Come to the Dark Side

Hi all!

I’ve a deep love for Grime music and Garage in general ever since the guy in the record shop said “Here, give this a spin, it’s new and you might like it.” Like it I did! I went back every single day and span Twice as Nice in Agia Napa until I could afford to buy the CD. I loved the swing of the two step beat and found 140bpm to be my jam. It just felt right.

Garage has progressed in omnipotent fashion without exploding commercially like it did when it first came out. It has spawned various sub-genre’s and my favourite is Grime. Recently I’ve found myself gravitating towards the sparsely laid out percussion and the lazerbass style production more and more.

I recently came up with this production and I’d love to get some feedback from you guys as you are my only cyber friends. I used the Op-1 more than any other instrument. I’m sure you’ll be able to hear where I’ve used it and there will also be some blurred lines that I can make clear now: every percussion sample was processed through the Op-1 except the snare and the kick/bass.

I’d love to hear your feedback on the sounds, structure, mix down, and absolutely anything you wish to share.

It’s called Darxxxide and you can find it by clicking here;


@mixrasta @LibertineLush @Virtual_Flannel @LyingDalai @sammyjams @jooga1972 @aswefallintostatic @wolflegjon @josker @vehka @unflattered @yoof @quarentequatre @wingo @ghostly606 @cuckoo @speckdrum @Kites @hudson @Spheric_El @KrisM @GCF @spacetravelmadeeasy @Samurai1v_v7Black @lefilou @Metske @cloudburst

You’ve been on here since I can remember, I’d love to know what you guys think. I truly would cherish your honest opinion.

There’s also new guys and old guys on here that I know will read this, a great big HELLO to you guys too!!! Please, feel free to comment. I’m all ears (not literally, that would be hideous!)

This is what I call Garage :

Don't see how it relates to Grime but I ain't no expert ;)
I wouldn't be able to describe what Grime is, to be honest. Your track reminds me of Arca, which I like a lot.

It's very dark indeed, and I like the sounds you produce (with the OP-1 or not).
Dubstep-like bass is aggressive, cool.
Not very fond of the claps with reverb (especially when repeated) but this is my personal taste. And it participates to the gloomy ambiance of the track I guess.
I really like the sound that does like someone is rubbing the length of guitar strings :)

Don't stay at this state mate, keep on digging deeper !!!!

I liked it. Very gritty and industrial sounding.

I don’t know much Garage or Grime (too old) - back when i was a teen this would have been called hardcore or industrial - especially the banging bit from 2.04 on.

It’s a bit heavy for my tastes to listen to non-stop but if this was within a mix I wouldn’t be offended.

Maybe the song is broken down too many times, might prefer longer durations of beats happening.

Like @LyingDalai, I’m no grime/garage expert either but I don’t really care about genres, it’s what I hear that matters. And Darxxxide is pretty good, there’s a nice sinister vibe to this track (in my book sinister is nice… :slight_smile: ) , am also digging the sub layers. Knowing myself, I’d have added tons of tiny glitches and noises to make it denser, but that’s just me and I’ve always been prone to kinda ‘overproducing’ the final versions (these days I find more pleasure in ‘less is more’ though…). As for the beats, I’d probably use more complex patterns (but then again, what do I know about grime and garage…?! :slight_smile: with odd time visions as well. Again, that’s just me, my taste, preferences, whatnot. :slight_smile: So, it’s what Dalai said: go on and dig deeper! :slight_smile:

Bit harsh and dark for my taste but production wise it’s really good. You kind of wait for the massive drop but it would be too obvious in a way.
It could be a “Micropoint” intro :wink:
Good work though. What’s the set up used? Is this done live?

I liked it. Hard and dirty. The sounds were interesting, also, which is good to hear in synthesizer-based music. Not just the same wobbly bass or 808 drums. Sounds more like machines :slight_smile:

I think the track sounds really well produced. There's enough variety to keep it interesting and I quite like the sinister vibe. To me, the reverb claps and the sinister bass sound (first sound that comes in at the beginning) give it an early 90's feel (I'm also no expert on Grime).

I like the sweep on that mad bass sound that I think is also used as a kick. A bit later on in the track that same sound gets a slightly different treatment and I'm not so keen on that variation, but just a matter of personal taste. Is the higher pitched noise that comes in near the beginning made with the DNA synth?

Excellent work, thumbs up!

Nice and gritty, it has a cold/industrial aggression that suits the mood this track creates. I like the offsetting of the sub range with higher frequency noises you’ve got going on.

I concur with comments above - keep going!

I really like it! I could be a sound track to a horror movie. To me if feels like dark ambient. Really cool!

I listen to about any type of music (which gives me a large palate to compare against) but prefer Aggrotech and industrial techno so this isn’t that dark to me, but definitely in the more ambient realms.

This is nice man! My only suggestion would be to to have less snare/claps. I really love the Triangle records vibe, you could let it breath even more making the drums even more minimal. I like it quite a bit!

Big sound.Definately grime.
I like a lot.Good beak downs and movement, emotive.So the kick bass is your main gnarly sound.Was the clap what you call snare? I liked listening out for OP-1 process and you achieved wide flange on those Perc bits .
Good stuff,definately expressive and its nice to hear the OP-1 ripp so.
What was the bass sound and how did you sequence (or was it Tape mode arrangement)?

Definitely a Tri Angle/witch house vibe there. I’m also a person who has been confused by genre labeling my entire life, so I generally don’t think about that stuff. I do really like the throbbing bass and flange-y thing going on. For sure could work well in a horror movie. In fact, it reminds me of the soundtrack for It Follows by Disasterpeace, which is super dope.

