Drum & Bass Process of laying down

Discussion in 'Production' started by greenflydnb, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. greenflydnb

    greenflydnb Member

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    Whats up peeps.

    Been producing for about 7 months now, I'm struggling with the whole 'what process to lay down your tracks', e.g. drums first, then bass then whatever, was interested in what is everyones different ways of laying down tracks. Its really starting to frustrate me now :(.

    Also it would be sick to know what your different layers are? As my tracks seem to having 'something' missing, grrrr lol.

    Any help would be appreciated. BIG UPS :).

    Also i imagine I'm not the first to post something like this but couldn't find anything, so sorry if you have heard this question a trillion times.
     
  2. Mr Fletch

    Mr Fletch aka KRONIX

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    I almost always start with a beat, lay down some individual hits, layered with some hi passed breaks. I EQ the drum hits and breaks to taste then group together and add some slight compression.

    From there I'll maybe toy around with a bassline, spending some time within my chosen synth crafting the initial sound, before moulding it with automations and EQ. I also split my bass into 3 frequency bands and do some more to the fx chain.

    Next comes a string or lead section, some higher end frequency sounds that compliment the bass.

    Then move onto building an intro into the piece I have just, using soundscapes and synth risers, reversed sound fx and stuff.


    Focusing next on a switch up to the main section to keep it interesting, then a breakdown leading back into the second drop, lastly an outro and it's done!

    After finishing the track, I'll make minor tweaks to the EQ and sound levels. I'll then export the track with nothing on the master channel at all. So there's no compressors or limiters boosting any signals.

    If the track is not getting sent to be mastered I'll do my own attempt at it (which is pretty poor right now lol). I begin by loading up the previously exported wav file of the track back into Ableton. Here I will add an EQ with steep cuts at around 30hz to cut out any in audible freqs, and again at the higher end of the spectrum at about 16khz. Then I add izotope ozone and do some tweaks within the parameters there.

    Hope this is what you wanted?!?!?!
     
  3. Elzerk

    Elzerk 00111100 00110011

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    Okay, well, you can build your tune around anything, always trying different thing to build around keeps your creativity flowing. Like try to build a whole tune around one rimshot is very creative, different layers? Well there are for me effects, drums, bass, atmospheres and other "melodic" parts. Of course you could separate even further but those are roughly them. By saying it's missing something doesn't mean it's actually physically missing sounds, it could mean frequencies or even mixdown?

    And I recommend making a short loop first, if it works then start building the structure.
     
  4. greenflydnb

    greenflydnb Member

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    Yeh that's exactly what I'm asking for, sound guys!! Is synth risers just another saying for pitch risers lol? What do you mean by switch up?

    So do you make the main part of the track before the intro?

    Is pads in a track a 'must'?

    Got soo many questions :(.

    Cheers!!
     
  5. Attire

    Attire Last Winter

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    Yeah, some sort of sound that rises up in frequency, to build up to the drop.

    A change in the elements, or structure of the track, to keep things interesting.

    All a matter of personal taste. Do what you think works :)

    That's what we are here for :D
     
  6. Mr Fletch

    Mr Fletch aka KRONIX

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    Pretty much this
     
  7. parsons19

    parsons19 Active Member

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    yo man,

    I am still in the same boat as you really, I really struggle to lay down the foundation of a track but once I get going I am pretty fine :)

    Fletch has given you a great way that I know many use, and I do sometimes, but I'm sure he won't mind me saying but don't live by what he has told you here! Different things work for different people :) What I normally need is something to get me head ticking as to what I am going to do with something. So in some cases I have started with a beat like Fletch then built around that. In some cases I have played in a melody I really like a built a tune around that. Sometimes there is a pad that I am really feeling so I try build something around that. Again, in another case I found a really dope sample I process and wanted to use so worked around that! If there is a sound/beat/vocal/etc. that you are all over and wanna make something with work around it :) Of course, that may not work for you and you may prefer a bit more direction.

    ^ Maybe this is why I struggle to make tracks? :lol: Fletch is better than me anyway so I am sure you would be better of taking his advice! ;) But there is my input :p
     
  8. greenflydnb

    greenflydnb Member

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    Thats sick! Thats proper helped me out, cheers guys. Love this forum already.

    Speakings of drops... how do you make the drop? I just use a pitch riser before the drop, build up the drums... thats pretty much it lol. How the hell do Camo & Krooked do it :(.

    Parsons... Thats the same with me, i find it really frustrating at the start sometimes but when i get going a lot of hours just fly by ha.

