how does one mix dubstep?
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  1. #1
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    Default how does one mix dubstep?

    hi all i can mix prog and house music well but dont know where to start on mixing dub step?

    anyone have tips or steps?

    is it mixed quickly, mixed in buildups, in intro and outro, just general questions im new to the genre and would love to be able to mix it

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  2. #2
    Banhammerized theory28's Avatar
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    keep the thread alive, ill post my explanation ASAP

    its not difficult. just timing, measuring, energy level, and mixing intros and breaks. or bringing in the intro to the next track so that it drops right when the current track starts its break down



    actually, thats about my whole explanation. ill elaborate more later
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    If the pack of lions are in sync then they're not real lions so it doesn't count.

  3. #3
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    You can also quickly switch songs at the short 4 to 8 beat breaks that some dubstep songs have, especially if they match key/vibe.

  4. #4
    Tech Guru Nesquigs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theory28 View Post
    bringing in the intro to the next track so that it drops right when the current track starts its break down
    yup yup.
    Quote Originally Posted by Xonetacular View Post
    Ya I've heard one song. It's called Skrillex.
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  5. #5
    Banhammerized theory28's Avatar
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    theres a lot of flux pavilion in this thread, sorry.
    the following is how I go about this. i dont expect you to copy, nor do i necessarily advise you to. be original, add your own flair, do it your way.


    Mixing dubstep

    ok, so were assuming that the bpm is at 140, not 70 and that a bar is 16 beats

    so, say youre playing track A and its breakdown is 4 bars long
    you want to bring in track B and its intro it 6 bars long

    well your going to introduce B into A 6 bars before the end of the breakdown (in other words 2 bars of the intro will be playing over the 'meat' of A)

    alternatively, you can bring B into A 6 bars before the break down starts and then B drops when the intro to A starts

    in both of these scenarios you would cut A out when B drops. (unless its better to do it otherwise I.E. a 2 or 4 beat fade)

    also, if the breakdown and intro lenght of the 2 tracks is swapped so that A's breakdown is 6 bars long and B's intro is 4 long, then you can time it so B drops when A's breakdown starts.
    or you can play B right as A's breakdown starts, and cut out A when B drops.
    or, you can play B 2 bars into A's breakdown

    what method you decide to use depends on the track, whether or not vocals will over lap and most importantly energy level


    Energy Level

    energy level is another way of looking at mixing in key, and to me is more appropriate to dubstep's various sounds.

    there is low energy chilled sounds like:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHMbhteW9CY

    mid range like:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDmWJbN8bDo

    and high energy stuff (AKA Brostep) like:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3cE9iXIx9c

    ok, that want too energetic, but it will make a room go NUTS.
    heres something more energetic:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EgPIfKXolc

    from this point on, these energy levels will be on a 1- 10 scale as follows:
    low - 1
    mid - 5
    high - 10

    now, you never want to go from 10 to 1 with nothing in between. (the exception of there being a long 6 bar or more spaced out, relaxed breakdown like in Freestylers - Cracks (Flux Pavilion Remix) . Cracks is kind of a wild card as its intro and break are more of a 2 or 3, but the meat is a 7 or 8)

    you also dont want to go from 1 to 10.

    instead, you can do 1 then 5 then 10. this is for shorter mixes (see structure section)
    if you have the time you could do 1 then 3 then 5 then 7 then 10


    Mix Structure


    Recorded Mixes:

    please note that this is the way i do it, not the way you have to. also note that i used the numbers not to literally represent the # of times to play that level, but instead how many times relative to the rest. i hope that the font size helps with the visual.

    the way i go for shorter mixes is

    intro 3, 5, 5, 7, 10, 10, 10, 7, 5, 5, 3, 3, 3, 5, 7, end track

    for short mixes its more acceptable to do it the short way and just use 3, 5, and 10

    intro 3, 3, 5, 10, 10, 10, 3


    Live Mixing

    the same rules should apply as with everything else, but as opposed to a sharp cut, feel free to use a 4 or 2 beat long fade.

