Tagged: Roland TR-808

Save the Beat

I can’t tell you how sick I am of hearing tired, canned dance beats. I don’t even like dance music. But if I have to hear it while out in public, away from the safe confines of my iPod, I might as well try to improve the quality of the drum sounds. The world has been overrun by shitty producers with their 808 samples and re-mixed Ableton Live schlock. And don’t even get me started about the kitten DJs who spin said schlock.

Stop the madness.
Stop the madness.

Loop #108

How does one try to come up with fresh sounding dance loops? Start with something that sounds nothing like a cliché electronica beat. In this case, it’s using brushes to lay down the groove. Chopped up with a touch of gating, peppered with some growly floor toms and sautéd in some extra trashy hi hats, I give you my first dance loop intended to make this genre a little more palatable (especially when served alongside a $14 gin and tonic made by someone like this).

Preview Here:

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Get the .wav file here.

Get the .rx2 file here.

Get the .aiff file here.

118 BPM

The 808

The Roland 808. It’s the drum machine sound I grew up on. Round, blippy sounding toms. A kick drum loaded with enough sub-bass to shake an entire roller rink. From hip-hop to pop music, the 808 dominated the programmed drum sound of the early to mid 80’s. You can even hear the 808 on Marvin Gaye’s 1982 hit slow jam, “Sexual Healing”.

The TR-808
The Roland TR-808

Loop #67

Today I decided to go for that old 808 sound on my acoustic kit… and then some. To get the classic, “round” tom effect, I grabbed my trusty pile of dirty t-shirts, laid them across the head of each drum and de-tuned one lug to get some pitch bend. The rest is in the mix. Lots of gating, a ton of compression, some heavy panning, a dash of sub-bass and the entire bus mix ran through an amp simulator. Yep, that’s a lot of digital plugins just to recreate an analog machine from 1980.

Preview Here:

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Download the Logic session here. (179MB)

Get the .wav file here.

Get the .rx2 file here.

131 BPM