What's the difference?

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What's the difference?

Post by MaurinhoDUB))) » Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:02 pm

Big up everyone!

I was wondering... What can be considered Live dubing:

Remixing studio recordings live with multitrackers and studio equipment to an audience?


Operating the mixing desk along with efects ,dub sirens etc... with a live playing reggae band?

or are they both considered live dubing? :-?

this may be in intertsing discussion...

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Post by JahNice » Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:58 pm

To me "Live Dubbing" is when i make a one-take-dub-mix in my little dub
lab.. So it dont have to be played live to an audience at that moment, but
the effects should be added live in one recording session.. That means it
is live to me when i press record and the individual tracks are played back
(or played live by a band) and i do the mutes, add effects ect until the
end of the tune and then i press the stop button.... So there is no turning
back and no mistakes allowed.. thats why i call it live dub.. because one

But it depends on how you look at it.. for other people "live dub" might be
a band that is actually playing the dub effects with no one at the mixing
desk.. Or like you said it could be Remixing recordings with studio
equipment, live to an audience... Like the Mad Professor live gigs or Zion

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Post by Zutao » Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:06 pm

I wonder about 'dry' dubs.. If you have a mixed-down riddim with no effects and drop-outs, I wonder whether you could cut a 'dub' from that using just EQ and a couple of effects.

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Post by JahNice » Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:54 am

You can do it, in the 70's they used to do versions like this. Some good
soundsystems still do it live nowadays.. In particular parts of a tune, they
cut or boost hi frequencies or bass with the filters or eq's of their custom
built preamps, add FX, sirens,samples, live instruments, so this way
every session is a different LIVE event.

Peace Yiannis

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Post by Zutao » Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:07 pm

Thanks for that Yiannis. I find it very inspirational. If we look at what the brother is doing in this video:


Where he seems to be taking a dub version of Max Romeo's Melt Away (apt choice), and he emphasises its dubness by just using the bass and treble tone controls on a home hifi, imagine what could be done with a parametric/bandpass in a one-time take such as here:


So, having a raw riddim with no dub dropouts or effects, and putting it through one pass through a specially designed machine adding reverb and delay and maybe noises, is like using a classical method in a surrealism. It's really good to have that precedent. This approach is further reinforced by Shaka's statement in this video:


Where he says 'what we really work on more than anything are the frequencies [...] the roll-off on the dBs'.

So it seems safe to conclude that with a properly designed box, dub can be produced without a mixer. Sounds almost like heresy when you put it like that. :grin:


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Post by JahNice » Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:32 pm

Yes, my uncle has produced a whole Dub-kinda album like this, it called

IditafarI Family - Dub Ruffneck.

He used old instrumental riddims which we have play in the past, just
normal stereo recordings... Some filtering, delay, reverb, some voice bits
as overdubs (so there are two stereo tracks overall) and voila... The
effects and filtering is offcourse done on the mixing desk.


Omnitronic DMF-2

its a hi pass low pass multi dj filter! On the net you can get it for like 20
bucks and for that price it does an amazing job.In the regular mode I
would never send my whole mix throu it cause it cuts to much hi and low
freeq's but it worx great in the Band-Notch mode. Another bad thing is
that the switches click... but if you can avoid to push them while dubbing
thats no problem.. Really nice thing if you love sweeping hipass lowpass
filters like all human beings should :-)

I had done some experiments before my cousin lend me the target
mixer i m using right now. So before i had the possibility to dub "right",
I would just take a keyboard with 4 outs and "route" them often like this:

outputs: to:
1: drums ------------> Spring reverb
2: Bass ------------> compressor
3: riddim ------------> wah wah----> delay (or vice versa)
4: melody ------------> reverb----> phaser (or vice versa)

then mix everything down with a 4 channel dj mixer (good for the
filtering). So i did not have a mixer for the dubbing, only for the
summing.. The dub action was happening @ the Keyboard (muting) and @
the outboard FX or pedals, as i keep turning them on/off, changing
parameters and so on..

Peace Yiannis

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Post by Zutao » Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:21 pm

Wow, sounds like a nice machine. However, I can design and build a better one from scratch. with several bandpass filters, kill switches and effect sends, designed specifically for trying to make dubs from dry instrumentals. I always prefer to make my own gear when I can. It's good to know that post-mixdown EQing+effects is a 'legit' approach to making a dub.

I have played with most methods of dub production and dub sounds, but am still looking for the ultimate 'final solution in dub' LOL. The solution must be method as for me method is more important than the sound, because I'm thinking if the technique is elegant the end result will always be elegant (think of Tubby with his high pass and reverb tank). Doesn't matter really what it sounds like, as long as the process is art and an unplanned and faithful expression of self, in the moment. Thanks again. This will be a good experiment and will keep me out of trouble. I'll post a demo vid when I'm done (in a couple of months). 8-)

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Post by JahNice » Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:07 pm

:shock: The DMF-2 is a just a cheap standard dub toy compared to the gear you
want to build! If you succeed with your purpose, it will be a legendary dub
machine! One of its kind and truly innovative!