    Sound!

    ---------- Post added at 10:43 ---------- Previous post was at 10:42 ----------

    Also how do i do multiple quotes in a reply? lol
     
  9. neddez

    neddez Member

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    Well I like samples, so for me it's to sample, sample, sample until I find something I decide I wanna build a track around.

    I find worrying over details can hamper my creativity early on, so I prefer to put ideas down and get a feel for what I want the track to sound like.

    I sort of go by this:
    http://www.dogsonacid.com/showthread.php?t=416209
     
  10. EvezDroppin

    EvezDroppin how to change name,......

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    beat > intro > drop/bass > variation after 32/48 bars > break down > fx > proper mixdown

    I find if i make the intro first i get more of a feel for the drop, otherwise im just making something off no real vibe apart from the drums, whether it helps im not sure, been struggling ;lately
     
  11. ApeCat

    ApeCat Human Dubplate

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    I start off thinking about the music that I enjoy, like "If I wanted to hear a really sick tune, what would it sound like?" and try to shape the noises I lay down around that idea.

    Starting out it can be useful to listen to other people's tunes, picking out the stuff that you like, arrangement and tweaks that makes the track hold onto your attention. Write and draw ideas down on paper, where you want that break to come in, how you'd like for a filter to open up while something else is happening as a distraction...

    Live and breathe music, don't stop trying, and accept that this is gonna be a long ride and you'll get there.
     
  12. sam the dnb man

    sam the dnb man Variation

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    It depends on what frame of mind you're in.
    You might have writers block for a few weeks and might not be able to come up with anything interesting.

    Whenever that happens to me I'll spend a few sessions on just drums. Trying to create as many one shots as possible.
    I'll probably create about 6 different projects with different types of drums. I will then create as many different patterns as possible.

    IMO drums can make or break a track, if you start with a solid foundation the other elements will all fall into place.

    It also means that when you have an idea you can lay it down with the percussive elements straight away and build on it.
    I've had so many ideas over the years that haven't gone anywhere because I wanted to add drums which then ruined my workflow.
     
  13. marcelkennard

    marcelkennard Storms comin in Annie

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    Haha- HOW DO YOU MAKE A DROP?? - Classic mate!
    The drop will come naturally when you build your track - don't focus too much on the actual drop just make the actual tune!
    The only thing you need to know when it comes to the drop is you need maximum sonic impact - so for the actual impact you need to have all frequencies being filled across the board - that way you wont lose any momentum!
    And Camo & krookeds tunes use a ridiculous amount of white noise in the high end to fill out the mix making it sound big

    On a serious note -
     
  14. Attire

    Attire Last Winter

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    Maybe sit down with your favourite tracks and try and work out what is going on in the build up. Pick it apart, listen to a different element each time you listen to the track, stuff like this can inspire you to try new things :)
     
  15. greenflydnb

    greenflydnb Member

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    Ha was that an ultimate noob way of asking the question? I wish it did come naturally mate but doesn't at the moment lol. Yeh last night i spent loads of time analysing their tracks and they use so much white noise and reverb, and i don't so that is hopefully whats missing :).
     
  16. Rubs90

    Rubs90 KeyControl

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    100% subjective mate, you just gotta find your own ritual. For months I was doing like they did in the producer masterclass videos because I thought it was the "right" way. After struggling to even start a tune, I changed to starting from the intro, and I actually finish some of the tunes I start now, and found it to be a lot more fitting to my personality
     
  17. marcelkennard

    marcelkennard Storms comin in Annie

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    Haha yeah it was a bit of a noob question lol, and yeah it might be whats missing - if u want that kind of sound. I reckon it's more fun to be original and think of what else you can try and layer your track with apart from shed loads of reverbed white noise etc. You could try out some different instruments that have really nice clean highs and add them to your sounds for example. Or what I do alot of is add drones that just provide a constant background for everything to sit ontop of
     
  18. dbjungle

    dbjungle DJ Syklone

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    Back when I was making rap beats I would start with any element. Personally I find it tough to imagine any dnb track without having atleast some type of drum pattern laid down. After that I have no set order again when I'm producing.
     
  19. Eternaloptimist

    Eternaloptimist Active Member

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    I do my drums first
    With all the percs n stuff running I just listen to the drums and a bass rhythm just comes to me
    After the bass then maybe I'll add a melody
    These days I've been making a lot of liquid so what I'd do start with a sample from a funk record
    Chop it up
    Bump to 174
    Add drums
    Try n play a bass that's in the same key and follows the chord progression