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Title:dnb experiment 4 (unnamed)
Author:nathan
Genre:Drum N' Bass, Experimental
Comment:dnb drums with a sub bass and a high frequency or two
Size:650 KB
File:exp_04.rar
Date:2002-10-08

Sunbuster:   Can do better

As the name and genre implies, this is an experient. And it sure sounds like it also. But not as in "Experimental"-the genre, more like "Let's see if I can put togheter an DnB/experimental track with a couple of sounds and a bit of cut'n'paste". It doesn't sound finished, and that feeling is boosted by the end being pretty abrupt, and the song starting over again right away. (That's a pretty clean loop though, so I'm asking myself if this tune maybe was intended to loop in infinity...)

It's almost as if Nathan has found a DnB drumloop from somewhere (a very common drumloop btw. which can be found in almost any sample pack with drumloops), put it on loop and add a couple of pads and chipsounds to the mix. Then he found the retrigger effect, which he used vigorously on the drumloop a couple of times. The use of this effect in my opinion isn't very thought through. It's more like he heard a DnB track which had some fast retriggered drums, and then thought "since this going to be a DnB track it must have those fast retriggered drums".
He's used some track fx also, which actually are implemented pretty well. Only thing I wonder about is why the need for three filters on the drumloop? This starts to suggest that maybe the drumloop used should have been replaced with another one better suited for the task.

On the bright side though, this is an hypnotic track to some extent, a pretty good atmoshpere in other words. One can dream away a bit. This only works if you have the track on loop and start thinking about other things though. Suddenly you realise that another half hour has passed without you doing anything else than thinking about something trivial.

This tune could have potential, if you would have programmed your own drums (instead of basically building the whole tune on a drumloop you probably found on the net), made them more diverse, and used a bit more variation on the theme. Athmosphere is pretty nice, but the mix leaves a bit to wish for. The sub-bass you used, where is it? Barely audible if I crank up my speakers and add another +6dB to the bass range. I'm guessing you have a subwoofer that reproduces this low-frequency easily. But when mixing music you have to think about the standard everyday John Doe, they usually don't have subs connected to their stereo so they could hear those frequencies well. That's also why most soundstudios have a pair of crappy 200$/pair speakers next to their 2000$/piece speakers in the studio. They need to check that the regular John Doe also gets the best possible out of the music they mix. Think about this the next time you mix a sub-bass in a song. ;) The panning is pretty much left to the stereo delay of Madtracker, but it works though so no huge issue with that.

So what was it that ate away points in this tune then? Well alot you can find reasons to in the text above, but most of all what bugged me was the use of the drumloop. It's not very hard to reproduce the beat your using there, so why not program it yourself and that way be able to add more variation to it than a simple retrigger on various parts is able to provide. You basically filtered out every high-end instrument of that loop so it probably could be re-produced using a couple of snares and a basedrum. You also categorised this as an Drum'N'Base/experimental track, and in my understanding that means the drums are to be pretty important, so even more reason to program them yourself. Given that the drums were pre-programmed for most of the part (you did place a ride and a close hihat there yourself), it also leads me to think this can't have been very hard to put togheter, once you found the parts you wanted.

I was on the border to rating this tune "Bad", but the atmoshpere that did manage to get in there and the pretty good panning created by the stereo delays helped it up. I do hope I didn't discourage you from experimenting more in the future, but next time maybe you shouldn't release an experiment ;)

-Sunbuster


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