Looking to capture that Afro House groove that has its own pulse? Read on to find out how to create magic.
1. What is Afro House Music?
In order to understand how to make Afro House music, we first need to come to grips with exactly what it is. So, what is Afro House music?
Well, simply put, Afro House music is a subgenre of house music. It contains a wide range of variations from tribal house, deep house, and the beautiful sounds of soulful music. Its roots are based predominantly in South Africa, and comes with its own incredible unique beats and sounds.
Africa is the birthplace of mankind and music, and this is reflected in Afro House music’s style. It’s generally characterized by percussion, deep melodies, and African/ethnic voices. When it comes to the BPM, it can fluctuate between 80 and 122. This is known as ‘‘allegro, the heartbeat tempo’’ and is the perfect way to hit that sweet sound spot.
In the last 10 years, we’ve witnessed an impressive growth within this style of music. It became very popular all thanks to the advent of a new and fresh era.
This genre is led by artists like:
- Black Coffee
- Culoe De Song
- Keinemusik Crue
- and many others
Expansion of this artistic genre is all down to the labels that have contributed to its fruition, and we must give credit where credit is due:
- Mo Black
- Sol Selectas
- Crosstown Rebels of Damian Lazarus
2. How to make Afro House Music?
So, now that we’re aware of the history and what it is, let’s find out how to create the sweet sounds of Afro House music!
2.1 How to make Afro House Groove
The kicks used inside Afro House tracks are soft and clean. You can start by using the classic Roland’s 808, with a short release. Several third-party plugins enable you to create your own kicks. The most famous and recommended are the Kick 2 by Sonic Academy, the Vengeance Sound Metrum, or the Producer Choice 808 Warfare. If you use Logic Pro X, you’re able to utilize the drum synths. If done right, you’ll be able to create a kick sound using the drum synth, control the release using a third-party plugin, and the shaper box will allow you to control the release of the sound in a much better way. You’ll also be able to use an EQ and some saturation to add tone to the kick itself.
In this example, we’ve used a sample contained inside our Afro House sample pack (Afro Melodic House Volume 1). We used the track "SAS101_AMH_01_121_Shaker01" and added it inside the quick sample section within Logic. Afterwards, we duplicated the track, changed the parameter of the same sample in order to create the closed shaker; and we also added some chorus so we’re able to create more variations of the sound.
Within Afro House tracks, Tom sounds are extremely useful. In fact, they’ve been used inside a huge number of Afro House hits. You’re able to create your own track using hardware like Roland 808 or 909. To give you an example, we used a TOM contained in Kit 3 of Afro Melodic House "SAS101_AMH_01_121_Sobo". As for the shaker, we added the TOM sound inside the quick sample, and created a simple rhythmic voice using a pattern region.
Percussive sounds are of extreme vitality within this genre. Try to use percussion to add movement and variation to your track. Here, we’ve simply added a conga from the "SAS101_AMH_01_121_Soli" sample. Once again, we also created a simple rhythmic voice using a pattern region.
2.2 How to Make an Afro House Melody
Afro House melodies are full of long and dreamy pads, along with absolutely hypnotic sequencers. Let’s talk about the melody.
For this example, we created a pad sound to using the Pigments by Arturia. We used a noise sound on a resonator, and then added some LFO to control the amount of the cutoff filter and fine pitch. You can take a look at our Afro sound sample pack in order to find more like this one.
In order to create the sequencer, we used the arpeggiator midi control of the Logic system. For the sound, we used the Pigments. This is one of the most power plugins on the market right now! We then used Wavetable, the treaty additive, and we added some LFO to control the amount of phase distortion and the cutoff filter.
So, there you have it! Now you know how to create an incredible Afro House track in Black Coffee style. Looking for some inspiration? Check our Afro House Sample Pack to arouse your ears and get inspired with our sample!