Waiting to see the results of your task


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Post by Zutao » Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:48 am

Thanks for your encouraging comments! I will get to work right away, although the results will be good but the time of dub legends is over. There is a cloud in the silver lining though.. Also the internet and computers has changed the way things are done and information and developments are perceived, and the future is probably in digital synthesis not analog electronics. Sound system skills and tastes are also becoming much less important, so what we're talking about on this board will remain a small scale specialised niche interest, which is probably the way it should be. You can bet the commercial studios pumping out 3 or 4 generic steppers tracks a day aren't interested in this stuff or any kind of experimenting. Blacka Dread talks about this massive sea change in reggae at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XLQm1M7-V8

Probably best if I stay away from this board for a while until it's done. My ideas right now are to keep the whole thing MONO, to include a very fine adjustable crunch on each filter (note how woolly the lower end is when Festus uses that 70s solid state stuff to bring out the piano in Melt Away - a very fine multiband distortion would give it definition), and to separate the signal into several adjustable (moveable centre and maybe adjustable bandwidths) including one for bass, another to lift the kick drum to a quite high frequency thump maybe adjustable between 100hz and 130hz to get that Tubby 4-to-the-floor feel, another band for crunch organ/bubble, one for skank/melody and one for hats. On each band, can bring in spring reverb or analog echo (from plugged-in FX units). Talk again soon!

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Post by JahNice » Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:57 pm

I wish i could just build my own stuff like you, but until now i did not have
the opportunity to delve into electronics, as my priority was "music first"...
Always, wanted to be a musician. But i have made some small projects
like a nice spring reverb, and i try to repair every electronic thing that is
broken, to get a better understanding of electronics..

For me Dub has always been independent underground music! The
Soundsystem Scene worldwide is still developing strong, in all countrys
you have new good roots sounds coming up, supporting the true
underground artists. Thats the real "radio" for dub and roots music in
general, people come together and dance to the dub all night long. And i
believe that,this is the best way to listen to dub, over big hi powa
systems, dancing together with other people, not at home alone with your
headphones on or at a small house party with your buddies.
Sounds like aba shanti or even mungos are just a few standard
examples of sounds that rose to the "legendary status" in the 90s and
after the millenium. And from what i know mungos hifi relaese on vinyl
and often the releases are sold out few days after the release
Also checkout reggaedubwise or dubark, artists like Anti Bypass,
Earlyworm or Yabass are the legends of tomorrow for me...

and the future is probably in digital synthesis not analog electronics.

for me this would be like saying that the future for humans is probably on
the net and through PCs & TV and not on the real places of the world.... I
think the digital technologies are FAR away from getting to the perfect
non-perfection of analog sound and real instruments.. For me an acoustic
guitar for example, resonating near to my body while i play, is a mystical
feeling/vibe that can not be duplicated by digital technologies(not yet
anyway...). these things can not be modelled for me, you can get close to
the original, but in the end it will be just a copy of the original, and this is
the difference i can feel!

Off course, i must say hat i love technology and it would be stupid to not
use the advantages of digital stuff, but he thing is that with a good mix of
analog and digital you can get best results, so that is the right path for me
personally. the middle path

Its nice reasoning with you, as my eyes see different views through your

Peace Yiannis

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Post by Zutao » Mon Mar 22, 2010 8:58 pm

I see your point, but let me ask you, how does dub music get to be on the reggae 'radio' of sound system these days? It has to be promoted by a commercial interest first. It's no longer a case of you bringing your dubplate to the sound system operator. Rather, it's something planned well in advance, capturing 'territory' in the market with fake internet astroturfing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astroturfing) and generally trying to look spontaneous and vaguely left-wing, all the while being ruthlessly 'pop' and thinking business. Like Blacka Dread said in the video, the dub is made and played at sound system sometimes 6 or 12 months ahead of release, and when the time is up, it might not even be released at all. Of course if you pump your music at people with 10 megawatt speakers, it will leave an impression. This impression creates a demand in the marketplace, and if you're lucky you will have the chance to churn out very similar products over and over again. This is what happened with digi-steppers.

So, what makes a great sound system? In the past it was word of mouth, now (without mentioning any names) you need 5 or 6 websites telling everyone you're the UK's (or wherever's) 'number one soundsystem' and how great you are, first. Frankly if someone told me they had, say, Germany's 'number one soundsystem' I wouldn't have any reason to doubt it, as I don't live in Germany and don't know which sounds are playing there. But for all I know it could be just a standard (smaller) reggae system with the same old JBL amps and same old scoop bins and speaker stacks as everyone else. As for the claim of anyone having the UK's number one soundsystem without first facing off Channel One, Shaka, Aba Shanti, Earthquake or other popular people, such a claim would be nothing but advertising/sales pitch. Also these days, if you want to cut a record, you need to promote your 'records' 5 or 6 YEARS in advance of actually cutting any vinyl, again, just to create that niche for YOUR sound. Because, big sound systems will only play records that fit into a formula (e.g. minor keys with monophonic melody 1/5th above, rockers or steppers, etc.) because above all, they don't want to spoil a 'winning' formula. As far as they're concerned, it takes a lot of work (time, money, effort) to introduce a particular type of sound, and once it's introduced and listener has assimilated it into their cultural experience, it should be milked until it goes dry. This is entirely rational and reflects that the subjective appreciation of music is a conditioned i.e. a learned response, first and foremost.

