Beat Breakdown: Creating The Drumbeat of DMX’s “Ruff Ryders Anthem”
In a series of beat breakdowns and production tutorials, this article will teach you how to compose a clone of the drumbeat of DMX’s “Ruff Ryders Anthem” with FL Studio 12.
Note: The version I’m having you compose with FL Studio 12 is not identical to the drums of the actual song. It sounds slightly different, but this breakdown is still for aspiring producers to practice re-composing real songs like pros.
Here’s an example of the finished track we made:
- ERASING “FRUITY LIMITER”
Before you begin your composition, you must delete any built-in effects on your mixer. Mostly, FL Studio 12 opens default files with a “Fruity Limiter” in the Master track. If this is the case, remove that effect by a) left-clicking it (in the right of the Mixing Board) and selecting “none” in its pop-up menu, or b) clicking the green dot to its right, so it’s gray, therefore silent.
- CHANGING TEMPO
After you’ve deleted the “Fruity Limiter” effect, change the tempo to 93 bpm, by simply left-clicking and dragging the number in the tempo window down to 93.
- ADDING DRUM SOUNDS
To add the drum sounds, you’ll need to go to the browser panel of your FL Studio screen (on the left side) and drag the below sounds to the Channel Rack.
Packs > Legacy > Drums > HipHop > Hip_Kick_2
Packs > Drums (ModeAudio) > Claps > MA Riddles Clap
Packs > Drums > Snares > Linn Snare
Packs > Drums > Hats > Grv OH 02
Packs > Drums > Hats > 808 CH
Each of these sounds are recommended for closely recreating the drums heard in the DMX song.
Drag all these sounds to the Channel Rack by left-clicking and moving them there. Simple.
- COMPOSING DRUMBEAT
This drumbeat is surprisingly simple. It doesn’t require any tricks with the Piano Roll, as I’ve had you compose in other beat breakdowns. All you’ll need is the spaces on the Channel Rack.
The drumbeat is a four-bar loop you’ll find repeated in the song. You need to begin by inserting the below spaces in the first bar in your pattern.
To compose material in the second bar, you’ll first need to SEE the second bar by scrolling to the right with the tiny “dash” on the bottom of the Channel Rack.
Left-click and drag that “dash” to the right until you see the first empty gray-red-gray-red pattern after the one you’ve filled up.
Now insert THIS in the second bar.
For the THIRD bar, scroll until you see the next gray-red-gray-red pattern… and insert THIS.
Repeat the same process for the fourth bar.
Now your four-bar drum pattern is done.
- THE PLAYLIST
Inserting this four-bar loop to the playlist is very simple. Have the pattern with your drumbeat selected (in that case it’s the only pattern you’ve used), choose the “paint” tool in your playlist, and left-click the earliest space in the playlist. The pattern should end up there.
Insert it twice, as shown.
- MIXING BOARD
Now to mix these tracks to the Mixing Board, you can try several methods, as I’ve made clear in other breakdowns. My recommended method is left-clicking each “rectangle” in the Channel Rack and selecting a track number in its window’s “TRACK” option.
(Assign a number like you assigned the tempo, by left-clicking and dragging.)
When each of your tracks are in the Mixing Board, adjust their volumes like this.
Optional: If you look closely at “Grv OH 04” and “808 CH,” you will see the panning knobs adjusted. The “Grv OH 04” is panned a little to the left while “808 CH” pans to the slight right. So to follow that, drag the panning on “Grv OH 04” a little to the left, like 10-15%. With the “808 CH,” pan it about 15-20% to the right.
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