How to Make Dubstep: A Step by Step Guide

How to Make Dubstep: A Step by Step Guide How to Make Dubstep: A Step by Step Guide

Dubstep original emerged from the bowels of South London's early 2000s underground scenes as an offshoot of 2-step and UK garage, taking advantage of minimalistic dub production, grime, and drum and bass.

In just a few years, the genre commanded the global electronic music landscape with its unmistakable wobbly bass sounds and heavy-hitting drum grooves. Not only has the genre has not only defined the careers of countless artists like Skrillex, Rusko, Excision, and Flux Pavilion (to name just a few) but it has also shaped the way we perceive bass music as a whole.

If you're learning how to produce your own dubstep track, know that there is a lot to unpack. This bass-heavy genre might sound simple (all you need is the sound of Godzilla laser robots in a blender, right?) but in reality, there's quite a bit to unpack in terms of sound design and drum programming.

In this guide, I'm going to try and demystify the dubstep-making process from the ground up, taking you through the essential equipment and software you'll need to get started and the key elements that define the genre, all while offering practical advice on arranging, mixing, and mastering your dubstep tracks.

Let's get into it!

A Brief History Dubstep

Dubstep's history is rather complex, though most people agree that we can trace the roots back to the late 1990s and early 2000s London. It was here that pioneers like Zed Bias, Steve Gurley, and El-B began experimenting with sounds within the UK garage scene, laying the groundwork for what would become the eventual global phenomenon.

By 2001, the FWD>> club nights at Plastic People in London began inviting up-and-coming dubstep artists to play. It was here that the genre's foundational sound as we know it now was nurtured.

In 2003, DJ Hatcha got a residency at FWD>>, pioneering a newer, darker direction for Dubstep, collaborating closely with producers like Skream and Benga. Hatcha's unique sets had exclusive dubplates from these producers and became instrumental in shaping the early sound of Dubstep.

Across the Atlantic, Baltimore DJ Joe Nice became one of Dubstep's first North American ambassadors, spreading its sound and ethos throughout the states and introducing Dubstep to a new audience.

The genre's jumpy into mainstream popularity didn't happen until the late 2000s and early 2010s, with artists like Flux Pavilion, Knife Party, and Skrillex pushing the genre into new territories.

Flux Pavilion's "I Can't Stop," Knife Party's "Centipede," and Skrillex's "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites" became emblematic of Dubstep's ability to reach wider audiences, blending ultra-intense bass drops with more melodic elements and complex production techniques. These tracks became the dominating forces at music festivals around the world and propelled the genre into the mainstream consciousness.

The Key Characteristics of Dubstep

Learning how to make dubstep begins with understanding the key elements it's made up of, which set it apart from other genres in electronic music. We know that dubstep has a unique sound and feel, but what is it about the genre that makes people want to bang their heads so hard on the dance floor?

Rhythm and Tempo

Though dubstep might sound as if it's in half-time, it actually often operates within a tempo range of 132 to 140 BPM. However, the unique use of the half-time drum pattern is what gives it that sluggish, weighty feel.

This deliberately spacious rhythm is why the bass has so much room to breathe and move.

Drums and Percussion

The drums are probably one of the most important elements in dubstep. As I said, they typically adopt a half-time rhythm for a heavier feel.

The kick and snare are arguably the most important of the drum elements, as they are what provide the strong and steady foundation.

You want a deep and punchy kick drum to give the track a solid low-end thump, a hard-hitting snare or clap, usually placed on the third beat of each measure in standard 4/4 time. To fill the space in-between and add a bit of extra texture and movement, you'll want to use hi-hats and cymbals. You can get more creative with the patterns here.

If you're programming these yourself instead of using loops and samples, experiment with the timing and velocity to create syncopation and swing.

Of course, you'll also often hear unique percussion elements, such as toms, rimshots, and digital or synthesized sounds, which are great for injecting a bit of personality and variation. When you layer these sounds together, you can create a richer, more complex rhythm section.

