In the last couple of years, the popularity of this hard-hitting digital genre has exploded, leaving DJs and producers worldwide looking to the originators for advice on how to make dubstep music.
This invasion of Dubstep production is widely evident in various styles of music; now with hard rock n roll to poppy-commercial radio songs, all employing the Dubstep vibe to drive their tracks.
Most experienced engineers already own the necessary tools to produce Dubstep music, however many are uncertain on the techniques involved. However, the basics can be explained in very simple terms, with the nitty-gritty technical side being more of a matter of preference for how you like your bass to sound.
If you are one of those who do not presently own studio equipment, many people are getting started in Dubstep production with a downloadable program called Dubturbo.
The Basics of Dubstep Production
The primary distinguishing factors of Dubstep are the tempo (BPM) and the bass. A common Dubstep track has a usual beats per minute of anywhere from around 137 to 143.
There are songs in completely different genres where the tempo is vastly varied (faster or slower) and will come to a Dubstep break in the middle, or bridge. This was once a big shock to the listener’s ears, but now seems natural when you hear it in any modern song.
Step one is to set your tempo to somewhere within the aforementioned range.
For those who are more advanced than this, please read ahead, but we are going to start from “scratch” here. A typical beat in any genre will consist of Kick (bass drum), snare and hi-hats.
Download Dubturbo: Install and navigate to view the drum sequencer.
When viewing any drum sequencer, you have two options to generate the beat:
1. By hand; tapping the pads of a hardware drum machine (Dubturbo has keyboard triggers that work like a drum machine) – or
2. Using the mouse to place the respective drum sounds in their place.
Bars are four counts, or four “beats” long, so each bar has four places, represented by squares, for the producer to place the sound.
If we were to create a generic Dubstep beat:
Set the “bar count” to 2 and the BPM to around 140.
Use the mouse (or keyboard whilst recording live) to place a kick on beats 1,16,17,21 and 23.
At 1 and 17, it is common to add a second kick or deep bass sample, which will ring out and really fatten the sound. You may not hear it on your computer speakers though, but when you are pumping the track through a PA or any system with a subwoofer, it makes all the difference.
Remember you can spend hours tweaking sounds and effects at the end, but for now, make the sound selection quick.
Choose a “clappy” Dubstep kind of snare and place your snares at 9 and 25, but remember we will configure all your sounds after the beat is completely sequenced.
Typically speaking, hats are comprised of any of the high-end symbol sounds you hear in a track. If we want a super-swinging Dubstep beat, then we want a ride symbol (really sharp “ting” sound), an open hi-hat and a sharper, closed hat sound.
Place ride on 1 and 9, the open hat and 5 and 13, then finally place your closed hat in groups of 1 and 2 respectively, leaving a one-count gap between. So: 1, 3,4, 6,7, 9, 11,12, 14 etc.
Listen to all your favorite Dubstep tracks and you will notice that the melody of such bass lines are incredibly simple, many being about three notes per bar.
Any bass melody will do fine here and will sound ok if your beat has had some attention to detail. Try all the different effect kits that are available and alter all the relevant settings until you are happy. Remember there are no rules with Dubstep bass.
Dubturbo has some wicked samples included, though especially the live vocal style snippets. (Use the sexy female vocal samples to really get your track moving!)
Again, there are no rules as to where these can be placed within the sequencing platform. Shut your eyes, feel the track and use the keyboard drum machine to trigger the sample whilst recording in real-time mode to have the sample where it is needed most.
Getting Started in Dubstep: Dubturbo’s Software
The most notable reason for Dubturbo’s immense popularity is it’s incredibly user-friendly interface. This makes it super fast and easy for newcomers (and those with programming experience) to make original Dubstep music.
For the measly $39.95 the features are huge:
Cheapest way to get started with Dubstep production
Only Dubstep program available in download form
User-friendly interface allows for immediate amateur use
Thousands of quality samples, instruments and effects
Quickly create original music and export HQ .wav files
The above tutorial is a generic guide for how to make dubstep in its rawest form. Slight variations can give your tracks originality and their own life. If you do not already have studio equipment, get started now and spread the Dubstep love like we are.
Download the program by clicking the link to the developer’s homepage: http://www.dubturbo.com