In this article music producer Rami Yacoub says the following while discussing the mixing console at Cheiron Studios:

“[Max Martin] said ‘this is the magic…’ and he routed the kick on one, snare on two, hi-hat on three, loop on four. And then he pulled up one lever at a time, and I was like ‘holy shit, this is the sound!’ It just had this analogue-digital compression to it which was hard to explain. It all made sense on that board. It was pretty amazing.”

What do you suspect the "loop" on four happened to be? How do you think it functioned in the drum beat, and what is the relationship between these 4 channels and the mixing board? Is the "magic" in the way the console processed the audio?

Note: I don't have experience with outboard gear and don't know much about signal processing etc.

Honestly, I'm mostly interested in the loop on channel 4 as I don't have access to a mixing board anyway. I imagine it would be a sampled drum groove that provided feel and life to the drum machine hits (I wonder if the loop's volume was raised near the level of the other hits or if it is so low as to be barely perceptible but still able to add some feel). Do you suspect that was the case?

P.S. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for improving the title of this post.

  • It might be best to just use that snippet from the article just as a hint and spend your efforts analyzing music that Max Martin has produced.
    – Edward
    Mar 4, 2023 at 17:40
  • That quote is not about laying down a beat. It's about mixing a beat that has already been laid down. The one, two, three, and four are not beats of a measure, they are mixer channels. Mar 5, 2023 at 1:24

1 Answer 1


Reading the whole article, I think he's talking about an element from one of the 'Sample CDs' mentioned earlier.

Not sure what he means by '...you needed Pro Tools interfaces, and we used to record on analogue tape.'?

Later on he boasts about having discovered simple counterpoint.

Very often it's better to learn by example and analysis than from how producers SAY they did things!

  • "Later on he boasts about having discovered simple counterpoint." Are you referring to the "B-chorus" thing?
    – Edward
    Mar 4, 2023 at 18:40
  • Needing a Pro Tools interface means if you wanted to record digitally using a computer, one of the few decent options was Pro Tools software, and for most of the history of Pro Tools you had to purchase and connect an audio interface from the company that makes Pro Tools or the software wouldn't run. Both the software and hardware for Pro Tools were very expensive - maybe $5000 - $10,000 to get off the ground. Decent tape machines were also expensive and buying tape just added to the cost. Mar 5, 2023 at 1:21
  • Yup. But he seems to connect the two. A pro tools interface AND recording to tape.
    – Laurence
    Mar 5, 2023 at 19:37

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