I’m a beatmaker. How do I make an audio track swing?

Adding swing to an audio track can bring a unique sense of groove and rhythm to your music. There are several ways to accomplish this:

If You’re Using a MIDI Sequencer:

  1. Quantize Settings: Most Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) have a swing quantize setting. This automatically nudges notes to give them a swing feel.
  2. Manual Offsetting: If you prefer a more hands-on approach, you can manually drag the notes a bit off-grid to add swing to them.
  3. Velocity Variation: Varying the velocity of each note can also give the rhythm a slightly “human” touch, which can be perceived as a kind of swing.

If You’re Working with Audio Tracks:

  1. Time Stretching: You can pull parts of the audio track to adjust their timing, adding a swing feel to beats or phrases.
  2. Cut and Paste: If you want precise control over the swing, you can cut audio clips and manually offset them to get the desired groove.
  3. Side-chain Compression: Applying light side-chain compression to rhythmic elements like bass or kick can also add a sense of swing.
  4. Groove Templates: Some DAWs offer groove templates that you can apply to your track to quickly add a predetermined swing feel.
  5. Layering: Layering multiple percussion or drum loops can add complexity to the rhythm and emphasize the swing.

These are some basic approaches, but the sky’s the limit when it comes to creative ways to add swing to your tracks. Feel free to experiment to find what best suits your style and the musical outcome you’re aiming for.