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Beat Breakdown: Schoolbus Q by The Symphony

Transcript
What’s going on, guys? Symphony here with theproaudiofiles.com, and today, we’re doing another beat breakdown, featuring a sample from my Structure sample pack. That’s available on samplepacks.co and on sellify.com/symphony.

So I did this sample with Schoolboy Q in mind, this one is called Schoolbus Q from Structures. Let’s see what that sample sounds like.

[sample]

So we got a couple of cool things happening here. We’ve got distorted synth, we’ve got filtered choirs, we’ve got some cool modulation happening with some vocal chops, and we have some arpeggiation with that synthesizer at the very beginning, and I kept the beat kind of simple.

I kind of just used the sample and threw some drums on it, just because I don’t like throwing too much stuff at the writer or the artist. I can always do stuff in post-production if necessary. It gives the writer more room to do what they want to do.

So this is what the beat sounds like.

[beat]

So the one thing you’ll notice is that I have the sample broken into individual stems. Which is cool, because Structure comes with all of the individual stems, as well as the other sample pack that I did, which is called I’m Operablem. Prism doesn’t have the stems, but if you hit me up, I’ll get you the stems for it.

So another thing I like to do on my records is transitions. I like to pay attention to the arrangement of the transitions as well. So at the very beginning of the song when the beat drops, you’ll hear a snare roll, you’ll hear a reverse vocal, and you’ll hear a gong crash, and all of these things happen in succession for a reason to build more anticipation for the actual drop of the record.

[intro]

And now this is in context of the song.

[beat]

So here’s the regular trap snare that everybody and their mother uses.

[snare]

But then I added this little punch to it.

[punch snare]

The third snare that I used was more for a stereo effect, and this is what that snare sounds like.

[third snare]

On the stereo snare that I used, I put a plugin called Vinyl Distortion. When I pulled up the Vinyl Distortion plugin, I just dragged around these bands to make it dance — to where the snare sounded good.

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[snare, then full mix]

Another thing I like to focus on is textures in my records.

So what I’ll do is I’ll grab the kick drum, and I’ll grab the hi-hat that I have, and I shifted the hi-hat off the grid a little bit and dragged around the EQ band to find exactly where the hi-hat was biting or interacting the most with the kick drum, and I’ll show you what I mean.

[kick and hat]

So little things like that really help bring out the textures in your beat.

For example, with the distorted synth, that plays in correlation with the 808. So I’ll play the distorted synth and the 808, and I’ll show you where I think the distorted synth sounds best with the 808.

[synth and bass]

So I touched on this a little bit in the last video, one of the things I really enjoy doing is taking the samples and sidechaining them to the kick drum. In this particular beat, I did that with pretty much every instrument, just because I think it sounds cool. Also, it gives the beat a more stylized feel, and this is just a personal preference, it’s something I like doing personally for the songs that I create.

So in Ableton, this is very simple. I’ll delete this and show you how I did it. You pull up a compressor, and I’ll put that over here, why not. I’ll expand on this compressor by clicking on this arrow, and it says sidechain here. I click on sidechain, audio input from the kick drum, obviously. I’ve got two kick drums in this song, and I will find the kick, and I’ll use it as post-effects.

Let’s hear this synth and the kick by itself, and I’ll adjust the ratio, attack, and release according to what I think sounds best.

[synth and kick]

And what I’ll do is I’ll pretty much take this compressor, right? And I’ll drag it to almost every other instrument. So it’s very simple, it’s sidechaining 101 on Ableton.

So one thing I did in this beat, in terms of arrangement was in the hook, I completely broke everything down. So it’s different kick, different snare, and also, different arrangement of the sample.

[mix]

So beat breaks down, transition comes back in and lets you know that this is the rest of the hook.

Also, going into the second verse, you can always do some more transitions, and add another gong. Why not? Can’t even have enough gongs. Uh, let’s see if we just throw this over here too, why not?

[song]

So yeah, that pretty much wraps it up for me, guys. I hope you enjoyed this video breakdown — this beat breakdown of Schoolbus Q from the Structure sample pack. That’s available on sellify.com/symphony, as well as samplepacks.co, and you can find my other sample packs as well — Prism sound collection, as well as I’m Operablem, which is engineered by Matt Weiss and features Opera vocals by Shayna Von Otter.

If you guys have any questions, leave them in the comments section. If you want to reach out to me personally, BAU Symphony on everything. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, bausymphony@gmail, and that’s about it. Shout outs to The Pro Audio Files. Thanks for having me, I’ll see you guys again. Peace.

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Samik Ganguly

Samik Ganguly

Samik Ganguly also known as “The Symphony” is an American record producer, DJ, and writer with a classically trained background as a violinist. He's a six time iStandard Producer Showcase Winner including the Grand finale Champion “Beast of The Beats VI”.

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