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So... Dubstep?

Shadow Wolf

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Just wondering what people round here think of dubstep. I've hear it referred to as "technicians, reproducing other people's sounds and amplifying the bass." True, most dubstep I've heard is a remix, and true, dubstep doesn't seem to have a ton of tools in its arsenal. Oscillators and bass drops. But this site is kind of about remixes anyway, isn't it? You might like it, you might not. But damn if it isn't the most amazing experience in the world to get blazed out of your mind and put it on your surround sound system.

Anyway! Talk it up. How do you like it?

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Great post Luke! :<

I'm a fan of dubstep. At it's core, I think it is just defined by a half-time beat (or low BPM, depending on how you look at it) with heavy bass modulation. Most bad dubstep is bad because people look at those two elements and don't do anything else. It gets interesting when you add more complexity, chord progressions, additional instrumentation, layering, etc. People hate on it because it's popular right now, but you could just as easily say most rock music (counting all the hobbyists/amateurs) is bad too, because most rock is just guitar, bass and drums playing I-IV-V-I, or whatever.

In short, the definition of dubstep is loose enough that there's plenty of room to make cool, intricate music while still classifying as 'dubstep', and most bad dubstep is bad because people only stick to the bare bones of the genre. Like with anything else.

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In short, the definition of dubstep is loose enough that there's plenty of room to make cool, intricate music while still classifying as 'dubstep', and most bad dubstep is bad because people only stick to the bare bones of the genre. Like with anything else.

So true. A lot of my "OMG I LOVE DUBSTEP" friends would classify me as a "dubstep hater," because of how much of their favorite music I can tear to shreds. I don't hate the genre of dubstep, I just hate the fact that so many garbage, bedroom producers can put their half-baked crap out there and get so many fawning fans.

To me, dubstep is an exercise in production values. I even dig a lot of Skrillex, because he did what he does FIRST, and he did it with polish. Noisia are one of my favorite bands, and I've been able to see (via studio tapes and interviews, etc.) how much work they put into their production techniques (plus they started out as dark DnB--another "exercise in production" genre--first, which they absolutely rule at).

The best dubstep music, of course, is when you combine flawless production values--slick synth patches, clean mix--with a well-thought-out melody line and chord progression. If the mix isn't clean, if the drums are generic, if the synth patches have been used in every other "dubstep" song out there, then the song is garbage to my ears.

Granted, I've always admitted that I am first a producer and second a musician. My standards tend to be insanely high, and the average listener might not care. I just wish the average listener could learn to be a bit more discerning with what they consume and what they praise.

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Yeah... I mean I have NO musical skill and I could make a dubstep mix.

...right...good luck with the producing aspect of it. :smile:

Successful, popular dubstep* is about like 90% how good you can make your track sound and 10% musical interest.

that being said, I'm a fan of the electro fidget step sound of people like zomboy, calvertron, porter robinson, mord fustang, some noisia, etc

I don't really like straight up 140 half-time dubstep, though a huge guilty pleasure as of late here in the studio is excision's

*obviously certain artists do more with their tracks music-wise, but most dubstep relies on its production strengths rather than modulations to the dominant

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It's actually very complex if you're doing it right. It's not as simple as everyone makes it out to be. Like anything else, the more effort, the better the end result should be.

Personally, I haven't heard much that I really love. But I do really like it as an element in an otherwise "whatever" genre. Here's a really great example of how to use it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYelP_ULP-M#t=1m50s Notice how this wasn't "thrown together." There are different sounds and attention is paid to the detail and rhythmic patterns. Not just copy and paste.

If you like it, you like it. If you don't, you don't. If you're like me, you like everything in Moderation (except for Rhodes 'cause you can never have too much Rhodes).

EDIT: BTDubs(tep), this isn't a new genre or fad - been around for a really long time now. Just hot right now. Just like pop music on the radio right now has more in common with the 80's than "the future of music."

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I enjoy some dubstep, but having tried to make it, I know it's not as easy as you think. I listen to more trip hop and glitch now, like Slugabed and Kuedo, but like the occasional Wub here and there.

