Getting Any Drum
Loop To Fit Your Track
Loops aren't a one size fit all, so why try using them like that?
December 29, 2018
Mixing Drum Loops - Tips and Tricks
In my experience, there are three distinct types of producers when it comes to loops. First, the producer who thinks it's cheating and thinks that loops are dumb because using them diminishes their creative integrity. Second, the producer who uses loops as the building block for most of their music. And third, the producer who goes through loops when they feel something is missing from a track they are working on or they need that last little bit of inspiration.
Now there isn't anything wrong with either of the three archetypes. At the end of the day, whatever works best for you personally is how you should go about making music.
Whether you fall into category 1, 2, or 3, I bet you will agree with this sentiment. It can be hard to get any type of percussive loop to fit into your track. If you don't like loops, this might be one of the key reasons for why you don't like them. If it takes too much time to get them to work, you might as well just make something from scratch. I've seen that argument made against loops in the past. But what if I told you, that you can tweak almost any loop and get it to fit into your track?
You’ve also more than likely done this dance at least a few times. You spend a good chunk of time testing out various loops until you find one that just works.
I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to do that!
Getting Drums to Sound Tight
It should go without saying, but you need to make sure any prospective drum loop whether it’s a top loop, hi hat loop etc., is in the correct BPM for your project and that it’s in the same time signature. It would be very tough to get 6/8 hi hat loop to fit into a 4/4 track.
The gist of this technique can be broken down into one simple idea. Controlling the loudness of the transients and sustain of the loop.
Sometimes you will need to reduce the transient, the initial attack to get a loop to fit. Other times you will need to tighten up and shorten the decay or sustain. Most DAWS have the tools to do this without the need for third party plugins. I use a third party plugin in the video below because that specific plugin is a vital part of my production process.
We also use a lot of transient shaping on our drum samples when we process them. This is why our samples easily slide into your production's with minimal fuss.
One of my favorite transient shapers is Transient Master by Native Instruments. It sounds great and is very easy to use. It might look simple, but I personally don't want to many options and knobs to tweak when I'm working with a transient shaper.
Smack Attack by Waves is another good option. This one has more control, so if you're into mixing plugins that offers you to do more in depth, check this one out over the Native Instruments Transient Master.