Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Track from Scratch

Producing a Drum and Bass Track in Under One Hour

Tutorial | Jun 27, 2022

I created a drum and bass track from scratch in this video. I started by adding a snare to a sampler and then adding a kick drum and some hi-hats. Then I created a bass line by modulating the oscillator and adding a beat limiter and a step mod. After that I added a pad sound with some modulation and a delay. I then added some more drums and a crash. I then added a clap and used a filter to make the kick and bass stand out more in the intro. Finally, I added a micro pitched synth and faded out the pad for the outro.

You can watch the Video on Youtube - support me on Patreon

Questions & Answers

Maybe you dont watch the video, here are some important takeaways:

What is the purpose of adding distortion to the kick drum?

The purpose of adding distortion to the kick drum is to add texture and layers to the sound. It can give the kick drum a more aggressive and powerful sound which can help it stand out in the mix. Distortion can also add harmonics and overtones to the sound, making it sound more unique and interesting.

How can you make the snare sound more unique?

To make the snare sound more unique, you can add a sample on top of the snare. This will add more texture and depth to the sound. You can also use effects such as distortion, equalizers, and limiters to shape the sound. Additionally, you can also use a drum machine or sampler to create a collage of different snare sounds.

What is the purpose of using a transient shaper?

A transient shaper is used to bring the different elements of a drum beat out from each other. It can help to make the kick and snare pop out from the mix, allowing them to be heard clearly. It can also be used to adjust the attack and sustain of each element in the drum beat


This is what im talking about in this video. The text is transcribed by AI, so it might not be perfect. If you find any mistakes, please let me know.
You can also click on the timestamps to jump to the right part of the video, which should be helpful.

