Creating The Sounds Of James Blake | Part 02


In our latest James Blake tutorial, Stu digs deep into more techniques that he uses when creating the sounds of this incredible artist.  from how to build chord like James Blake to his foley driven, swung beats, all will be revealed.

Not seen part 1?  Check it out HERE

Let's find out more..



Embracing Foley For Better, Realistic Beats

By combing strange location recordings with electronic sounds we can create incredibly unique drums and percussion lines.  In the video, Stu mentions recording the sound of water falling on an electric hob.  These quickly evaporating water droplets make an amazing hissing sound that's perfect for sampling / percussion.

Note: Don't flood your oven or electric components with water.   If you're unsure dig into Youtube, it's the home of amazing recordings.


James Blake Tutorial Foleysounds


If you're new to foley, check out our Found sound production tips and ind out what it's all about. 


 Lose the Grid - Beats That Swing 

This great tip from Stu isn't one you'll see often and is one of our favourites from his James Blake Tutorial.  By using this tip can start start to program realistic drum parts. So here's how it works:

  1. In the MIDI Section of your beat press CMD+4
  2. This will turn the grid 'off'
  3. Now programme your beats using your mouse, attempting to click on the grid lines
  4. If you zoom in you'll notice the points you made aren't quite on the grid, like on the image below


James Blake Tutorial CMD+4 Off Grid Programming





Create A Tremolo Using Ableton's Auto-Pan 

Ableton's auto-pan is a great little CPU friendly plugin that you should get to know.  Traditionally it allows you to create an auto-pan (shifting from left to right) sound but by adjusting the phase we're able to just affect the volume.

By setting the phase to 0 it will stop the oscillations from going Left Top Right et voila! Tremolo!


James Blake Tutorial _auto pan > tremolo