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Shadowing Beats

Shadowing Beats

Now let’s have some real fun with shadowing entire beats. The principle is the same as ghost notes but the process is slightly different.

Shadowing is a phrase we use in beat making when dealing with a copy of the original beat, timed to be either early or late, the same as ghost notes. However, the process has to be different because we are dealing with entire audio lines as opposed to MIDI notes. If you want to shadow an entire MIDI pattern, then it can be done in the Key editor and/or the main arrange window. Shadowing audio can also be processed at slice/Hitpoints level, which actually works better due to the detail afforded by slicing the audio into smaller sections that can then be manipulated.

However, for the next example I am going to stick to the old school method of shadowing an entire beat. Once I have finished this example, you will see how easy it is to perform and how enjoyable the result is.

Our weapon of choice in this example is the Nudge Tool. I’ll be using the one in Cubase, but your DAW of choice will almost definitely have a Nudge feature, so explore its qualities as a potent tool.

The first step is to import the track to which you want to apply shadowing, make a copy of it, and place the copy directly under the original file. This helps the visual and aural approach of the shadowing process. Because we are using the Nudge Tool, it helps us a great deal to compare the two audio channels to each other whilst auditioning the nudge result.

The audio file I will be using is Timbaland’s Icebox. However, I have already performed the drum replacement process which we will cover in later chapters. In other words, I have ‘ripped’ the drum elements from the beat and replaced them with my own drum samples.

Extract taken from the book Beat Construction.