Beat Breakdown: Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble”: Part 1 – The Drumbeat
In a series of beat breakdowns and tutorials, I will teach you, with this article, how to compose the drumbeat of Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.” on FL Studio 12.
(As of 2018, this song is only a year old, meaning its sound is true to the trends in music right now, in 2018. Learning how to re-produce it should help you compose what’s “in” right now, in contrast to my other breakdowns of older songs.)
1. SETTING THE TEMPO
Once you’ve silenced all effects from the “slots” to the right of the mixing board, change your project’s tempo to 75 beats per minute.
To add a kick drum to the Channel Rack, go to the left side of your project and select “packs > legacy > drums > dance > dnc_kick_3.” Drag it to the Channel Rack and add this pattern to the first bar of your two-bar loop.
Add this for the second bar of your two-bar loop.
“HUMBLE.” has a hand clap for a snare. To add it, find “packs > legacy > drums > dance > dnc_clap_2” on the left of your project’s big window. Drag it to the Channel Rack. Add just two claps/snares on these points for the first bar.
And for the second?
4. CLOSED HI-HAT
Add “packs > drums > hats > 808 CH” to the Channel Rack. Insert the pattern in the row of “808 CH” to the first bar of your loop.
Insert this to the second bar of 808 CH.
Before you do anything else, go to the Piano Roll of 808 CH and you’ll see this.
We need to add a few extra hi-hats with this Piano Roll. Shorten the scroll bar up top so you can widen the window.
When you have “1/4 step” selected in the magnet tool up top, snap a tiny “green dot” to the space circled.
Now go to the bar marker #2 and do the same.
5. OPEN HI-HATS
There are two open hi-hats to add here. Find them at “packs > drums > hats > 808 OH” and “packs > drums > hats > 707 OH.” Drag them both to the Channel Rack. For bar one, insert the sounds here.
For the second bar…
6. LAYERED KICKS
There are two kicks in this loop that give the bass a heavier sound. Go to packs > drums > kicks > 808 kick and add it to the Channel Rack.
Once you’ve added it to the Channel Rack, right-click its rectangular box—reading “808 kick”—until a drop-down menu appears. On this menu, left-click “clone.” “808 kick #2” should appear below “808 kick.”
Before you add any repetitions of these kicks to the Channel Rack, change the pitch of their sounds. How? For “808 kick,” left-click its rectangular box on the Channel Rack. Its window should open. On this window, change the pitch range from “2” to “6” and turn its pitch all the way down, as you can see in the circled knobs below.
For “808 Kick #2,” open its window by left-clicking its rectangular box on the Channel Rack. In this window, don’t adjust the pitch range. Instead, turn its pitch all the way down.
Now that you’ve changed the pitches of both your 808 kicks, insert a new pattern. Add this to the first bar.
Add this to the second bar.
7. ADDING PATTERNS TO PLAYLIST
With only two patterns for this drum loop, go to the Playlist and add them as shown.
Each pattern is added twice so your whole project can be a four-bar loop. (You can really add as many loops as you want.)
Link all “instruments” in the Channel Rack to the Mixing Board. (I hope you remember how.)
Once they’re in the Mixing Board, adjust their volume as such.
9. MY NEXT ARTICLE
My next article will show you how to compose the melody to “HUMBLE.”
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