Dubbing: Jay’s Dub

Dubbing is a sub-genre, applicable to any kind of music. It is a sort of remix in which the vocals disappear and bass and drums are stronger. This manipulation of the tracks of the song works while it is playing by changing their parameters.

It was in Jamaica, thanks to Lee Perry and Osbourne Ruddock, where these techniques were applied to Reggae. Numerous artists and bands publish dubbed music as B sides, bonus tracks or, songs for their album (a famous example are The Clash).

The material was a kind of minimal song with really catchy drums and good instrumental balance. Dubbing originally made songs quicker, dirtier, faster and sharper. For movement, a flanger was added to the higher frequencies of the drums and, while the track was playing, the parameters of this effect were changed and the panning and levelling of all the instruments were modified. To make the track dirtier, noise and distortion were added to the synths, to make it faster, add tremolo on guitar and delay on the lows of the drums during a live. The sharpness came from two new bright guitar arrangements (some reggae vibe to give a sense of the first dub music).

This is the fruit of K3 desk (located in Funkhaus, Berlin): three performances were recorded after connecting the pedals and some output analog gears to some tracks. At home, Pro Tools edited and comped to find the best structure and emphasise these techniques. The guitar arrangements were recorded onto this. Noise, reverb and delay were added digitally and, by a MIDI controller, dubbing their parameters.

For a better experience use anything but laptop or smartphone speakers (it is just a rough mix).

Dubbing: Jay’s Dub

Glitch: Glitch My B**t

Music is not just a harmony-based piece of sound played only on any old instrument. Music comes from any kind of conventional or unconventional sound, and the instruments may be anything: the wind, fire, a moving chair and so on. This method takes its form from anything because it uses malfunction sounds as the core for creating a track.

Failure is a bright side in this technique because it represents a chance to create something new that can be used in an arrangement inside a piece of music. There are no limits to this and it is actually possible to use this idea to create something completely unique.

The song chosen to apply this technique was a dub track of a classic origin. A dozen of interesting pieces of audio were cut from the stems and looped into Pro Tools. After rendering them, they were burned into a CD by iTunes. When you colour or spoil the back of a CD, the player has serious difficulties playing it correctly; so, usually, it doesn’t work right and it creates malfunctioning sounds called glitches. A 15-minute recording of such a CD playing was done onto Pro Tools and from that, arrangements were created with a creative logic. The idea was to come up with some percussive tracks, some noise tracks to give some air and sparkle to the song and some central pieces of audio that could be used as melody or main lines.

Furthermore, the other techniques were tried out (Smplr, Audacity and Vocoder) but no good inspiring material came out of these. The main reason is because that was done in a second moment when the song already had taken on a structure and it was at its final arrangement stage. What these techniques give is something unexpected to use mainly as starting points but, at that moment, final details that were already in the artist’s mind were all that was needed.

For a better experience use anything but laptop or smartphone speakers (it is just a rough mix).

Glitch: Glitch My B**t

The Knock OUT (Friends in music)

In 2009 a group of great friends decided it was the right time to rock and roll: The Knock OUT came to life.

Dam Bitz (guitar and vocals)

Alessandro Segati (guitar and vocals)

Tommaso Bagna (drums and vocals)

Marcello Ricci (guitar and vocals)

After four years of small gigs, contests and lots of covers, Davide Scapin joined the group as “the definitive bass player” and, finally, it was the moment to work on some original material.

460909_432445586770640_1349890961_o.jpgOne entire day was spent inside a professional studio recording in Milano and four songs were live recorded:

  • Heroes and Insomnia (original tracks written by Dam);
  • Volpino (original Italian track written by Alessandro);
  • The Cat Came Back (remake of the great song by Harry S. Miller).

Unfortunately, after this event, the four friends understood they were not anymore on the same wavelength and they decided to disband with a nostalgic smile and a tear. For this reason, nothing has never been done with those four songs yet, but, as Chuck used to say, “You Never Can Tell”: they are still great friends and, someday, they could have that chance to spread their music again.

Said that, here it is what came out from that recording:

I wrote both lyrics and music for Insomnia and Heroes and I am the acoustic guitar player and the leading vocalist. I helped writing Volpino and I am the electric guitar player singing backing vocals too (for The Cat Came Back I did the same).

It is a simple young work produced in a professional environment. Maybe it could have been better, but it really explains who we were at that time: a band of friends willing to have fun together.

The Knock OUT (Friends in music)