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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 3

Before you can dub a track, you must have one. The creation of a "raw track" or RIDDIM is where many new DUB artists go wrong. A good riddim starts with a solid reggae drum and bass line, and skanks and a theme on top of that.

ABOUT THIS CHAPTER

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

MAKING DUB WITH COMPUTERS - CHAPTER 4: BPM SETTINGS

Reggae Music can be produced using musicians playing real instruments or it can be programmed into a sequencer. A combination is the most common, but we're not quite there yet. At this moment, we've just been introduced to the Riddim concept. In order to make a Dub, you'll need to have an instrumental Reggae track in multi-track format (midi and/or audio). To make an instrumental Reggae track is to build a riddim.

Before we'll actually make a riddim, there are things to know about Reggae Music. Essential things, like the Riddim concept itself is essential knowledge. 

The reason why a Reggae track is called a Riddim, has everything to do with the fact that Reggae Music itself is not so much a style or genre but a rhythm itself as well. You can play any style or genre in that rhythm. That's how you get Reggae-Soul, Reggae-Rock, and so on. Throughout the history of Reggae, musical genres of the day are absorbed by the Reggae rhythm which gives Reggae an ever-contemporary sound.

In short: when you know how to fill in the drums and instruments in the rhythm that is called Reggae, you know how to build a riddim and do you thing with it.

It starts with deciding the tempo or Beats Per Minute (BPM), which happens to be yet another point you need to know a few things about when it comes to the Reggae rhythm.

Reggae can be very fast, very slow, and everything in between. You can decide if a track is fast or not by listening to the skanks or chords. The time between the chord hits gives you the tempo indication. Usually, the tempo of a Reggae track is roughly between 110 to 190 BPM. 

Wait.

110 to 190 BPM? Isn't it supposed to be under 100 all the way down to like 55 or so?

Nope.

This has everything to do with the way a bar is filled in Reggae. Let's take a look and listen to a popular way to fill in a 4/4 Drum Measure in a sequencer:

Example 0001

   

LISTEN: EXAMPLE0001.MP3 | EXAMPLE0001.MID

Now take a look and listen how a Reggae drum would fill in that same bar in that same tempo (140 BPM):

LISTEN: EXAMPLE0002.MP3 | EXAMPLE0002.MID

A popular way of drumming is to put the snare drum on the 2nd and 4th count of a bar. In Reggae, the snare just hits the 3rd. The only thing the two drum patterns have in common is the Hi Hat pattern. The bassdrum and snare drum are "halved". 

Can't you just double the Hi Hat pattern and slow the tempo down to 70 BPM? Wouldn't that have the very same sound? Well, yes. When you like to overcrowd your sequencer's piano roll and lose all oversight, go ahead. When you prefer a better oversight, keep it between 110-190 BPM. You won't be sorry you did.

<<<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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