Making Disco Claps, Part One

a disco ball

This post is about disco claps. It’s about the area roughly between the fourth and the fifth sixteenth note of a two-beat loop that used to be crammed with unquantized claps of real people who clapped too early or too late. Little did they know… Or did they?

The early hand claps in that area are really important, so let’s take a surgical look at how it could be replicated today. In the first example, we’ll just use audio from stock apple loops. In the second, we’ll geek out a little more and use EXS24.

Example One

logic pro disco claps

The top track has two regions : a kick and a combo of a kick, snare and clap taken from an apple loop. The other three tracks all contain the same clap, taken from another apple loop. As you can see, I put them on separate tracks and spread them apart by hand.

Zooming in …

logic pro disco claps

There are no rules for this, so feel free to experiment. Once you like what you did, repeat the arrangement to get a 4-beat loop and slightly change the claps around beat number 4. In this case, I dragged the first two early claps a bit to the left, while holding down ctrl. The claps I added did have some low end, so I put them all on a Bus, filtered below 550 Hz, and boosted 8 Db at 10 Khz. I panned clap 1 and 2 hard left and right, kept clap 3 in the middle, but on this one I put the Enveloper with an aggressive attack and I added a Sample Delay (2000 samples) on one side to simulate some stereo. Once again, these aren’t rules, just some ideas.

Do keep the volume of all the early claps lower than the main clap though.

I experimented a little further by replacing the early claps with other sounds, so far I’d say that there has to be some relationship sound-wise between the early claps and the main clap, otherwise the effect is gone.

Happy clappin’!

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