[00:00.000] So I kind of want to have some kind of nice snare.
[00:28.560] So maybe use this one here.
[00:32.320] I put this in a sampler and I only need one shot here and you can see the sampler sometimes
[00:36.800] snaps to the audio event here.
[00:40.960] Kind of feel it when you try it.
[00:46.240] So also we need only here this part, right?
[00:49.680] We don't need everything.
[00:51.920] So let's see.
[00:54.320] Yeah.
[00:55.320] We also don't need your key tracking, so I switch this off and we go to 173 BPM and put
[01:04.680] down some patterns here, the snare on this.
[01:13.680] And we use a kick drum and I use e-kick from Bitwig here.
[01:20.880] I think in drum bass for the kick drum sometimes you don't need actually texture layer on top
[01:26.000] of the synth kick drum because these are sometimes super short actually.
[01:36.800] So I basically change this here a bit, distortion.
[01:45.760] I explain in a minute what I mean.
[01:51.640] And so with distortion on the high end here, low end, maybe a limiter.
[02:01.600] And then distortion on everything to get a bit of overtones or harmonics.
[02:09.240] Nice.
[02:11.320] Maybe you can also use your sample on top of this.
[02:23.720] Something like this.
[02:24.720] That's super mid-rangey, which is the thing here.
[02:32.560] We need to high pass this probably.
[02:50.600] Get a bit of texture on top of the e-kick drum.
[03:00.560] It's the same, kind of the same, right?
[03:05.560] Microphone still recording?
[03:06.560] Yeah.
[03:07.560] Nice.
[03:08.560] So without the kick drum here or without the sample, it sounds a bit synthetic, bit of
[03:23.760] dirt in there.
[03:24.760] It's always nice.
[03:25.760] So we need some hi-hats, see what we have here.
[03:40.120] And maybe I could go for a drum sampler or drum machine, that's how it's called here.
[03:44.360] And I take a bunch of these samples here.
[03:46.200] I don't know how they sound, but I'm probably sure they are fine.
[03:52.960] And we make collage of sounds.
[03:57.480] We put this here on the start.
[04:04.320] We can make these two a bit softer here, the velocity.
[04:20.240] We put this here.
[04:34.280] And maybe put something like this here.
[04:40.040] All right, that's two.
[04:45.800] That's not what I want.
[04:50.800] Maybe it's not a good idea.
[04:56.400] Maybe do something like this.
[05:18.560] That's good, do something, maybe a bit of swing, not too much.
[05:31.440] That's this one, okay.
[05:36.280] Maybe cut this a bit shorter.
[05:48.040] So here with the snare, put this also in a drum rack and use this E-snare below that.
[06:01.520] Bit of noise.
[06:09.520] Okay, maybe do this a bit longer.
[06:17.080] Join this together.
[06:27.440] Maybe some ghost notes.
[06:32.000] Software and also probably down to 20, I think 25.
[06:41.520] We don't play this all the time.
[06:51.200] Nice.
[06:53.920] Maybe put the limiter on this here.
[07:09.840] So this is the snare, this is the kick, these are the hats.
[07:20.600] I need a bit of different hi-hat here.
[07:26.640] Maybe something different, something like this, I can just clone this here.
[07:51.880] With key-tracking off, maybe a bit more high-pitched, I passed.
[08:21.720] Distortion, maybe distortion on everything, that's better.
[08:39.080] You can do this for hours, probably.
[09:08.920] Okay, so we group this together into drum bars, we need a transient shaper, bring everything
[09:32.040] out in between the drums, FX3, we need a hi-pass here.
[10:01.880] Okay, so now that we have this, we can use a hard clip here, we increase by 1 dB.
[10:31.720] Maybe reverb on this, let's get a bit of room.
[11:01.560] I don't know, that's okay.
[11:10.080] So now we have a nice groovy drum bass here, maybe duplicators and make this longer, I
[11:21.440] think it's better this way, 8 bars, 16 bars, 8 bars.
[11:35.440] Okay, so let's start to make a bass, bass 4, the name.
[11:49.280] Start here, start on E, nice bass, but we go to modulate by oscillator B here, the tuning,
[12:07.760] nice, too much, let's use LFO, classic, non-synchronized.
[12:29.800] I love to use unsynchronized LFOs here for this, nice.
[12:55.960] So we use a beat limiter on this one here, oh we need to switch this actually to mono,
[13:13.400] no tree trigger, it's probably also nice, nice, duplicate, second bass sound.
[13:43.360] That's a nice answer here.
[14:01.760] Maybe I just use a step mod.
[14:31.400] And then what do we modulate this one here, this one, this one, this one, this one, this
[15:01.320] one, this one, this one, this one, this one.
[15:19.660] and then this
[15:21.660] maybe we pitch this down to the original root note
