Posted this in a thread in the Computer Music section but I think it'll have some relevance here
I've also expanded on it loads. The Drop
The three most effective ways I've found to pimp out your drops are as follows:
1. Tempt your listener.
- To make the drop that bit more satisfying, tempt the listener in. What I like to do sometimes (i've noticed it in a few tunes as well) is to
take your main bassline, high pass it and put some reverb on it and play little parts of it in your intro, closer to your upcoming drop. Automate them to come from very
high passed and hugely reverberous, less and less all the way up to your drop. Then, if it fits your track, whack the reverb and filter right up at the very last second for
Or if your working with a tasty chord sequence that is particularly epic then find multiple ways to make it build up more and more and more. You
can do this by adding more octaves, or bringing the chords in gradually (with a lo-pass filter/volume etc). Or if your a fan of the kick build up, layer your last chord and
repeat it alongside your kick, if the tune is right then it can be devastating
2. Surprise the fuck out of your listener.
- You can either use this tactic on its own or tack it on the end of the above method, both work
If you can make sure it
doesn't sound clunky, throw the drop at them when they least expect it. Its sudden-ness can work to your advantage, if you play it right.
3. Use FX, Samples And Automation as weapons.
- Although its becoming a bit cliche these days, a correctly placed sample can make your drop that much sweeter (and in some cases: give you your track name). For example in my song "Backlash" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmWv0LQjvbM
I use a pitch-shifted and distorted "Welcome" to emphasise my first drop. FX are your friend. A huge sweep and then a huge crash, or a huge sweep then your sample then a huge crash or any number of combinations tend to work really well, the sweeps tie everything together nicely and ease the listener into the different stages of your track and, subjective as the term is, it makes your track sound more "professional". Hi-pass, low-pass and bandpass filter sweeps also add to the epicness. Also either automating the volume in your DAW or in a different app afterwards, select all the audio before your first drop and lower the volume by around half a decibel to one decibel, leaving the rest at your normal volume. Doing this, you'll get a volume powerup on your drop, kicking everyones ears in the ass. Hopefully for the best. The Bass Making Your Bass Hit HarderDistortion
- The most obvious option is to distort that mother. As long as you make sure it doesn't grate too much/clip, the right amount of distortion can really make your bass growl. Don't be afraid to use more than one unit, as long as you don't let it get too messy. Distortion is usually best for a mid-range bass (see below.)Splitting It Up
- I'm not to great with splitters and mergers, but using two separate instruments has worked for me so far. The sub bass is what will give you the power and a harmonic mid-range will give you the grit and roar. Keeping them as separate units means that your sub can remain clear and powerful and you can mangle the mid-range as much or as little as you want without killing the sub. You can then choose to either copy and paste the automation for one onto both and get some movement or keep your sub low and solid (or vice versa). You can also drop one out and have the other on its own with ease Just A Phase(r)
- Adding a phaser to your mid-range bass can help massively with movement. Two automation lanes, one for switching the phaser between on and bypassed and, if you like, another for the rate. If your working with dubstep then copying the automation of your wobble to the phaser rate results in crazy, crazy noises. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. (Sometimes awesome
.) Then when you get more familiar with it, you'll have the phaser rate as a whole other editable parameter which has tons of creative possibilities.Pitch Bend
- Bending in the right place (ahem) can help add more evilness/chaoticness to you bassline. In some cases, a tune can use pitch bend through the entire thing to great effect (Check out VUVUVU by MSTRKRFT). In most cases its trial and error to find out what works specifically for that song, but for me using it at the end or start of a phrase works best.Player 2 Joined The Game
- One technique that's never let me down is bringing in your second kick-ass bass mid-phrase. If you have 8 bars of awesomeness that has already been established, you might be trying to find a way to make it more interesting the second time around.
Find an appropriate point in the middle of your 8 bars and take out one bar just before or just after the mid point. In this new empty space, introduce your new bass noise. Either copying your (no doubt already awesome) bass melody or using a variation, or something totally new then find a way to bring it back into your phrase. This helps break up your track, make it more interesting/less repetitive and can end up inspiring you to add whole new sections later on. (Bring on the DnB/Dubstep Prog album.)
Combine all of these and you should be producing bangers like nobodys business. Hope this helps, all the best with the competition