Here’s a quick look at how I made this Electro Funk beat. I wanted to try a beat that was a cross between funk pioneers P-Funk, and some more modern electro funk groups like Chromeo and Oliver and ended up with this.
Behind The Beat
Bass Pt 1
I started the idea with a bass line on the Moog Little Phatty. For the sound I used one of the presets in the Moog V3 update called Taurus Bass. This is obviously a recreation of the classic Moog Taurus synthesiser.
The riff is based around A minor (or D Dorian) and starts and end on a D giving it a Dorian feel.
Funk Guitar Stabs
With the bass part down, the next part I added was some funk guitar stabs. I recorded these in with my Fender Telecaster on the neck pickup.
The main part of the sound in this came from an Auto Wah patch in Guitar Rig. To keep the sound cleaned up I went into the audio file editor and cut out any extraneous string noise. I wanted to go for a clinical, more sampled vibe with the guitar and cleaning the audio up with tight chops always seems to help me give a played part this feel.
For the chords I experimented with some sounds on the Clavia Nord 2X and came up with this chord progression in Am / D Dorian.
Chord Sound Design
The sound for the main synth chords was a basic Roland Juno style preset on the Nord 2X with some modulation added on the stabs on the A-7/G at the end of each phrase.
The basic sound was a bit dry and lifeless (the Nord has no in build effects) and so I spiced it up a bit with the following effects.
With the chords and the bass down, I laid down a basic funk beat on the drums.
The two main samples I used were these:
The drums were then all bussed and fed into an API 2500, an Oxford Inflator and a Limiter.
Slap Bass Guitar
The next part I laid down was a slap bass riff using octaves. You can hear the part in the above video. It just follows the roots in the above chord progression.
The first thing I did here, was similar to the guitars, chopping the audio file to make it sound more like a sample played on an MPC. You can see the chops I made to the end of notes in the pic below to make it more robotic.
The slap bass audio was then processed using the following: WavesRAxx, an L1 Limiter, some EQ, some more noise reduction using NS1 and then a multiband compressor.
This slap sound was then put into a group/aux/bus (the same name for grouping the tracks) with the Moog bass and then side chained off both the kick and the snare.
To complete the beat I added some percussion including a cowbell part and then layered in some extra synth stabs and guitar fills.
One element that I felt needed to punch through the mix more was the bass line so I doubled this very subtly with a Juno patch recreation from Reaktor.
The musical elements (non bass and drums) were then grouped and put through an RC-20 to get a subtle vinyl effect.
For more on recording and sidechaining (in guitars) check out this post. I hope you enjoyed this quick look behind the process of making an electro funk beat. Let me know what you think of it and any questions in the comments.