When we listen to music we hear the finished version of all the elements of the track meshed together. People who have a trained ear would be able to dissect the track into its separate “sub-groups”. For instance; a professional bass player would be able to easily distinguish the sound of a Bass in a song, and depending on his level of expertise on the instrument, would even be able to distinguish in what note and scale a specific sound is.
Thus in order to become a competent dubstep beat maker, we’ll dive into the individual elements of Dubstep to simplify the mystery behind the music.
Kicks and Subs:
One of the more important aspects of electronic music in general has to be the Kick and the Sub bass. This is the heart of any production and in many cases is “what” defines the genre of the music. When we talk about Dubstep it is important to note that even though the sound normally spike towards the low end of the sonic spectrum, the kick does not necessarily have to be a fat 808 sample as you would like to merge it with a sub in order to create that “wobbly” sound within the kick itself.
There is no set way to do things when it comes to this genre but the above mentioned tip would be considered a base to start from. When creating your kicks and subs for Dubstep; remember that the “bass” drop needs to be thrown into the deep end of the sonic spectrum, creating that typical Dubstep sound.
In order to really make a Dubstep track you need to understand the placement of the snares and claps within your sequences. In addition to finding the placement it is important to understand how much reverb you’ll be throwing on in order to give it that “swing” and to not sound monotonous. Remember that Dubstep is not like normal techno and is more “vibrant” than that of your typical psycho.
It’s always a good idea to make a nice “half-Step” pattern in order to really spruce things up and to give it that edge that Dubstep requires. Also play around with the velocity of the snares to make it feel more organic as opposed to being completely synthetic.
Cymbals and Hi Hats:
The placement of hi hats within the track is incredibly important. Dubstep requires a lot of changes throughout the totality of the song, and unlike techno or electro needs to be carefully plotted to give it that “swing element”.
Also by adding in some reversed cymbals with an extra bit of reverb can create incredible transitions or lead into a massive Bass Drop. When creating your base beat you should pay special attention to how you place your hats and your cymbals, otherwise your music could become repetitive and boring.
Dubstep requires a lot of attention to detail to be classified as good Dubstep.