This blog is all about how to create euphoric yet ominous jungle tracks.
So you have decided to make jungle electronic music, but you don’t know where to start? I have been there myself and I know how hard it can be to create your first jungle track. It’s important that you take your time and don’t rush into things. The first thing you need is a good drum loop. If you don’t get this right, the rest of the song will be a mess, so always start with the drums!
Now, how do you find a good drum loop? Well, it depends! It depends on what kind of track you want to make, obviously. Is it gonna be dark and fast or slow and mellow? Let’s say we want to make a fast one – 150 bpm or so. In that case, we’ll want our drums to be pretty hard-hitting. But we also want them to be warm and fat, because otherwise they’ll sound too thin.
People always ask me how to make jungle tracks. I’d like to share with you a few techniques I’ve picked up along the way.
First, you need to find some source material. I usually just wait for someone to leave their car stereo playing in the parking lot of my apartment building, and then I record the bass line with a portable tape deck. If there’s no one around, I go down to the zoo and record sounds from the monkeys.
Of course, it’s important not to use any sounds that are obviously stolen from other records; otherwise you may end up in court like DJ Shadow or Coldcut (who ripped off a Queen sample and ended up paying 100% of their royalties to Queen’s label). So you need to disguise your samples (and yourself) as much as possible: add lots of reverb, delay, and so on.
This is where it helps if you’ve done time in prison; one of my techniques is to feed my samples through the electric chair at San Quentin. This gives them a nice crackly sound but also disguises them well enough that even the original artist wouldn’t recognize them.
When you have your samples together, start arranging them into loops and then layering them on top of each other until you
Jungle producers are obsessed with breaks (the part of the song taken up by the drumbeat). Jungle is all about the breaks. For example, here is a jungle track by Bad Company UK, one of the greatest drum and bass groups:
The song has four different breaks. You can hear them at (0:27), (0:55), (1:17), and (1:42). Each break is like a new movement in a symphony, but instead of changing key or tempo or whatever, it changes the rhythm.
The first and third breaks are built from samples of old funk records. The second break is made from recordings of real drums. The final break is a combination of the two. But even though they use very different sounds, they’re all made from essentially the same material. Which brings us to our first tip for creating your own jungle tracks: get familiar with samples from existing songs that you can use in your own work.
Jungle is a genre of electronic music characterized by fast breakbeats (typically between 150 and 180 beats per minute), with heavy bass and sub-bass lines.
The genre grew out of the UK’s “rave” scene of the early 1990s, when producers began creating jarring, bass-heavy dance tracks with influences from jazz and funk, as well as hip-hop and reggae.
The term “jungle” originally denoted the music’s association with the “outdoors”, but came to describe the musical style. The genre often features sampled drum machine rhythms, particularly from vintage drum machines like the Roland TR-808, layered with more abstract sound design elements and occasionally discordant melodies. Its origins are associated with UK pirate radio stations such as Kool FM, which played a major role in spreading the style’s popularity throughout the mid-1990s.
Jungle is a style of dance music that emerged from the UK in the early 1990s. It’s characterized by rapid breakbeats and bass. The drums are usually a sample or loop from a drum machine, often the Roland TR-909, TR-808, or 606.
The Roland TR-909 and 808 are particularly important to jungle because of their highly tunable bass and snare drums, which allow producers to create sounds that are “pitches” as opposed to just “filler” for the track.
The beats are usually around 168bpm (beats per minute), which is quite fast. This makes it difficult to play other instruments along with it, so most tracks use sampled sounds and loops.
Jungle is a genre of electronic music derived from breakbeat hardcore that developed in England in the early 1990s as part of UK rave scenes. The style is characterised by rapid breakbeats (typically between 150–180 beats per minute) with heavy bass and sub-bass lines, sampled sources, and synthesizers. The genre “jungle” sometimes acts as an umbrella term for other styles such as drum and bass.
Jungle was one of the genres that fused to create modern drum and bass, which is often referred to by the name “jungle” in non-specialist contexts. The word jungle was used to describe the music in California around 1993 due to the similarities between the music’s fast, syncopated breakbeats and “the hyperaggressive sound of jungle animals in pursuit”, according to Mixmag. Jungle is sometimes called Ragga Jungle (or Ragga), because many tracks include raggamuffin vocals or lyrics by MC’s sampled from reggae tracks. However, ragga jungle is a term used by critics, not musicians; its usage has been described as “an unfortunate misnomer” because it suggests a direct connection between dancehall reggae and jungle, when ragga artists have only occasionally used jungle rhythms.
By now you should have your DAW set up, with the files and samples you’ll need for the tutorial. The first thing we’re going to do is create a nice low end for our track.
Create a new channel in your DAW, and insert a Kick plugin. Load up “kick_01” into that plugin. Play that sample once or twice to make sure it sounds good.
Set the tempo of your track to 160bpm, then load up “subbass_01” into a new channel. Adjust its pitch so that it plays an E note when played at the same time as the kick drum sample.
In another new channel, load up “subbass_02”. Adjust its pitch so it plays an A note when played at the same time as the kick sample. Now mute this channel until later on in the tutorial.
In another new channel, load up “subbass_03”, and adjust its pitch so it plays a C