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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 34

One-Shots can be used in a wide variety of ways, even to construct full vocal lines.

MAKING DUB WITH COMPUTERS - CHAPTER 35: AUDIO (3) CREATING A FULL TRACK IN THE COMPOSITION ENVIRONMENT

Now that we're in the third part concerning "audio" and taken into consideration that what you are about to read is written well over 5 years after the previous chapter, first a little introduction and update.

Thing have well progressed since the time this tutorial first started seeing light. Right now, in 2021, 5 years later than the previous chapter, I have purchased Reason 11 and a bunch of other stuff and am amazed by the many tutorials you can find on the internet, for example on You Tube. Still, I see very little about using Reason and I see a lot of usage of the DAW's that is similar to what many producers of techno et cetera do. I've been talking about that in previous chapters so I won't repeat it here, but I would like to focus on the very reason that I started a section called "Audio". 

Of course, it is Audio rather than MIDI. Audio, as in "sound". And in the end, that is what we intend to do. Sound production. 

MIDI, one shots, loops and even stems, these are only the building blocks to create your (instrumental) Reggae track or riddim. And, to create that Reggae riddim is only the first step in what is a three step process to produce a track you can release.

Phase 1: Composition/Production

This is the part we predominantly have been dealing with in this tutorial even though we touched on the next phase. Basically, produce a Reggae track and save different instruments away under different track, changing them into multi tracks. We'll close that process in (one of) the next chapter(s). 

Phase 2: The Mixing process.

This is where we open the multitracks in a multitrack setting, where we mix the multitracks in and out into s stero file or track.

Phase 3: The Mastering.

This is where you finalize the track and make it audible.

It used to be quite a thing to be able to create multitracks to use. Sometimes, the difference between the first and the second phase would blur. It still does with a lot of producers but they have not really an excuse for that other than laziness because almost any DAW will perfectly provide you with the possibility to create what I would call a composition environment and a mixing environment.

composition environment

In short, this is the environment wherein I create my Reggae track (and add vocals and their sound recordings). I use MIDI, One Shots, Loops, Stems and even my own recordings. Take a look at the picture below (Click to enlarge):

Click To Enlarge (New Window/Tab)

What you see is the sequencer window for a track I did called "I Help". This is the music and the vocals. The Drums and the Guitar make use of One Shots. I used Drum sounds from several LOOPMASTERS packs (Dub Drops and Ariwa) to program a drum line and one of the packs available on the Dubroom for free for the guitar. 

Next, I used a MIDI keyboard to play the Piano, the Organ the Horns and a Clavinet. I took the Clavinet from a free pack by Native Instruments, the other instruments came standard with Reason 11. 

It all started with the bass. I purchased a bass guitar for just under 100 Euro, used a Bass Amp Plug-In that came with Reason 11, and played the bassline into an audio track in Reason's sequencer. Needless to say, I did the same with my singing. More about audio recording later, because that will need some extra things other than just a computer.

Here is the rack window (click to enlarge). This is the virtual hardware I use. The Drums are pre-mixed as well as the Riddim section. 

Click To Enlarge (New Window/Tab)

In the end, everything lands in the console/mixing board. In Reason's case, that is a simulation of the wonderful SSL mixing consoles. 

This is where I decide which instruments are louder and softer in the mix. Don't look to the green lights too much, it is just a single moment. You see that the Bass and the Kick are the loudest in the mix, drums a little lower, riddim a little lower, horns even lower and clavinet in the back. The vocal recording is loud again. There is no effect. Everything is dry.

I then solo every track and save the tracks as audio files. In the case of this tune, I have 7 channels to mix. So first I need seven wave files, each one carrying one instrument. And they need to be in sync. I call these files "multi tracks", but you can also call them "stems".

Of course you can also use stems in the composition environment. In Reason 11 and virtually all current DAW's (Even the completely free Cakewalk Sonar by BandLab), MIDI and Audio work in perfect sync. You'll have to insert the stem at the right place though, just like you would place a loop. 

For recording your own vocals, instruments or whatever, things get a bit tricky and not in the least because this is where you'll need something more than just a computer. Yes, to record your own keyboards you'll need a MIDI keyboard so we have stepped outside the computer already in a way, but for recording audio you'll need something more, because you'll end up with latency. 

See you in the next chapter for recording audio in the composition environment!

<<<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 post your words publicly on our Forum. Click here to read about the latest updates to this tutorial.

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