According to Moore(aka Skrillex) dubstep began as an underground musical movement that strained against the mainstream to achieve it’s current success. He likens it to the 1972 bestseller, Watership Down. The book revolves around a militant group of rabbits and one queer one that dreams of a more peaceful world. It’s a great book, btw.
Back in 2011, when popular culture finally caught on with EDM, Skrillex already had his own record label, OWSLA(the name of them rabbit soldiers) having banded with a lot of his like minded friends such as the in famous Zedd. He then went on to win a few Grammys, setting a pace for Djs to be viewed more than just entertainers but as artists as well.
Dubstep is entertaining, this being made obvious by the massive attendance of EDM concerts; ticket sales are usually triple that of those from Coachella. It’s also art, the composition of various elements reminding me of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson and his extra ordinary process that wielded what can only be said to be some of the greatest tracks of the 20th century.
Skrillex has produced several tracks, performs in close to a hundred shows in a year ( hell, may be even more) and has the best hair, oh my lord. He attributes his success, and beginnings, to the 90s trendsetters such as Daft Punk and Aphex Twins (whose shows I can fan girl over forever).
Skrillex has built a career by setting himself apart from conventional music. His tracks blatantly lack the verse chorus, verse chorus outro consistent with mainstream songs. Generally, EDM requires bursting baselines and dipping sounds that mirror 90s disco slash body bopping hits.
Skrillex started out as a kid blending sounds on a tape. Now, all grown up, he relies on modern daws such as Ableton Live.
He doesn’t use Ableton for everything though.
For example, his vocals are derived from pre recorded samples, majorly his, that he has to manually edit in audio. He then uses vocal compressors such as Izotope to squash the sound or time extend the vocals to drift past the beats.
Skrillex also fesses up to his love for his drums. Whilst he derives his piano sounds from Ableton plug-in samples, Skrillex creates his drum beats from scratch before layering them up in programs such as Massive and Native Instruments’ FM8. FM8’s his favorite. Thereafter he chops them up in Ableton Live.
As far as he’s concerned, Ableton is the easiest music production software set on the market, with a myriad of plug-ins that enable you to create new sounds and deconstruct someone else’s as you stumble upon never heard of beats.
For his enormous bass synths (the hardest to create apparently) Skrillex starts out with a brick that drips out into the notes at the beginning of the track. He then introduces bombarded, speaker shuttering sounds converted in the MIDI feature of Ableton Live. This is so that the sound explodes out into the audience like a deep seated growl. Almost angry, sometimes.
Emotional? Skrillex doesn’t regard his creations as anything bordering the kind of music that brings out the feels. He’s all about fun sounding tracks. As many in his genre render towards.
Multi-track audio recording at up to 32-bit/192 kH
Powerful and creative MIDI sequencing of software and hardware instruments. Includes 10 software instruments, 41 effects and Max for Live
Advanced warping and real-time time-stretching
Unlimited number of audio and MIDI tracks per song
Includes 23 sound libraries (Packs) with over 50GB of original sounds