How To Make Drum & Bass: The Complete Guide
Drum & Bass combines heavy synthesized bass lines with vocal samples from soul and reggae records to create an bold, energetic, and supremely danceable wall of sound. In this article and accompanying video, artist and producer Protostar will show you how to record a DnB track in Reason In this video tutorial I will explain how to set up a basic Drum and Bass beat that could work in Drum and Bass or Liquid Drum and Bass. In this video I will go heavy on the Redrum Drum Computer. Every redrum will be used to layer the percussion sets (which can be handy later on for making the final mix).
In this article and accompanying video, artist and producer Protostar will show you how to record a DnB track in Reason This core one-two-and-four pattern forms the heart of the groove and is almost hass deviated from.
Finally, it needs to be fast—tempos usually range between and BPM. Load a drum loop into Dr. Attack and decay controls come in handy for fine-tuning stacked kicks and snares: try using just the attack from one sound, the body of another, and the decay tail of a how to find rare rocks in your backyard. Then sprinkle in a variety of loops, extra hits, and dub-like reverb and delay to keep bas rhythm interesting.
The addition of a pounding synth bass serves a melodic role, and is what sets DnB apart from other dance genres. Sine and Triangle waves are great for a nice round bottom, squares and bas waves add edgy harmonics, and the right wavetable or granular patch can really get things sounding nasty. Flip the rack around and experiment with patching various filters and envelopes to the Synchronous Effects Modulator and Pulsar Dual LFO devices to give the an some movement.
Samples are a staple of DnB typically vocal phrases lifted from old soul and reggae recordsmakd serve to break up the monotony of a constantly pounding beat. Load samples into Dr. Octo Rex or record your own, then slice them up or stretch the possibilities with the Grain Sample Manipulator.
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waltergretzky.com waltergretzky.com?i=&l=en waltergretzky.com?id=A3rsb. Jun 12, · Here are some tips and tricks for D&B production in Reason.I make examples like this live on my twitch! waltergretzky.com Try reason free for
It includes:. As eager as you may be to get into the nitty-gritty of producing DNB, there are a few important points to consider that are essential for any sort of success.
You might expect to read this article and walk away as a master of drum and bass production. Let me disappoint you — that will not happen. While this article aims to be as comprehensive as possible, you must dedicate time and effort into your craft in order to become a good producer. What this article will do is provide you with a solid framework for making DNB. No more short YouTube videos showing you how to make a particular bass as much as they can be helpful.
This article will give you the knowledge necessary to make a drum and bass track from start to finish. So my recommendation would be to follow along in your DAW as you walk through the article. That way, you will maximize your potential for improving as a music producer.
You can have both heaving basslines and soothing pads across the spectrum of subgenres. Here are the main:. Across this guide, we will provide alternative paths that you could go on depending on the subgenre you are planning on making and we may also do a dedicated guide for each in the future. Most drum and bass tends to be written between bpm, with the majority falling at bpm , as it seems to have a fast enough pace without being too fast. More on this later. Subgenres aside, the drum patterns in drum and bass tend to stay very similar in terms of rhythm.
This kick-snare pattern can have many other variations too, such as the extra snare or one less kick, etc:. The sound of the kick and snare are crucial to the energy level of the track and therefore the genre you are making. Whereas if you were making liquid or minimal, you would have snappier, softer samples that perhaps sit a bit higher in the frequency spectrum.
You can program a basic shuffle with some hats, percussion and or ghost snares. Or, there are many samples out there that can be used as pre-made shuffles. Tip: Ghost snares are just normal snares, traditionally played by a drummer to vary up the rhythm and velocity of a drum pattern. In production, this may be emulated through the use of different snare samples.
Apart from the shuffle, the other factor that can dramatically change the feel of the track is the hats, percussion and use of sampled breaks.
Once again, consider the rhythm when layering in percussion and hats. But to add more interest, you could add a ride on the offbeats that pokes out a little more in the mix, giving the loop a human feel.
Depending on the style, you may also want to consider layering in some classic breakbeats, which are particularly utilized in Jungle many jungle tracks just use a sampled breakbeat.
Not only do these add extra rhythmic interest, but also textural interest, due to the age of the recordings and the technology used at the time. If you want to get creative, you can get a drum instrument plugin e. Addictive Drums and program your own human drum patterns, and then process them to taste to add your own textures. This is not necessary but can give you greater control. Today, a lot of drum and bass tracks combine these techniques with synthesized and processed drums to give you more control and power.
Apart from our free sample pack, using a service like Splice Sounds sponsored link or Loopcloud can help you find the particular sounds you are looking for. A few pointers:. Use high-quality samples and your life will be much easier. Many producers have chopped and recorded these drum loops for you to use and download, so a quick Google search should suffice.
