd-esque linear drum loop. In fact, that’s pretty much what I had… before I reached for the vocoder:

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Old School Vocoder
Old School Vocoder

Loop #111

With a delay set to a dotted eighth note and the EVOC 20 filter (my SIGSALY is in the shop) heavy in the mix, I give you some tripped out, space funk.

The Settings
The Settings

Preview Here:

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Get the .wav file here.

Get the .rx2 file here.

Get the .aiff file here.

102 BPM

Linear drumming for dummies.

Steve Gadd - Linear Lifetime Achievement Award
Steve Gadd - Linear Lifetime Achievement Award

Linear drumming is a style of playing where no two limbs hit at the same time. These grooves are typically broken up between the snare, kick, hi hat and toms, creating a unique, lilting feel. One of the most popular examples of linear drumming is Steve Gadd’s performance on Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”. If you really want to impress the guy behind the counter at Guitar Center (the one with the phonytail) with your mad drumming skills, be sure to get this beat under your belt:

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

Pop music and Guitar Centers aren’t the only places you can utilize linear beats. They also lend themselves well to funk music. David Garibaldi made the 70’s funkier (is that even possible?) with his slick, intricate linear grooves. Just check out some of his albums with Tower of Power, especially “Bump City” and “East Bay Grease”. With songs titles like “Social Lubrication” and “You Got To Funkifize”, I don’t feel the need to explain any further.

David Garibaldi - Linear fo' Life
David Garibaldi - Linear fo' Life

Loop #18

This beat originally started off as a very basic, 8th note linear groove…. then I decided to start playing with delays while mixing. I timed the delay to occur a dotted eighth note after the original attack, which resulted in an interesting, syncopated feel. To take it one step further, I panned the delay left to right (à la Stewart Copeland) and inserted a low pass filter.

Preview Here:

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Download the Logic session here. (40MB)

Non-Logic fools, get your .wav files here.

83 BPM