Dubby stabs in House and Techno

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PC Principal
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Dubby stabs in House and Techno

Post by PC Principal »

After years and years of different ways to creating these I'm finaly at the point where I can recreate them with ease.

The smoothest one I ever did, was resampled on hardware and then run it a third time through a filter and reverb. That is a lot of work but I knew that the tune is going to get released, so I took the challenge and was eager to have it sounding way better in my remxing than in the OG.

Lately I did squashed the shit out of it with an API 2500 and hitting a tube amp hard before the huge GR (you can open the filter all the way with no nasty peaks that way, but you have to use a comp which doesn't sound like compressing...this where the 2500 comes into play). It was running through a Microcosm pedal I guess before.

Another trick: Sampling them on a MPC and then playing back the chord on the pads > instant UK feeling.

I had the idea to sample the eight strokes I have layed down for a new tune on a EPS to get that lovely grit of the machine. Multisampling the heck out of it!
Gotta get me a chimp...

The most fun synth for these is a Prophet analoque poly. I bet Basic Channel used a Prophet 5. I wonder what a Jupiter would sound like.

Who do you approach this? Share your FX chains, process...
Last edited by PC Principal on Wed Jan 25, 2023 3:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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notmiserlouagain
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Re: Dubby stabs in House and Techno

Post by notmiserlouagain »

PC Principal wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 1:12 am I bet Basic Channel used a Prophet 5.
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chai baba
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Re: Dubby stabs in House and Techno

Post by chai baba »

I got good results in splitting the signal path and send parts of the audio signal through different delay chains. Combined with a good amount of saturation/distortion and filters. Low pass and Bandpass are ace. Not to forget about using different halls/rooms. Phasers can be tasty as well. Let us pls hear what you did with your approach. I`m interested in the results you are happy about. In my experience it is not super important to have the most raw sounding saw wave you can get. Once back in time I wrote with an artist I liked back then and asked him which synth he was using. He replied that the main sound was coming from a korg trident. I don`t hear a huge difference in using my Joranalogue Generate 3 or the Pittsburgh Double Helix. They are not identical, not at all. But IMHO I think it is more important what comes after the raw oscillator sound.
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Katharine Burr
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Re: Dubby stabs in House and Techno

Post by Katharine Burr »

The basic sound of a dubtechno stab is indeed relatively simple (a few basic oscillators hitting a simple chord). Which is also why so many dubtechno tracks sound more or less the same.

But, if you listen to classic dub/reggae records (King Tubby, Lee Perry etc), the stabs are typically different combinations of electric guitar, piano, organ, horn-sections and various percussion instruments, like shakers and congas.The combination of instruments with different tone qualities (timbres), playing different notes/octaves, result in stabs rich in both harmonic and inharmonic (noise) frequencies. The timing of the individual instruments (early/late on the beat, soft or hard playing) can also make a big difference.

With this approach, the stabs are already harmonically complex on the master tape recording, before the dub mixer employs any effects at all(!), and they then mainly use effects to "sculpt" the sound that's already there (reduction).

Compared to this, the dubtechno approach is about trying to get as much out of a simple synth chord as possible, using various forms of distortion to add harmonic and inharmonic frequencies to a single soundsource (the synth stab), which limits what you can achieve with it. Taking a more old school approach, composing complex, multi-instrument/multi-track stabs first, and only then begin using effects, opens up a much wider and (in my opinion) more interesting sound palette.
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PC Principal
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Re: Dubby stabs in House and Techno

Post by PC Principal »

That is a conclusion I came to too. 10 years ago I was searching for that sound and almost found thats it's impossible until I LFO'd a classic clap in Simpler. Today I hear it everywhere. I like to play 2 or 3 Congas at once and if you play them with some big cushioned sticks it sounds like shizzle ma nizzle!
Also I touched a harmonium a couple of times, it's dubtechno in a nutshell.

The plus with a synth is how you can tweak the sound at it's core (I usually record hardware on tape and edit in real time). I've got a few samplers around but none is laid out like a classic subtractive voice or kinda hussle to program so it's more a set and forget thing and maybe play with the filter. I once got scammed on a NordWave - I never got down that road ever since.
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PC Principal
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Re: Dubby stabs in House and Techno

Post by PC Principal »

notmiserlouagain wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 2:29 am
PC Principal wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 1:12 am I bet Basic Channel used a Prophet 5.
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Just stumbled across this pic of Monolake after having attended his mind-blowing, hairdo-rearranging set last sunday :hail:
Jelly! I'm quite into his Silence LP. Once I visited Paris and walked past an outdoor venue in the city that afternoon. The workers were building the stage back, a few steps later I saw that it was a Monolake show the other day. Well I did not felt lucky for me in this moment.... ;)
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fastlanestranger
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Re: Dubby stabs in House and Techno

Post by fastlanestranger »

I'm in love with this sound and, therefore, with this topic.

Sometimes I spend hours trying to come up with some fancy melody or something and then realize all I want is the good goose of a chord stab with some delay and I ascend to heaven.
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Re: Dubby stabs in House and Techno

Post by Artomas »

From the OP...
"Filter and reverb... hitting a tube amp... compression that doesn't sound like compression... sampled... resampled... Microcosm pedal..."

I was thinking, all of that seems to achieve the same idea as what the original dub (before techno) producers used: Space Echo, Echoplex, that sort of thing... the original sample replayment systems had tape compression, amp, filters, reverb, grit and glitches, all in one. Then, you'd have channel strips for more shaping.

It's good to see it itemized, so if an emulation is weak in one area, you know what to add. Dub techno sound is cleaner than old-school, which is good when using emulations, but you can still hear "tape delay character"
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