by Native Instruments

Watch: How to build Afrobeats
with Stefan Guy

Stefan Guy is a London-based musician, educator and producer who specialises in professional on-line tuition. In this video he demonstrates how to use Global Shake, a new Native Instruments expansion dedicated to the contemporary club sounds coming out of Africa including Afrobeats, kuduro, kizomba and Afro house. These are all genres that are having a massive influence on the pop charts across the world, but especially so in the UK and US, with artists including Charlie Puth and Sia using instruments like the marimba alongside African loops and vocals, but mixing them into contemporary pop arrangements.


We should probably thank Ed Sheeran and the ubiquitous track, ‘Shape Of You’ for much of this popularity, and Stefan quickly demonstrates how GLOBAL SHAKE can produce a Global ‘Shape’, even though this was only his first attempt at producing patterns within this popular genre.

“I’ve never made this type of music,” he admits, “but it is huge in the UK right now, so I listened to a few tracks and had a crack at it. GLOBAL SHAKE made the process a lot easier, as I was able to find the sounds I needed pretty quickly.” Throughout the video, Stefan proves just how fast it can be to use GLOBAL SHAKE to produce a couple of complete patterns, one using MASCHINE and one within Logic using BATTERY and KOMPLETE KONTROL.

With MASCHINE he starts off creating a syncopated set of beats using a kit from GLOBAL SHAKE and quickly produces a very commercial and contemporary pattern. “Turn on the radio right here in the UK and I guarantee that you will hear something like this,” he laughs before filling it out with percussion lines, a bass and other samples and loops from GLOBAL SHAKE. Stefan then adds a vocal sample from the large numbers of such sounds on offer. “There’s a lot that we can use here, but for the UK/Afrobeats inspired sound, you’ll often hear pitched up female vocals. Often no words are being said and it’s just a riff or an ‘oh’ or an ‘ah’. These sit in the background and are very much so part of the instrumental. Global Shake’s Chopmunk Vocal Kit was perfect for this.”

Stefan then switches over to Logic to show how to put an Afrobeats pattern together outside of the MASCHINE environment. “I wanted to take a look at this approach because, as with all other expansions, you can access all of Global Shake’s samples and loops from your DAW. So, for example, I can easily pull up the kit used in the Maschine loop but within Logic it is accessed inside of Battery 4.”

Stefan completes a very different sounding Afrobeats loop, but another one completely powered by GLOBAL SHAKE. Check him out in more tutorial videos soon.

Click here to download GLOBAL SHAKE now.

photos: Kristina Sälgvik

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