Use an arpeggiator on drums.

arpeggiator on drums
Here’s one of my favorite tricks. The screenshot above is Ableton Live but you can use any DAW, drum machine plug-in and arpeggiator. Take a drum machine plug-in and put it on a channel, add an arpeggiator and make a one bar long note at the beginning of your kit (usually the kick drum). Play the bar (looping) and play with the arpeggiator. Initially you may only hear the kick stuttering along so start experimenting. Adjusting the arp’s parameters like rate (1/8, 1/12, 1/16th), steps, and distance will start to give you variations.

I used this system to come up with the drum patterns on the song You Are Disturbing off my new album. You can also hear a lot of songs which have similar drum patterns by the 80s EBM band The Klinik.

Another thing to try is dupicating the entire channel and set the duplicate’s steps and offset differently than the original channel. In Ableton Live you can control-click the channel and select “Dupilicate” or even easier hit command-D. Combined the two channels let you hit more of the drum sounds. Adding more one bar notes on top of the kick (withing the drum machine’s sample ranges) will also pick up more sounds and effect how the arp reacts. Here is an audio sample that took me a few minutes to create using a Roland TR-808 and TR-606 sample set:

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Oliver Chesler

"Hello my name is Oliver and I'm going to tell you a story." I have been recording music since 1989 under the name The Horrorist. I have released over 60 singles and 4 full length albums. To hear my music please go to:

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