    Double Drops

    the goal is to let A reach its break down, then let B drop at the same time as A

    heres the fun part: dont mix A out. let both tracks drop and play at the same time.

    then you want to find a good time to cut, fade or other way to mix A out.

    generally you want to have a bass line and spaced out track for one (5 or lower) and an energetic track (7 and up) that has more melody stuff going on.

    Tip: test out these double drops ahead of time because it might end really badly otherwise.


    Theory's Pro Tips


    • control the attack based on how loud or soft the first beat you play is (i refer to this as 'offensive' for future reference). Attack as explained by Ean. go to:1:55- 2:15
    • Dont be afraid to be an Echo/ Reverb whore (to an extent). it helps when youre live and dont know how exactly the 2 songs are going to sound together. start with a volume at around 70-85%, and use the reverb when you hit play. turn it off when appropriate or on the drop. also, make sure you do this mainly with intros/ breaks that have little to no snare in them. sometimes it can sound bad depending on the effect.
    • while on the topic of echo: as opposed to the 2 or 4 beat fade out, or the cut, you can use the echo freeze. i use it 2 or 4 beats before the drop, or even ON the drop/ a moment before. WARNING: on occasion it can make hard drops sound soft if done on/ a moment before the drop
    • go and download this podcast episode. listen to it. learn it. memorize it. it sums up just about all of this in audio form, as performed by flux pavilion. *if the episode is removed when future readers see this: look for UKF podcst episode #4 circus records (mixed by flux pavilion)
    • most importantly: YOU are the DJ. YOU have full control these rules and bend them as you wish. this was simply a guide to how i do it.


    i just spent about 20+ minutes typing this, so im going to also start it as a new thread (if i get an OK from a mod)

    if theres a new thread, the link will be tacked to the end of this post.
    also, the game. you just lost it.
    Last edited by theory28; 03-11-2011 at 05:27 PM. Reason: formating and a bar is 16, not 14 beats. (typo)
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    Quote Originally Posted by photojojo View Post
    If the pack of lions are in sync then they're not real lions so it doesn't count.

  6. #6
    Tech Guru Nesquigs's Avatar
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    Awesome job theory!
    Last edited by Nesquigs; 03-10-2011 at 10:42 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Xonetacular View Post
    Ya I've heard one song. It's called Skrillex.
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  7. #7
    Tech Guru b3nz0n8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theory28 View Post
    i just spent about 20+ minutes typing this, so im going to also start it as a new thread
    Nice work Theory


    Hey...thoughts on this? GOTH-TRAD MIX @ BTC TOKYO June 2010

    Last edited by b3nz0n8; 03-10-2011 at 11:00 PM.
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  8. #8
    Tech Guru MrPopinjay's Avatar
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    Bar is 14 beats...?
    An intro with 6 bars...?
    What the hell dude...?

    Mix however you feel comfortable. Just keep trying new things. Listen to some of the more technical mix DJs.

  9. #9
    Banhammerized theory28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theory28 View Post
    actually, thats about my whole explanation. ill elaborate more later
    worst. hype. ever.

    truth be told i didnt expect my post to go that in depth.


    Quote Originally Posted by MrPopinjay View Post
    Bar is 14 beats...?
    An intro with 6 bars...?
    What the hell dude...?
    14 was a typo.

    i explained what i meant by bars. the numbers make more sence to me the way i used them, and i couldnt be ared to do it right. i just call it a bar because i have buttons mapped to go +/- 16 and i dont know what else to call it.

    i use my own terminology.
    Last edited by theory28; 03-10-2011 at 10:46 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by photojojo View Post
    If the pack of lions are in sync then they're not real lions so it doesn't count.

  10. #10
    Tech Guru MrPopinjay's Avatar
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    + D1 - midnight blues. That's a cool track. May have to go collect that.

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