Groove Monkee Twisted Beats

I’ll admit to a production secret: sometimes I use MIDI files containing drum patterns. I cut my teeth in the early 90s making beats on countless records using various drum machines and sequencers. However, like an old boxer I always seem to throw the same punches. The only way for me to get some totally new grooves is to rely on Herbie Hancock or others who sold their patterns. Well ok often I use randomizers but that’s the not the point of this blog post. Today Groove Monkee released a new set of prefab drum beat MIDI files. This one’s called Twisted Beats and you get 800 for $29.95. If you order today (Wednesday Feb 10, 2010) you can get $10 off with the code: twitter10

“Twisted Beats is a unique collection of over 800 four measure MIDI loops for contemporary music with Rock, RnB World and Fusion influences. A wide range of old and new school influences are represented here: Dave Matthews, Herbie Hancock, The Mars Volta, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Meters, Paul Simon, Prince, etc. The grooves were played by a professional studio drummer or expertly programmed in order to get exactly the right feel. We’ve selected only beats with an infectious “feel” or “groove”; this is NOT just a random collection of unusable beats.” –

For more info: click here


On a beat hunt? Try the Ryan Gruss blog.

Drum Set

Well here’s a concept worth mentioning: a drum loop blog. There’s not too much to say here other than Boston, Massachusetts resident Ryan Gruss posts a drum loop a day for all of us to use and abuse. He’s categorizing his loops so this could be a place to go when on a beat hunt.

“Hey Oliver, I just wanted to drop you a note and say hi.  recently started a blog of my own. I record and upload new drum loops everyday (almost) for anyone to use.  I post a quick audio preview and supply a download link to the original Logic files.” – Ryan Gruss

No drummer jokes ok? (NO NO I’m joking… please leave many drummer jokes in the comments!)

Check out the blog and loops here:

photo credit: johnnyalive

Tickle your ears with flanging Hi-hats.

Flanging Hihats

Are you bored with your hi-hats? Here’s a quick tip to make them a bit more “fancy”. I remember noticing this technique listening to Kraftwerk’s epic song Trans-Europe Express. Simply send your hi-hats to their own Channel, add a flanger and set it’s wet/dry knob to at least 70% wet. Play with your flanger’s settings to control how much movement takes place.

I wouldn’t use this method on every song but it adds some nice spice once and a while. Remember you don’t have to have your hats flanging through out the entire song. Often I will only put my “flange hats” during a drums break or to add tension to only the last verse. Here’s some examples on how it can sound:

Are there any songs you know of off hand that use this technique? Do you have a favorite flange plug-in or hardware box?