Cubase Tutorial: Building Beats In Software – Step-by-Step

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We continue our tutorial looking at different methods of building beats using Cubase as your primary DAW with a look at using Steinberg’s Groove Agent 4…

1: Using Groove Agent 4 makes creating your own beats much easier than manually building your own. Because my track is acoustic-led, I’m going to use The Acoustic Agent, which has sampled acoustic kits recorded from some of the best kits in the world.

2: Each drum displayed in the interactive illustration is fully interactive and can be manipulated by clicking on each respective drum component. At the bottom of the plug-in window, you can manipulate the levels, tuning, attack, level and room sound.

3: The room sound is perhaps the most important element to control here. A larger room sound gives the kit a more ‘classic’ overall sound, while a tighter overhead can lend the drum a more compressed – Steinberg terms it ‘American’ – tone.

4: The drum kit sounds in Groove Agent 4 were recorded with over 20 microphones, so there’s a lot of room for sonic manipulation. Fortunately you can access the mixer in Groove Agent 4 and control each elements’ EQ and compression, and shape the envelope.

5: Groove Agent 4 lets you build a beat using one kit, then add another percussion or drum component from a totally different-sounding kit. Clicking on ‘Beat Agent’ in the top right of the plug-in window opens access to a huge selection of additional drum sounds.

6: To get your beats going, you can assign your drum sounds to play the preset rhythms that come with GA 4 or create your own. The Complexity slider changes how the rhythm preset is played: push the slider for more dynamic aggression from your virtual drummer.


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