The Golden Ratio In The Amen Break

Michael S. Schneider, author of A Beginner’s Guide To Constructing The Universe, has published an interesting analysis of the Amen Break (probably the most important sample ever).

In his analysis, the Amen Break may be popular because of the way the Golden Ratio is found it the break’s timing:

Having looked at the geometry of the Golden Ratio a great deal, and its expressions in worldwide art, I have a decent sense of its place along a line. The Amen Break had that feel. For a quick check I used homemade Golden Ratio calipers to examine the peaks. Indeed, peaks pop up at Golden Ratio intervals, as do smaller peaks within them, reminsicent of the fractal structures in nature.

For more exact visual analysis I examined the wave image in my computer, in which I have a palatte of geometric forms and proportions for quickly identifying an object’s ratios. Sure enough, Golden Ratio relationships were indicated among the different peaks. Am I seeing things? You decide. But the appearance of the Golden Ratio may help explain its popularity.

The major wave peaks of the Amen Break, and many of its smaller ones, seem reasonably close to being an expression of the fractal nature of the wonderful Golden Ratio. I wonder what it would sound like if it was more precisely proportioned to the ideal, but I also know that slight differences are what make it human and alive.

What do you think? Is the Golden Ration behind the popularity of the Amen Break, or is this a bunch of intellectual wankery?

7 thoughts on “The Golden Ratio In The Amen Break

  1. I vote wankery. The author is very selective regarding the specific segment of the whole break that he is using to make his point and as such it seems to me like a case of trying to make the data (square peg) fit the theory (round hole).

  2. doctec – I lean towards wankery too, especially when you think about how the break is so frequently used chopped and rearranged.

  3. Its not wankery. It resembles a Fractal. Fractals that naturally occur in nature are self simillar but are not 100% predictable or perfect. So this break beat being inconsistent to a degree is no reason to say that this is wankery. Even when the break has been chopped into FRactions and rearranged, the beat that is created is still made up of the same parts which go by the golden ratio.

    google it

    1. you're retarded, rearranging it would change the intervals is the point,…therefore your Golden Ratio is gone…and yet the new groove intervals still sell records…for christ sake I thought you british guys didn't believe all the shit they put in print….keep that shit up and you guys will believe your government wants to save you from the swine flu when they really couldn't care less…they released it to begin with…just ask our American Government, the Queens partner in crime…

      google it……who the hell says that anyway?

  4. Its not wankery, but it does not explain why the amen break is so populer, as the golden ratio is found in a LOT of other music and samples

  5. there are so many factors, like mic, room, sample rate, equalization. the fact is, it is an easy sample to get off of a record. But on the other hand even ease of access does not explian why it fits into many places so easy. I suspect, simply that there is a pleasent plate reverb effect off of the symbols of the drum kit hitting the mic, in such a way that makes for a "futuristic effect".

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