Chopping/Slicing Beats Using Recycle

How to chop/slice drum loops using Propellerheads Recycle.

Beat Construction



One of the original and most powerful of all Slicing Tools is Propellerheads Recycle.

The process entails importing a sample or loop into Recycle which is then sliced/chopped into smaller segments which can then be edited to taste and exported for use in the DAW or any software that can import samples.

Recycle uses the same principles as Hitpoints/Slices by detecting peak values using a sensitivity function and once it has analysed the audio it will create slices (segments) based on the peak values it found which can then be processed in isolation or globally. Recycle also provides a time stretching function which helps greatly in manipulating samples to fit to a required tempo without altering the pitch, plus a host of other editing tools including the much valued BPM detection tool which is useful in detecting the tempo/BPM of a given sample.

Important factors to consider are: BarsBeats, and Signature.

If you import a loop into Recycle and do not know these, then donʼt worry too much as Recycle has tools to help you in this department. But it is extremely helpful if you can ascertain as much information about the audio sample as possible prior to any chopping/slicing. If you donʼt, then you can take the loop and loop it in your sequencer to find the right tempo, number of bars, and beats. Most of the drum loops that people deal with are in 4/4 signature, so this makes life easy. However, you will come across samples that are both in different time signatures and crossing bars/beats, especially when dealing with musical phrases. So, try to get as much information as possible about the sample you are going to slice.

Once the loop or sample has been processed into individual slices the slices can then be edited using the built-in tools. The slices can then be exported as individual samples or as a whole beat (or collection of samples) and if exported using the REX format they can then be imported into any cell/pad based soft-sampler and triggered via the cells/pads.

In the video I use a drum loop and import it into Recycle. I show you how to edit the start and end times of the drum beat so as to have a perfect loop cycled from start to finish. I then show you how to slice/chop the loop into smaller segments. I explain how to use the built-in tools to process each slice separately. I explain how the time-stretching feature works and how to time-stretch the drum loop to a new tempo/BPM. I explain how to use some of the more creative dynamic tools to reshape the drum loop completely; using the gate to create a stutter effect, using the envelope tool to reshape the slice’s response, using the transient tool to alter the attack transients and so on. I make sure to explain all the processes available in this wonderful software.

In the event you want a more thorough and detailed experience, this tutorial, and many like it, are available from the eBook Beat Construction.

Plugin used in this video:

Propellerheads Recycle

Topics covered in this video are:

  • How to slice drum loops using Propellerheads Recycle
  • Chopping and Slicing
  • Looping
  • Timestretching
  • Fades and Transient Control
  • REX and WAV/AIFF Formats
  • Midi Save and Audio
  • Envelope, Gate and EQ
  • Editing Slices
  • Drawing Techniques
  • Matching BPM to Bars
  • Reversing and Stuttering Effects
  • Drum Elements Management and Processing
  • Tips and Tricks