Maku's question thread. Much love

Discussion in 'Production' started by MakuDnb, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. MakuDnb

    MakuDnb New Member

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    Hey guys. It's my first post on this forum, so I also wanted to tell ya high and much love cuz ya'll love dnb.

    I've started out with the most common (i guess...) DAW, FL studio. I've watched loads of tutorials and other stuff about the DAW on the net. Made a couple of nice melodies and stuff. Thing is... Liquid tunes are pretty straight-forward when it comes to making it sound chilly. I'd just use a couple of chords, a melody on top of it and a pad to put it in the right mood.

    The real problem comes when I'm trying to make a harder, more aggressive tune. I ain't got a clue what am I doing wrong, but I just can't make it sound proper. By proper i mean full from A to Z. I don't know how to put it in other way, but when I listen to the project it sounds a bit... dry.

    So ma question be: what are the necessary lines? I obviously know that each tune varies, not every single one has the same set up, but what is the ''standard'' pattern compilation? If you guys could tell me like ''bassline, beat, melody...'' that would be cool and uh, explain their role in a song too, that would help, like ''subbass fills the lowest frequencies in the tune'' etc.

    Sorry I just feel like getting a direct help helps a lot more than reading stuff already posted. Hope these questions aren't too newbish and thanks in advance guys!
     
  2. Mania

    Mania i fukin wot m8

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    Post some tunes and we'll help ya sort it out
     
  3. MakuDnb

    MakuDnb New Member

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    Hey Mania, thanks for your response. So, here's the one that I've been wondering about.

    http://grooveshark.com/#!/maksymgrave/collection

    It's not finished, because I just can't finish a song when I hear that it's kind of dry, so after the ''drop'' (It's weak as hell ...) it's just a mashup of tracks.

    Would be really nice of you if you could tell me what you don't like, what you do like, what does it lack or what does it have that shouldn't be there.

    Can i have any advices on what should be done to polish it in general?
     
  4. kama

    kama benkama.net

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    ohai.

    I didn't listen to the tune as my 3G is giving me some headache right now (plus I'm streaming FIN-RUS ice hockey game at the same time).

    BUT.

    In those harder tunes as you elaborately describe them, the bass is usually in a the biggest role. There's usually at least 2 layers of "bass" in them. Parentheses because some of those layers might not be bass at all but they are arranged in a way that completements the bass and sub sounds. You might have a sub layer that kicks at the beginning of a bar, then fades out into a distorted, more mid-rangey stab when the snare hits. Then 2 hits of sub again, and the second has another midrange stab on top of it.

    Not exactly like this, but I think you might get the idea. There's usually a lot of action in the bass sounds. If that's something you don't want to go to, try to use techno-like short plucked stabs (acid) going over a sub bassline that spans more than 1 octave. That way you get movement with a simple sub, but the stabs are holding their own in the mid range. Rhythm is a factor too, take special care in timing your bass hits nicely with kicks. This will give the track even more movement.
     
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  5. Meowterspace

    Meowterspace New Member

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    @Manku

    You're gonna have to study some successful productions, compare them heavily to your tunes, have an ear to notice the contrast and deduce/theorize the techniques best you can. I'd start with the best because why not. The best for me right now is definitely Joe Ford.
    https://soundcloud.com/forddnb/joe-ford-distilled
    https://soundcloud.com/forddnb/joe-ford-culture (I like this one more, but the above is more DnB)
    https://soundcloud.com/forddnb/combine (stellar track)
    The techniques used to stir up emotions/tension/intensity, are going to be the same in all of his tracks. It's a long and lonely road, I wish you good fortune and much happiness.
     
  6. Mr Fletch

    Mr Fletch aka KRONIX

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  7. cele

    cele Well-Known Member

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    never forget guys less is sometimes more, you don't need to fill the whole frequency spectrum with individual sounds to make a banger, dc breaks - swag is probably one of the best recent examples of this

    but layering the bass is definitely going to make it sound infinitely better, the whole layering thing is an art itself though
     
  8. logikz

    logikz I Am Not The King Staff Member

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    i listenened to your song and i think you got the idea down pretty well, you have different musical movements and the scale used is about right (3 keys next to each other) and the call and response thing you do with the synths and the whole thing is pretty well thought out.

    sample lots of weird sounds and atmospherics from silent hill/saw film trailers
    get super high quality "let a woman be a woman" break, overdrive, slice up (so as not to affect pich), layer heavy (vengance) kicks on kicks.
    get 808 sub
    get reece
    use only dorian or ionian scale

    do your thing and hey presto its a hard dnb.

    or watch kamas "how to build a tune" blog (brilliant), or read fletchs' guide. tbh im not sure this "i dont want to read anything or use search function" is very clever.
     
  9. gymnor

    gymnor Member

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    Gave it a listen, got some cool ideas running there. To get a full sound, imho you need to cut more than add in fact. For example, I have the feeling that you have quite some rumble from the individual stems in the low freqs. I cut everything below 100-150 Hz from my stems, except from the bass and kick. Another thing that helps to get them real tight, is to mono the kick and the sub. That puts them right in the center and avoids phasing issues due to the stereo effect. The stereo image is very important for a ful sound (although I struggle with it as well pretty often). Then you can use stereo width and mid/side to drape the rest around that. snare and/or leads can go in the center, as long as they have no frequencies that interfere with the kick and bass.

    Panning sounds and boosting the side channel helps creating more stereo width in the music, and avoids frequency clashes between the tracks. Important for a full and wide sound. But the same goes here: two synths with important frequencies on the same spot will battle for space and attention, so the combined effect is often less than each synth on its own. Pay attention to the important frequencies of every synth when combining.

    Regarding agression: you have some distorted synths, but the sound texture is rather static. I've noticed that moving textures using automation on the effects, can greatly enhance the agressive feel. Also key is punch. If you compress, pay attention to the settings for the attack. If they're too short, you lose the punch you need to get things agressive. And pay close attention to the higher frequency range (2k - 4k). Those frequencies are the most audible, and the most likely to make a sound pierce through. Which doesn't mean you have to boost it on all tracks, because that'll make the stuff more muddy again. But on a lead saw synth that region can really make a difference. If you cut these frequencies in other parts, you make room for the agressiveness to cut through the mix.

    My 2 cents, I'm in no way a professional producer. Just been reading a lot.

    The human hearing: frequency response:

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Interruptor

    Interruptor Member

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    ^ Excellent post, though as far as I know, the speech area of human hearing = the "presence" area starts from around 1,5kHz. :D At least that's what I've been taught.

    Back to the point of the OP, I think the fundamentals of making a tune aggressive is to have an actual aggressive feel to it. Logikz nailed it with mentioning dorian and ionian scales. Also, sidechain properly and if possible, tempo-based sidechain compressor can do a world of good.

    and btw, 32 measures -> 32 measures with overcompressed 909 ride every 8th. Works like a charm.