How to make a neurofunk track (free project file included)

Neurofunk (also known as ‘neuro’) is a subgenre of drum and bass that emerged from London in the 1990s.

Distinguished by its dark, heavy, and distorted sound, neurofunk’s influence has extended far beyond its origins, capturing the interest of producers and listeners across the globe. Above, prominent drum and bass producer Redpill demonstrates how to make a neurofunk track, starting with simple one-shots and loops from his sample pack and developing them into an arrangement. Throughout the process, he covers a wide range of topics including beat sequencing, synth sound design, and more.

Tips on making a neurofunk track from Redpill

Below, Redpill sat down with us to share a few additional tips on neurofunk production and making music at large that he didn’t cover in the video.

1. Develop your synthesis and sound manipulation chops

First and foremost, he emphasizes the importance that synthesis and sound design chops can play in the genre. “I’m really into sound synthesis—it’s where I feel the most creative,” Redpill tells us. “By experimenting and learning, I’ve become somewhat skilled at crafting the sounds I want. I mainly use Vital; Bitwig’s native plugins are great, too. Using synthesis not only lets me be creative but also makes mixing easier because the designed sounds fit naturally into the mix. That said, I also like using samples, especially for vocals.”

“Keeping up with the latest technology is also important for staying relevant in music production. New plugins and techniques can really enhance your music. For example, spectral processing has opened up new possibilities for creative sound manipulation and can improve sound quality a lot. It’s all about embracing innovation and pushing boundaries as you refine your craft.”

2. Find your signature sound

“I think the challenges today for new producers are different from what I faced when I started a decade ago,” Redpill observes. “Nowadays, there’s a wealth of resources available, especially for drum and bass and neurofunk.”

“It’s important to make the most of these resources. Watching tutorials on YouTube is great, but it’s also valuable to analyze presets and samples on platforms where they’re sold. There are also Patreons and masterclasses where you can find your favorite artists’ own content, which is amazing.”

“But, it’s important to filter these resources to focus on what’s essential. This wealth of resources comes with a caveat—it can lead to a homogenization of sound, where everyone starts to sound the same. That’s why it’s crucial to maintain your uniqueness amidst this sea of information.”

Authenticity is key. Stay true to your artistic vision and resist the temptation to follow trends blindly. Finding a balance between making your tunes technically competitive in clubs while preserving your unique style and vibe in the long term is crucial.”

“It’s also essential to embrace growth and evolution as an artist. Your signature sound is not static; it’s a dynamic entity that evolves with your experiences, influences, and artistic journey. As you refine your skills and experiment with new techniques, your sound will naturally evolve. And lastly, we often tend to be overly critical of our own music, but it’s important to practice self-compassion and be kinder to ourselves in the creative process.”

3. Develop strategies for navigating creative blocks

Regardless of skill or experience level, almost every producer experiences creative block at one point or another—what’s important is how you navigate overcoming it. “Getting stuck on a project happens to everyone,” Redpill affirms. “When it happens to me, I move to another track. Stepping back often gives me fresh ideas. Sometimes, I’ll start over on certain parts or even remix the whole project, keeping only the most important elements. Getting feedback can also be very helpful as long as it’s constructive, highlighting both areas for improvement and strengths. And if none of that works, I know it’s time to try something new.”

For more tips on overcoming creative block, see our in-depth guide below:

Get the free neurofunk project file

If you enjoyed watching Redpill’s production session and hearing his tips, you can download the resulting Bitwig project file for absolutely free here. Feel free to use it as an educational resource and see if it inspires your own creativity.

And there you have it! Do you have any questions on how to make a neurofunk track? What sorts of topics would you like to see us cover next? Start a conversation with us and an ever-growing community of other music creators via the Splice Discord.

Incorporate Redpill’s hard-hitting sounds into your own productions:

May 23, 2024

Harrison Shimazu

Harrison Shimazu is a composer, content strategist, and writer who’s passionate about democratizing music creation and education. He leads the Splice blog and produces vocaloid music as Namaboku.