Its hard to miss the little footprints of D&B in mainstream music these days. From pop groups wanting that fashionable jungle remix for some of their tracks to advertising agencies looking for that trendy 160+BPM breakbeat to spice up their commercials, the trend to include D&B is everywhere.
That said, the path to being a good drum n bass producer is not so easy and it requires a certain learning curve to get it right. Here are some tips to help you get started the right way.
- Appropriate Processing
Notice how a lot of new-age D&B track samples sport single-hit percussion. The key to getting this right is getting the processing in order for the intro. In other words, the rhythm section of your track should have the adequate highs and lows apart from the general dynamics.
One way to do it is by beefing up the kicks and snares by way of compression and overdrive. Take for instance, Shadow Boxing by Doc Scott. It’s a great reference for any new DJ to learn about the maintaining minimality in the intro while keeping the necessary rhythm components intact.
- Chop It Up
A prime feature of an authentic DnB flavor is to serve breakbeats chopped-up, yet layered appropriately. In other words, its all about placing each hit’s end-point right before the next drum sound.
A novice mistake is when they leave an end-point at the end of a sample. Its logical since it allows one to program jungle beats with ease, but then you’ll also need to make the necessary adjustments to ensure it plays at the right tempo. That means extra tuning or time-stretching.
Another advantage of using beats chopped real tight is that you can avoid getting out of time sync by ‘pitch bending’ the part upwards or downwards. As a result, the technique proves quite useful in producing high and tight percussive effects. To get maximum purchase, try combining this technique with filtering or degrading effects.