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What makes these modern pop songs "pulse"?

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  • What makes these modern pop songs "pulse"?

    This may be a question more for the recording or keyboard forums as it's not necessarily a 'live performance' issue, but many current pop songs use the same beat/pattern found on the chorus of this tune.



    What, most specifically, is giving it that "pulsing" feel in the choruses? Is it a separate keyboard part played on the 'up' beats? Is it something in the way the the drum/rhythm part is constructed? A bit of both? Something more than that?






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  • #2
    Damn that chick is freaking hot. Was that the question?



    LOL in all seriousness, it's something about the beat, the keys bing in front of the mix instead of behind, and yes, the KB pulsing on the beats of the chorus is a relatively new thing. Dubstep is also very prominent for being prominent on the 1st and 3rd beats, which I'm hearing a bit of in the verses.
    Sig Fail

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    • #3
      I think it's a combination of factors.



      I think the biggest one is the fact that the bass drum is on every beat and everything else kind of flies around that. THUMP-THUMP-THUMP-THUMP. I've noticed that being a big thing in a LOT of current pop songs, to the point that I had to harass our drummer into playing the songs four-on-the-floor because he was cheesing out and not doing it and the songs just sounded completely wrong. They need that THUMP-THUMP-THUMP-THUMP throughout to work. So maybe that helps. That's what I'm hearing.



      Brian V.
      "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." - Bertrand Russell

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      • #4
        Yeah, the thump-thump-thump thing has been around for awhile. What this song, and others like it is doing, is giving the chorus a "pulsing" feel by pushing notes on the "and" beats between the kicks during the chorus. I'm just having a hard time hearing exactly how they are doing that. It sounds to me mostly like there's a keyboard patch (very similar to the one holding the chords out through underneath) that playing on those up beats. The fact that they sound so similar makes it hard for me to tell if it's something playing that part, or if they are just pumping a bit of extra volume on it or what, and if there are other instruments accenting those beats. A lot of these recordings start to just sound like a "wash" to my old ears after awhile.
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        • #5
          I'm not hearing anything particularly "new" or "special" here... it's an upbeat pop song, so you build on a basic four-on-the-floor, throw in some fills, and keep the chord progressions moving... somebody could probably throw a bunch of roman numerals at us, but with my songwriter hat on, it's something you just have to feel/hear IMO.



          Or maybe I'm just missing the "pulse" thing... honestly, I'm not quite sure what you are getting at... if you broke it down and everyone just played their parts "straight" I'm not sure that it would be missing some "magic" somehow.

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          • #6
            The four on the floor is part of it, but in addition there is a reverse reverb effect the proceeds every snare hit. It almost sucks you into the snare. How to recreate that live is tricky. You could track the part if you use tracks. We have tried it on a different song and could never get the reverse verb part and the actual snare to sound natural together. The other and more effective option would be to create sound in a DAW which is fairly easy to do and sample into a sample pad of some type. Problem with this method is the drummer can't strike the snare on the 2 and 4 he has to play the snare sample on the 1 &, and 3 &.



            Neil

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            • #7






              Quote Originally Posted by rangefinder
              View Post

              Or maybe I'm just missing the "pulse" thing... honestly, I'm not quite sure what you are getting at... if you broke it down and everyone just played their parts "straight" I'm not sure that it would be missing some "magic" somehow.




              I don't know that it's magic--and maybe I'm just hearing something that I'm mostly imagining (wouldn't be the first time THAT'S happened...) but what I hear is when it gets to the "woah-oh-oh-oh" bit, the rhythm changes up a bit to a feel similar to what disco drummers used to create by opening up the hi-hat on the up beats. I'm not just exactly sure how they are creating that.
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              https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
              https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
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              • #8






                Quote Originally Posted by SeeU 22
                View Post

                The four on the floor is part of it, but in addition there is a reverse reverb effect the proceeds every snare hit. It almost sucks you into the snare.



                Neil




                Maybe THAT'S what I'm hearing! Or at least part of it.
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                https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
                https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
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                • #9
                  The verses in this song use a similar effect in more of a rock context.



                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJk6gZuPKRE

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                  • #10
                    Its the reverse snare thing that slides into the snare. I use to play with a drummer that did that pretty well with the high hat when we would do disco stuff, it took him a bit to get the hang of if but once he got it it was pretty slick. A simple thing to do in the studio but without tracks hard to do live unless you got a keyboard player that wants to hit a patch that does that inbetween the beats. The open high hat is probably as close as you can get live.

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                    • #11






                      Quote Originally Posted by SeeU 22
                      View Post

                      The verses in this song use a similar effect in more of a rock context.



                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJk6gZuPKRE




                      Jesus. Did someone tell the drummer to play "With more energy"?
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                      • #12
                        Vengeance soundpacks

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                        • #13
                          Another thing I've noticed with a lot of songs with this feel: while there's a very strong four-on-the-floor feel, it sounds to me like they're alternating between two different drums....one hits on 1 & 3, while the other hits 2 & 4. (To my ear, it sounds like it's either two differently tuned bass drums, or perhaps the bass drum and a floor tom.) They're similar enough to give the music that driving, repetitive feel, but there's just enough tonal variation to avoid that artificial-sounding monotone vibe you get when you hear the same exact sample played over and over.

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                          • #14
                            My money's on it being sidechain compression.

                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQnOQWLURFU



                            Apparently I'm doing camping all wrong.

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                            • #15






                              Quote Originally Posted by jamesp
                              View Post

                              My money's on it being sidechain compression.

                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQnOQWLURFU



                              Apparently I'm doing camping all wrong.




                              And in a major stroke of irony, the VO needs compression...
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