Take a glimpse into a sound design process of a clap loop used by a multi-platinum producer Pollow Da Don in Rihanna’s song production “Fading”. The clap loop was designed by Richard Cherenkov and can be heard throughout the song as an answering rhythmic pattern to the main drum beat. Hope you will enjoy this insight of the loop making process!
Check out the song, clap loop can be heard isolated at 1:37.
First things first – Clap rhythm pattern #1
Firstly, I’ve built the main rhythmic 16th note pattern using just solo clap samples (Solo Clap 01…04). These are single clap hits which are going to maintain the main rhythm.
Clap Rhythm Pattern #2
The next layer is a pattern of small clap samples (smalllay2-20…2-32…1-15). The claps samples flams are short enough to match the loop tempo, we need to avoid the chaos of too many non-rhythmic sounds. The placement of these clap samples had to make a syncopated feel with the right accents to the whole main rhythmic solo claps pattern.
Clap Rhythm Patterns 1 & 2
Here is what we have at the moment. Solo claps group and small layered claps group together. The pause at the end of Clap rhythm pattern 1 & 2 played together makes it sound like a break, so we need to add another sample.
Clap rhythm pattern 3
For the next step, another clap sample (Mono Clap) has been added. The sample is built out of 5 clap hits and makes it flam longer. It appears right after the 4th quarter note hit connecting to the very last anacrusis clap appearing at the very end of the loop.
The living presence
And now, one of the most important aspects that made this loop sound organic and professional. The recording of a live clapping which repeats the same main 16th rhythmic pattern has been added. Just clap the rhythm over the preprogrammed sampled loo. That will ensure the organic feel to the loop.
The recording of the live clapping is made in mono so a HAAS effect was added to it to widen it up. This way we trick our ears and make mono sound stereo. “SuperTap 2-Taps Stereo plugin from Waves” has been used . Take a look at the screenshot above for the settings. The yellow tap (1st signal) is set to -45 in pan and the red tap (2nd signal) is set to 45 in pan. The Tempo section is set to “64ms” which means that the red tap (2nd signal) will be 64 milliseconds late.
And that’s how Rihanna’s clap was made.