Interesting, I kind of like the direct in your face sounds. Like some others said before, production - good! Maybe just two breaks would have been enough.

To my ears, this is art as opposed to music.

And as a piece of artwork, it’s the aural representation of a fireworks display in the eastern bloc in the 70s.

Good work @HisMostDarxxxellent.


A very eclectic and interesting selection of sounds, I rather enjoyed anticipating what would come next

The squealing synth motif is really well done and suits the song—ominous and evocative.

I have an idea offered as a consideration, not a critique. I wonder if the reverbed clap would benefit from some variety. Not necessarily replacing it, but perhaps varying the amount of reverb for some hits, applying another effect, etc. Something to disrupt its familiarity. But if consistency is what you want, then it needn’t change.

You got a great song in “Darxxxide.”

I really like the sounds, but not sure about the song structure. Like @lefilou said, there’s a good buildup, but then it kinda fizzles away towards the end. I do understand that not all buildups need to result in a drop & beat, but still I think the song would benefit from some kind of emotional resolution towards the end. Also, if you’re aiming for a track that’s gonna be played by DJ’s, try making the end of the song easier for mixing? I think you slowed it down at the end, which is not very DJ-friendly…

But it’s a great, original song – well done!

@HisMostDarxxxellent - seems like lots of thoughts already posted so all i’ll add is that its a rad aesthetic! Im guessing you made this entirely on the OP1? Very cool given the limitations of the sequencing in the OP :slight_smile:

If this was a multitrack mix and you were looking for ways to improve the mix then i would suggest that a few things that icould make it a bit tighter. Mainly the sounds could be a bit more focussed. There are in my opinion 3 main elements to the track and they all occupy a similar frequency range; clap, bass and lead rising tension line. Clap reverb and the high end of the bass seemed to sit in the same kind of frequency range and given they make up a large mount of the sound you could pull them apart a bit, make more of the lows on the bass (200-300hz) and a bit less of the high mids. Could try multi band compression to not lose the energy of the sound but to give the claps a bit of space. The same sort of applies to the high string scratch thing, but in reverse (as in highs not lows). I would be tempted to approach the mix considering these three main elements and really just focus on getting each of those to have its own space, all the other elements should slot in behind those three, but for me the focus should be there. Once they have space then you have a lot more scope for aggressively mastering the mix to really make the most of the full frequency range. At the moment any master compression is really drawing your attention to that high mid area where everything is sitting before the rest of the mix gets a chance to really get a workout. Could probably get a similar result with multiband compression on the 2 bus of course, but i think the results will always be stronger by approaching the mix first. Just my thoughts anyway!

Thanks for the comments… They are very appreciated.

@LyingDalai and @jooga1972 I will keep on digging deeper and deeper, exploring darxxxenius avenues of sound design with the vitality and bite of a million sharks put together in their prime. I’m sorry to have pigeon holed it really… I just wanted to pay some homeage to the root of where the ideas stemmed from.

@lefilou I came up with the sketch of the track and semi-arranged it in Ableton, I then done most of the mixdown and recorded all the samples into my MPC. Then I popped it into Logic and continued to tweak and add spice to the stems. The pad was done on my JP-08, I separated the hi and lo frequencies and processed them differently, I trick I came across on Dave Pensado’s YouTube channel. I did the same with the bass after using different distortions on it. The bass was a decayed kick from my TR-8. The claps and both hats were recorded and processed through various bussed plugins in Ableton from my TR-8 too. All other percussion came from the Op-1 as did the lead sound, vocal-esque shouts, and build up to the drop sound.

@wolflegjon and @GCF thanks! :wink: you should check out Logos, his Boiler Room set is terrific.

@yoof thanks man! You are absolutely spot on! If you have any time or something pops into your mind in regards to a different take on the variation part then I’d be keen to hear it. Do you think the same bass would work all the way through?

@Virtual_Flannel thanks, the original did and when I went into the box I added more. That computer makes me change my mind too much. Hahaha
Triangle Records, I’m curious as to who they are.

@Spheric_El you’re right!!! I meant clap!!! Sorry about that!!
Yeah I’m not sure if you found the answer already in this monologue but I actually used my TR-8 for the bass. It’s the bass drum decayed and run through a filter.

@wingo WoW! Cool words to read, so the bass is like a volley gliding in for a goal and the flange-y thing is like countryside lovers on a slow stroll home, right!? HAHAHAHAHA or something imaginative like that!

@mixrasta and @vehka that’s cool… I wanted to make sure it was a piece from start to finish in its own right. Your comments compliment each other as a skeleton key is to a story tellers silver tongue… Two breaks would be enough therefore it should be DJ friendly. Having said that I’m not sure I care if I offend a DJ with the ending. Surely a DJ of today would be able to, dare I say it and please anybody correct me if I am wrong, be able to pop it in there DAW and splice away? Hmmmm if it was only on vinyl and span the oldskool way But it’s not. I’d like to get some acetates cut of this though :wink: maybe a longer edit might be a good idea :wink: especially for those who have four hour sets and have to bring there record bag half way around the world.
The other part of your comment @vehka is about an emotional resolution… I love the idea! I think it is very musical. I can be quite stubborn sometimes and sometimes love things against the grain of what is acceptable or ‘should happen’. I seldom watched the end of a movie for donkeys years simply because a) I knew what was going to happen b) I enjoyed making up two or three of my own endings in my head and not knowing which one happened! The films that really attracted me were ones that had that twist, that left pondering thoughts, this kind of idea is present in this 'ere DARXXXIDE track.

I love that word rad. I’ve used it a few times since reading it in your reply. :wink:

You’ve really made me smile. Thank you.