[15:51.660] oh yeah we bring this in
[16:21.660] so it's it's i mean it's not the best bass line but it is a bass line
[16:52.140] bass boss fx2 we cut everything in the middle
[16:57.980] pick the middle down here pick the middle there maybe phaser
[17:27.980] okay cool device
[17:40.460] minus right 3db pick the middle here pick drum needs to be here
[18:10.460] so i try to fit the bass with the kick a bit more so it you know sounds like there are two
[18:32.540] entities working together so it's more like an you know i listen to it a bit more i mean you can
[18:38.380] probably measure this out with frequencies and pitch curves and whatnot but i think most of the
[18:44.460] time it's better to just try to hear it
[19:15.180] so
[19:35.420] oh yeah this is nice i like it
[19:38.380] sounds a bit more like it's more like jungle feel to it but you know sometimes i like it
[19:48.540] so we have drums we have bass let's group this together drum and bass
[19:54.380] it's balance balances out here fx3
[20:14.300] you can see here in the low end in the low part
[20:17.020] kick comes through and overpowers the bass which is exactly what i want but not too much
[20:26.620] maybe we can also look at here the bass uh the kick drum a bit more
[20:37.020] so this is the kick basically here and this is the bass switch the bass off
[20:41.740] you can see this is the kick overpowering the bass but only the low end so everything
[20:50.140] between zero and 284 hertz
[20:56.460] the here 80 hertz you can see there's nothing from
[20:59.180] you can't see anything from the kick drum here at 126 there comes the kick slowly through
[21:13.660] so
[21:36.620] okay that's it
[21:37.500] it now we need some some chords
[21:48.940] let's use
[21:51.660] with the notes here that's the regular minor chord
[21:57.820] maybe an octave lower
[21:59.020] not and we are on here i need a micro pitch
[22:11.100] like this
[22:18.540] and some modulation so it's so it's not that stale
[22:22.460] so smooth bar free
[22:33.820] yeah
[22:34.060] yeah
[22:44.780] like pitch modulation
[22:48.780] um
[22:59.500] revoke
[23:01.500] that's better, so this is the pad sound, our main pad
[23:31.500] maybe you can build something out of this pad, an octa fire, step mod, clear this
[23:49.740] much a light shade of this, smooth the sound, maybe
[24:19.020] a delay, so it's straight on the one right, so I want to move this a bit or offset this
[24:44.220] whole sound by two delay steps here
[26:14.620] first to bring in a bit of movement, and maybe we do here awesome, poly, polysynth
[26:38.620] this, and the delay
[27:08.620] I really just want to move this here for now
[27:36.140] so every time we hit this, we want to change the cutoff position, so I switch this to hold,
[27:45.340] switch this to note, and we offset this here
[28:11.740] the cutoff position
[29:01.900] Uh, WTutorial, okay, so what else, um, maybe we add some, some right sounds.
[29:20.420] Oh, fuck it, I just need to take it.
[29:40.380] A bit less velocity here, and we do this for the second part here as a right, and maybe
[30:09.340] for the first part we create some kind of shaker feel.
[30:16.460] Let's see what we have here, oh yeah, let's do the drum machine, let's see what we can
[30:35.740] do out of this, it's over here, uh, maybe it's short, yeah, that sounds shit I know.
[31:04.740] Why is there a loop, the loop here, this one's short sounds.
[31:22.180] Okay, let's see what we have here, oh yeah, let's see what we have here, oh yeah, let's
[31:52.140] see what we have here, oh yeah, let's see what we have here, oh yeah, let's see, oh yeah,
[32:21.980] let's see what we have here, oh yeah, let's see what we have here, oh yeah, let's see
[32:49.820] what we have here, oh yeah, let's see what we have here, oh yeah, let's see what we have
[33:19.780] here, so now we need a crash, put the reverb on it, and it bounces out, it's a reversed
[33:46.180] crash, these two get pitched down by 12 semitones, that's too loud, so we make it a bit quieter.
[34:03.540] Let's see what we have here, oh yeah, let's see what we have here, oh yeah, let's see
[34:32.020] maybe we get you some polysense in there, play some random stuff on the keyboard, the
[34:45.500] ... the three block.
[35:45.500] the corals, and a bit of pitch modulation.
[36:01.500] I'm going to put this at the end here.
[36:27.500] I'm going to put this at the end here.
[36:47.500] Maybe it's a synth wavy.
[37:13.500] I'm going to put this at the end here.
[37:40.500] Okay, so this is probably here after the drop.
[37:46.500] Drop happens after 65.
[37:49.500] In the intro we probably need the pad.
[37:56.500] Maybe not that fast.
