Breakcore tips & tricks

I have read several comments in discussions on how to randomize a breakbeat to compose breakcore, and they have been helpful to me, thank you who wrote them. But I noticed that we only ever talk about the drums. What still doesn’t satisfy me in my breakcore experiments are synths. Whether I create a static sequence through any sequencer, or rely on Random and Bernoulli / Chance to generate an ever-changing sequence, I don’t like the result, my synth spins don’t go well with drums, I can’t to understand where I am wrong and how I can improve. Maybe it’s better to use partially randomized samples with the same drum technique? I’ve never actually tried it, because I like the idea of ​​using synths, but I absolutely can’t create anything cool. This thing happens to me only with breakcore. I am satisfied when I play tekno, when I play hiphop, when I play ambient, but breakcore is really a madhouse, which is why it appeals to me so much. So, I open this thread for everyone who likes breakcore but can’t figure out how to do it right, hoping there are other strong people who want to share their knowledge :grin:

i dont think vcv rack on its own is a great tool for breakcore. something like renoise would be a lot better imo. i’m not into breakcore much but i think one thing that you can keep in mind is syncing certain synth hits with say kick drum or snare or cymbal. Also there are many ways to get a balance between randomness and deterministic patterns. for example, picking a new pattern randomly after one pattern ends, using randomness only on certain sequence steps, using markov chains, using one static sequence but randomly or manually transposing it, passing a static sequence randomly through different quantizers etc…

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you could maybe use drums to trigger gates on the synth sound to create a kind of trance gate effect where you only hear synth when drums aren’t hitting. I don’t know what gate modules there are, I personally use FabFilter Pro-G for gates, but I assume with the hundreds of modules there’d be at least one module you can use for gating the audio.

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I downloaded the Renoise demo a few days ago to evaluate the purchase, I have already read this advice elsewhere and I am experimenting a lot with the Rack / Renoise couple but I still have to get carried away, I am not an expert user of Eurorack and even less of the Tracker, which I discovered existed the day before yesterday haha. I’ve been making music for several years but I’ve always played hiphop in the most popular DAWs or with a Maschine, to the point of getting tired, so I approached modular synthesis, so what is obvious to many of you is new or almost new to me. For example: markov chains? I don’t know what it is …

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I understood the concept, and it is something I have already done in reverse, playing modbap, for example with the Bernoulli Gate, I used the same output to randomize kick and bass together, or synchronize a random synth sequence with the hihat. The problem is that in this case the drum comes out of the Autobreak module which only has two audio outputs, I don’t know how to make the gate technique work. This is probably where hours of programming on Renoise come in handy.

Well you could just set up a synth pad e.g. an organ type sound to play fairly long sustained chords and then use the drum activated gate to lower when a drum hits and raise after which would lead to a pulsing chord stab pattern. It’s basically a sidechained drum taken to the next level.

Do you mean something like this, but faster.


Hi @Dr4am, is there anything that I could add to Autobreak to make your life easier?

Cheers, Bret (Voxglitch)

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I’m a huge Autobreak fan :smiley: but how can I use it to control synths too? Or maybe, does it work with non-rhythmic samples too?

In my opinion it already does a great job with drums, especially combined with Supercell in granular mode. You could add a way to control the gating of synths, some sort of Sequence output / Ratchet output for example. The inputs pass the signal to the drum, and with the outputs I can take it to the synth, so they can sound good.

Or maybe it just works in my head :man_shrugging:t2:

If you do this experiment, I will pay you the module !! :grin:

*I just connected the Autobreak audio output to the ADSR VCV input and it works! Probably nothing is needed, I just have to dare, experiment, groped connections apparently without logic.

@Telerex It might be a good place to start!

markov chains are a way of generating stuff based on probabilities. mr chainkov is a fairly intuitive module for that purpose, you dont even need to understand how it works, can just improvise into there.

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I’m glad you like it! It’ll work on any type of audio, like synths, or singing, or whatever!

I thought about adding a sequence output, but if you’re already feeding a sequence into it, then you could simply take that same sequence output and use it directly.

Here’s an example where the squence controls both sample playback position and a filter.

Autobreak is only considering sample playback position. It’s not trying to deduce when the drum sounds are happening. I honestly have no idea if I could pull that off. ha ha ha.


@clone45 autobreak is one of my favorite modules of the entire rack , could be possible add a way to change the play speed of the sequence slice and play it backward?

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Hi @David, let me take a peek for you! The code is somewhat complex, so I don’t know off-hand if I can do that. I’ll keep you posted!


Hi @David, I have some fun coming your way! I was able to add a reverse gate input that works wonderfully. I’ll add it to the library tomorrow, along with some documentation updates.


thhis is great news, thanks so much!

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I’m also into breakcore. Feel free to check my yt channel. Basic drum glitcher #1 (Squarepusher/Aphex Twin Style) - YouTube