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music production software mastering tips

How-to Sound Like Dr. Zeus

Dr. Zeus is the man behind the majority of the biggest hits in the last 15 years; weather its making beats, recording or mixing, Zeus knows all the tips and tricks to get that signature sound. This is a sound that has greatly impacted the shape of current Bhangra and Urban Desi music.

Luckily, we know exactly how he makes that sound that made many artists popular like Zora Randhawa, Master Saleem, Bilal Saeed and countless others.

We’ll break down his famous track MITRAN DA BOOT with Jazzy B and provide the very sample packs used in that track.

Let’s get rolling.

Dr. Zeus Sample Packs

For this tutorial, you’ll need the following packs that he used in his productions. Alternatively, download all 3 packs in the Zeus Bundle at a big discount.

“MITRAN DA BOOT” PRODUCTION BREAK DOWN

The Dr. Zeus Dholki

From songs like INCH to MITRAN DA BOOT, this dholki has been heavily featured in almost all of his bhangra hits. You can grab the exact loop he uses in Vintage Bhangra.

Secondly, Z doesn’t use that famous loop on it’s own. He loves to layer additional dholki’s (percussions).

To recreate Mitran Da Boot magic, layer loops from Folk Bhangra. The type of loops you’re going to get are in the style of INCH, MITRAN DA BOOT. This pack was recorded through famous analogue gear resulting in powerful sounding files.

Pro Tip:
Layer like a fat kid loves cake. When you are trying to craft dance-floor hits like Zeus, you need the track to sound FAT and BIG in the clubs, venues and halls. Layering is an ageless production technique designed to give tracks a fuller sound.

ChimtaS

“MITRAN DA BOOT” also featured traditional chimtas commonly heard in Bhangra music. He continuously looped sounds from our pack and layered it behind everything else with clever sidechaining. You never want instruments like hi-hats, shakers, tambourines etc to over dominate other tracks in your mix. Sidechaining is one such technique that you can apply to give each track their own space in the mix.

Hear the loop in action at the .27 second mark:

Production technique:
(2) loops used. He seemed to have cut out the lows and some of the high frequencies. To avoid clash and causing listeners ears to pierce, you cut out the highs from the cymbals to make room for the vocals to sit properly.

Pro Tip: Proper EQ is your best friend. The most important thing is removal of higher frequencies gives an artist, especially one like Jazzy B, is total dominance of the higher frequencies for their vocals. An example of this is in MITRAN DA BOOT, where you can hear that Jazzy’s vocals aren’t fighting with other frequencies; they are almost exclusively sit in that mid-high frequency range.

ABOUT THE DOCTOR

Baljit Singh Padam aka Dr. Zeus, is a British Indian music producer. His break out came in 2003 with his song “Kangna”, which was voted the best song on BBC Asian Network in the same year. His other hits are “Don’t Be Shy” and “Jugni Ji”, “Mitran Da Boot”, “INCH” and “WOOFER” who he collaborated with Snoop Dogg.

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