mentioned the reality, that a computer will
not make you a dub track, and that putting a
lot of technique in your mix will not make
it sound better. In this chapter I would
like to elaborate a little on what I
perceive as necessary ingredients for a good
dub. What do you need to get a
"raw" track, that is before you
dub it? I would like to answer that in this
chapter. And in the next chapters I will
give some tips and tricks to make a good
It's a bit too simple to simply
state that you need a few instruments and
apply effects over them. Although a good dub
mix can seriously enhance the listening
pleasure of an otherwise un-interesting
riddim (look to left side on this page for
an explanation of the term
"riddim"), I think that the riddim
itself is half the work.
many tracks by new artists that label their
music "dub", but the riddims of
these artists do not contain the necessary
ingredients, even though their dubbing
techniques might be right. What is the
reason so many artist struggle with the vibe
of their tracks, even where they sometimes
seem to apply genuine Dubbing techniques,
the music simply doesn't sound like it?
is not merely a remixing-technique that can
be applied to any kind of music. You'll need
a good riddim first. Many artists go wrong
in the foundation: a good dub starts with a
good riddim. And a good riddim starts with a
reggae drum and reggae bassline. This is the
most crucial element in every dub. It is the
foundation. If you do not have a good
bassline and a righteous reggae drum rhythm,
you can apply the best techniques over it,
but your track will not be interesting.
heard dubs without a bassline, while the
drums play a dance or disco beat, and
although I would see it as music that is
influenced by Dub, I wouldn't call it Dub.
So make sure, that your drum and bass are
right. Make sure, that when you play only
the bass and the drum, you start to rock.
Make sure, that when you listen to your drum
and your bass playing, that you do not feel
that it is to empty.
When you have
laid down a good drum and bass foundation,
you can build instruments on top of it. I
will mention the chords (skank) and the
theme. The niceness about reggae music, is
that you can use about any instrument to
play the chords. Traditionally, chords are
played by a combination of Piano, Guitar and
Organ. But you can also use other
instruments, like synthesizers. There is a
whole genre in Dub (UK Dub) where they are
using synthesizers for the skank, as I call
the playing of chords. Apart from the
drum and bass with accompanying chord plays,
I would like to make a short mention of the
"theme". A theme is traditionally
played by a horn section, but it can also be
played by any other (solo) instrument.
Mostly, they're short melodies. Some themes
even consist of only a few tones!
get more information on the various riddims
and even listen to them on the Jamaican Riddim Directory website.