Bass and Sub-Bass

Next, we have the bass and sub-bass elements, which fill up the low part of the spectrum.

The bass and the kick should complement one another, while providing that visceral, physical sensation that dubstep is known for. We often get the rich and deep bass that we get in the genre through layering different bass sounds and sculpting the different layers to make sure it fills out the space without swallowing up the mix.

Wobble Bass

Then, we have the most iconic sound in dubstep - the wobble bass.

We get the wobble bass sound, thanks to a modulating filter, which creates the "wub-wub" effect we all know and love. We'll get more into this later, but the gist of it is an LFO (Low-Frequency Oscillator) modulation of your synth's cutoff frequency, which allows you to play with the rate and depth of the wobble to match the track's energy.

Influential Artists to Reference

Dubstep has been shaped over the years by numerous artists, and many of them have brought their own unique sound and vision to the genre.

Before we dig in any further, I want to quickly shout out three influential Dubstep artists from different eras, whose contributions have been pivotal in defining and redefining the genre's boundaries. I urge you to listen to them as much as you can, analyze the elements that make their songs great, and try to see if you can draw inspiration from them in your own music.


Skream, a.k.a. Oliver Jones, was one of the early pioneers of Dubstep,

He started DJing in South London scene in the early 2000s using and early version of Fruity Loops and played a significant role in the development of FWD>> nightclub.

While his 2005 solo single "Midnight Request Line" is often heralded as a dubstep anthem, I've always been a fan of "Filth," which feels like it dives deeper into the darker, edgier sides of Skream's music.


Benga is another key figure from dubstep's early days. He played alongside Skream in the early 2000s and eventually formed the trio Magnetic Man. Benga's tracks were known for their unique blend of the already existent South London style with a newer, more innovative East London grime sound.

B (real name Adegbenga Adejumo) alongside Skream and others, played a crucial role in crafting the genre's distinctive sound. Known for his rhythmic innovations and heavy use of bass, Benga's tracks are essential listening for anyone exploring Dubstep.

"26 Basslines" is one of my absolute favorite Benga tracks. It has absolutely relentless energy and showcases that old-school FM sound that dubstep evolved with.


Then, of course, we have Sonny John Moore, better known by his stage name Skrillex, who became a dominating force in dubstep in the early 2010s. He took a much more aggressive, high-energy interpretation of the genre, which many people referred to as "Brostep."

Though Skrillex's sound has evolved tremendously over the years, "First of the Year (Equinox)" is one of the best examples of his early work.

Setting Up Your Studio

Just like a chef might practice mise en place, essentially having all of the right tools and ingredients in place before diving into the creative process, so should any producer.

With a well-set-up studio, you can streamline your workflow and ensure that you have the necessary resources at your fingertips to bring your visions to life. Does this means you need to spend thousands of dollars on expensive studio equipment? Absolutely not! I'll give you a few suggestions to get started on a budget.

Best DAWs for Producing Dubstep

The first thing you'll need is a DAW, and the choice you make is completely preferential. The only thing I'd say is that your DAW should offer robust sampling, sequencing, and sound design capabilities, so you can whip up those signature deep basslines and complex drops dubstep is known for.

Here are some of my top choices for dubstep:

  • Ableton Live (used by Skrillex): Ableton Live has one of the most intuitive interfaces on the market, offering incredibly powerful sampling capabilities and a vast array of built-in effects and instruments. The session view is great for spontaneous production as well.
  • FL Studio (used by Excision): FL Studio has a killer sequencer, an easy-to-use interface, and a huge collection of plugins and synths perfect for bass-heavy genres. I also love the Piano Roll for programming complex drum patterns.
  • Logic Pro: (Benga): While not my personal favorite for electronic music, Logic Pro has a vast library of sounds and advanced production tools at a professional level, including Alchemy, one of the most powerful synths for creating rich textures and basses.

Note that these DAWs are just extensions of these producers' creative visions, so even if you choose to go a different direction, it doesn't mean you can't make great music!

