6/4 In The Style Of Thavius Beck

In this Beat Dissected, we make a beat heavily inspired by the 6/4 track “Coordinated Will” an Attack favourite from Thavius Beck’s latest album “Cosmic Noise”.

Most producers won’t typically head to the time signature and try something different. It’s 4/4 to the dancefloor and nothing more! But producers such as Thavius Beck, Moodymann, Floating Points et al are interesting for their exploration of different ways to keep the music fresh.

Time signatures and syncopation play with the listener’s expectations and gives your overall ‘feel’ something slightly different.

Top tip: An Attack favourite for time signature meets pop music is Outkast – “Hey Ya” which emulates 11/4 time with the feel of 4/4.

Something closer to Attack readers might be the syncopated beauty of Radiohead – “15 Step“, a brilliant arrangement in 5/4.

‘Coordinated Will’ was originally programmed in Reason 2 but there is nothing specific about Reason 2 so we’re tackling it in Ableton Live using Ableton samples.

As ever, click on any image to enlarge and to download the Ableton Live session use the form below:

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[contact-form-7 id=”99734″ title=”Beat Dissected 6/4 Thavius Beck”]

[spec tempo=”151 BPM” swing=”50%” sounds=”Ableton”]

Step 1

Load up the Kick C78 in Ableton Live. Progam a drum pattern identical to the below or something similar to taste. In this Beat Dissected, we’re not going to deep dive on sound manipulation so we have not amended the sample and left the Simpler untouched.

It should sound like this and we’ve added a metronome for reference (we will remove it later on):

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Step 2

Drop in Snare C78 into a new Simpler within your Drum Rack. Program the snare to hit on beats two, four and five in the 6/4 bar. Remember this beat is in 6/4 so we’re going to have a fifth beat (even a sixth beat!). Things are a bit different this time around..!

Here’s our progress so far (still with the metronome left in):

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Step 3

In the eternal words of Saturday Night Live: “more cowbell!” But in this case, not a great deal more…! Program a cowbell, (we’ve chosen the Cowbell 808) an instantly recognisable sound and programmed it to play on beat one and just after the kick on the downbeat. Listen to how it throws us into a whole new area. The syncopation is real.

We also transposed the cowbell -3 st but you can amend it as you wish.

Here’s our progress so far (still with the metronome left in):

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Step 4

The second kick is programmed and it changes, again, the dynamic and feel of the track. A bit like Outkast, it makes the beat feel more like it’s in 4/4 when it’s actually playing in 6/4. We are using the Kick_GMS_ stylie and as throughout this Beat Dissected, we’re not modulating any parameters. We’ve also not touched any velocity settings but you could consider amneding the velocity of the last three notes in this kick pattern to a slight increase velocity curve. It’s up to you!

Here’s our progress so far (still with the metronome left in):

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Step 5

Moving on to step 5 and in this step we are adding two parts together. For another snare, we’ve used Snare 17 – Minus Granular Shot and layered it with a subby kick where we used Kick 808 Thud. We have transposed the Kick 808 Thud -4 st and increased the Volume to -9.00 dB. It’s not conventional to layer a snare and a kick but isn’t it great?

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Step 6

And now for some movement and groove! In the penultimate step, we’ve added two percussion sounds. A shaker, Shake Cabasa Short and Cabasa Filtered Chekhov. We have applied a simple ping pong delay to the Cabasa Filtered Chekhov.

Here’s our progress so far but this time minus the metronome!:

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Final Beat

We’ve added the Limiter to the Master channel and programmed in some music emulating what Thavius does in the track.

Here is the final beat with the marimba melody and a drone:

If you liked this Beat Dissected, you can check out Thavius Beck’s album ‘Cosmic Noise’.

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