When first getting into DJing, newbies are often overwhelmed with the massive amount of lingo that they are introduced to. There is some very weird jargon out there, and one of the ones that you might be struggling to understand is double drops. While most people new to DJing and EDM fans, in general, know what a normal drop is, the double drop is considered something that is specific to a certain music genre. Some new DJs do not know what it is and so I provide the answer here.
The answer is that a double drop is something much simpler than what most people think. A double drop simply refers to the act of syncing two or more tracks so that they have their drop at the same time. This is a technique that is often seen on a music genre called Drum N Bass, a fast musical style derived from 90s UK rhythms.
The technique is also seen in other types of musical genres aside from Drum N Bass, such as certain techno genres.
While doing a double drop sounds simple on paper, it can prove difficult on execution. DJs interested in incorporating this technique to their sets are going to have to experiment with different tracks to make sure they sound well together. If you want to learn more about double drops, the best practices on how to do this, and the DJs most famous for using this technique, please read on!
So as I was mentioning before, double drops refer to matching the drops of 2 or more tracks so that they do so at the same time, creating a very busy mix with lots of different sounds intertwined. Double drops are a phenomenon that has always been present in dance music, with numerous genres incorporating the technique.
Nobody really knows who was the first artist to actually start doing double drops with regularity, but it probably started when techno started gaining popularity more than 30 years ago.
Double drops are used in genres such as hardcore, breakbeat, jungle music, and other similar musical styles. The genre where it’s most used is definitely drum and bass though. As you can listen to songs like these, these, and these, the double drops make the climax much more intense and euphoric, hence the appeal of drum and bass.
In order to do a double drop, the first thing that you must do is to have the proper set of tracks. As I mentioned above, you are going to have to experiment a little bit before a double drop goes smoothly, and the first step is to make sure the 2 tracks that you choose go well with each other. I would recommend that you copy the music that other artists are using so that you have an easier time with it.
After you do this, it’s time to study the composition of the tracks. You must know how many sections there are before the drops of both tracks. Thankfully many modern controllers and software have built-in technology that makes this easier. This is something that you must do for several reasons. The first one is to make sure that the tracks go well together. You are going to have to work the EQ if that is not the case, muting the bass of one track while muting the treble of the other one.
After you have the tracks that you want to use, it’s time to start doing the double drop. Just like a normal drop, you are obviously going to want to play with the equalizer. There are some tracks that have a very similar drum and bassline patterns, and if that’s the case, then you could definitely incorporate both together, but there are some tracks where this will just create a very dissonant mix. Again, it’s important that you play around with the tracks that you have chosen.
It’s possible to even do a triple drop that incorporates the drops of three different pieces of music. This is something that you really must practice beforehand for obvious reasons since it can very easily get out of control. Doing double drops, in general, can be quite complicated and if you aren’t too familiar with the practice, I recommend that you avoid doing them when mixing live.
In the EDM world, there are a few DJs that have really made a name for themselves by the use of this technique. Most of the DJs obviously specialize in Drum and Bass, but not all of them though. Some of these DJs include:
Andy C is one of the most influential drum and bass DJs, and he was one of the first DJs that people often recognize for using the double drop technique. Andy C is a DJ that only plays with turntables, eschewing modern technology, which makes his double drop technique even more impressive. Even cooler, he also incorporates triple drops in his sets, usually using a dance classic with newer, less known tracks only known by more hardcore fans. Andy C has more than 20 years in the industry, he owns a record label that specializes in drum and bass, and is definitely one of the biggest names when it comes to drum and bass and of course double dropping.
While you may know him because of his acting career or the fact that he briefly dated Bjork, Goldie is one of the most acclaimed drum and bass artists of the last few decades. He is known for making outrageous double drops, often doing them while minimally knowing the tracks being used. Not only has goldie distinguished himself on Drum And Bass, but also in their subgenres such as jungle and breakbeat.
Last but not least, Mampi Swift is one of the most acclaimed Drum and Bass artists. One of the most technically proficient DJs out there, Mambi is well known for his precise mixing and use of the triple drops with frequency in his sets. Not only that, but he also is a very successful producer, often providing a very unique touch to the records that he works on.
So in short, Double drops is a technique that is often used in drum and bass, breakbeat, and jungle. The fundamentals of it are simply combining the drops of 2 or more records so that they hit at the same time. The end result is a mix that is very chaotic but euphoric at the same time. However, doing a double drop doesn't mean that you are going to kill it immediately. You need a lot of practice, or else it's very easy to trainwreck it.