Dissecting 5 Future House Beats

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Hi guys, how’s it going? This one is all about Future House. We’ll be taking a look at the elements and midi patterns behind 5 Future House Beats that I’ve prepared for this post. All 5 examples are playing the same drums, at 125 bpm. You can also download them as construction kits (midi and wav loops) to have some fun. They should work in all major DAWs. Use this link to download the package, completely free.

Future House Dissected - Screenshot

In section 1 we’ll be looking at the drums. They’re basic, but there is a cool little trick to do with the ride sample. Then we’ll look at a simple technique to create a transposed snare roll and a side-chained-whitenoisy-downlifter sound effect in Live. We’ll be needing the snare roll as the build-up is quite important. Finally, we’ll go through each of the demo beats and reproduce them.

Future House Beat #1

Future House Beat #2

Future House Beat #3

Future House Beat #4

Future House Beat #5

Pick your favorite and just follow along. As always, we’ll be using Live 9, so pay attention to the grid settings in the bottom right corner of every image. Also, if you have any questions or suggestions just get in touch with us at hi@promusicproducers.com! Okay then, let’s start!

 


 1) DRUMS


 

STEP 1 – We start off with a standard drum pattern: kick on every beat, clap on the 2nd and 4th and the hat going off-beat:

11It sounds like this:

 

STEP 2 – Now let’s trigger a ride sample every quarter note:

12It sounds like this:

 

STEP 3 – Let’s add another ride sample, but this time on every eighth note, so it’s playing twice as fast compared to the previous ride. This pattern allows us to get a nice pumping effect by side-chaining just the second ride with the kick. Take a listen below and notice when the gain reduction kicks in:

13

It sounds like this:

 

Combining the standard pattern of kick, clap and hats with these rides we get this:

 


2) SNARE ROLL & WHITENOISE


 

STEP 1 – To create the snare roll effect, we’ll use an 8 bars clip. In the first 4 bars, the snare will play on every quarter note. In the next 2 bars (5th and 6th), the snare is triggered on every eighth note, twice as fast. It accelerates again in the last 2 bars (7th and 8th) with a 1/16 pattern:

21

It sounds like this:

 

STEP 2 – Now let’s use the Transpose Envelope to amplify this effect. Not only the snare is playing faster and faster, but now it will start to pitch up as well. So select the Transpose Envelope and start drawing an upward sloping line, starting from the fifth bar, when the first change in speed happens. By the end of the 7th bar, the snare will be pitched up 2 semitones. In the next 2 bars (7th and 8th), you can see the slope of line increasing, as the snare is pitching up faster now to get to +7 semitones. Experiment with these numbers as they will depend on the snare sample you’re using:

22

It sounds like this:

 

STEP 3 – Let’s add some reverb. Here I’ve used the default Snare Room reverb preset:

23

It sounds like this:

 

STEP 1 – Okay, now let’s create a downlifter sound effect. Within Operator, select the Wave form “Noise White“. Set the release to around 30 seconds and side-chain it with the kick:

24

It sounds like this:

STEP 2 – Finally, let’s add a Ping Pong delay effect on it:

25

It sounds like this:

 

Great, now we can move on to the Future House Vibes!

 


3) Future House Beat #1


 

A common mix of layers, all playing the same midi pattern: a sub, a reverbed mid bass and a plucky saw lead sound.

 

STEP 1 – We start off with a 2-bars pattern of 1/8 notes. Notice how the first 3 hits are playing on-beat , but then they start to get much closer to each other. This is a common arrangement in Future House:

31

It sounds like this:

 

STEP 2 – Now that we’ve got the main pattern, let’s insert the progression. An easy way to find the right notes is to use the ones from the minor triad of your scale. As this track is playing in C minor, we’ll be using C, D# and G (your basic triad):

32

 It sounds like this:

 

STEP 3 – What is Future House without these fast-moving 1/16 style notes at the end the bars?

