[Help] How do I dubstep?

Discuss tips, tricks, and the creative process of music creation. Post HELP threads here

[Help] How do I dubstep?

Postby bigmiles2000 » 08 Aug 2013 02:29

So... dubstep. Everyone seems to be making it, yet I have basically no idea what I am doing. Any decent tips/tutorials for sound design and structure would be appreciated. Thanks!
DAW(s): FL Studio 11 (Primary) Ableton Live 9 (Secondary) Reason 5 ReWired into whatever DAW I am using. Gear: MicroKorg, M-Audio Fast Track, M-Audio Midisport 2x2 and M-Audio Axiom 49 gen 2. (yeah, lotsa M-Audio stuff ._.)
Oh, and Rarity is best horse.
bigmiles2000
 
Posts: 21
Joined: 30 Nov 2012 18:58
Location: 'Murica

Re: [Help] How do I dubstep?

Postby ChocolateChicken » 08 Aug 2013 02:48

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1369 Scroll down to the dubstep tutorials.

Also, youtube is FILLED with tutorials on dubstep production.

Not sure what else to say other than really general stuff. Learn synthesis. FM synthesis is awesome for dubstep sounds too. If you have FL Studio then you probably have Sytrus, which is one of the best synths ever. Also learn proper mixing techniques, but that goes for anything really.

Get good drum samples.
User avatar
ChocolateChicken
 
Posts: 393
Joined: 02 Aug 2012 09:18
Location: California
OS: Apple Family Farm
Primary: Logic Pro
Cutie Mark: Blank Flank

Re: [Help] How do I dubstep?

Postby Nine Volt » 08 Aug 2013 03:59

I'll help you as best I can but you've not phrased this terribly clearly.

bigmiles2000 wrote:So... dubstep. Everyone seems to be making it, yet I have basically no idea what I am doing.

I wouldn't say everyone's doing it. ;)

Any decent tips/tutorials for sound design and structure would be appreciated. Thanks!

I'll just run down some basic/intermediate dubstep facts/tips I know of:
Dubstep has 2 main forms, and then many subgenres beneath those. There's "modern" dubstep (from around 2009 onwards I believe. This is stuff like Skrillex, SKiSM, KTN, xKore, etc) and "old" dubstep (you might see it called "original" dubstep or even UKstep, and this is stuff from around 1998-2007, though it's obviously still produced. This is stuff like Benga, Hatcha, Digital Mystikz, Plastician, Skream, etc). Ignore the elitist cunts who say "old" dubstep is the only "real" dubstep.

You can tell what type of dubstep a song is very easily. Modern dubstep tends to focus on mid range, metallic basses and growls with the occasional wobble thrown in. You see a lot of FM synthesis for basslines, and you tend to develop an ear for FM basses. Older dubstep focuses heavily on the sub bass and is generally much more minimalistic, with primarily wobbles and simple filter cutoff modulations and LFOs.

If you're interested in the history aspects, here's some information. The name dubstep comes from the two genres which were combined to form it: "dub" and "2-step" (a form of garage). These influences are most clearly heard in early tracks. However, the name dubstep was not used to refer to this type of music until around 2002.

Modern dubstep (also called "brostep") tends to be at 140 BPM with a primarily halftime beat (obviously however this is subject to change). Drumstep, a dnb/dubstep hybrid, tends to be faster at 165-190 BPM. "Chillstep", which hearkens more towards the days of "old" dubstep and focuses heavily on atmosphere, calmness, and sub bass, as well as having more wobbles than FM basses and growls. Chillstep is often slower, at 120 BPM or so. "Deathstep" (not darkstep) is the name of the very heavy, almost abrasive kind of dubstep from the likes of people such as Getter, Bratkilla, Mantis, etc. You can get a good feel for this kind of dubstep on the youtube channel "DarkstepWarrior" (the name is misleading, it is not darkstep). It is very important to realize that "darkstep" and "techstep" are subgenres of drum and bass, not dubstep. Deathstep BPMs vary significantly. Finally, you've got a subgenre called "electro dubstep" (think Feed Me or, according to Exo, someone named "DJ Pon-3"). It's quite simple really. Essentially, it is dubstep combined with electro/electro house - it has a 4x4 beat and ranges from 110-140 and is structured more like house, but designed like dubstep.

I'm going to assume you wish to produce "modern" dubstep.

Learning FM synthesis will be very helpful to you in dubstep especially. FM is often considered the "hell mode" of synthesis, and I find it has a quite steep learning curve, but it will be well worth it. Common FM synths include FM8 and Sytrus. If you're using Reason, Thor is perfectly capable of FM synthesis. Additionally, Propellerhead released an RE called the PX7, which is specifically designed for FM synthesis.

