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WELCOME IN THE STUDIO

In this section you can find things that will assist you in your own computer-based musical productions. There's a lot of original Dubroom material which you can use, but also third party material. There's much more than "just" sampled material, as you can find some little pieces of software, presets and other things as well. Everything in this section is, like all stuff in the Dubroom by the way, legal and -a lot of times- absolutely free of charge. Definitely worth a visit, for novice to veteran.

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ABOUT CHAPTER 1

In part 1 Messian Dread states very clearly, that there are prejudices concerning computer created dubwise. He explains that the computer is not a magical tool that will create the best music especially for you and that this section is not to be regarded as a direction to find the symbolical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. In this digital age, making music remains to be a combination of blood, sweat and tears.

ABOUT THIS CHAPTER

This chapter has been re-written in September 2014. CLICK HERE for the archived version.

MAKING DUB WITH COMPUTERS - CHAPTER 2: COMPUTER

Ever since I had -I think it was called- a 386 Computer back in the late 1980's, and even in my MSX days during that same period, I have been looking into possibilities to make music, DUB music, with the computer. Computers have come a long way, and so did I. What hasn't changed for me is that I am still using the computer as my main musical creation tool. 

When I started releasing my musical productions online, I already had a background of almost a decade getting myself familiar with the methodology and thinking processes behind the software producers and the simple, basic digital foundation that all computers are built on: something is true, or it is false. It's 1, or 0. Computers are very exact, painfully exact and so they are the ultimate way for an autodidact like me. Computers have also opened up the way for us, the masses, to do what only could be done before in very expensive buildings with even more expensive contents. 

With computers being exact and accessible machines, they are perfect for simulating situations in a digital environment. Just think about flight simulators, and how these computers have taken over many, many hours of what used to be real flight hours in pilot's educations. Why? Because they're just as good. And not "just" for flight simulation. The possibilities are endless. 

Producing music, for example. 

In a flight simulator, the computer "pretends to be" an airplane. It has all the relative elements for the pilot to learn the actual flying. It's even so far that nowadays computers "pretend to be" the pilot to the airplane. It's called "automatic pilot" and it's usually set to "on", even during landings.

Translate this to DUB and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that what can be done with airplanes can be done for the devices needed to create (DUB) Reggae Music. Here they are:

  • Multi-Track Recorder
  • Stereo Recorder (for Master Tape)
  • Mixing Board
  • Instruments
  • Effects

Yes, the computer can "pretend to be" or simulate one or more of these devices. When I started back in the 1980's, it was clear that quality is only a matter of processing power and speed. With just a few megabytes of RAM, you couldn't do very much but with the multitude of gigabytes in current (2014) computers, one machine outdoes a complete 1980's studio.

It doesn't stop there, though.

The computer can go further than the device(s) it simulates. Translated to the studio situation, this simply means that I can mix a DUB as if I have 20 hands. Where in a 1980's analog studio every copy or track-bounce implicated loss of audio, a digital copy is an exact duplicate. The music you download from me are exact duplicates of the original Master Recordings.

I make heavy use of this extra possibility in all my musical works, but I do limit myself and the main reason for that is that I create music for people and people are no simulators. People want to listen to music because they want to feel things, not because they want a tutorial on making DUB. People also do not want to be "impressed" by multi-orchestral dual compositions layered on top of each other or something like that. Yes, it would be music but it would be completely "unreal" music. Perhaps this can be done in particular styles and genres, but for (DUB) Reggae this is a no-go. 

When you want to make (DUB) Reggae, always realize that this is a music for the people and from the people and therefore the connect must be there. (DUB) Reggae is a form of communicating much more than many other musical directions, and therefore you can absolutely go beyond let's say the physical boundaries in your digital environment, but you should never go so far that it is only you who understands.

Of course, it's not just the computer alone. It's the software that tells the computer it now has to "pretend to be" a Dub studio. When I started on my digital journey, all I had was a computer with MS-DOS (pre-Windows) and a little sequencer program called "Voyetra". I now work with several DAW's and VST audio effects but in essence nothing really has changed. I've just traded more and more of my hardware devices in because the software equivalents outrange anything these devices would let me do with them. 

Looking back at the little flight simulator analogy, you could say that I started my education as a pilot with a flight simulator and now I am flying in an airplane flown by the automatic pilot. Technically spoken, that is. Not creatively, of course.

There is powerful software for powerful computers that can easily replace a hardware DUB studio. But remember: it replaces the studio, it places you in a studio and now it depends on you and your creativity. 

For this tutorial, it does not really matter which piece of software or DAW you use. I try to keep things general even though I am an avid user and supporter of Propellerhead's excellent Reason software. When you have that software you will find extra niceness throughout the chapters that follow.

<<<PREVIOUS CHAPTER<<< - MAKING DUB WITH COMPUTERS - >>>NEXT CHAPTER>>>

This tutorial is in an unfinished stage, but it does contain the basics to get yourself equipped to use just about any DAW or even hardware studio in order to make DUB from Reggae Music in the authentic and original way. When you have a question or comment you'd like to see addressed, feel free to use the Dubroom Contact pages or join YUKU.com and post your words publicly on the Studio Forum. Click here to read about the latest updates to this tutorial.

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