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Beat Breakdown: Jay Z’s “Young Forever” – Part 1 Drum Pattern

November 2, 2017 - By  
Categories: Beat Breakdowns, FL Studio, Producer Tips, The Lounge

Today, in a series of beat breakdowns and recreations, I will teach you how to recreate the drum pattern used in Jay-Z’s “Young Forever,” using FL Studio 12.  For an idea of how to produce the melody of this song check out Part 2.

This part of the breakdown will only show you how to remake the drum sounds, not the melody (which samples Alphaville’s “Forever Young”). The drums I will show you don’t sound identical to the Jay-Z song, but if you use the drums I recommend, they’ll sound pretty close.

1. BEGINNING

Start off by opening FL Studio 12 and slowing the tempo to 70 beats per minute.

2. ADDING A SHORT HI HAT

Add a short hi-hat to the Channel Rack. The hi-hat I selected for this beat recreation is packs > drums > hats > Grv CH 03. You can use whatever hat you want, but I highly recommend “Grv CH 03.”

We need to make 32nd notes with these hi-hats. To do this, go to the Piano Roll of “Grv CH 03.” (Left-click “Grv CH 03” so it’s window appears. On the upper left of its window, left-click the tiny triangle and select “Piano Roll.”) When you see the Piano Roll, left-click the magnet tool and select ½ step.

(This should allow you to place sounds accurately on each 32nd note position.)

Now when you compose sounds for this hi-hat track, they should look like this.

Adjust the volume of each sound at the bottom as shown in the above pic, and make sure the sounds are placed on C5 with small duration on each 32nd note.

Now copy what you see eight times.

3. ADDING LONG HI-HAT

There is a long hi-hat throughout the song, too. To imitate that sound, select packs > drums > hats > 808 CH and add it to the Channel Rack.

Place each repetition of the long hi-hat where you see it in the above picture.

4. ADDING SNARE

The snare I chose for this beat recreation is located in packs > drums (modeaudio) > snares > collido reverso snare 02. When you find that, add it to the Channel Rack, and place its “sounds” where you see them in the pic.

5. ADDING A KICK

The song has an “808” kick to it. To bring that sound to your Channel Rack, go to packs > drums > kicks > 808 kick. Add that sound, and put repetitions where you see on the Rack.

6. MIXING EACH SOUND

Remember how to add the Channel Rack tracks to the mixing board? Left-click each track, and when its window opens, left-click the tiny triangle on the upper left of the window, and when you see “Route to free mixer track,” select that. You should do that with all four tracks.

Before we adjust the volume, let’s add a little “punch” to the snare. To do this, select the “collido reverso snare 02” in the mixer, go to the right of the mixing board, and add a “fruity compressor” effect.


When the Fruity Compressor window appears, turn the gain up to 10.9 dB.

This should make your snare SUPER LOUD but also even out its volume from beginning to end. Adjust each track’s volume as such.

(Left-to-right: Grv CH 03 (short hi-hat), 808 OH (long hi-hat), Collider Reverso Snare 02 (snare), 808 Kick (kick).)

7. ADDING PATTERNS TO PLAYLIST

Repeat this pattern four times in the playlist, as you should see below.

The third and fourth repetitions should sound different, as they do in the song. The kicks are placed in other spots, unlike the first and second repetitions. To adjust them, left-click the third and fourth repetitions’ tiny icons (to the left of where it reads “Pattern 1”), and select “make unique.” For the FOURTH repetition (you can open by double-left-clicking “Pattern 3” on the left of the playlist), simply change the kicks to these positions.

Now for the THIRD repetition (opened by double-left-clicking “Pattern 2”), you need to be more tedious changing the kicks. On “808 Kick” in the Channel Rack, open its Piano Roll. When you see the Piano Roll, change the kick sounds to this.

I will be back to show you how to recreate the melody in this track next week.  Below is an MP3 example of the track I just created so you can give it a listen:

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