A general tip for all kinds of music, but especially bass music: cut out low frequencies in everything that isn't a kick, snare, or a bass. This frees up a lot of headroom in your mix and keeps the low end relatively free of mud. You can just highpass the sound at maybe 150 hz, or as high as you can go without noticing an adverse change in the sound. Additionally, make sure you keep your basses centered. If you must stereo spread the bass, do not spread the sub. I cannot stress how important that is; it makes the song almost impossible to listen to on headphones. Omnipony is guilty of this. Also don't brickwall your mixes unless you desperately want to do bigroom house and make it on Beatport top 10. Be sure you have good monitors or headphones that can properly allow you to hear sub.

Structure wise, dubstep can be quite formulaic and there's nothing wrong with that. At 140 BPM, 32 measures of intro/buildup places the drop squarely at 0:55 (well, technically at 0:54:857), but you can easily find dubstep tracks that don't drop until maybe 1:30 or drop at 0:35. This is all personal choice. Generally, however, dubstep follows this structure: Intro (16 or 24 measures), buildup (16 or 8 measures), drop (16, 24, or 32 measures), breakdown (8-16 measures), buildup (16 or 8 measures), 2nd drop (16 measures), breakdown (8-16 measures), outro (16 measures). That's intro, buildup, drop, breakdown, buildup, drop, breakdown, outro, if you want to read it without the numbers.

Beyond what I've outlined above, dubstep is really about finding your own sound. You cannot get recognition if your song sounds too much like an established artist. Experiment and find your own style. Hell, you could definitely combine dubstep with another type of music, especially one that hasn't really been done that much. Find a niche and fill it.

If you want to do oldschool dubstep, I also have some tips to add to this already ridiculously long post.

In oldschool dubstep, tempo varies a lot but usually does not exceed maybe 150 BPM or so. It tends to be slower, however, and a lot more lethargic. No high energy "get up and dance" type of sounds, but rather slow, plodding wobbles and massive subs. Speaking of massive subs, you may want to invest in good monitors or at least headphones. Simple sounds are best - use basic waveforms like saws and pulses and don't put too many effects on them. Filter cutoff automation, whether manual or via LFO is an old standby. Can't forget the beat though - a simple halftime thing with a kick and a snare (not too heavy, mind you) combined with a 4x4 ride and some hats should be fine.

I hope this post helped :3

EDIT: I added a structure part for modern dubstep.
EDIT2: I added a part about electro dubstep.
User avatar
Nine Volt
 
Posts: 3066
Joined: 23 Aug 2012 06:50

Re: [Help] How do I dubstep?

Postby itroitnyah » 08 Aug 2013 06:49

Structure and sound design.
Image Image I am no longer an active member. here
My studio: [List of equipment]
User avatar
itroitnyah
 
Posts: 2482
Joined: 02 Mar 2012 20:27
Location: Wisconsin
OS: Windows 7
Primary: FL Studio 11
Cutie Mark: Blank flank

Re: [Help] How do I dubstep?

Postby Freewave » 08 Aug 2013 07:47

itroitnyah wrote:Structure and sound design.


Guys let's keep the recommendation useful. I'll agree that the op has to try to do some basic searching of EXISTING threads and youtube before they should open a general and non specific thread here. If you have something really beneficial to add do so, otherwise let the op do some homework and searching as needed. Questions on technique need to be a LOT more specific to be helpful to others.
Links for my music: YouTube, Bandcamp, and Tumblr
Check out the Brony Music Directory and FimMusic. A portal for all pony music
Image
Support the 20+ Musician Maressey Project currently underway.
User avatar
Freewave
 
Posts: 3192
Joined: 29 Nov 2011 12:33
Location: Denver
OS: Windows 7
Primary: Fl Studio 10
Cutie Mark: X$X

Re: [Help] How do I dubstep?

Postby DerpyGrooves » 08 Aug 2013 14:40

Listen to a fuckload of dubstep. Pick at it. Analyze exactly what it is your favorite musicians are doing and try to figure out why they're doing it. Don't get caught up in nomenclature and definitions, that shit's a long wait for a train don't come. Find out what you like, then come to us for help. "How do you get the bass sound from Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites?" is a lot better of a question than "How do I get that skrillex bass sound?" Which is better than "How do I make dubstep bass?", which is somehow even more defined and eloquent of a question than "How do I dubstep?".

You need to figure out what it is exactly you want to make before we can help you.
"Had you played some free jazz to ninety five per cent of the people who had made 'Take Five' a smash, they would have run for cover behind the latest release by Pat Boone." - The Timelords
User avatar
DerpyGrooves
 
Posts: 200
Joined: 02 Jul 2011 18:13
Location: Bellevue, WA

Re: [Help] How do I dubstep?

Postby bigmiles2000 » 08 Aug 2013 15:43

DerpyGrooves wrote:You need to figure out what it is exactly you want to make before we can help you.

