How To Make A Tribal Tech House Groove

Tribal tech house combines familiar tech house samples with percussive tribal tech house loops to create a rolling tech house groove. In this tribal house tutorial, we’ll look at how to make tech house grooves, demonstrating how to effectively use tribal tech house samples. We’re going to be using Afro Ethnic Deep Tech by 5Pin Media for this, which is available for free in Loopcloud’s 30-day trial.

Select AET_Perc_21_124 and put it on an audio track. We can hear from the off it’s got a fair bit of weight in the low-end. Checking it in the excellent free Voxengo SPAN spectral analyser - which you can download from - we can see that there is indeed a bunch of information in the sub-100Hz range.

It’d be a breeze to simple high-pass out everything below, say, 200Hz and the mix would sound a fair bit clearer. But what if you wanted to keep that low-end information in there to maintain the weight of the percussion, and weren’t too worried about having a big beefy bass line down there? Well, in that case, you could use sidechain compression, and, if you were feeling particularly saucy, you could tune the EQ on the sidechain to be focused around just the area where most frequency clash occurred to let the percussion breath as much as possible.

Let’s give that a go. First, we need to add our kick. AET_Kick_05. We can see in SPAN that the percussive loop and the kick have the most in common frequency content-wise at around 100Hz.

To add a sidechain in Live, put a Compressor on the percussion loop channel then open up the sidechain panel, activate Sidechain mode, select the sidechain input, then turn down the Threshold to hear the result. 

To tune the sidechain EQ, activate the EQ set the Sidechain EQ Type to bandpass, then tune the Freq knob to taste. A value of around 100Hz results in what is arguably the clearest sound. You’ll also need to adjust the Threshold and Release to taste.

Next, let’s add a hat. AET_HHClosed_07 sounds about right, but it’s rather dry-sounding. Add a reverb effect to the audio track, and tweak the highs, Decay time and Dry/Wet level to get a natural, tight feel. 

You can also try this reverb on the other elements, but you’ll likely want to turn down the Dry/Wet level if you use it on the kick.

Make sure to put the reverb before the compressor if you add it to the percussion loop track.

Next, let’s add some flavour with a percussion hit. Place AET_Ethnic_Perc_15 on the final eighth note of the second bar of a four-bar sequence.

Now add a reverb with a long decay time and high wet level, and a sidechain compressor after the reverb.This turns our one-bar loop into a more interesting four-bar groove, and gives us a welcome touch of atmosphere.

That’s it for this tribal tech house tutorial, happy groovin’!