Posts Tagged ‘Dnb’

So back to my roots again, after vearing off in a different direction with my previous track (H19) I produced a Drum n Bass track again.

Once I had completed the sound design and general structure of the song, I had a real battle with mixing this track. I wanted the drums to sound clear, and the snare to be prominent in the mix, sharing its space with the distorted lead sound. To achieve this I really had to concentrate on the drum elements, applying EQ, amplitude envelopes, transient shapers and compression to both the Kick and Snare’s, followed by a Drum Bus containing further EQ, reverb & compression. I am still loving Cytomics ‘The Glue’ compressor for the majority of my buss compression duties,  this thing is so nice, has a good SSL vibe, glues thing’s together nicely and gives the sound a bit of gloss/sheen.

Brainworx BX-Limiter

Brainworx BX-Limiter

A new plugin I used on a lot of my tracks to shave off some pesky peaks is the Brainworx BX_limiter. I find this to be transparent if used in this way, and not too hungry on the CPU.

On a similar theme, I also found ‘KClip’ by Kazrog to be a real good clipper on the master buss, to bring the levels up a bit, prior to limiting. Yet again, like the BX_Limiter I find this tool to be transparent when used lightly, but you need to have it set to 16x oversampling which takes a bit of CPU resources up. It would be nice if this plugin had some form of meters on it, but hey, I suppose it forces me to use my ears!!

Anyway, enough of my babbling, onto the tune!!

This project seemed to be never ending, but finally I have published my latest tune “Born amongst the Darkness”.

It is not for the light hearted, with fast heavy beats and distorted twisted neurofunk lines. It took some time to process the twisted sounds, but I think it was worth it.

One day I may post up the samples I used to make the evil sounding voices, as the original samples sound totally different.

So at last here it is:


It’s taken longer than I expected to do the mixdown on this one, mainly due to the fact that the distorted bassline in the second section of the track ended up becoming quite complex in the lower end. I sorted this out with a high pass filter to take the offending lower frequencies out and replaced it with another synth line. I am much happier with the outcome, so it was worth it 🙂

Over the weekend I finished another track, called “Kosmos”, or so I thought!!

I must admit, I was very happy with myself that I had achieved a very good mix so quickly. So I headed down the pub on Saturday night, armed with my ipod to test it out on friends. I was very surprised to find that it went down really well, especially because the friends I tried it out on are not hardcore Drum n Bass fans. I was a bit worried that they would find the distorted bassline towards the end of the track  too much for them, but this did not seem to be the case.

At this point I was still well happy, it sounded great on the ipod, studio monitors and hi-fi, but then I had a listen in the car. Ahhhh, my worst nightmare, it sounded crap. The bass kick was punching that hard, it was going to put a hole in the car doors and the distorted highs on the bassline (yep a weird mid-bass with gnarly highs) had fallen into the background of the mix. Oh no, back to the drawing board.

On Sunday, I worked on the mix, splitting the Bass track into two parts, applying a bit of EQ and changing the compression settings. I made plenty of mixes and got it sounding much better in the car, but I soon started to realise that I was not happy with one of the basslines ,so I decided to watch a bit of TV and then sleep on it.

The next morning I listened to the track again with a fresh set of ears, and yep I’m still sure that there is an issue with the second bassline. I am though really liking the track, it is designed to become gradually more and more aggressive and distorted, really pushing the boundaries. But it is this nature of the track, that makes it a very tiring process to mix, as your brain can only take so much distortion played back over several hours. That’s why I will have at least a day off, before I go back to the mix again. This will allow me to listen to it with a fresh perspective.

Oh yeah and I forgot to say, I found a fantastic vocal sample that I have used in the track. I am really looking forward to sending my final mix to the guy who originally sampled his voice. His voice does not now sound anything like the original sample, so it will be interesting to see his response, lol.

I also added a new rising, rushing sound towards the end of the break section of the track to provide a build up of anticipation to the coming change.  I knew what sound I was after and thought that I had heard similar sound presets before.  After searching through the preset lists of some of my software synthesizers, I decided it would be much quicker to make the sound myself. To create the sound I used one of my bread and butter synths, Native Instruments Massive. To be honest, I should have done this from the start, as it did not take me long to make the sound, certainly a lot less time than  it took me to search through presets anyway.

So this it what happens when you are smug with yourself too quickly, lol, I was hoping to have uploaded the finished track to soundcloud over the weekend, but now it looks as though it will be a couple of more weeks away. It’s all fun though, part of the journey 🙂

I am currently working on three new tracks.

The first one due to be finished, will be a DnB track, but with a very twisted, distorted and heavily modulated bassline. The main parts of the track are finished, but I need to source some nice samples and I am thinking of providing an atmospheric start to the track. I am not totally sure about the atmospheric start though, as I have another tune that definitely deserves an eerie start to it.  I am also thinking about maybe mashing up the beats a little bit more. Then of course I need to mix it down!!

I am really looking forward to feedback on this track, as the bassline really is quite unique!!



I like the idea of being able to get samples for free, without worrying about copyright infringement and so decided to add a few links. I use these websites myself and licence my music under the Creative Commons Licence so that people can sample them without any worry, but you must give the artist credit or pay up if it goes commercial. But hey that’s fair enough, so if you use any samples from the free sample sites, then do your bit and upload samples yourself, put something back into the community.

Whilst I was at it, I decided to also list a few companies that I own hardware or software from, and also a list of forums that I have found useful.

Check it out at