Beginner here, in need of advice

heba88

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#1
This is my first post here so greetings to all of you.

I'm recently got interested in music production and being a avid DnB listener I though I'd try making some of my own. In addition to learning to use my DAW (Ableton demo), I've watched a ton of tutorials and read a bunch of stuff etc. but I still have a few burning questions:

1. How can I learn the intricaties of DnB structure & arrangement? What is the established way to arrange tracks and, in general, what parts and sounds is it comprised of? I know there is a lot of creative freedom involved, but there has to be a standard of some sort for these things, right?

2. Where could I learn more about the terminology? I can't understand the lingo, like what are subbass, pads, atmos, sidechaining, compressing etc.

3. Should I buy better better audio hardware? A soundcard, MIDI keyboard etc.?

Any advice is welcome, thanks in advance.
 

neddez

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#2
How can I learn the intricaties of DnB structure & arrangement?
good question, i think a big part of it is becoming aware of how tracks are arranged when you listen to the music
e.g. there was a breakdown at 48 bars, the tune dropped at 64, another breakdown after 64 etc..

What is the established way to arrange tracks and, in general, what parts and sounds is it comprised of?
165-175bpm, 32 or 64 bar intro, drop, 64 bars, 32 bar breakdown, 2nd drop, 64 bars, outro

consisting of at least one drum break, a sub bass, and whatever you want on top of that

what are subbass, pads, atmos, sidechaining, compressing etc.
sub bass - (IMO) a bassline peaking at 40-50hz (everyone seems to have a different idea of at which freq a bassline becomes 'sub', the main idea is that you can feel it as opposed to hearing it, although you'll hear some of it as well)

pads - not really sure lol, i think of them as atmospheric synths, as opposed to a lead (synth), which is more 'forward' in the mix and has more to do with the progression of the track

atmos - short for atmospher-e/ic, general ambience stuff that creates a spacey vibe, just listen to any ambient music and you'll get it

sidechaining - modulating a parameter (typically volume) by some thing else playing
eg. a sub bass sidechained to a kick drum (for frequency clashing reasons) or a synth sidechained to a kick (used a lot in trance and cheesy liquid)

compression - sound that is louder than a particular amount is decreased in volume, this can be used to decrease the dynamic range between different sounds - but as a newbie you dont need to worry about compression just yet

Should I buy better better audio hardware?
if you want, your first attempts are gonna suck regardless so you might as well wait and find out if this is something you defo wanna do
 
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#3
2. You can learn a lot of terms from tutorials, forums etc.. practically that understanding of terms comes itself during studying and practising. Spend some time with your DAW and watch some tutorials, you'll understand more and more. I dont know any wordbook for a music production. :/

3. I have produced now for one year and I have only PC and 22" LED-monitor. You can start practising with decent computer, demo DAW, free sample packs, free plug ins etc. You'll notice that when your ability needs better hardwares. My first expensive purchase was this extremely powerful CPU. For first purchase I suggest to buy a high-quality headphones. ;)

if you want, your first attempts are gonna suck regardless so you might as well wait and find out if this is something you defo wanna do
That's the better answer!
 
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Eternaloptimist

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#4
Monitors are essential IMO.when starting out making tunes inky headphones might make u deaf
Seriously coz of the frustration coz u don know what u doin u keep turning the volume up and working for long periods
If you are serious about making tunes get some second hand monitors
Research on all the questions u asked
Watch the producer masterclasses that have been posted over a million times here

For starters
Load your favorite track into your daw and try and recreate it.
Take note of the frequencies changes risers breakdowns bass notes chord progressions fx Everything!!!
Another tip is to work with good samples.vengeance is standard
Make sure the sample starts right at the beginning so zoom right in
Makes a huge difference
Remember to have fun!
 

heba88

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#5
Much thanks for your replies.

I've managed to make a basic breakbeat and a simple bassline. I added the sub-bass to the bassline with the Ableton corpus effect. I guess I could also make a sub-bass to the drumloop using a low freq sine wave which would play during the lows of the loop.

My 2.1 speakers have a freq response of 35 Hz - 20 kHz so I guess I won't be needing anything better for now. Getting monitors would be nice but I'm a bit low on cash.

I guess I'll go watch a few tutorials now. :)
 

neddez

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#6
I guess I could also make a sub-bass to the drumloop using a low freq sine wave which would play during the lows of the loop.

I guess I'll go watch a few tutorials now. :)
dont do that

leave ONE sub to do its thing 80hz and under, highpass EVERYTHING ELSE so the sub is isolated in that freq range

sub bass also takes up a lot of 'head room' in the mix

check out Distance's sub bass tutorial on youtube and also stuff on dubstep forum

dubstep producers seem to be more clued up about low freqs than dnb producers imo
 

heba88

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#7
dont do that

leave ONE sub to do its thing 80hz and under, highpass EVERYTHING ELSE so the sub is isolated in that freq range

sub bass also takes up a lot of 'head room' in the mix

check out Distance's sub bass tutorial on youtube and also stuff on dubstep forum

dubstep producers seem to be more clued up about low freqs than dnb producers imo
Thanks for the heads up.
 
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