Recommended: Free Sample Packs. Most DNB basses occupy the sub-bass frequency range, which is typically from about Hz downwards. This is the frequency range that is well-reproduced by a subwoofer and that vibrates the human body. Because this range can be very temperamental and important to get write, a lot of drum and bass tends to be written in keys like E Minor, F Minor and F Minor.
Frequencies under D 1 However, frequencies about G 1 A sine wave used above works well as it clearly reproduces the dedicated frequency, which is once again ideal for club use and clean bass. So to compensate, you can add a subtle amount of saturation to warm up the sound. But in more intense genres, more distortion and FX can be used to add energy, colour and interest. The use of them varies between subgenres, but typically they feature longer, drawn-out bass notes with subtle movement over time.
In higher-energy genres, the basses can have a lot more variation and quicker movements. A lot of the time, producers opt to layer this with a clean sine layer to still get that deep bass feeling. Recommended: Sound Design Tips. Truth be told, all genres of DnB make use of some sort of melodic or harmonic idea, even if very vague and through the use of samples. In fact, DnB borrowed a lot of sampling techniques from hip-hop in its heyday.
Sampling is still a major part, and traditionally this was done by sampling a lot of funk, soul and jazz records a lot of the time done without clearance too, which is harder these days. There are lots of royalty-free samples you can use on platforms like Splice to find musical loops and samples to chop, mangle and process into your own DNB productions. In the majority of DNB, tracks are written in a minor key.
The most simple FX used are sweeps of white noise and crashes, which are standard for electronic music across the board.
But they can also vary a lot more than that, with pitching oscillators, moving filters and raging distortion. As always, more subtle, less aggressive sounds can be used in genres like liquid and minimal, whereas intense FX would be used in neuro, jump up and dancefloor. You can find different risers, downlifters and impacts from sample packs, or you can synthesize them on your own.
Like with many genres, you can use all sorts of creative FX — because drum and bass is not limited to just tension-building sounds. The key here is to think outside the box. Drum and bass is a loop-heavy genre and therefore has a lot of repetition with subtle addition, subtraction and manipulation over time. While the number of channels used in a project can be very workflow-dependant , generally you could get away with anywhere between channels for most tracks, going beyond that for more complex bass-oriented genres Neurofunk etc.
This is due to the number of different bass sounds used in those genres, and even if they only occur once in the track, they may need their own channel. The process of mixing DnB has to be done in a very particular way, otherwise, you can end up with a weak and messy track. The aim when mixing DNB is to have a very balanced mix while not compromising musicality. Heavy amounts of compression and distortion may be used for a lot of the bass sounds, but often there is still movement in the dynamics.
In terms of volume, you want the drums to poke through fairly well, generally with the kick and snare sitting slightly above the rest of the drums.
Secondly, the level of the bass should be fairly on par with the drums. Any melodies, hook elements and instruments usually sit just under the drums and bass, creating a nice bed for the rest of the track, and FX are usually pushed a bit more towards the background, maybe coming in louder during builds and energy changes. On my most recent liquid track, I spent a lot of work on the mixdown, even changing things by 0.
This is typically achieved by using high-pass filters to roll off and unnecessary low end. Make sure to EQ in the context of other sounds to hear things relatively. Make sure to use reductive EQ to take out problem frequencies. These problem frequencies can build up anywhere on the spectrum depending on genre , but normally too much Hz can make a track sound muddy, and too much 1k-3k can start to sound sharp and too resonant, as our ears are very sensitive to this area.
How much gain to reduce is simply a matter of context. Err on the side of less, otherwise, you may affect the sound too much and therefore it will lose its character.
Of course, boosting is also fine, but use it sparingly. Fast compression can be used to tame overly-punchy drums and slower compression can be used to even out groups and other sounds. Just be careful when using it on the mids as it can make a mix sound overly processed. Recommended: Mixing EDM. Saturation, reverb, delay and other effects are also great tools to use when you need to use them. There are no specific use cases, so feel free to use them subtly to add interest and warmth to your channels and groups.
Many labels will get their own mastering done as well. Normally on the default settings with no more than dB of gain reduction after adjusting the threshold.
If the highs are too piercing, you might want to control them with some fast yet subtle compression above 10kHz.
As you can customize the settings for each band, you can get a much more transparent form of compression than the standard variety. I repeat this process until I get the desired result.
Any questions? Hit me up at [email protected]. Learn how to master the fundamentals of electronic music production with the best roadmap for new producers. Learn Production. Genres have come and gone over the years, but drum and bass has always held its ground. Aden Russell. With 10 years of music production experience and some marketing chops, I head up the content here at EDMProd. I also make music under Artsea. My pastimes include reading, drinking coffee and taking photos. Read Next. Get instant access to our free video training.
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