Can someone explain dubstep to me?
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  1. #1
    Tech Guru BradCee's Avatar
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    Default Can someone explain dubstep to me?

    I just don't get it....

    sounds like someone took a downtempo breakdown from drum and bass and looped it up?

    never sure when i hear it, if it is dubstep, or grime or what?

    so if someone could define it (don't just go throwing vids at me) that would be great.

    typical drum pattern?
    any defining features to synths?
    why does it sound half finished?

    tbh i think i figured the bass side of it out, but i'm hearing lines like that in other stuff to...
    Last edited by BradCee; 05-18-2010 at 02:10 AM.

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  2. #2
    Tech Mentor dafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradCee View Post
    tbh i think i figured the bass side of it out, but i'm hearing lines like that in other stuff to...
    Is why I think genrefying EDM is such a subjective thing - many different people will put music in many different categories.

    Interested in seeing some answers on this though, as I'm in the same boat as Bradcee.

  3. #3
    Tech Guru Bassline Brine's Avatar
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    Take a look at UK Garage, and then Dub. Need to know the roots to understand the beast. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dubstep

    The drums sound half-speed because they are spaced out. The bass is what drives the music, not the drums in Dubstep. Melody can be there in a lot of the tunes, but it's just backup for the bass.

    My friend who never really listened to EDM whatsoever, now has a love for Dubstep. It happened over a road-trip, and he had an epiphany at one point. Dubstep is to EDM as Horror is to Film. That's the best way I can describe it really.

    A big thing that is pretty common is the snare on the 3rd beat, and the kick on the 1st. The drum pattern IS different than a lot of the EDM out there. Oars in the boat where the bass is the sea. It varies quite often, but you'll find that is a resounding theme across the board.

    A big thing too about a lot of dubstep is working the LFO's to be in time with the drums, and using a lot of "open" space. It's making use of the pauses in drum patterns and driving it along with the bass.

    I love it... I'm tired as all hell and hoped that helped explain it a bit.

    And to pick out a good example, that is a pretty popular tune, I'd say take a look at Emalkay -When I look at you. It's a pretty good example of strong flowing dubstep that is a bit dirty but yet smooth.
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    Tech Mentor K.T.I.T.'s Avatar
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    Take a House track that is not too crowded but has a decent bass and play it at 70bpm; done!

  5. #5
    Tech Guru BradCee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kreativiTit View Post
    Take a House track that is not too crowded but has a decent bass and play it at 70bpm; done!
    yeah.... that was helpful, lol

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    Tech Guru Fyoog's Avatar
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    Dubstep has become really blurred anyway now and is fractioning (as a lot of genres do). You have to look at a few aspects of it:
    I'm sure pureists will tell you that the wobbly stuff (Rusko, Caspa, 16Bit etc) is another part of Dubstep as they would consider the original kind of two step speed garage evolutions as the original with a fairly minimal feel (see Burial as an example). You can hear without sounding too "Jazz" it's the beats and percussion that aren't played in this older dubstep.
    The newer stuff is being thrown together with everything now(Ellie goulding - under the sheets - Jakwob remix, Plan B - She said 16bit remix) and the wobbly stuff which takes more aspects of drum and bass breaks imo, kind of D&B without the D?!. My girlfriend put it quite well as she likes Dubstep but not so much to dance to, she said "it's like the best bassy bits of Drum and bass to listen to(at home say) but the worst bits of drum and bass to dance to" which i think harks back to your comment about feeling unfinished? You get massive build ups and great breaks but just as you are about to throw yourself at it it never quite kicks in like D&B. I hope this helps?
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    breaks at half time.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigC View Post
    Take a look at UK Garage, and then Dub. Need to know the roots to understand the beast. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dubstep

    Very true Dubstep came from UKG

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6zyQ...eature=related

    a very dubby 2 step UKG tune


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NtmEOJbN5A

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    Both Grime and Dubstep came from UKG
    Last edited by R2D2; 05-18-2010 at 05:09 AM.

  9. #9
    Tech Guru BradCee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
    Both Grime and Dubstep came from UKG
    yeah i get that, and if i look at the pure garage discs i had (thanks music magpie! ) there were a couple of tracks on the bass, breaks and beats 2003 disc that then had that feel to them. but prob nearer to grime

    it's just the sound itself, as in how the fuck did we get from this

    Flowers

    to this

    street fighter

    ok, extreme examples, lol. but you get my point

    i see the similarities in drums and bass. but it just feels like a devolution of music, grime made more sense. this feels like a snarling ball of 'wannabe gangsta' aggression with no real soul to it.

    also, would this be dubstep? like 9 years old i think now....

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    Last edited by BradCee; 05-18-2010 at 05:18 AM.

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  10. #10
    Tech Guru Fyoog's Avatar
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    I think the problem is if you tried to pigeon hole it all you would be arguing over the finer points of what is and what isn't all day and other people would STILL probably have different ideas as to yours.
    Take Drum and Bass as an example, i remember when jungle was a big thing and no one really knew of D&B in it's form today but now you rarely here anything of jungle yet are D&B and jungle one and the same thing in effect?
    Going back even further Jungle used to be Hardcore and goldie really kicked it off calling it what it is, also if you look at what Pendulum do comared to say LTJ Bukem they are two arms of the same genre but have a completely different sound.
    Dubstep, to me, seems to cover a multitude of sins and more and more people have adopted the sound so the lines become blured.
    Try the "recommend me some dubstep" thread, it gives a good picture.
    I think the keys point imo are:
    Less percussion but still following the structure of D&B/ two step beat
    Heavier basslines (in the newer stuff anyway)
    Any other key points anyone?
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