How to clean up a sample (Pt 1)

So you just got this awesome sample, you made a great bass line, but one problem, the sample has drums. (Making it sound muddy/off beat/off/etc)

The first step is to rewarp the sample, I will give a quick example in Ableton. Make sure all the main down and up beats hit exactly on the line, if not you should add a warp marker (double click) then move it. You may have to adjust in between notes as well, start with quarter notes first though, then work to eighth notes. Also make sure your own drums line up on those beats as well.

If the sample has intruding kick drums, you can make a good attempt at cutting it out (as well as bass) by doing a high pass filter ranging from 50 Hz to 300 Hz roughly. Always trust your ears most, tips and tutorials should be a guideline and not a rule book!! If there's still some kick cutting in even after the high pass, you can do a few low parametrics between 100 Hz and 500 Hz roughly. I wouldn't want to tell you how much to subtract, that is even more variable than the frequency suggestions I gave.

The snare is going to be harder to cut out, since quite a bit of a samples instruments are going to be hitting in the same frequency range. Your best bet is to keep that in mind when you are layering your own snares.

To cut out a hi hat, your bet is to do a few parametrics ranging from 5 kHz to 20 kHz. It is definitely difficult to completely cut out a hi hat without leaving some sort of artifact or sound behind, so it's a good idea to have this influence your hi hat pattern choice, and also sound choice.

In the article I will teach you how to tune your samples using melodyne, and even clean up real vinyl distortion (if that's a problem for you)

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