Best Synthesizers for Bass and Leads

Once you have your DAW in place, you'll want to get your hands on some decent VSTs that are capable of making those earth-shattering basses and ear-piercing leads. While many dubstep producers eventually invest in hardware synths, I'm going to suggest you start with virtual instruments first, as they cost far less and can sound just as good in most instances.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Serum by Xfer Records: Serum is one of the most flexible wavetable synths on the market today, perfect for those who want to get more into sound design. Even if you know nothing about creating sounds from the ground up, there are plenty of great presets for rich, dynamic basses and leads, so you can get started creating right away.
  • Massive X by Native Instruments: Massive has long been a go-to for dubstep producers, thanks to its deep, gritty basses and high-octane leads. It provides endless modulation options and unique wavetable oscillators for creating complex sounds that can evolve over time.
  • FM8 by Native Instruments: FM synthesis is a staple of dubstep, and FM8 excels in producing the metallic, growling basses and sharp, cutting leads that the genre is known for. Though the interface is a bit dated, its frequency modulation synthesis engine still offers a massive palette of usable sounds.

Best Drums and Samplers for Dubstep

Dubstep has a signature punch and depth that you can't get without the right drum samples. That's where having decent drum packs and samplers comes in handy. Here are a couple I recommend:

  • Battery 4 by Native Instruments: I've been using Battery 4 for years now, and with its deep library of high-quality drum samples, many of which are made for electronic music production, you have all you need to create complex dubstep drum patterns. Plus, the interface is a dream to work with.
  • Maschine by Native Instruments: Maschine blends hardware and software for a more tactile beat-making experience, which is great for getting off the grid. With a library that includes a range of samples suitable for dubstep and plenty of groove production capabilities, it's great for real-time experimentation.
  • Ableton Live Drum Racks: If you're an Ableton User, I highly recommend taking advantage of Drum Racks. This all-in-one percussion workstation comes stock with the DAW and works wonders for assembling complex drum kits from individual samples.

Best Effects Plugins for Dubstep

To get that dynamic, textured sound you often hear in dubstep, you'll want to have some creative effects. While you might be able to get away with the effects that come stock in your DAW, there are a few that I find myself using just about every time I make a dubstep track:

  • VocalSynth 2 by iZotope: VocalSynth 2 is one of my favorite plugins for transforming vocal samples into something entirely new and otherworldly. With several modules to play with, such as Biovox for natural-sounding vocal effects, Vocoder for classic robotic voice effects, and Compuvox for glitchy, digital textures, you get a broad palette for experimentation.
  • LFOTool by Xfer Records: LFOTool is another heavy-hitter from Xfer Records, offering a versatile platform for creating rhythmic modulation effects. Its ability to sculpt custom LFO curves makes it ideal for adding movement to basslines, leads, and pads, whether you want pumping side-chain effects or evolving pads.
  • ShaperBox 2 by Cableguys: ShaperBox 2 bundles together a suite of effects, each with its own customizable LFO, allowing you to modulate filters, volume, pan, width, and even bit crushing with total precision.

Of course, these plugins are just a fraction of the tools available to dubstep producers, and as time goes on, you'll no doubt build your arsenal. However, for now, I don't recommend getting wrapped up in having a millions plugins at your disposal. Start with a few, get to know them well, and see how far you can push your music with those limitations.

Creating Your First Dubstep Track

Now that you have the right tools at your disposal and a decent grasp of the genre's fundamentals, let's start channeling your creativity into your very first dubstep track.