It seems to me, and this is just my opinion, that fundamentally there has been a paradigm shift away from reggae sound system culture, and what passes for sound system these days is more or less a self-parody. When it ceased to be true 'outsider art' it passed through Jacques Lacan's 'mirror stage' and through a lens was witness to its own glory through the eyes of others. Now, having picked and eaten the forbidden apple of the tree of knowledge, it can't go back. This happened for many reasons, not least the demise of the black power movement and repatriationism as an undercurrent expressing a general feeling of discontent and tension as well as a fragmented Africa in the imagination of the diaspora (see Michael E Veal's book). From poststructuralism to postmodernism, and even the Dadaist originality of reggae art (e.g. Lee Perry burying tapes) has been pointlessly parodied (e.g. people mixing their new tracks with digitally-simulated vinyl hiss or a little crackle at the start of the record).

You mentioned the hi powa sound systems, and the prevalence of these is even more curious in the present context. The unreal power of these bass systems was a part of the 20th century Afro-futurism - supposed to create a new type of man - a new species that would be able to transcend the unfavourable conditions in which it was planted, and would be able to reference an origin that was extraterrestrial but above all technologically ahead of its time. Kodwo Eshun discusses this in his books with reference to the Futurist art movement (http://www.cscs.umich.edu/~crshalizi/T4 ... festo.html)

Now, it seems to me you can't have both Futurism and Passe-ism side by side, if it is genuine artistic expression. This leaves the inescapable conclusion that what we're increasingly witnessing (not with the likes of people like YaBass or the others you mentioned, but with the astroturfers) is just a new type of business model, simultaneously manufacturing musical tastes by various astroturfing initiatives and cannibalising the past in order to justify itself. People are not sheep but computers, and computers can be programmed by better computers. The way I see it, some people understand this and exploit it, and occupy an undeserved position in reggae history for one single reason: they themselves entered their name in HTML alongside Tubby, Perry, Shaka. Not the people. That's the difference between the past's reggae culture and today.

Anyway, I talk too much for now.. :-o

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Post by JahNice » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:12 am

I see your point also but i was not talking about commercial reggae/dub
but rather about true heartfelt vibes. I personally deal only with music
where I can hear that it was made for the love of it. I know many sounds
are still like this, you can just walk up and hand them a dubplate, if they
like it or approve it they ll play it. Besides that i think the commercial
interest and the "astroturfing" was there in the past as well, even if it has
increased until now. People wanted to earn their living with music also in
the 70s. But this is not always a bad thing, especially today in this
capitalistic world everyone needs the cash to survive. Off course back
then there were also people who did not make the music just to earn
money from it and if you look closely they still exist many artists like this

I agree about the paradigm shift away from reggae sound system culture.
I expressed my self wrongly when i said "big hi powa" systems i did not
mean the ones that try kill you with 50 megawatts of sound power but the
ones that dont play so loud but try to make you feel the vibes of
beautyful music. The ones where the sound of the music gives you a nice
feeling like a massage, not the ones that compete for power & loudness
where your ears and head hurt after a session. I've never been to the
kind of hi powa systems like this and i surely never will, i try supporting
local self built Sounds wherever i go so this kind of sounds i am talking
about, sorry for not making that clear.
About the Astroturfers i dont go to their dances or buy their records (!!!)
but still even if i dont like them and for me they are just sellouts,i dont
think their position in reggae music is undeserved or unjustified, if they
have a lot of people who love their music and they spread positive vibes,
it means that they have worked hard and they do the job well, they sell
their product. And a good thing about some of them is that they CAN lead
people to the real well-hidden treasures.. And even if they are astroturfers
they still can be legendary.

And when i say legendary i mean like a tale, a history about someone, a
myth were you cant know whats true about it but still the legend will be
told even if its not true... Legends exist today. Your machine for example
will be legendary for me if it really works the way it should, so i m gonna
tell the legend to others. But if it dont work it still can be legendary if you
go and tell everyone that it does works, know what i mean? People will
go "once i heard about this dub master called Zutao he had a selfbuild
machine which could turn a dry tune into a real dub without any mixing of
multitrack recordings!!". Thats what i meant by legendary, a great story
that can be true or a lie..

this one i did not really understand:
Now, it seems to me you can't have both Futurism and Passe-ism
side by side, if it is genuine artistic expression.
anyway :think: uhm i think we're a liiiiittle bit off topic here :grin:

but still a very interesting dub discussion

Peace Yiannis

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Post by Zutao » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:08 pm

True say man.. I will go to work on it and see if it can work as expected. Regarding the dub that's so popular right now, I maintain it's nothing inventive or experimental but just a tired commercial exploitation. All that old-hat zippy sawtooth and Euro-techno rubbish selling like hotcakes isn't special, or else this is also special (as it uses the exact same sounds):


I guess Benny used a laptop and Ableton just like the big names in new dub. :lol:



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