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How is my dubstep?(: [INVESTIGATION PENDING]

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Posted Jan 20, '13 at 8:00am

BulletExpedition

BulletExpedition

8 posts

Hey! My name is Marley, Im a local chicago dj who makes dubstep, just trying to get out there! Support would really help, so tell me how the music is!? :D

[url=www.soundcloud.com/unnamed-10]

 

Posted Jan 20, '13 at 7:48pm

murasaki9

murasaki9

1,342 posts

 

Posted Jan 24, '13 at 1:29pm

Strop

Strop

10,823 posts

Moderator

Hi Marley!

I think the main reason nobody has yet commented is because asking for a review of audio tracks (on an external site) tends to take more time and thought (at least to me) than posting images here. I'd also speculate that the market is seeing a saturation of dubstep/electro/brostep etc. so it makes asking for meaningful input difficult.

However I think it would be a poor show if this request appeared to be completely ignored. And I happen to have some time on my hands. Part of my in-depth critique is based on personal taste, but I hope that there's some objectively useful advice in there.

You clearly have a grasp on the genres electro and dubstep (though your electro track Destroy could easily slip into breakbeat). The sounds and production are pretty much spot on, as are the textures (to elaborate, a relatively unique feature to dubstep tracks are having a high melody complemented by either the same melody doubled very low, or simply the bassline, and nothing in between, which gives this impression of a very broad space... a good example is the first two minutes of Kyoto- Skrillex feat. Sirah). Judicious use of the wub factor mixed in with a broad vocabulary of other sounds is promising (is that a shamisen in Count on Me? It's very distinctive.) Your remix of Make it Bun Dem is particularly ballsy because you actually switch meters and cram the original voice sample into quadruple time as well as triple time, and it's a convincing job. The Motion Picture remix reminds me of artist Mord Fustang.

As a result there were times you had me headbanging, and that's a good sign. But there's a fair distance between the occasional headbang, and leaping out of the chair and dancing. Maybe I can help you bridge that gap.

What I want to see more work on is structure. When it comes to these genres (in fact most electronic genres), the real standouts tend to have one thing in common: the buildup. The secret to the dubstep drop is not actually the "brutal dirty stinking bass" (well that's one part of it to be sure). It's actually the minute of so of anticipation built up by the introduction. You have many instances where this is attempted through the buildup of layers and volume, which is good, but I think they could be more effective in general. How?

1) Harmony. Harmonic progression is sorely neglected by the vast majority of aspiring musicians and DJs, and I don't know what your background is, but in most cases I've encountered, it's due to lack of formal music education. I'd argue that knowledge of scales, scale systems, chords, inversions and cadences are essential to anybody producing original music. It's this that proves crucial to the transition points between a crescendo (build-up) section and the main refrain in all its slamming wubby glory. To cite some examples, on one hand it's this weakness that prevents me from enjoying Pendulum's stuff as much as I felt I could have (I loved the quirky main theme, but felt that it was markedly out of place because the preceding section simply didn't develop properly, as there was virtually no harmonic movement, and that's something I've noted with nearly all of your transitions as well (with the notable exception of Bein' Slick). On the other hand, take a look at Benny Benassi's Cinema. It's a nice easy accessible house track. Then listen to Skrillex's remix of it, which totally blows the roof off. What's the difference? That's right, he completely rewrote the chord structure. In doing that he gave the track a sense of movement not present in the original. In particular I'd highlight the section starting 2:12. I've always contended that the reason people like that track so much is because he made good use of the VI chord and that in a diatonic scale, if the tonic is a minor chord, the III chord is a minor (and vice-versa), which is why it's called the median. And if any of that last sentence made sense to you, I'd encourage you to consciously use that knowledge to increase the power of your tracks!

2) Contrast. This is a big concept, and one I struggled with for many years, because while it's simple, putting it all together takes a lot of discipline. The main thing I want to note here is timing. Ask yourself, as a listener, "did I pace this build-up correctly, did I give it enough time?", and at the same time, "Did I make a big enough difference in the sections? Did I give it enough time to sink in before changing it up?" I'm not saying the answer is necessarily no, but it may help you out.

One side point that you should consider is that I notice you're very fond of loooooong reverb and decay. Don't be afraid to look more into the merits of a "dryer" sound, because overuse of reverb can obscure detail, and make things sound messy and heavy. To complement this, pauses and rests are very useful devices, and I see you've judiciously used them in some tracks. A Galaxy Far Away, for example, is strong after the drop because the beat is so well defined and the sound is short and sharp.

3) Focus. All of your tracks have a LOT in them, and by that I mean different sounds. Having a lot of sounds is not an issue in itself, but you have to pay attention to which ones go together, whether they're contributing to a particular theme, and then integrating that with your harmony, melody, rhythm etc. etc. The synergy between all these elements is what evokes feelings and thoughts, and the more consistent you are within a single track, the more powerful it is. And as Beethoven said, the hard part of composing isn't deciding what to put in, it's deciding what to take out.

Though there is plenty to like in all the tracks on your soundcloud account, hopefully the above pointers give you something to keep in mind. Overall it's really good to see that you've got such a variety between your tracks and that while you specialise in some genres, you aren't overly restricting yourself to a single template. Keep going!

 

Posted Jan 25, '13 at 3:21pm

Rubbermancer

Rubbermancer

4 posts

Dropped some comments, I'm Shaving Ronald's Car on soundcloud.

 

Posted Jan 25, '13 at 3:37pm

FireGoth

FireGoth

8 posts

:O I could borrow some songs for stuff?

 

Posted Jan 25, '13 at 3:48pm

Devoidless

Devoidless

3,553 posts

I'm not going to be redundant and post everything here I commented on your songs.

Just letting you know to check it out.

 

Posted Jan 25, '13 at 3:58pm

boppins

boppins

529 posts

Administrator

I like your stuff, you have talent, keep developing it! :)

I particularly like Count on Me but I haven't finished them all yet.

 

Posted Jan 25, '13 at 4:09pm

sixshots

sixshots

36 posts

Hey, I really like your songs, mind if I use them in a YouTube video if I link your sound cloud in the description?

 

Posted Jan 25, '13 at 4:11pm

pangtongshu

pangtongshu

8,502 posts

I think the main reason nobody has yet commented is because asking for a review of audio tracks (on an external site) tends to take more time and thought (at least to me) than posting images here. I'd also speculate that the market is seeing a saturation of dubstep/electro/brostep etc. so it makes asking for meaningful input difficult.

I have 2 theories for maybe why it hasn't been commented on..

1) He has posted this thread in a few other sections..

2) In one of those threads..it has been found out that this person is potentially stealing the works from someone else and claiming them as his own. Again..not for sure..but a few users recognized a couple of works from elsewhere

 

Posted Jan 25, '13 at 8:23pm

Strop

Strop

10,823 posts

Moderator

1) He has posted this thread in a few other sections..

Have they been locked yet? This is the appropriate section for this thread.

2) In one of those threads..it has been found out that this person is potentially stealing the works from someone else and claiming them as his own.

Could you pass us the source of the claims and any relevant information? We take allegations of IP theft very seriously, because it's not compatible with continued AG membership.