1. Choosing the Right Samples

Choosing the right samples for your dubstep track is probably the most important part of the music production process. No amount of mixing can turn a bad sample into a good one. Even if you're able to do so, you'll have wasted time trying to process samples when you could have just spent time finding the best ones right off the bat. Here's what to look for:

  • Kick Samples : The ideal kick for Dubstep should have a solid low-frequency presence around 100Hz to anchor the track with depth and power. However, it's equally important for it to contain high-frequency content around 2-5kHz. This high-end 'click' will help the kick cut through the mix, especially once you start adding dense basslines and synths.
  • Snare Samples : A punchy snare that carries weight around 200-300Hz is essential for achieving that satisfying 'whack' we hear from dubstep drums. The body of the snare at this frequency range gives the track with rhythmic heft, while higher frequency content allows it to snap. You might also consider incorporating 909-style claps or something similar, layering them with your snare, and using EQ to carve space for each, to get better top-end crack.
  • Hi-Hats and Percussion : Filling in the rhythmic gaps with hi-hats and other percussive elements is where your creativity truly comes into play. Look for samples that complement the tonal quality of your kick and snare yet provide contrast and complexity. Don't be afraid to experiment with different hi-hats, including closed and open, and layer in unconventional percussion sounds to injects your track with a little personality.

Spend time auditioning your samples and don't shy away from layering samples or applying EQ to make sure they fit with one another.

2. Constructing Your Drums Patterns

Your drums are going to be the rhythmic and energetic foundation upon which every other element in your track will build.

When starting out, I often like to create a two-bar pattern as the main blueprint for establishing the groove. From there, you can make small changes to keep things interesting as the song moves forward.

You can start by placing your kick drum on the first beat of each bar to establish a solid foundation. The snare then typically hits on the third beat of each bar. I'd highly recommend dragging one of your favorite dubstep tracks into your session and matching the placement of the snare and kicks with your own samples. You can make changes down the line, but this should give you a good starting point and help you keep things interesting.

Once your kick and snare are laid down, I'd recommend adding a bit of reverb to your snare and clap stack to give it a nice airy tail and fill the space between each hit. This will give your track more atmosphere. Just remember to high-pass filter the reverb to remove any low-end muddiness, as it'll help keep it from swallowing up necessary low-end energy in the mix.

From there, you can start adding hats and additional percussion layers to make your best feel more complex. I often like to base the way I program my hats and percussion on how energetic I want my dubstep track to sound.

The more frequent your hi-hat hits and layers are, the more energy and drive your track will have, while sparser hi-hat patterns with fewer layers will offer a laid-back feel.

Loop your two-bar pattern and incorporate off-beat hi-hats, shuffles, or triplets to complement the kick and snare. You can also look for top loop samples that fit the groove of your track and achieve a similar effect. Feel free to chop these up and make them your own!

Next, throw in some background crashes and cymbals . I often like to strategically place these at the beginning of a drop or a new phrase to enhance energy and impact. Sometimes, I'll use two crashes and lightly panning them left or right to create a sense of space and width. You can even send these to the same reverb as your snare.

Last but not least, add some other percussion elements like toms, woodblocks, rimshots, and digital glitches to personalize your drum beat even further.

3. Designing Your Wobble Bass

Dubstep tracks, especially in modern dubstep music, usually have more than one bass sound. Before I dive into creating heavy drop basses and growls, I want to give you a little overview on how to create a wobble bass.

For this example, I'm going to use Serum from Xfer Records, though you can use any similar synth that has the same capabilities.

  • Choose Your Waveform: From the 'Initialize Preset,' go to the oscillator A section and select a wavetable that will serve as the base of your wobble bass. 'Basic Shapes' is good for traditional sounds, though I'll often opt for 'Monster' wavetables if I want a more aggressive tones. From there, set it to a square or saw wave to add more harmonics.
  • Apply FM Modulation: To give your bass a bit of added texture, enable oscillator B but turn off its output by clicking the blue button next to its level control. Choose a different wavetable for oscillator B. Then, go back to oscillator A and select 'FM from B' from the warp menu to frequency modulate oscillator A with oscillator B. Adjust the warp knob to taste.
  • Filter and Envelope: Route oscillator A (and B if desired) to a low-pass filter in the Filter tab. This will be crucial for creating the wobble effect. Use Envelope 2 to modulate the cutoff frequency of the filter. Drag and drop Envelope 2 onto the filter's cutoff knob. Adjust the envelope's decay and sustain to control the speed and depth of the wobble.
  • LFO the Filter for Wobble Effect: To get the characteristic wobble, create an LFO in the LFO 1 tab. Draw a shape that fits the rhythm you’re aiming for or select a pre-made shape. Apply this LFO to the filter's cutoff by dragging and dropping it onto the cutoff knob. Adjust the LFO rate to control the speed of the wobble. Sync the rate to your track's tempo for coherence.
  • Add Effects: As the cherry on top, you can add dimension and character with Serum’s built-in effects. Distortion is great for a bit more grit, while compression (especially multiband compression) can bring out the richness of the bass.

