1000 Things We Hate #244: Electronic Hand Claps

2 07 2012

I have recorded a lot of songs – somewhere near 300 of them.  Honestly, most of them are shit or are only 45 seconds long or both.  I just fool around with music.  When I actually take it seriously, I can come out with an okay product (partially restrained by my lack of singing capabilities).

When I first started recording music, I relied upon many of the stock sounds or clips.  Look! They’ve already provided me with bass drum/snare/hi hat/hand clap!  How convenient, really.  So, I just used these sounds and occasionally mixed them as I was figuring out how.  Since then, I use a clip of Troy’s drumset from 5 years ago that I splice in order to create unique sounding drums with a live sound.  Trained listeners can figure out that they’re programmed, but, for the casual listener, they sound fairly realistic.

Now, one of the problems of early recording is the new experience of it all.  You’re overwhelmed with all of the sounds you can create which actually limits you.  You find one cool sound and work with only that sound (synth, drum, piano, etc.).  Instead, you can use that sound in conjunction with many other sounds.  Sure, I still do things that are convenient and not as polished by just playing around, but it’s clearly not as original.

Overall, and the point of this post, is people OBSESS over hand claps.

Hand claps imply a live sound, but, in repetition, they are soooo annoying.  Hand claps seemingly originated with people wanting to participate in a beat.  They appear to be rather communal.  When you go and see a concert, you clap along often.  But, when those hand claps are programmed, a lot of the originality and expression is lost out of the music.

Plus, using them is just cheap because they’re often the same sound over and over.  They can wear you pretty thin as a listener if they’re in the entirety of a song.

So, solutions?  Well, if you’re programming a song, simply clap along to the beat.  Each clap is slightly different – different pitch, different length, may be slightly off beat, etc.  So, clapping along makes it sound real.  If you record this multiple times, you can make it sound like a bunch of people clapping.  If you do not want to go through the trouble, record yourself clapping 4-8 different claps and utilize those in any order in your song.

Some electronic music is about conformity and sharpness without much difference in sounds… hell, it’s programmed.  If you want something more meaningful, original, and fun, use real claps.


1000 Things We Hate is bustling along.  Hell, we’re almost 1/4th of the way there!  Check out the MASTER LIST for our previous posts!



One response

16 07 2012

wow… this IS fricken annoying…

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