How to Replicate Any Beat Using Parametric Equalizer


So you found a cool audio loop or beat sample from the internet and you don't really know if you are allowed to use it in your project or not. Don't worry. You don't have to mess around with all the copyright issues if you can make your own beats and rhythms. All you need for making your own is individual drum sounds, digital audio workstation and parametric equalizer.

Individual bits of drum sounds

There are plenty of websites available for you to download royalty free drum sounds. Those are just small bits and hits of a single drum sound like a kick, snare or hihat. You can always record some of your own but for the start it's easier to just download a pack of free sounds and use those. There are also free drum sound generators out there but that's another story. Right now you only need individual one-hit sounds that sound similar to the drumloop sounds that you want to replicate.

Open up the digital audio workstation

The first thing you want to do is to set the tempo to match the drumloop you want to copy and then import the drumloop into the workstation. Make the sample loop and let it play. Watch the playhead move along the loop and get the first sense of the rhythm.

Add parametric equalizer to the drumloop FX channel

After activating the equalizer you want to switch to band pass filter so that you only hear the frequencies that you need to start setting up your replicated drumloop.

Play with the frequency slider

As you play with the slider you can hear that you can filter out some parts of the drumloop sounds. That's because different hits of the drumloop have different frequencies. For example:

  • Kick: 50Hz - 150Hz
  • Snare: 600Hz - 4kHz
  • Hihats: 6kHz and up

Import your individual drum sounds

As for now you should already have some sort of a picture of how the drumloop should be laid down on the sequancer/piano roll/beat map. Just use the frequency slider as your main guide along the way. Start building your beat from the kick and move on up to the hihats and clicks and pops etc. Don't be afraid to make some mistakes during the process. Unless you have a pretty good skills at composing drumloops you are going to make some misclicks on the way. It's part of the journey. You will get your loop to beat the way you want eventually.

Add some extra touch

Usually it doesn't end up just here. There are many things to do before you get your loop to sound superb. Depending on the style and mood you may need to use a compressor, delay, reverb, flanger or even a distortion. But that's all up to you. At the end it's your music, your world and your decision of what the good sound feels like.

Last update: 2018-09-07 (Y,M,D)

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