If designing your sounds from scratch seems daunting, you can also go with Serum's wealth of presets. There are also plenty of dubstep packs out there, which you can download and integrate into your copy of Serum.

4. Layering Basses and Adding Sub Bass

Beyond your wobble bass, you'll probably want to layer other basses and add a sub bass to give your track a bit more heft. Let's take a look at how you can create a full yet dynamic bassline that anchors your track.

When choosing the right bass sounds , look for that that complement each other in terms of timbre and frequency spectrum. I often like to combine a mid-range bass with rich harmonic content (my 'presence' bass) and a clean sub bass for low-end power.

Wobble basses, growls, and reese basses are great for the mid-range layer.

In terms of picking the right notes for your basslines, start with root notes that align with your chord progressions. If you're in G minor, for example, you can use the root notes G to anchor your track, or the third (Bb) and the fifth (D), for a bit more interest. Experiment with octaves as well, and keep space between notes to create tension and release.

Again, I'd recommend listening to a dubstep track you like and taking notes on the the way the bass is arranged.

To make your bass sounds more interesting, you can experiment with effects . Distortion is great for adding grit and giving otherwise dull instruments a bit more harmonic character. I also recommend experimenting with modulating the filter cutoff using an LFO or envelope to give your bass movement, or adding a chorus, phaser, or flanger for a wider, more animated bassline.

Don't shy away from creative post-processing techniques either, such as bit-crushing or delay and reverb on the higher-frequency layers.

When you feel like you've dialed in your bass sound, try stacking it with a sub , especially on parts that need to hit harder, such as the drop. Your main bass can handle the character and aggression, while the sub bass can provide the foundational low-end support. I'd recommend low-passing it between 100 and 150 Hz to keep it clean and focused. In terms of what kind of sub to use, a simple sine or triangle wave should do the trick.

You can also high-pass your main bass to leave room for the sub, so that they aren't competing for the same frequency range, and side-chain your sub bass to the kick drum to get it out of the way each time the kick hits.

Adding Bass Growls

If you want to throw some extra spice on your bass, try adding some growl bass fills . Look for spaces in your arrangement where the energy dips or before transitions to insert one.

You can use pitch bends, modulation, and automation on your effects parameters to make your growl come to life.

I often like to resample my growl bass with a chain of effects by bouncing it to audio, and then cutting and manipulate it fit into my track. It's great for making fills that are more original.

5. Adding Melodic Elements

Once the basses are hitting, we'll want to add some melodic elements for contrast. Typically, you want these to balance out your aggressive basslines and drums. While there are endless possibilities for melodies in a dubstep song, I'll go over three types of melody approaches:

The Arp

When making an arpeggiator, you typically want to start with a softer synthesizer patch in something like Serum or Sylenth1. Both of these synths have plenty of bright, plucky sounds. "Subtronics" by Scream Saver is a good example of a super-heavy dubstep track with softer arps throughout:

Turn the built-in arpeggiator function on and set it to an ascending, descending, or random mode depending on the motion you want to achieve. From there, you can adjust the rate to fit the tempo and vibe of your track—eighth notes or sixteenth notes are pretty common.

Choose a chord from that fits within your track's key and the arp will cycle through these notes to create a melody. As the chords change in your bassline, you can experiment with different chords to create a bit more movement.

