Breaking down how to make beats inspired by Fred Again

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Inspired by his iconic Boiler Room set, we’re once again creating a beat in the style of the UK’s most exciting producer, Fred… We’ll be using his recent release ‘Kammy (like me) as the basis for a Dissected Beat.

Since Fred once again.. released his then unreleased track “Kammy (like i do)” in his London Boiler Room set, his fans have been eagerly awaiting an official release.

Her set, which to date has garnered over 8 million views, had many highlights, but her frantic finger playing over KAMILLE’s infectious vocals in the opening minutes set the tone.

Kammy (like me) was officially released on October 3 and was followed by the release of Actual Life 3, Fred again…Fred’s third album in just 18 months. Forgive us, but surely he should be called Fred again, again, again, again… you get the idea…

In this Beat Dissected, we’ll analyze Kammy’s beat (like me) and build a new beat inspired by Fred’s production on the track.

Here’s what we’re going to do:

And here’s the beat with some musical elements for context:

Download the session file to follow! A successful submission will redirect you to the homepage (we know…we’re trying to fix it!)

Step 1: Kick

In still-classic Fred style, the kick programming in Kammy (like me) is slightly unorthodox.

First, create a drum rack and load a 909 kick drum. ‘Kick 909 Tune 4’ from the Skitter and Step pack works well. He has a nice aerial attack and a full tail which again matches the Fred.. nice aesthetic.

Create a four bar MIDI clip on the Drum Rack channel by selecting the four bars and using the shortcut ‘Cmd + Shift + M’ on Mac or ‘Ctrl + Shift + M’ on Windows. Program the pattern below for your kick.

Reduce the velocity of the first kick, each time there are two consecutive sixteenth notes. Take a look at the velocity handles at the bottom of the image below for a visual illustration.

Fred beats again

Step 2: Snare drum

For the snare sound, we need a tight, catchy rimshot – Glitch and Wash’s ‘Snare Noise Mangah’ works well. To make it a bit tighter, raise it an octave once you load the sample into Drum Rack.

Fred beats again

For the snare pattern, place a hit on each offbeat and a snare roll of two sixteenth notes at the beginning of every two bars. At the end of the four-bar loop program, a three-note snare fill. Again, take note of the velocities of the snare hits – velocity variation is key to creating human energy.

Fred beats again

Step 3: 909 hats

Next, load a closed 909 hat sample from Ableton’s main library into your Drum Rack. remove some high and low frequencies with a 12 dB/oct band pass filter set at approximately 4.8 kHz.

how to redo fred

Now program a repeating top hat pattern as shown below. Leave the bar of the last quarter free of any hat. Again, note the velocity of the notes in the pattern.

fred agin drums

Step 4: Shakers

Then the shakers. You can grab a shaker loop from a sample pack and cut it out, but we’ll build the shaker model using one-shots.

Load three different one shot shakers into your Drum Rack. We opted for ‘Cabasa Filtered Chekov’, ‘Cabasa Long Synth’ and ‘Cabasa Chelsea Short’ from the Drum Essentials pack. Launch ‘Cabasa Long Synth’.

Group the shakers in the Drum Rack in Session view with ‘Cmd + G’ or Ctrl + G’. This way you can easily adjust the volume of the shakers together and treat them as one instrument.

fred again download

Program the pattern below and adjust the volume of the group so that it blends well with the other drum elements.

fred still drums

Step 5: Additional Settings

It’s time to balance the elements of your drum beat with the chain list in Drum Rack. You want your kick and snare to be the most important elements, and your hats and shakers to feel like they blend into one.

Fred beats again

To add some swing to the beat, we extracted the groove from the ‘Break Funky 102’ loop and applied it to the MIDI drums.

Fred beats again

Step 6: Treatment

Finally, load Ableton’s Drum Buss and Reverb on the Drum Rack channel.

Add Compression, Soft Drive, Crunch and Damping at around 9.2kHz with Drum Buss.

The original track has a lot of reverb applied to the drums, but we have to be careful that it doesn’t overwhelm them.

Set the Predelay to 13.6ms and the Decay to 1.4s. Filter out frequencies below 250Hz with the Input Filter and tame the highs using the Diffusion Network. Add some chorus, set Reflect and Diffuse to 3.7dB and 1.2dB respectively, and balance the mix to around 13% Wet.

fred again

And here it is in context:

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Author ericadmin
November 14, 2022

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