Drum n' Bass Battle is cancelled. Thank you to all that submitted. Will resume after midterms

Bummer, just started to get back into DNB. It sucks that negativity resonates so much with people. I mean look at this outpouring of support, but that one person’s insensitive actions holds so much weight. Already been said but don’t let them live rent free. What you did was dope and I hope to see it again.

As far as people fearing stolen tracks, it’s like what Damon Albarn says, that’s why you keep the project files.


I’m posting a new battle at the beginning of next month! Right after mid terms… And i would love to have you! Welcome!


Woot woot!

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Same. Mine are free to download on Soundcloud too.

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Sorry to go off topic, but i just made a sick sketch with the Subharmonicon and the Syntakt…

I just wanted to share!


My Track was #1 Halloween

I found it really hard to think of what I wanted to do for this challenge so I did the whole track in the last couple of days before the end.

I really wanted to do something inspired by John Carpenter and I couldn’t get past this being the film I wanted to pay tribute to, but there is one major problem which is that the Halloween theme is in 5/4 which is not compatible with Drum and Bass.
In the end I thought screw it so we have some 5/4 D&B.
What is interesting is that it doesn’t sound that weird. I’m assuming it’s what Adam Neeley says “Repetition legitimises”. Everyone is very familiar with the Halloween theme and it’s very repetitive so you don’t feel like it’s “off” at all.
All the amen breaks are tweaked to be in 5/4 with Bitwig which was quite fun and fairly easy. I added a bit of Arturia Fragments to glitch it out at times, but I’d like to get more into doing that in a sophisticated way in future.

I started with trying to sample it, but it’s so simple it seemed easier just to reproduce the piano with V Collection and then I could have a bit more fun messing around with it.
The spooky synths are Dune 3 which continues to blow my mind with how good it sounds.

Once I did the first part I was a bit stuck for ideas until someone said “Try a half time section”. I was asking my wife what down tempo songs she knew with good drums in 5/4 and she said “Take 5”. This struck me as kind of hilarious so the middle section is the drum solo and intro from “Take 5”, but in order that it didn’t sound off I swung the piano in that section so it gelled a bit more.

In general given that I didn’t spend much time on it. I’m quite pleased with the results and it achieved my goal which was to get some votes as the previous challenge track (SFII Ken Theme) I spent a huge amount of time on and it attracted zero votes.

If I identify a weakness in what I’m doing its that most of my tracks have a very boring structure in blocks of 4 bars where I just add things in and take them out and also I tend to stay very close to the structure of the source material both with this and with the Ken theme I did previously. That’s something for me to work on for next time.

I also wanted to acknowledge that these challenges (and the hip hop etc) are very important to me and have triggered a huge advance in my production abilities over the last few months. I’m grateful we have them and more importantly the awesome community that exists around them. We can’t let it be spoiled by haters.


Mine was scene 7

Edit: i didnt mean to write so much!

This was my track (link below, not sure if it will unfurl or how to do that here). Ive not been on soundcloud in maybe a decade so hopefully this link works. Soundcloud app seems to be more geared towards consumption than managing your own content

I had previously used the pilot episode of Streethawk (an 80s tv show) for some samples in a track I made. When the challenge was set, that was the first thing that stuck in my mind. A lot of the episode is set at night, the main character is a cop and I could draw some parallels between the show and classic film noir. It was a bit of a stretch so that made me want to use it even more.
As i scanned through the pilot to look for samples i saw that tangerine dream were responsible for the music so I figured I should get some snippets of the synths and atmosphere.
From the episode i took some voice samples that I felt had sinister connotations when taken out of context, some foley for the breakdowns and a snippet of the synths.

And then I bought an Octatrack. When it arrived i felt obliged to use it for the track, so most of what I used in the track are the first sounds that came from playing with that.
The breaks were made from one shots on the octatrack then resampled to the mpc where they were chopped and arranged. The arrangement of one shots was based on the amen break. I also sent a kick, share and hi hat one shots to the mpc as they can be handy when you dont want break chops running when you want to bring the energy down.
The lofi lead sound in the intro was made from a bit of synth from streethawk, chopped at random (equal 16ths without regard to the sample content) in the octatrack and then pitched on the trigs.
The acidy sort of line was done the same way but with use of the octatrack filter.

