A few thoughts about the Think break

Everybody who´s a bit into Drum and Bass or Hip Hop has probably heard (about) the Think break. It is originally part of the “Think (About It)” funk song recorded by Lyn Collins and was released as a single on James Brown’s People Records in 1972.

I guess along with “Funky Drummer” and “Funky President,” “Think (About It)” is one of the most frequently sampled James Brown-produced recordings.I like the break especially for it´s distinct tambourine sound.

If You get hold of the original record or a repress You will find out that the original is at 114 BPM. The typical break found on Sampling CDs like Jungle Warfare or on the Net is ususally a pitched up version with 160 BPM or even more.

If You want to isolate the tambourine of the break all the Samplepacks I know are of no real help, because it´s allways covered by the rest of the drum arrangement.

BUT there is hope! The original recording has a short part in it, where just the tambo is playing. Long enough to sample a decent loop from it.! So off You go!

Both versions – the original and the sampled breaks – have a noticable and pumping low end which does nothing to the unique sound of that break. A steep highpass filter a 170 Hz gets rid of those unwanted frequencies. If You take a closer look at the frequency spectrum of the loop You´ll notice that the the typical sound of this special tambourine comes from two frequency peaks at 12 kHz and 16KHz in the pitched up version (160 BPM) which corresponds with 8,55 KHz and 11-11,8 KHz in the original break. So if You wanna sharpen or soften the sound: those are the freiquencies You should look for. Throw this loop into Ableton LIVE, warp it and use it in Your next track.

Or just get ringing ears after half an hour of too loud sound tweaking like me yesterday .. 😉 )

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