Music trackers such as Renoise remain a popular tool for producers creating breakbeats and drum and bass/old school jungle. If you’ve not used a music tracker before then it can often be difficult to know exactly what you should be doing and many people quickly give up in frustration.
Luckily learning how to use modern music trackers such as Renoise isn’t as difficult as you might fear.
In the excellent tutorial video below, London based music producer GroovinG guides you through cutting up a Amen break and using the samples to create your own breaks – it’s an absolute materclass in using creating your own breaks and is well worth watching even if you don’t use Renoise.
Breaks in Renoise video tutorial timeline:
Intro Music: (00:00)
Creating a perfect loop (slicing up the Amen to a 4 bar Loop): (01:38)
Sync the break to your project tempo: (04:42)
Understanding Beat Sync: (05:01)
Syncing the Amen break: (06:13)
Render to Sample – Commit to Transpose: (09:00)
Slicing (hotkeys recap): (09:48)
Automatic slicing in Renoise: (10:37)
Slicing breaks in Renoise: (11:25)
Long Slices Vs Individual Slices: (11:49)
Follow the playback position: (14:07)
Programming new breaks: (14:45)
What is a breakbeat?
New to breakbeats? Traditionally a ‘breakbeat’ is a type of drum solo, typically found on funk and jazz records. Wikipedia defines the breakbeat music genre as: a broad type of electronic music that tends to utilize drum breaks sampled from early recordings of funk, jazz, and R&B. Breakbeats have been used in styles such as hip hop, jungle, drum and bass, big beat, breakbeat hardcore, and UK garage styles (including 2-step, breakstep and dubstep). (source)
In the video below, Dr. Jason Hockman presents a fascinating lecture on the history of the breakbeat. Jason explores the evolving role of breakbeats in electronic music, from their initial usage in hip hop into a second generation appropriation in genres such as jungle and drum & bass.
If you’re a student of any kind of electronic music production or you’re wanting to learn how to create your own breaks then you’re sure to get a lot from this brilliant lecture.