Don't forget to add some reverb or delay for space!

The Chord Synth

Having a chord synth is a great way to get a bit more spread in your sound and give your track a bit more emotion. Take "Wut" by Girl Unit, for instance, which has airy synth chords sprinkled throughout

Start with a polyphonic synth, which is pretty much any synthesizer capable of playing multiple notes simultaneously. Go for a saw wave patch to get a richer, fuller sound. From there, you can design the sound to fit with the rest of your track.

For example, you might apply a low-pass filter to control how bright your chords are or take advantage of an ADSR envelope to shape the sound's attack and decay.

I also recommend construct your chords with unique voicings and inversions to keep them interesting. One pro technique is layering different octaves to add depth.

Lastly, try adding a chorus to widen your synth or use reverb can place it in a space.

Making a Lead Synth

I'd argue that one of the most famous dubstep melodies of all time is from "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites," which comes from a mix of synth leads and chopped vocals. Just like you might choose to produce a pop track with a memorable melody, it ca often be a good idea to take the same approach when your produce dubstep.

To start, choose the right lead sound. Leads in dubstep are often have bright and prominent sounding. A high-energy mono saw or square-wave synth will usually do the trick. From there, you can play around with the modulation parameters, using your synth's onboard LFOs to change the pitch ever so slightly for vibrato or the filter cutoff for tonal variation.

In doing so, you'll keep the lead feeling more interesting over time.

I typically like to add pitch bends at the start or end of phrases, or portamento to glide between notes and create a smoother, more connected feeling, especially in emotional sections.

Once your lead is feeling good, you can add any number of effects for character.

6. Creating Atmosphere with Samples and Effects

Now that you've got the basics of your dubstep track laid out, it's time to add some excitement with samples and effects. This is where you can really let your creativity shine and make your track stand out from the rest.

Here are a few FX samples I often find myself reaching for when I produce dubstep:

  • Impacts: These are short, punchy sounds that add weight and impact to transitions and drops. Use them to emphasize key moments in your track, such as the start of a new section or the climax of a build-up. You can also layer different impact samples to create a more massive, layered effect.
  • Risers: If you want to build tension and anticipation leading up to a drop or climax, risers are the key. Use automation to gradually increase the volume and intensity as they reach their peak. You can always experiment with different riser samples and adjust their length and pitch if they don't fit with your track right off the bat.
  • Sweeps: Similar to risers, sweeps are sweeping sounds that add motion to transitions and build-ups. These are great for smoothing out transitions between sections, so that one part of the track flows nicely to the next.
  • Downlifters: On the other end of the spectrum, we have downlifters, which are descending sounds that signal the end of a section or the start of a new one. These samples can also be used to create smooth transitions between different parts of your track.
  • Atmospheres: Adding ambient or textural sounds to your mix is a great way to fill in the gaps and breathe life into it. Place them in the background to fill out empty spaces and add depth to your mix. Don't be afraid to record your own atmospheric samples while you're out and about and using effects to manipulate them in the mix!
  • Vocal FX: Lastly, we have vocal FX, which are great for adding that human element to your mix. From shouts to chants to reverse vocals, there are infinite ways to approach these. You can even create melodies by chopping and rearranging them in your track. Try a cool vocal chop just before the drop!

While FX are key to making a track with life in it, make sure to use them tastefully. It's easy to overload a mix with too many FX samples, making it sound cluttered and distracting from the main elements. Listen to how your favorite producers use FX to find out how you can use them strategically.

7. Arranging Your Track

Finally, we get to arranging your dubstep track! I highly recommend throwing one of your favorite dubstep tracks in your session and using your section markers to lay out an arrangement and work from there. It's a nice way to get a blueprint for how other producers like to lay out their arrangements.

With that said, there's a slight standard or expectation that we have with dubstep music, and with the general outline below, you can make a track that feels dynamic.

