I apologize for the subject of my rhythm analysis--many of you are likely to turn your noses up, but... Deadmou5 has a song "Sofi Needs A Ladder" and I'm trying to understand the rhythmic elements going on here.

The song starts with a high synth rhythm. It starts all mashed together, but by 0:30 resolves into a crisp, defined pattern. At the same point in time that the synth has resolved, a snare (electronic) is introduced playing in a different rhythm. I believe this is a 2:3 polyrhythm with the high synth the 3 and the snare the 2.

Much of the rest of the song is a simple kick/snare pattern; nothing exciting going on there.

Starting at about 2:45, that 2:3 polyrhythm seems to start to sneak back in with different pitches of that high synth.

The part I'm trying to make sense of is the part from about 3:30 to 4:00 in the song. Here we have that same 2:3 rhythm that we had at the beginning of the song, but there is also a low synth that is added (I think) as a half count to every high synth hit. How would you count that?

My understanding is that 2:3 is counted with triplets, so (bold is 2, inverse is 3)

1 - trip- let - 2 - trip - let

If I'm right about the high and low synth, we should basically have 2:6, but the 6 alternates between high and low (bold is 2, inverse is 3, strikethrough is the inverted 3)


But when I listen to it, it doesn't seem to line up that nicely. Am I hearing it wrong? Am I counting it wrong? How does this section work?

(As you answer the question, please explain it to me like I'm 10 because I only know a little bit when it comes to musical theory, counting, etc.)

1 Answer 1


What I hear is not a 2 over 3, but a 4 over 3 pattern going on.

I transcribed what I hear and explain it progressively so it is clear. I used chrome song maker to make the graphics. You can go there and draw the same beats so you can listen to it yourself: https://musiclab.chromeexperiments.com/Song-Maker/

The snare is placed on every downbeat, so we got 4 snares per bar. (Red box = Snare)

enter image description here

The high synth starts with the 4:3 (4 synths for 3 snares) Blue/Purple is the synth, Im putting it there for 3 snare hits, 4 synth hits:

enter image description here

The the low synth appears at 3:34. The low synth also does a 4:3, exactly as the high synth (4 low synth for each 3 snare hits), but it is starting at another beat as the high synth, so they are displaced. For a bit they are synchronized, one hitting just before the other. (Low synth in green)

enter image description here

Then the high synth starts gradually speeding up and extending the sound so it doesn't have such a defined attack, going outside the grid, giving this 'drunk' feel to the whole thing. Eventually it returns to the groove.

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