Loops From Anything #1 

Loops from anything will be a monthly article post based around everyday sounds turned into drum type loops. I subconsciously spend most of my time listening out for those everyday sounds that sound percussion like or kick drum like. As I’m sure many of us producers do. Quite often I come across these sounds and when I do I get a little tingle of creativeness rise up inside me. I record the sound hundreds of times in many different ways and then I cut out what I don’t like and keep what I do like. To me there is nothing more creative than finding a regular everyday sound, recording it and then turning it into a piece of music or an artistic audio piece. It gives me great pleasure to take such an insignificant sound to most and make it significant. Whether it be a set of car keys being shaken, the sound of running my fingers across the bristles of a hair brush or the sound of two stainless steel forks colliding. Anything can be turned into a musical piece if you try hard enough and edit it correctly.

Straightforward enough don’t you think? I will write this to show you how I personally do it but to also show you how easy it is to create your own drum or percussion one shots from scratch. And with that hopefully I will inspire you to go out record and create your own one shots. This is the main aim. To inspire creativity in others. Whether recording your own one shots or using the packs I supply here to create your own loops. Just create and enjoy the process.


Recordings And Objects Used.

  1. Porcelain plates and cups.

The sound of porcelain tableware being gently tapped off each other is a sound I have recently come across in which I have tried to incorporate into my drums. I first realised this sound when I was recording a soundscape of myself cleaning the dishes at the sink. As I was lifting and pulling the dishes from underneath one another I started to visualise the sounds in my Ableton Drum Rack and so began the process of adding this sound to this percussion loop. The “clang” the dishes makes just instantly jumped out at me and I knew right then that this sound was useable for a percussive type loop. It sounded so much like a snap effect it worked great.

If you listen to it you can hear exactly where the idea of using the plates colliding as a one shot sample has come from. It was in this moment of recording where the idea came to me. You can also hear the water running from the tap in the background which adds a sort of white noise effect to the one shot sample. You would do well to try and remove this acoustic sound as much as possible or else record while the tap is off. Or leave it in if you would like. Either way you will get two very different samples both with their own unique sound.

Tip: Sometimes when recording the acoustic sound (other sounds in the vicinity which the microphone picks up) adds to the overall quality of the samples but many times can be a hindrance and destroy the intended effect of the sample. Always take acoustic noise into effect. Especially when working with one shot samples which are extremely short in length. Move into an area where there is very little sound or noise and record there to try and remove this as much as possible.

The one shot without the background noise is the sample we will be using for the loop. It still is in need of a little noise reduction and a bit fading out. Also maybe a little EQ and reverb. But we will get to that when we have a finished beat on our hand.


2. Broken Lightbulb.

Look for the shards of broken glass inside the glass shell.

Look for the shards of broken glass inside the glass shell.

When i was carrying my 2 year old son out of the sitting room he reached up and smacked the lamp shade with all of his might and fury. When he did this the lightbulb then fell out of the socket and crashed down on the floor. To my surprise the lightbulb itself did not shatter into a million pieces but the inside parts shattered leaving little glass particles encapsulated inside the outer glass shell. When I went to retrieve it I heard this beautiful almost percussive sound. It reminded me of an old egg shaker I once had but this one was made from glass. I recorded the sound hundreds of times. Actually probably over a thousand times as I became fascinated with the sound it made and I wanted to make sure I got a perfect recording before I threw it in the trash. Here are some of the sounds I got from it. As stated they are beautiful. The glass on glass sound really works well as a percussive one shot in my personal opinion and they play an integral part of the loop I’ll be creating. This is one sound I am delighted I have come across and look forward to using many more times in the future. I will leave a sample pack down below for you guys to download and use royalty free for whatever you would like. I want these sounds to be used for creative means rather than stuck in an unnamed folder on my laptop never to be used.


3. Set Of Keys Being Shaken

An already well known percussive one shot go to for many artists. I first came across this type of one shot when listening to an artists called Burial. He was an artist that only used organic sounds to create his drums in his productions. From keys jingling to the sound of a match being struck or a lighter being lit he used a huge array of recorded sounds in which gave his productions a unique distinct sound. I’m sure you guys will know many producers who do this I just use Burial to portray this as he is one of my favourite producers and inspired me to create these types of sounds.


Final Review.

Here is the loop I created from these one shots in order to show you what can be created from these one shot samples. Drum loops are not my strong point so I’m certain you guys will be able to create much better loops than I can. Just know that anything can be recorded and turned into a drum sample. You just have to hear the sound and then visualise the sample being used in a loop. If you take one thing away from this piece take with you the fact that the more you record and edit your own sounds the more your style of music production will stand out amongst the others that all sound the same. The more creativity you put into your sample the more listeners will admire the amount of effort you have put into making a musical piece. Let these samples inspire you to create your own drum samples and be the most creative person you can be.

After putting the beat together I then added a little reverb and EQ. Some noise reduction to get rid of the low hum that was in the background of the samples and just generally cleaned up the samples by shortening them and removing any dead, unused space at the beginning of the audio sample.


Sample Packs I Created While Writing This Article.

All the samples I created in the process of writing this article they are all completely free to download so if you were lucky enough to come and read all the way through to the end then I thank you for taking the time to read this article and I hope you enjoy the little present of some organic one shot sample packs. All are royalty free so use them for whatever or however you choose. Thank you guys. Just click the buttons below for them to start downloading.