I found the site Indaba Music the other day while searching for user groups and communities for Propellerhead’s Reason, my DAW of choice, and joined, only to find that they host remix contests. I dug through a few of their offerings and found that DJ Fresh‘s track “Louder” was up for grabs. I’d heard DJ Fresh and his projects on various albums so went into it expecting some D&B. What I found was more damn dubstep, or drumstep, or whatever offshoot of dubstep you’d like to call it. Regardless, it wasn’t anything of which I was terribly fond.
Dubstep and its ilk do absolutely nothing for me. The half-time beats are painfully slow and not conducive to dancing, the characteristic bass sounds are irritating and uninspiring, and the associated scene rubs me completely the wrong way. So what did I do when I imported and started fiddling with the source files?
Speed things up a bit, do away with boring drumloops and trite genre conventions, and then mangle and process everything that’s left until it’s something new and different! Filters, distortion, extensive EQing, and some additional production lead to a prog trance reinterpretation that feels much more driving and energetic than before. I enjoy it more, anyway.
What did I use? Numerous filters, pattern-controlled filters, and compressors shaped the song’s original tracks into 2 new basslines, numerous sound effects, new synth lines, and a faux guitar was generated thanks to amp modeling and even more filters. New drum tracks and loops were added to give the song a much more driving percussive base. Several instances of Korg’s excellent PolySix were used to write in additional synth- and basslines, along with a single Malström generating sweepy sound effects for breakdowns and builds. The vocals were run through a highpass filter, EQ, an echo, and chopped and processed with a slew of other effects during the climax of the song.