There was a bit of resampling of the loops i made on the octa going through analog heats filter on the drums and acid which was somewhat clumsily used as the last 8 bars of every 32 throughout the track

For my lead sound i chose 3 notes, i think one of the synakt machines, but i forget which. I played these notes through the AH heat affecting it by hand to make vowel kind of intonations to an otherwise very lazily designed sound.
Sub bass the same three notes.

I then created some short loops that i increased in size to 32 bars. These ended up being the (v1) build ups to the main drops. The main drops in the submitted track were really version 2 of the main part, as I had gone back to the octatrack and compressor and made a break that had quite pumpy splashy rides and i quite liked the energy it had.
I didnt want to waste the v1s as they kind of fitted and had less energy, so it was a matter of just removing some bits to help them work as transitionary parts.

I then spent a while adding and removing sounds, tinkering and not knowing what to do with the second drop. I also realised in had recorded some wrong notes for the lead sounds and had to pitch them down a semitone.

All arranging done in the mpc one.

I had big regrets as i went through the process, but the end goal was to finish a tracks, and do this by practicing transitions, handling tension.

I regretted a lot of sound design choices as i commited to sample very quickly rather than developing the sounds as much as i should. I ALSO wasnt thinking about levels/mixing early enough.
I had a bit of analysis paralysis and left some pretty significant changes to the very end.
I regret committing to the voice samples i used as they have significant background fx in them, and i chalked it down as "ill drown them out or surround them with similar noises later, but i didnt.
I also probably would have made the second drop the first drop (as it was a bit cleaner) and made a new second drop that had a bit more than the first. The two drops I have are too similar and I feel not interesting enough a payoff.

All in all though, it was a great experience to work with outside influences, but now the deadline is up, i dont feel at all motivated to finish, when in my mind i know theres a lot more i would change before it got to the point where im tinkering for the sake of it


Great choice, as this was my favorite part of your song (good track overall, but this section bowled me over in a good way)


Absolutely shockingly good. You got my top vote.

I was going to ask how you made the lead, so was a bit sad when you revealed it was made witg a type of synth i dont have. Information like that is not good for the gas.


I loved the Ken theme! And you did get some honorable mentions! I spent hours on my Monster Hunter track AND IM THE HOST!! and I didn’t get one vote either! How dare they! It was one of my best tracks too!

Im just kidding… the vote is arbitrary, and if it was open to the general public, we would get a better spread. But I like how its tied to submitting, so there is more incentive to participate than to just come in and be judge.

I am also trying to break out of staying so close to the structure… My monster hunter song was the first that I used Pigments to make radically different parts… maybe you could experiment with that… try producing two songs in the same key, then spending time trying to transition between them… making you have a/b/ parts. I mean your tracks sound great, so you are not far off from reacing your goals!

This happens when you past a link from a mobile browser… if you get the link from a desktop browser, you will get a regular link.

and @Pharmer and @monquixote, and everyone else who writes long debriefs like this…

Thank you! This type of breakdown that is so thorough and well thought out is valuable to people who are trying to start producing… it gives them a framework to compare to a finished track, and is probably the true reason to do these challenges… to get better at production, and to help others to produce.

So thank you for sharing the process.



Here is what the desktop link looks like in case you want to compare to the mobile link… look for an “m” before “soundcloud”.

Great track by the way! i have it up in the background as I type this!! I love it!

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Did you catch the post above yours? About what Brian Eno said?

Have you tried crossdressing at airports?.. wait no… the other one… making around a loop and taking it out?


:wink: …crossdressed only on stages…sometimes…never at airports…while working around loops only to take them out later, was a certain production procedure i used a lot, as a great learning and creation tool in my early years…


Im hoping it works in these later years!

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…no worries…it’s a timeless workstrategy…whenever u have a “writersblock”, take a loop from one of ur favourite songs, the more obvious and famous, the better…aaaaand play along underneath and on top of it, kill that loop and see what U got…


great idea!

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…not mine…eno’s.


I just read the thread that led to this being cancelled. If hosting on SoundCloud is an issue, perhaps future battles could be made downloadable via torrent magnet links? They are fairly easy to set up with a public tracker and cost nothing. Just a thought!

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I don’t think torrent links are allowed on the forum.

But SoundCloud has been addressed and is a non issue.

For those that don’t feel comfortable with me using it to host can choose to not participate in the battle.

Thank you though for offering a suggestion. And I hope you join us in a battle. If not to submit a track, at least to listen to what others produce!


Got the link sorted (im on ios and had to dig a little deeper into the native share sheet to get the proper link)

I appreciate the support and feedback - thanks so much

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