  • Intro: The intro sets the mood for the track. Start off with a minimal arrangement, gradually introducing soft elements like pads, percussion, or maybe a simple melody or chord progression. The goal is to get the listener ready for the journey you're about to take them on. This doesn't need to be any longer than a few bars.
  • Build-Up: From there, you can start gradually increasing the tension leading up to the drop. Bring in some rhythmic elements like kicks, hi-hats, snare rolls, and risers to build energy.
  • Drop (Main Section): I like to think of a drop in dubstep as the chorus. It's the climactic moment that everyone is going to remember, and you want there to be serious energy here. It should feel like a powerful release from the build-up section. Bring your A-game here with a heavy bassline hard-hitting drums, and an impactful melody.
  • Breakdown: After the intensity of the drop, you can strip back the arrangement and give the listener some time to breathe for a few bars.
  • Build-Up/Second Drop: When you feel like it's the right time, you can repeat the build-up section leading into the second drop. It's okay to follow a similar structure to the first one but with some variation to keep things interesting. Throw in some new FX or surprise the listener by cutting the drums out a beat early.
  • Final Drop (Outro): This is the climax of the track, where you can throw everything but the kitchen sink. Again, you can make it similar to the first drop, but add some elements to make it even bigger, such as extra drum fills, vocal chops, or synth layers. Make it BIG.

My approach to arrangement is usually listening to other artists in the same genre, taking their arrangements, and trying to make it work with my own dubstep track. Don't be afraid to experiment different arrangements to find what works best! The beauty of dubstep music is that it's open to interpretation.

Mixing and Mastering for Dubstep

So, your track is sounding decent, the structure is all there, and now you're wondering how to make it sound loud, wide, and clear like so many of your other favorite mixes. Mixing and mastering dubstep or bass music requires a unique approach, even compared to other electronic dance music.

There's a heavy emphasis on low-end, and trying to get a balanced mix while maintaining clarity and punch is no easy feat. I highly encourage you to try and mix your own music when you're starting out, though if you're planning on releasing your music and can't get it up to the standard you want with your skillset, it's a good idea to hire someone with the proper experience and equipment to deliver a professional-quality final product.

With that said, here are a few key things to get your started!

Mixing for Clarity

Mixing is the art of balancing elements in a mix . You want to make sure each element of the track can be heard distinctly within the mix (of course, there are textural elements that don't need to be spotlit, but for every important element, you should create a space).

Start by properly balancing the levels of each track. I love using REFERENCE 2 to A/B my track against a professionally mixed and mastered track to get my track in the right ballpark.

Load your reference track into the plugin, drop the volume by around -6dB, then compare the levels of your mix to those of the reference track using the visual display and analysis tools. When I'm setting levels, I'll switch between my mix and the reference track quickly, making precise adjustments until I get the balance I'm looking for.

Pay close attention to the low-end elements here, including your kick and bass.

From there, use EQ to carve out space for each instrument in the frequency spectrum. The idea is to make sure that they don't compete with each other for sonic real estate. I like to do this in mono, as it helps me focus solely on the frequency balance of my mix without being influenced by stereo imaging. It'll also help you hear phase cancellation issues between stereo tracks.

High-pass filters are your friend in dubstep, as they help clean up the low-end by removing unnecessary low-frequency content from elements that don't need it, such as synths, vocals, and effects.

Check out our how to mix music guide for a more in-depth look at the typical process.

Mastering for Punch and Loudness

Mastering is an entirely different beast.

In its simplest form, we use it to enhance the punch and loudness of a mix and make sure it's up to release standards, whether for streaming, physical release, etc.

Check out our guide on mastering music to learn more or master your track instantly with our one-of-a-kind mastering algorithm !

Final Thoughts - How to Make Dubstep

Learning how to make dubstep is not something you'll master overnight. There are endless techniques, and when you really start to dive deep into the dubstep community, you learn that almost every producer has their own process and style.

With that said, I hope you can take the information above and use it as a jumping-off point. Now, go forth and make some dubstep magic of your own!

Bring your songs to life with professional quality mastering, in seconds!