I dunno if I'd qualify Skrillex as dubstep, while he uses wubs a lot, he doesn't usually subscribe to the rule I find almost more important than wobbles: half-step beats. He keeps a very steady four-to-the-floor beat on his wubs, unlike guys like Skream, etc, who keep that half step which gives it that off-feel. I like that feel best, which is why I like triphop and glitch and such.

And yes, its very much more production than you think. I can make a dubstep track (I have, actually... I got so many peeps hatin on me for it) but I'm still learning production, cuz I has no monies XD It's far more than just a wobble and a half step, it's usually produced until dead. That's the best.

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I like electronic music when it's mixed with something. Like rock/metal, classical, jazz, funk etc. I don't like most songs where everything is synths. The exception to this being psytrance type genres.

The best electronic songs in my opinion are the ones that have synth bass and electronica style drums and rhythm, but the rest of the song is mostly traditional instruments. Most of the time I hear those kinds of songs in video games.

Like this is a dubstep song I can tolerate, but only because it has classical elements.

that "wubwubwub" gets really annoying.

With any genre though, if the composition is shit, the song is shit. No exceptions.

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dubstep gets a shitty reputation these days because a certain brand of it has blown up and gotten overexposed and all that, but it's actually been around for a while and is a really varied genre. it isn't even really defined by a halftime drum pattern or a wobbling bass (although those have gotten really popular lately). a lot of dubstep uses 2-step drum rhythms, since that's how it got started:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rMeyJzh0dQ (i'm using some older rusko as an example here 'cause these days he's become known for making halfstep with wobbling midrange, but there is a ton of dubstep that doesn't fall into the halfstep category)

classic example would be burial, though: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlEkvbRmfrA

i think, in actuality, dubstep is one of the most exciting new-ish (last 10 years or so) forms of electronic music out there, because there's so much room for variety in it. the guidelines are really loose which allows for a lot of creativity. been really feeling this release, which came out pretty recently, for example:


but i think it's really unfortunate that it's gotten pigeonholed over the past year or two and is now associated with a pretty specific sound for most people. it's a super vibrant genre with a great history that gets overlooked, but i guess that was bound to happen at some point (as the same thing tends to happen with any genre that gets really popular - drum and bass, house, hip hop, etc etc etc). i definitely understand people's frustration with the sound that's at the top of the charts these days (it's not really my cup of tea), but i honestly think there's enough variety and creativity in the genre that everybody can find something to like in it.

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its just how these things go that one or two artists with a particular style blow up and suddenly they are the representatives of a genre that is actually incredibly deep and varied. talking about dubstep and only mentioning artists like skrillex or nero is like talking about rock and only mentioning kiss or something.

im just gonna post a few different examples of some tunes i like !

Africa Hitech - Blen

Zomby - Natalia's Song

Martyn - Popgun

okay so that is more than a few! but a good variety i think

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To be totally honest dubstep only works when it has a base to work with already and has something over the top of the WUB WUB WUB WUB "rubbish".

If the wub wub stuff is the main pull, my brain shuts off and i switch to a song with alittle more to it.

Dubstep needs less of the wub and alittle more imagination.

And from what i have heard of dubstep, not alot of imagination is being used.

As you can proberly tell i'm not a fan of the genre, atleast until i hear a masterpiece that will change my mind.

(to those of you wondering why i quotationed the word rubbish, its because its my opinion and so don't take offence to it.)

"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rMeyJzh0dQ " posted by ambinate

This is what the genre should be its very enjoyable to listen to and its rather creative.

I shall check out other creations by this "rusko" person

Thank you for enlightening me.

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My main problem with a lot of dubstep is the fact that a lot of it now is just wub wub with a drumbeat. My definition of "good" dubstep are songs that have the wub wub UNDER a bigger lead or chord of some sort.

A decent example of what I'm talking about. The wub wub adds a layer of rhythm as opposed to being annoying and repetitive.

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