Well, the two most important things for me are structure, and sound design. Nine-Volt has already helped me with that (Thanks :D) I guess the biggest thing I want to make sound design wise is that high pitched screechy lead wobble-thingey that I keep hearing in drops. I keep trying to find tutorials but I have no idea what it is called. You can find what I'm talking about at around 0:33 and 0:39. https://soundcloud.com/omnipony/teaser-drowning-vip (only song I can remember with it at the moment)
DAW(s): FL Studio 11 (Primary) Ableton Live 9 (Secondary) Reason 5 ReWired into whatever DAW I am using. Gear: MicroKorg, M-Audio Fast Track, M-Audio Midisport 2x2 and M-Audio Axiom 49 gen 2. (yeah, lotsa M-Audio stuff ._.)
Oh, and Rarity is best horse.
bigmiles2000
 
Posts: 21
Joined: 30 Nov 2012 18:58
Location: 'Murica

Re: [Help] How do I dubstep?

Postby Nine Volt » 08 Aug 2013 15:51

bigmiles2000 wrote:
DerpyGrooves wrote:You need to figure out what it is exactly you want to make before we can help you.

Well, the two most important things for me are structure, and sound design. Nine-Volt has already helped me with that (Thanks :D) I guess the biggest thing I want to make sound design wise is that high pitched screechy lead wobble-thingey that I keep hearing in drops. I keep trying to find tutorials but I have no idea what it is called. You can find what I'm talking about at around 0:33 and 0:39. https://soundcloud.com/omnipony/teaser-drowning-vip (only song I can remember with it at the moment)

If you're talking about that Knife Party esque "whoop" synth (the first synth after the bass at 0:33), that one's easy. It basically amounts to a square wave or two with an envelope applied to the pitch. Just search "Knife Party whoop synth" and add the synth of your choice and you should find a more in depth tutorial.
User avatar
Nine Volt
 
Posts: 3066
Joined: 23 Aug 2012 06:50

Re: [Help] How do I dubstep?

Postby ROFLPIZZA » 08 Aug 2013 20:11

Nine Volt wrote:
bigmiles2000 wrote:
DerpyGrooves wrote:You need to figure out what it is exactly you want to make before we can help you.

Well, the two most important things for me are structure, and sound design. Nine-Volt has already helped me with that (Thanks :D) I guess the biggest thing I want to make sound design wise is that high pitched screechy lead wobble-thingey that I keep hearing in drops. I keep trying to find tutorials but I have no idea what it is called. You can find what I'm talking about at around 0:33 and 0:39. https://soundcloud.com/omnipony/teaser-drowning-vip (only song I can remember with it at the moment)

If you're talking about that Knife Party esque "whoop" synth (the first synth after the bass at 0:33), that one's easy. It basically amounts to a square wave or two with an envelope applied to the pitch. Just search "Knife Party whoop synth" and add the synth of your choice and you should find a more in depth tutorial.


I don't think he's talking about the 'whoops.' I think OP means that 'screechy' type sound around it. I have some patches for Massive that sound similar to it. Do you use Massive, bigmiles?
https://soundcloud.com/alkalyne/friday

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXEU9ZaxBC7MzwyJFPxnO8Q

Alkalyne
DAWs: FL Studio and Ableton Live
Plugin Preferences: NI Massive, FM8, and Sytrus
Genre Preferences: Pretty much anything EDM

Credit for my avatar goes to Pickslide 1992 on MLR!
User avatar
ROFLPIZZA
 
Posts: 52
Joined: 05 Aug 2013 09:03
Location: Ohio, US
OS: Windows 8
Primary: FL Studio
Cutie Mark: butt tattoos

Re: [Help] How do I dubstep?

Postby bigmiles2000 » 08 Aug 2013 20:41

Yeah, I've got massive. PM me the patch?
DAW(s): FL Studio 11 (Primary) Ableton Live 9 (Secondary) Reason 5 ReWired into whatever DAW I am using. Gear: MicroKorg, M-Audio Fast Track, M-Audio Midisport 2x2 and M-Audio Axiom 49 gen 2. (yeah, lotsa M-Audio stuff ._.)
Oh, and Rarity is best horse.
bigmiles2000
 
Posts: 21
Joined: 30 Nov 2012 18:58
Location: 'Murica

Re: [Help] How do I dubstep?

Postby ROFLPIZZA » 08 Aug 2013 21:09

Sure thing. Gimme a second, I'll put together a little pack for ya.
https://soundcloud.com/alkalyne/friday

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXEU9ZaxBC7MzwyJFPxnO8Q

Alkalyne
DAWs: FL Studio and Ableton Live
Plugin Preferences: NI Massive, FM8, and Sytrus
Genre Preferences: Pretty much anything EDM

Credit for my avatar goes to Pickslide 1992 on MLR!
User avatar
ROFLPIZZA
 
Posts: 52
Joined: 05 Aug 2013 09:03
Location: Ohio, US
OS: Windows 8
Primary: FL Studio
Cutie Mark: butt tattoos


Return to Technique



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron