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How to Make a Dubstep Song (Unfinished)

AS Music Technology Guidance and Tutorials

Sam Flanagan

on 14 November 2012

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Transcript of How to Make a Dubstep Song (Unfinished)

1.Outcomes: 2.The Scenario 3. Ingredients of a Dubstep Track 4.Structure 5.Drums 6.Bass 7.Pads 8.Lead Sounds 10.Vocal Samples 11.Atmospherics 12. Effects 13.Automation 13.Mastering 15.Further Reading You are required to create an original arrangement between 2 and 3 minutes in length based on one of the following stimuli and in one of the following styles:


California Girls (The Beach Boys)
Rolling In The Deep (Adele)

A lead sheet for each stimulus has been included to assist you. Some recordings may differ from the lead sheet.

Dubstep in the style of DJ Fresh, Labrinth and Benga.
Disco in the style of ABBA, Donna Summer and The Village People.

This task should be sequenced.You are reminded that if you use any pre-recorded loops and samples they must be manipulated/shaped/edited/processed in order to gain credit.

All samples and loopsmust be royalty-free and not taken from any commercial recordings.

Live performances recorded as continuous audio tracks or edited to form continuous audio tracks are not permitted in this task.
You should submit your completed arrangement as track 3 on your Music Technology Portfolio 1 CD.
(Total for Task 1C = 40 marks) Task 1C: Creative Sequenced Arrangement How to make big dubstep/DnB beats with Reso http://www.musicradar.com/tuition/tech/how-to-make-big-dubstep-dnb-beats-with-reso-457517/9 Link: These were the 'ingredients' you guys collected in class... OTHER SOUNDS:

These are often synthesized, glitchy, computer or robotic like sounds.

Dubstep artists will often use fast paced arpeggios in a high octave.

Sampled vocals are often used which have been heavily processed.

More mellow pad sounds are often used to counter balance aggressive bass sounds.

Aggressive lead line sounds will often be included in a 'call & response' like section with the bassline.

Dubstep artists will often use filters to slowly high pass or low pass sounds over 4-8 bar passages.

They often use arpeggios and pad sounds to fill out the soundscape.

They often use filter sweeps to highlight the beginning and end of passages. DRUMS:

Dubstep drums are usually tightly quantised (in-time).

They are usually made from heavily processed samples.

There BPM is usually around 140.However, they are usually arranged at a half time speed.

Unlike many genres of Dance Music, Dubstep drums often place a snare drum on the 3rd beat whilst having a '2 step' feel kick drum pattern.

The snare drum usually has a large reverb placed on it to give it a long tail.

Hi-hats and rides are often used and can sometimes be 'swung' to add a percussive groove to the track to counter act the tightly quantised kick and snare.

Dubstep bass is usually made up of low and distorted notes.

The sound is often run through an effect called a bitcrusher to give it grit and aggression.

An LFO is usually assigned to the sound to create a 'Wob - Wob' effect.

The speed, or wob speed will usually be changed during the bassline to create different wobbles.

Bass sounds often use pitch bend.

Bass sounds will often sound metallic. Task 1: Create a Structure Template in Logic...

a) Using a Midi channel draw in your structural template across the top of your arrange page. Use the video above as a guide but remember your song needs to be 3-4 mins in length...

b) Name your instrument tracks down the left hand side of the page and include all the typical instruments you'd find in a Dubstep track...

TIP: Set your BPM to a Dubstep tempo first e.g. 140BPM... 16. Songs for Inspiration Notes: Use the elements of these songs for inspiration in your own pieces...

If you can think of any other tracks to add to this slide then let your tutor know... This presentation will give you many of the resources, guidance and tutorials needed to create a Dubstep track... A successful learner from this programme will be able to create a Dubstep track using Logic Pro...

Learners will be able to deconstruct and recognise elements from Dubstep tracks...

Learners will be able to make appropriate drum tracks and other instrument sounds appropriate for the genre of Dubstep...

Learners will be aware of the appropriate structure, effects and mastering used whilst composing a Dubstep track and be able to use these in their own compositions... 1. Set your BPM to a Dubstep tempo (138-145)... 2.Draw in Midi blocks to set out your structure (use divisions of 8). Name and colour them to help you stay organised... 3. Name your tracks to remind you what needs to going into your song... 4.Move your 'play bar' to the end of your template and check your track length is between 3-4 minutes... An artist called Buchan:
All synths are created from the inbuilt Logic synths... http://soundcloud.com/buchanmusic Artist Link: Here's the scenario. In the future you're a world class Dubstep producer (this will happen if you work hard enough!) attending a celebrity party at some swanky mansion. At the party you're approached separately by Adele and the Beach Boys who ask you to compose a reworked track of one their biggest songs (Adele's - Rolling In The Deep and The Beach Boys 'California Girls'). Unfortunately, due to your busy schedule and a fast approaching deadline you will only have time to work on one of the tracks. You must decide which artist and track to pick.

Whilst talking with Adele and the Beach Boys they both said they liked tracks by DJ Fresh, Labrinth and Benga so you should draw inspiration from these artists when completing your version of their songs.

At the party both artists scribbled down a quick lead sheet with some basic chords and notes for you to follow when completing your song. Unfortunately Adele went into labour and the Beach Boys had to go surfin' before they could finish and check the notation on each sheet was correct. You will have to check all notes and chords and will need to add the extra notation that they may have missed out.

Both artists are unable to give you the original master files to each track but you have assured them you can recreate all parts using MIDI sequencing. They have requested that any samples or loops be royalty free so their are no copyright issues further down the line. You've assured them that any samples included in your track will manipulate,edit or process them so you can firmly stamp your own style on the finished track. Drums

1. Start your drum track by placing your kick on the 1st beat and your snare on the 3rd beat.

2. Once you have this basic pattern you can add extra kick and snare hits to add expression and groove to your beat.

3. Include percussive patterns to add extra pace to your tracks. Don't be afraid to add more than 1 pattern as many artists use 3 or more different layered patterns in their tracks. These are often made up of hi-hats, ride cymbals and shakers.

4. Emphasis the start or end of 8 or 16 bar phrases of your drum beat by adding crash cymbals.

5. It's a good idea to include a 'change' in your pattern every 8 bars. For example, extra hits, added percussion or drum fills to highlight the end of a section.

6. Your structure template should highlight how many different drum phrases you include in your piece. A change in your structure template = a change in your drum pattern.

7. Remember that your structure template is their to save you time so copy any corresponding sections you compose to the relevant sections.

8. Use the videos at the end of this presentation to give you inspirational ideas on what you can include in your drum beats... Bass

1. Bass lines are usually written in the 1st or 2nd octave so use these to begin with.

2. Bass lines usually only require one MIDI note at a time. Avoid programming chords etc for your bass line. You will however find that producers layer up their bass sounds sometimes using different oscillators - see videos above.

3. You should program different LFO speeds to achieve different timed wobbles within your bass line. This is a key convention of Dubstep.

4.You may wish to use pitch bends to add further expression to your bass lines.

5. Many producers combine a number of bass sounds playing one after the other to achieve a textured and interesting bass sound.

6. Remember to watch the videos at the end of this presentation for inspiration.. Link: Guide on how to make dubstep from Computer Music http://www.musicradar.com/tuition/tech/how-to-make-dubstep-in-2011-507561 Pads

1. Pad sounds usually 'pad' out the soundscape of your track and sit nicely in the background adding texture to your piece.

2. You should use chords to achieve your pad sounds.

3. Many artists use more than one pad sound in their compositions sometimes opting for a 'mid' and 'high' frequency range pad sound.

4. Pad sounds can take up a lot of your frequency space so you may want to pick different octaves to write in than your other parts.

5. To add further texture you could use chord 'inversions' with one of your pad sounds. DJ Fresh: Hot Right Now Tutorial:

http://www.musicradar.com/tuition/tech/get-the-sound-of-hot-right-now-by-dj-fresh-549334/2 Link: DJ Fresh Drum Tutorial:

http://www.musicradar.com/tuition/tech/dj-fresh-how-i-made-the-drums-for-louder-499411/1 Samples:

Dubstep artists often use short vocal samples within their compositions. The video on the left should give you an idea of the style of vocal Skrillex often uses. The video on the right is an example of how Skrillex often takes grainy lo-fi vocal samples from YouTube videos and includes them in his songs.

As you're aware, members of the class are very good at 'beatboxing'. We could record a few short phrases into an iPhone (giving us a lo-fi grainy quality) and then insert these into our tracks.

1. Think of some phrases we could record such as 'Are You Ready for the Ruffneck Bass' or the 'D-D-D-D-Drop The Bass' sample that Skrillex uses in his remix of Cinema by Benni Benasi.

2. We can record these phrases and then drop these into our tracks.

3. For extra marks you could then manipulate these samples by pitch shifting or stuttering certain words. Link: Advanced tutorial on vocal sample editing... Sound on Sound Dubstep Basics:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jul10/articles/dubstep.htm Links: http://www.musicradar.com/tuition/tech/how-to-make-a-labrinth-ft-tinie-tempah-earthquake-style-lead-synth-sound-555274#!1 Labrinth ft. Tinie Tempah Earthquake-style lead synth sound Sound on Sound Dubstep Bass tutorial:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/nov10/articles/logic-tech-1110.htm Sound on Sound A-Z of Dubstep

http://www.musicradar.com/news/tech/a-z-of-dubstep-216074#!1 Crash Cymbal at beginning to highlight the start of a new drum pattern Kick drums on the 1st and 17th beats Clap and snares layered on the 9th and 25th beats Ride cymbal on each beat of the bar Basic Dubstep Beat...
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