33

It sounds like this:

 

STEP 4 – A simple way to extend our beat to 4 bars is to take the group of notes created in Step 3 and move them to A# and C in the upper octave:

34

It sounds like this:

 

Great, now let’s take a look at the layers behind this sound. This is the mid bass layer:

 

This is the sub, a basic filtered square wave:

 

This is the lead, an electro style saw with a nice plucky texture:

 


 4) Future House Beat #2


 

My personal favorite, as the on-beat Deep House style stabs seem to go really well when the bass changes to a more relaxed pattern in the second bar.

 

STEP 1 – Here we have a 2-bars pattern with 6 notes in each bar. Notice how the second bar looks slightly more “organized”:

41It sounds like this:

 

STEP 2 – Let’s add the main progression. Once again, notice which notes we’ve used here: B, D and F# (the B minor triad) plus A and C# (the B minor 9th chord):

42It sounds like this:

 

STEP 3 – Extend this to 4 bars and and insert a group of 16th notes in the last bar:

43It sounds like this:

 

STEP 4 – Now let’s add a portamento lead style playing B in two separate octaves over 2 bars:

44

It sounds like this:

 

STEP 5 – Okay, let’s add a stab with a long release, playing the following chord on-beat in the 2nd bar. Notice the heavy side-chain compression when the kick comes in:

45

It sounds like this:

 


 5) Future House Beat #3


 

This one is probably the most representative for Future House. There is a fast, continuous movement in the bass-line that also follows the octave notes pattern.

 

STEP 1 – Same technique here. Two bars, each playing 6 notes, but in a different pattern. The 2nd bar seems more repetitive in this case:

51

It sounds like this:

 

STEP 2 – This is going to be our progression. Notice the descending motion in the second bar:

52It sounds like this:

 

STEP 3 – Remember the octaves pattern used in funky bass-lines? Well, it goes pretty well in Future House too:

53It sounds like this:

 

STEP 4 – Notice the empty off-beat spot, just before the end of the 2nd bar. It’s quite nice to have this as it gives the bass-line a break after all the continuous movement in the clip. But we can also use this to extend our beat to 4 bars. So, in the 4th bar, we can fill this spot with G3. Or, just put a donk on it (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckMvj1piK58):

54

It sounds like this:

 


 6) Future House Beat #4


 

A more melodic example, kind of a Deep – Future House hybrid due to the chord types being used and to the synced 1/16 delay effect on them. The bass-line follows a more stable, repetitive pattern.

 

STEP 1 – Okay, we’ll start with this one-bar pattern. Unlike the previous bass-line patterns, this half of bar arrangement will be repeated throughout the entire loop:

61It sounds like this:

 

STEP 2 – Extend this to 2 bars and add the following descending progression:

62

It sounds like this:

 

STEP 3 – Just a few little touches here. The 3rd D# was moved to F# and there is an extra hit on B1 in the 2nd bar:

63It sounds like this:

 

STEP 4 – The pluck will follow the same pattern and root progression:

64

It sounds like this:

 

STEP 5 – These are the chords. The blue ones are D# minor 9th chords (2nd and 3rd note are played in the upper octave). The rest of the chords are derivations from the C# 9th suspended 4th and C# minor 11th:

65

It sounds like this:

 

STEP 6 – Now let’s add a synced delay effect on them:

66

It sounds like this:

 

STEP 7 – This is the midi sequence played by the lead:

67

It sounds like this:

 


7) Future House Beat #5


 

This is a more relaxed sound as the bass-line starts with 3 on-beat hits, which makes it feel quite slow at first. It combines two layers: a reverbed mid bass and a simple sine-wave sub. There is also a stab triggered off-beat every two bars.

 

STEP 1 – Once again, two bars, each playing a different pattern of 6 notes:

71

It sounds like this:

 

STEP 2 – This is going to be our progression:

72

It sounds like this:

 

STEP 3 – Extend this to 4 bars and add a nice little touch in the 4th bar by changing the pattern slightly:

73It sounds like this:

 

STEP 4 – The stab will be playing off-beat, just before the end of the 1st bar:

74It sounds like this:


 

That’s it!

 

If you found this post useful, don’t forget to share it!

If you have any questions or suggestions get in touch with us at hi@promusicproducers.com.


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In Ableton Live 9

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