Obviously since Dubstep was birthed from Drum and Bass, it is essential to understand what it takes to make a good Dubstep drum patterns. The broken beats of D&B have been slightly modified to fit the genre of Dubstep, and thus we found it necessary to talk about how to make great Dubstep Drum patterns. So sit back and relax, it’s time to get grimey!
The first thing you need to realize about Dubstep Drums is that most of the professional DJ’s layer their sounds. For instance a prominent Dubstep DJ would place 3 snare drums over each other to create a unique sound. The same goes for hi hats, cymbals and bass drums. In many cases DJ’s widen the hats or they pan it in order to create a “whole” sound.
If you keep your sounds on the same “field” then you will lose a lot of depth in your music. Drums are essential to Dubstep so it is necessary that you spend enough time in “widening” your sound. For instance one hi hat will play on the left spectrum of the sound field while the other will play on the right. This means that if you wear headphones you will hear one sound on the left while the other is on the right.
Picking the right samples is incredibly important. You can’t have two massive bass drums playing on top of each other unless you specifically want to do so. In order to make a kick really stand out you’ll actually want to give it that “deep sound” while at the same time giving it a sharp kick. Some DJ’s even throw a rim shot in there just to give it that “crisp” sound to the bass.
Delays are also important when you want to expand the sound a bit more. Give your claps and some of your hats a slight delay and you will widen the sound much more. I found that giving some of the drum sounds a nice little reverb with a slight delay will really go a long way.
Chopping up your sound will also definitely expand your production value. For instance if you have a sound that lasts 2 beats, you can chop that little bad boy up into tiny little pieces, space them out within the beat in order to build up a kick or snare. Generally people like to chop the snares more than the kicks but I have heard some incredible kick chops that sounds tasty.
Swinging is another thing that drums need. These Swings or Grooves will give your drums a much more natural sound. When you work on a sequencer the sound produced will be that of a sequencer. Thus the invention of swing will mimic that of a real drummer in the sense that some hits will be harder than others. If you truly want to make your drums stand out you should play around with the swing settings in order to make it sound real, unless you don’t really want to achieve that sound.
There are a lot of aspects to the drums in Dubstep and one must take time in order to really achieve your own signature drum sound. Dubstep relies heavily on its drum and bass and requires a lot of attention.