[38:12.500] Damn it!
[38:18.500] I want to make this shorter.
[38:44.500] Just have something for the DJ to mix.
[38:49.500] Okay, so then we can pitch it into that.
[38:57.500] Bring in the kick at some point here.
[39:17.500] Nice!
[39:25.500] Maybe I just record something here.
[39:55.500] Just to fill the space, you know.
[40:15.500] Okay, so then we can pitch it into that.
[40:35.500] Okay.
[41:04.500] Nice little intro.
[41:08.500] Bring in some of the dubby things at some point.
[41:14.500] You can modulate and even more the delay.
[41:28.500] Reverb on this thing here.
[41:46.500] Maybe I find a clap here that I can use in the intro.
[41:58.500] And then...
[42:19.500] Let's see how does it sound when I filter.
[42:42.500] Here the kick and the intro a bit.
[42:55.500] Go down and here it's completely full range.
[43:10.500] Maybe I switch the filter completely off.
[43:40.500] Okay, so then we can pitch it into that.
[44:00.500] Put this together in a group, music group.
[44:24.500] You can use it from the bass to side-shading and put this also on the music group.
[44:51.500] Not too much.
[44:58.500] Okay.
[45:27.500] Maybe we can change here the dubby feel a bit up at this point here by just pitching this up one octave.
[45:35.500] So instead this, place this.
[45:44.500] And maybe we can also change the bass here and put the filter on it.
[45:51.500] And here we have the full range on here.
[45:57.500] Just filter out everything.
[46:02.500] Try the thirds maybe, I don't know.
[46:14.500] Or you can also change up the bass patterns or instead of this we maybe make this longer or it's older.
[46:28.500] Let's go one octave higher and choose here micropitched exactly one octave lower.
[46:47.500] It's super simple actually.
[46:59.500] Maybe not polyphonic, maybe monophonic.
[47:28.500] Yeah, I think that's it.
[47:47.500] I would probably do here then a mid part and then maybe bring this part again, so mid part, then this part again and then outro.
[48:02.500] I feel like this.
[48:06.500] There are certain parts here of this and then outro is probably also something from the intro.
[48:35.500] Probably fade this pad out here.
[49:05.500] Have you a stupid appreciator?
[49:29.500] Put the note up like this one.
[49:59.500] That's it.
[50:19.500] And so we fade this in over time.
[50:39.500] So at the same time kind of a riser.
[51:08.500] Maybe suspended.
[51:38.500] I think that's it.
[51:52.500] We can use this intro also, maybe knock the floor.
[52:18.500] Nice.
[52:39.500] Nearly one hour recording, recording time.
[53:08.500] I think that's it.
[53:36.500] Why is there still playing here?
[53:45.500] No notes here.
[53:51.500] So how does this outro sound?
[54:07.500] You fade this out to zero and this pad also zero.
[54:24.500] This too and this w thing also no.
[54:37.500] Slightly fade.
[54:54.500] Maybe more reverb to put it now in the background.
[55:21.500] Okay, I think that's it.
[55:24.500] This is now 5 minutes 32, nearly 6 minutes.
[55:36.500] Two more details in the intro.
[55:55.500] We remove the bass here, as I like that.
[56:10.500] More in the background.
[56:37.500] More in the background.
[57:06.500] I think that's it.
[57:20.500] Of course then later on, after two days, you probably want to replace some snares.
[57:25.500] You want to replace hi-hats or maybe bring in more details and change this pad and this
[57:31.500] pad, maybe change some mixing decisions.
[57:37.500] This is then the hard part probably, but the main phase, the main creative phase, that would be everything I would do.
[57:45.500] Move bold, move fast, make decisions, create something.
[57:50.500] You can fix everything later on.
[57:53.500] Not in the master, I mean you can fix it in the project itself, right?
[57:56.500] You can exchange everything.
[58:00.500] But even then, I would stick to most of these sounds later on.
[58:06.500] I wouldn't make that much bold moves later on, because then you can change probably the whole track into something different.
[58:15.500] And so I would stick to that and only change details.
[58:33.500] Maybe the bass needs some change up here and there.
[58:36.500] It's a bit boring over time, all the time having the same pattern, but you know, you can do that.
[58:43.500] I think that's it for this tutorial or video.
[58:49.500] 59 minutes exactly.
[58:51.500] Thanks for watching guys.
[58:52.500] Leave a like if you liked the video, subscribe to the channel and this project is of course available on my Patreon.
[58:58.500] So make sure you subscribe there too.
[59:01.500] Thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next video.
[59:03.500] Bye.