Essential Beats Production Techniques Part 2

  • Over 4 hours of streamed lessons
  • Tips from World Class DJ Producer
  • Access 24/7/365
  • Ableton Live Projects from the course
  • 50MB of Bonus Drum Loops

Drums lay at the core of every good track, providing the rhythmic energy and beating heart of the music. Making sure that those drums are solid and satisfying is therefore an essential part of producing high quality tracks. On this in-depth course, experienced producer Simon Shackleton will take you on a journey as he builds up a number of complete grooves from the ground up, explaining every decision meticulously along the way.

This second part of the course moves onto 2 new genres, looking this time at Nu Disco and Electronica or Breakbeat. Like the first part, the lessons go in detail through each process of constructing the beat with a large palette of samples, beginning with a core loop or main drums like kick and snare. Individual drums are designed by layering of numerous oneshots, carefully selected and then blended, using different processing to ensure each part fits together seamlessly and adds its own unique elements into the mix.

Straight and top loops are made, through the skilful combining of loops, chopped up initially to select only the desired segments and then inserted into 2- and 4- bar phrases, to create the backbone of the drums, as well as higher frequency textures to add pace and excitement. Send reverb is employed, which is also automated to create occasional ‘spot FX’ that permeate and spice up the break.

All sounds and groups are meticulously mixed and mastered as the drums develop, with complex effects chains utilised to shape and polish the sound. Devices include regular, dynamic and mid/side EQ, parallel compression, saturation and width control, all used to ensure every part of the break has the required substance and isn’t adding any unwanted components into the mix.

Once you’ve enrolled on the course, you’ll have instant 24/7 access to 4 hours of streamed tutorials, as well as downloads of the projects from each module, and finally a bonus pack of drum samples from Loopmasters. Sample modules are available as examples of the course style and content, so you can see how articulate and engaging a tutor Simon is before signing up. Enrol now to start learning from a master in the field and turbo charge your beats production knowledge today!

Sample Module - Adding Snare Layers to Breakbeats

Course Breakdown

Nu-Disco Beat

Module 1 - Getting Started
Simon provides a wealth of advice on how to source and locate the relevant samples to start crafting a beat, identifying the sonic characteristics of various loops and oneshots to understand each of their purposes within the break.

Module 2 - Kick Blending
Multiple samples are artfully combined to produce an enormous kick to form the foundations of the beat. Sample waveforms are edited and processed with numerous effects, before a kick loop is bounced.

Module 3 - Snare Blending
Much like in the previous module, Simon layers numerous snares to eventually form a phat, comped snare loop, using editing and effects processing techniques.

Module 4 - Nu Disco Loops
The backbone of the beat is put together through the forming of a Nu Disco ‘straight loop’, which is made by skilfully editing, combining and processing several samples, paying particular attention to the layering, character, frequencies and placement within the stereo field.

Module 5 - Top Loops
Higher frequency components are combined to create a number of top loops, used to add pace and energy to the break. Reversed drums are integrated to apply casual swing to the groove and meticulous EQ is carried out to ensure rogue frequencies are dealt with.

Module 6 - Finishing Touches
Once all the drums are in place, Simon adds the atmosphere and vibe through various foley samples, which are carefully mixed into the break so as to add presence without becoming overt.


Module 1 - Starting Points
To get going with the last beat, Simon explains the thought processes behind all of the samples selected, including the character and rhythm of each drum, and the differing requirements of the specific genre compared to the previous styles featured on the course.

Module 2 - All About The Breaks
This beat is begun by forming the main break, which takes one main loop and then reinforces is with a number of additional loops, used to supply complementary textural layers, groove components, musicality and colour to the beat.

Module 2b - Bouncing The Breaks
Now that samples have been sequenced and the break laid down, Simon uses his complex processing chain to roughly master the beats with EQ, compression and saturation. Send reverb is also applied to gel and add depth and character to the beats. A number of comped loops are then recorded into the project.

Module 3 - Kicking It
Kick and Sub oneshot samples are used to reinforce the breaks, adding extra bottom end punch and tone, making the beats solid and phat. Advice on tuning and compression is included, to ensure kicks sit comfortably within the beats.

Module 4 - Snare Additions
Two additional snares are layered onto the break to provide extra snap and texture to the beat. Normal and mid/side EQ are used to apply relevant frequencies to the mono and stereo components of the mix, whilst send reverb is automated to add variety to the break.

Module 5 - Top Loops
Much like with previous styles, higher frequency drums are edited and woven into the beats to add pace. Particular attention is paid to reverb tails and enveloping to keep things clean, as well as editing out unnecessary sounds and applying EQ to bed things down into the mix.

Module 6 - Finishing Touches
Additional atmos samples are once again applied to the finished beats, considering any tuning and carefully blending them with the drums. Finally, some mastering is carried out, with glue compression, limiting and light saturation to gel everything together.



Simon Shackleton aka Elite Force

Simon is a hugely experienced DJ and producer, with over 25 highly successful years in the industry. Having produced under a variety of aliases, notably as Elite Force and Zodiac Cartel, he has rocked dancefloors with his unique blend of Tech Funk, Electro and Breaks. Famed for both his technical prowess and exceptional creative capacity, he has received support from legendary DJs like Sasha and Fatboy Slim. His more recent efforts, however, are on a deeper, more melodic tip!