Drumsound & Bassline Smith
Andy Wright, Benjamin Wiggett, and Simon “Bassline” Smith formed Drumsound & Bassline Smith in 1998 and have been creating drum and bass music ever since. Almost immediately following their fateful formation, the trio launched their own record label, Technique Recordings, an outfit that reliably distributes cutting-edge drum and bass sounds to this day.
After many years working hard in underground music, the trio is now experiencing unprecedented commercial success, with two UK Top 40 singles, “Through The Night” and “What Can You Do For Me,” the latter a collaboration with the mighty Utah Saints. Over the past 15 years, they’ve toured all corners of the globe. Aside from creating tracks for their own releases, the production team has also produced a sample CD for Loopmasters.
Drumsound & Bassline Smith just completed the album of their careers: Wall Of Sound. “This album has taken us two and a half years to make,” notes Smith. “We feel like we've learned something new with every song we made.” In keeping with Technique Recordings’ passion for sounds of the now, Wall Of Sound defiantly represents the new world of club music. While the tracks are founded on drum and bass tempos, the record is infused with the buzz and dynamics of modern electro, trap, and dubstep—a style whose half-step rhythms “rewrote the rules of what could work in a club,” says Smith, “but more than that, it's got pop, it's got soul, it's got indie rock, it's got fully formed songs.”
“It's got the whole kaleidoscope you'll hear in clubs habituated by the generation who grew up listening to Annie Mac,” adds Wright. “Fans who are happy to have all kinds of genres brought together in one place.”
“We don't think of ourselves as songwriters,” says Wright. “We still build tracks the same way we always did, thinking of the intro, the drop, the bassline, and how people will react to them on the dance floor. The vocal, chords, and melody become an integral part of that—not just something to sit on top of the backing—but elements we have to work in to our tunes so they work as part of the whole.”
This astute approach has allowed Drumsound & Bassline Smith to create songs with greater crossover potential and flexibility, without selling out their roots—a mindset the group credits for their success.
Drumsound & Bassline Smith have chosen PreSonus Studio One Professional 2 for their composition, sound design, and remix needs. “Studio One came highly recommended by a producer friend of ours, who gave us a demo,” recalls Smith. “We were instantly won over by the immense quality of the included features, VST support, and downloadable content. We really like the fact that Studio One is a highly intuitive DAW with fantastic features. It has an endless capability to increase our output, and it continues to amaze us on every project.
“We have found Studio One’s built-in timestretching algorithm to be one of the best we have ever used, even with extreme changes in BPM. We can speed up a clip from 120 BPM to 174 BPM, and it still sounds great. This, along with the drag-and-drop workflow, intuitive automation, and the fantastic Melodyne integration has made PreSonus Studio One our first choice for remix and production work. Our time is precious, and workflow is so crucial nowadays. We've found Studio One saves us a lot of time.
“Automation in Studio One couldn’t be easier,” continues Smith. “We can simply click any knob or slider on our favorite VSTi, and all we have to do is use the Hand tool in the top left of Studio One to drag that specific parameter onto a new track, which can then be edited in seconds. Furthermore, we can create huge sample banks of our sounds and loops to play on-the-fly in mere seconds. We group-select our bounced sounds and choose Send to New Sample One from the right-click contextual menu; this automatically opens Sample One in a new track with our bounced events preloaded.”
Notes Wright, “Chopping up breakbeats is critical to our style of music. Studio One allows us to do this with ease, without the use of any external programs. All we have to do is import a break or loop into Studio One, then apply Detect Transients from the audio tool bar—increasing or decreasing the threshold as necessary—and then select Split at Bend Marker from the right-click contextual menu, and the beat is broken into its individual parts. Then we just drag-and-drop these parts into Impact or Sample One to play or rearrange.
“In our opinion, Studio One has raised the bar for other DAWs,” Wright reflects. “PreSonus has created a highly innovative, intuitive, and easy-to-use production workstation that ticks all of the boxes for a modern day dance music producer. Despite being feature-rich and forward-thinking, Studio One still feels familiar.”