Making the Beat: The Lonely Island – We Like Sportz

Here I’ll be making the beat for The Lonely Island – We like sportz! Check out the tune:

…And check out how to make the beat!

Tempo: 102 bpm

Synth Notes:

Main riff: C# C# C# E E E   F# F# F# G G G

Pad: C#

What what what what what… what synth breakdown: C# Eb E   E E F# G C#^

Tutorial Text

Hi, I’m Dave from, and on this episode of “making the beat”, I’ll show you how to make the beat for “We like sportz” by the lonely island.

This is an easy beat to make, but uses some useful techniques like LFO-modulated filters to make the synths sound more interesting.

Okay!   Let’s begin.

Synth 1: Intro note

I’ve emulated the intro with two different synths – an instance of Thor to make the low end of the effect, and Malstrom to get the high pitched drop synth, Since it has a useful “One shot” option which is perfect for this situation.

Starting with Thor, I’ve made three oscillators – all analog oscillators.   Osc 1 is a sawtooth wave, and Osc 2 and 3 are square waves.   All the octaves are low, but you could just choose a lower note in the sequencer window.

Now I split the 3 octaves into two paths – Osc 1 and 2 go through filter 1 and Osc 3 goes through filter 2.   Filter one will form the main power of the bass sound, with some texture added through using the filter envelope, and filter two will make the modulating effect over the top of the bass sound with an LFO.

So to set up filter one – turn the frequency to just above a quarter and the resonance to about half way.   Turn the “Env” value to full – this gives the filter envelope 100% control over this filter.   Now turn D and S on the filter envelope to about 15 – which is about 4/5ths up for D and 3/5ths up for S.   This means the filter frequency will take a while to drop down to the point it is set, and then the sustain will keep it consistantly at that level.

Now for the second filter – increase the drive to about 4/5ths of the way up to increase the input gain into the filter, making the signal stronger.   Resonance should be about 3/4 and frequency should be about 3/8ths.   Now we get to the LFO – hit the tempo sync and turn the rate to the value “6/4″.   Now, in the modulation bus routing section below, take the LFO1 as the source, amount as 60-ish, and set the destination as Filter 2> Frequency.   This will modulate the filter frequency in time to the music!   Ace.

That’s the bass part of the sound, now for the high pitched part – I’ve simply got two sine waves, one octave apart, then hit the “1-shot” on mod A (that makes the modulation only happen at the start of the note) and turn the rate to 1/4 and the pitch to full.   That gives the drop synth effect!   I’ve also routed them through a line mixer 6:2 with a delay unit attached, just the default settings, and turned the “Aux” value on that channel to about 3/8ths to give it a bit more length.

Synth 2: Simple saw lead synth

This synth is interspersed around the track a few times – in the intro as the first synth playing the hook, and then used to play a higher pitched version of the hook throught the song.

I’ve made it with thor – one multi oscillator on a saw wave, slightly detuned to make it more powerful, with a quick delay and chorus on to widen it.   I’ve also added an LFO modulating the frequency as in the first synth, but I’ve only set the amount to about 30 so it’s not too prominent – just adds a bit more texture to the sound.

Synth 3:  Sine wave lead synth

The next synth, which is under the intro and chorus, is sure to be a world record for the quickest synth ever – I just made an instance of malstrom and initialized it, then took the octave down one.   Sorted.   Bob’s your uncle.   Let’s move on.

Synth 4: Pad

There’s a subtle filling pad holding a single C# note down throughout the intro and choruses.   I’ve made this by Making an instance of thor, and just using the preset “Epic Poly” sound, I’ve taken the amp envelope sustain to full so the sound doesn’t fade out.   In fact, since I didn’t initialize it, I think *that* is the new world record for quickest synth ever.   Beat it twice in one “Making the Beat” – not too shabby, eh? :D

Synth 5: Lead verse synth

For this one I used Malstrom since it can be made really easily with it.   2 oscillators – a sawtooth*4 (for the tone) and a sine (for the power).   Both taken down an octave in my case, then I’ve run them both through filter B, turning the frequency to full and the resonance to half.

Finally, I’ve sync’d Modulator B (which is our LFO) and applied it to the filter, and reduced the rate to the value “8/4″.   This adds that interesting texture to the sound as in the song.

The Beat:

My interpretation of the beat for this song comprises 4 samples for the three sounds – one for the kick drum, two for the snare (a rim hit sound and a snappy snare sound) and one for the more synthetic snare sound that comes in as a fill every now and again.

There’s quite a lot of reverb on these hits, and in different amounts, so I’ve dealt with this by linking the ReDrum instance I have the sounds in to a line mixer 6:2 with an RV7000 reverb unit attached to the auxilliary port (all you have to do to connect an effect unit to the aux port of a mixer is create it by right clicking the mixer, then creating from there – it will automatically connect it!   Sweet, huh?)

Pressing Tab, We can look at the back and see how I’ve connected it.   Channel 1 in the mixer has the normal output from ReDrum, which in this case is just the kick drum, since I’ve taken the other samples out here, and put them into inputs 2,3 and 4 respectively.   Flipping back around, You can see this aux value is slightly different for each sample – this determines how much reverb to put on.   There’s most on the snare hits, quite a lot on the kick, but none on the fill snare, since that is quite a clean sound.

And there you have it!   Get your football, tennis, hockey and golf on, and go scare the other teams with your mad dog faces!    What what what what what…what!


Due to popular demand I’ve uploaded the mp3 for you to download here.


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