Beat chopping will sharply boost your loop library’s artistic capacity — you can match tempos and main signatures, rearrange loop activities, and dive into inspiring sound design. We look at the leading beat-cutting tools and show you the best possible results in your sequencer using this effective technique.
Sampled loops are part of the new music-making fabric. They have been connected to hardware samplers for a long time, but they are now everyplace in REX players like Propellerhead Reason, Emagic Logic, Steinberg Cubase; in Bitschift Audio Phatsmatik Pro and Native Instruments Intakt in specialty plug-ins and audio sequencers such as Ableton Live (Address Live). Whereas loops were primarily formerly instruments of dance and hip hop, they are routinely used in most music genres.
Okay. There are also production issues for programs like Beat Chopper VSTi. Do not get me wrong, it is important to do it, and programmers whose job is to make producers look smart are doing it every day in studios. But the first thing you want to do with those methods is, of course, to see how much you can mangle completely with something utterly unpredictable. These beat slicers will help you to do something very synchronous with audio by splitting up into rhythmic components and then supplying you with envelopes, filters, LPOs, and bit crushers.
One of my favorite tricks is to pick up a rich sound pad or other ambient ‘texture’ sound, pull it into a Beat Chopper VST Instrument, and create a bar length value. Beat chopper also has rapid ways to add slice markers on the 16th-note grid. The slice markers trigger your envelope, so you get a new pulsed gated pad sound and apply any pulses and decay to amplitude or filters.
Finally, Beat Slicing gives the studio a link with live universes. It’s worth working like this from the beginning as you make music that you believe you should do and deliver in some way. You are making your possibilities by making your rhythm tracks activated by MIDI like cut samples, instead of continuously recording music. In the simple level, you are not bound to pace or linear transport, like you are for tape or continuous tracks, whether you use these components as a backbone track. You can also manage rearrangement in real-time with loops, and can quickly fly parts of various songs into stuff and just mess about it.
If you perform with the band live, you can open output possibilities that could not be recreated on stage by using beat-sliced audio-tracks in your studio. Say, you used a sounding drum loop as a base of the track and chopped it down and rearranged it in several ways. You will load the REX file into a sampler and unleash the single tranches from drum triggers while you play live. It’s the best of both worlds: it always performs genuinely, but you get the same sounds as you did in the studio.