1 Train Breakdown
Hello Everyone!! I'm sure you have heard A$ap Rocky's gem "1 Train". It features some of my favorite artists including: Joey BADA$$, Kendrick Lamar, Action Bronson, Danny Brown, Big KRIT, Yelawolf, and of coarse A$ap Rocky. It is no doubt, an older song, but great music has no expiration! You can watch it here:
Let's get started... Hit-Boy Produced this, he is a quite notable producer, with some awesome credits such as: Drake, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Jay z, the list goes on.
He sampled a middle eastern song by Assala Nasri titled "meshet senen". Here is the original:
When I first opened ableton, the sample was originally 81.99 bpm. It is Crucial that you get the BPM right, so that way you can loop it and it is lined up with your metronome.
What you do next is match the BPM on your DAW with the sample. (upper left corner)
Once this is set play the sample and find the part to chop up. You can use an mpc if you have one(makes chopping up more enjoyable) but it is not needed. This song is simple and it is literally the 2nd and 3rd bar.
In the instrumental the 2nd bar repeats 3 times and resolves with the 3rd bar. Pretty much looped throughout the whole song. Notice if you just loop like this, the sample sounds wrong and is not quite lined up. So you need to mess with the BPM.
What I do is change the master bpm down or up by 1. Since this is 81.99 I go to 81 and warp. (You must press the warp button). In this case 81BPM was still offset so I played around with it until it was perfect. It lead me to 80.25 BPM and matches exactly how the instrumental was.
Tip: At the bottom left corner,titled "beats" change that to "complex pro" and you will get a higher quality sound.
The 1 train instrumental is pitched up. Now you need to get the drum sample and line it up. They sampled the Mad Lads "Get out of my life". Listen here:
Its just very beginning and looped.
Just mess with the sample bpm to get it right.
They add a few more sounds. A scratch and a very subtle bass sound. Other than that, it is a very simple beat. You get complexity out of simplicity, this song is a Classic! I also provided you the samples so you can mess around with! As a producer you can learn a lot with what other people do!
- Derek James