I recently bought two steps from hell's battlecry album, and there is a few percussion instruments which I'd love to know more about. For example, in "victory" you can hear this "tick tick tick" sound throughout the entire piece.

What is this? I notice a lot of composers have these strange percussion tracks, what are they?

  • 1
    They could be anything, from a closed high hat to a synth to something sampled from nature. No way to tell unless you actually see the instrumentation.
    – Robusto
    Commented Feb 8, 2016 at 21:02

1 Answer 1


As Robusto says in his comment, it's not always easy to identify these kind of instruments, especially if the sounds have been synthesised or heavily processed. The acoustic instrument this sounds most like could be some kind of small shaker, like an egg shaker.

However, in this track, it sounds like the same single sample being played over and over again, so you don't get the same feel you'd expect from a person playing a shaker.

It could also be a closed hi-hat - but then it could also be any other short 'noise' sound, including a synthesised sound (for example. a white noise generator through an envelope set to a fast attack and release could make a sound like this.)

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