I want to make liquid dnb

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#1
But i feel like i have no idea where to begin.

Im not completely new to producing, but i feel like i just dont have the skills to make such lovely sounding tracks.

All i basically listen to is liquid dnb, but whenever i try to create, for example, a nice lead synth, It comes out too vigorous, and when i try to tone it down, it becomes too weak. Also, if i try to beef it up, its gets too distorted.

Can anyone gives me some tips, or maybe some techniques for atmospheric pads, drums, etc

Thanks in advance.
 
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#2
If you are looking for fatter drums, start with layering your kick and snare. Some like this way of doing it, some don't. I like the pads in the tune you have in your sig. Find a nice piano sound and right a nice melody that counters the rest of the tune nicely. Vocal stabs with delay can always help atmosphere as well. It just depends on what you are going for.
 

msmith222

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#3
yeah, sounds like maybe try working on the drums first. you could leave what you have, and layer one or two kick samples for a main kick drum, and a few snares to make a more powerful snare. a good starting point for your snare is to try and have a low, a mid, and a high frequency layer. for the low layer, i actually often use my kick drum sample, just lower in volume and velocity with a bit of the low end eqed out. for the mid layer i look for a sample with good "pop" and for the high something with sparkle. just throw them together and start f-ing with the eqs, it will come together.

the basic idea is to have these powerful (read: layered/eqed/compressed) kick and snare hits, and have several breaks/loops underneath, usually with a high pass filter. these breaks or loops can be anything: rock breaks sped up, breaks from sample packs (usually cut up or rearranged), high hat loops, individual hits you program in, etc. this would be a good place to insert a little creativity :) the high pass filter will make the breaks add sparkle and brightness to your beat while the heavy kick and snare anchor it all.

i will usually route my main kick and snare samples to their own bus channel and compress them there. then i route the rest to a percussion bus (sometimes with a further split to include a cymbals bus), and treat those sounds there, usually eq, compression, distortion, whatever. another good idea is to add effects plugins to individual tracks and draw in automation in your arrange window. this can add some movement to your beats.

it is not unusual to have 20-30 (or more) tracks for your beats alone.

seems like you have your atmospherics down pretty well, and your bassline sequencing isn't bad - there's just not enough layers. this is a tough thing to put into words, but to get really thick moving basslines, you gotta do a ton of work. several layers of bass, all eqed to get out of the way of each other, most effected to all hell and back. then, bounced, compressed, maybe more layers. finally (or not), you can draw in some effects modulation for even more fun. this is part of dnb that just requires hours of knob turning. no recipes.

lastly, variation is crucial, and i am definitely guilty of lacking it. you gotta keep people interested. a buddy of mine put it pretty well, he said professional tracks can feel like walking through a building or a house, going through different rooms. anyway, however you think about it, repetitiveness has lost it's cool in dance music.

keep it up man, you're on your way. just have fun and always trust your ears the best. don't forget to check everything you do on multiple sound systems, and i would highly recommend some good monitors if you don't have them already. also, everything i said is just what i do and might not make you any better at producing dnb.
 

Phat_Sam

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#4
Stereo delay is pretty crucial in my workflow for building up space, even if you dont really notice it, it'll always make a subtle difference.

Download a WAV of the "Think" break too. Standard liquid break starting point!

Pads - make two and pan one left and one right. Spread em out. Really gives them the room they need and deserve. Also, when I'm building up pads, I'll layer them e.g:

Start with a very low, growly, distorted saw wave. The distortion will give it movement. Low pass that to get rid of the top end. Notice how you can still tell it's been distorted yet it doesn't interfere with anything else because the LP filter has taken the horrible in-your-face crunch out of it. Now layer it up with another note to make a chord. Rinse and repeat with other synths at higher frequencies till you have one big pad!

Hopefully that makes sense?
 
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#5
Wow thanks you guys for the quick, and thorough feedback ^_^

@msmith222: Ya I have tried a couple of tracks with breaks layered. My most recent track (which i will post up in the proper section soon) has an Amen break high passed, and a few different variations of the think break.

I like what your buddy said about variation, and its definitely something that i have been trying more.

Away from the computer, I'm a rather shy person who has a hard time just effing around with things that rely heavily on creativity, even when nobody else can hear. So I kind of have to "Break out of my shell" if i may say that.

Unfortunately, I have to produce on headphones. So every now and then i have to export what I'm working on, then run out to my car's proper stereo system, and give it a listen. Then I have to run back inside, so it gets kind of annoying lol.

Also, I followed you on soundcloud ^_^


@Phat_Sam: I love your sig.

As stated earlier, I have the think break. The whole song, as a matter of fact lol. A different thread that you posted on a while ago is what made me look it up and purchase it. ^_^

I never thought about panning my pads (sounds dirty doesn't it?). To be completely honest, all of the pads i used, except for the most recent one on my soundcloud, were presets from Sytrus. Pad building has always sort of frightened me, because i never knew how to build one.

And yes, that all made sense ^_^

Cheers!
 
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#6
great intro, after 2:12 sounds more where the drop should be IMO. some more energetic drums- definitely a harder snare. i guess it depends more the feel- laid back, or energetic liquid you're going for too...

im real new at it too, and like you, its what i'm aspiring to make
 

duttymonster

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#7
IMO part of what defines liquid is that your taking musical content/influence from other genres
and producing it in a d&b format, so looking outside of your immediate surroundings is going to
help massively.

most liquid/musical d&b is really jazz, soul, r&b or house style of content.

look to artists like Herbie Hancock & Roy Davis Jnr rather than Hazard & Clipz :D

keep us posted.

your first track is a million times better than mine was too

(not saying i'm anything now either, but i do try to pursue more musical d&b)

DM
 

djdevz

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#8
imo its all about making a normal drum and bass break, with some layered, hi-passed breaks
n add some nice melodies on top

then u just add the extra stuff like modulation, transition n fx

n also listen to loads of liquid! n try n break it down n see what they use for the track, use that as an idea/inspiration.
 

kama

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#11
I mostly start with a melodic idea. Usually I get those from just playing around with the keyboard or just browsing through my sampled folder. I find it's much easier to match drums and bass to a mood that the melody creates than to create a mood around drums or a synth patch.

So getting to know some basics of music theory is a nice way to start if you don't know that stuff already.

I'm quite shit in creating sounds from scratch myself, so I usually just try to find a preset that's close to what I want, or otherwise interesting and just tweak it to suit what I'm after.

---------- Post added at 20:38 ---------- Previous post was at 20:38 ----------

Oh and I also use a lot of samples. Combining samples with synths makes for a much more interesting sound.
 
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