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Drum/percussion loops in pop songs

Member for

21 years 2 months
Many "pop" songs I have been listening to recently

e.g. "Here with Me" by Dido
or "Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia

and a lot of backstreet/nsync/britney-esque songs start with a fairly low level drum/percussion loop, and then later the main drums (big kick and snare) come in over the top.

The loops often sound very similar, some kind of shaker or hi-hat, small or 'slight' sounding compressed kick and snare sounds, percussion etc, with most of the 'top' removed, sounding almost muffled and no one instrument stands out, each hit sounding almost the same (sorry it's hard to describe but I'm sure you've heard what I mean).

Does anyone know how they are done? They don't sound particularly like 808/909 stuff, is there a favourite drum machine for this kind of stuff, or is it a generic "producers trick" with eq and compression?

I've been looking for similar loops in, say, Acid format, but can't find anything that sounds similar.




Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Fri, 04/13/2001 - 11:35
this may not help at all but here goes:

my partner is a drum machine, sampler, stacks of vinyl junkie

while working with rock bands who request loops to come and go in their songs he quickly finds sounds that compliment what we have on tape yet are very different from the live drums (in a simaliar vein to what you described)

he pulls samples off records he owns
and from there...skies the limit
compress, EQ,......we have even fed the loop to an old component stereo reverb box we found at the flea market and looped it back to the sampler (creating a feed back loop)
then manually adjusting the send to the reverb in tempo with the loop while panning in tempo with the loop
mix the crazy insane loop back in on two new tracks with the real loop
you have to hear it to really get how cool it is and how great it worked with the track

we will also build a real simple loop
and then i will go play live drums over that
but in a manor that "completes the beat" not just playing over it.....more like using machine and man to get the whole part out

i am not an expert on loops or programmming
i would are only limited by your own mind


Member for

21 years 1 month

Greg Malcangi Mon, 04/23/2001 - 02:24

Not in the specific examples given but I would agree with j.hall. There are so many possible ways. In addition to j.hall's suggestion another often used method for example is to create a submix of live or sampled perc and downsample it to 8 bit, then mess around with EQ, compression, etc.