Moombahton is a fusion genre of house music and reggaeton that was created by American DJ and producer Dave Nada in Washington, D.C., in 2008. The genre was created after Nada slowed down the tempo of Afrojack's remix of "Moombah!" to 108 BPM, causing a fusion of Dutch House shrill synths at reggaeton rhythms. The basis was expanded with his 2010 release of the Moombahton EP, which led producers such as Diplo, Munchi and Dillon Francis make songs in the style.
"The kids that were all there were listening to not what I would be playing," Nada says. "They were listening to reggaeton, bachata, Latin music. I was like, 'All right, I don't want to mess up the vibe and play fast techno-electro club music.' So I thought to myself, 'What if I slow down the records that I have?' I slowed down this one track called 'Moombah,' and lo and behold it popped off."
In keeping with Nada's formula, Moombahton is a cross between Dutch house music and reggaeton. Popular in 2009, Dutch house music clocks in at a relatively rapid 130 beats per minute, with a 4/4 structure and fat bass kicks on every beat of the measure. It's a branch of house music that features notably large builds and drops and uses piercing electro stabs that rapidly glide up and down the sound spectrum.
Reggaeton, which became popular in Caribbean and Latin American communities in the middle of the past decade, is a slower 108 beats per minute. A blend of reggae, dance hall, and soca, it's usually topped with Spanish-language rap. Nada took elements of each of these styles and worked them together.
Moombahcore: is a style of different moombahton incorporating dubstep influences. As well as incorporating elements of Dutch house as moombahton does, moombahcore also fuses elements of gabber, breakcore, techstep and dubstep. Moombahcore tracks often feature wobble bass, FM synthesis, distorted basslines, aggressive sounds, violent snares and leads, and complex percussion patterns.
Moombahsoul: also called moombahdeep or ambient moombahton contains influences of deep house and soul, in addition to genres such as dutch house, electro house and house, it also shares characteristics of reggaeton, salsa, reggae and latin house, although the style and elements of tropical house is also used.
Set the tempo control to somewhere between 100 and 115 bpm — 108 is a good starting point. Load a Drum Rack onto an empty MIDI channel, then drag and drop a set of drum samples into the rack. You’ll need a kick, a sub-kick (a low 808 kick sample works well for this), two snares, a clap, a hi-hat and a percussion sample (like a shaker, woodblock or clave).
Create a new one-bar MIDI drum pattern, then put the kick on 1, 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4. Add a sub-kick on the first beat only. Put the first snare around the second and fourth kicks — on 1.1.4, 1.2.3, 1.3.4 and 1.4.3. This snare pattern is essential to creating a shuffling moombahton groove.
With the basic beat in place, let’s add some offbeat percussion elements. Put the hi-hat just before the first and last snares
Now let’s add some variation to the beat. Extend the MIDI clip out to four bars, then duplicate the one-bar pattern you created to fill the clip. Take out the last two snares in the second and fourth bars; replace them with the other snare sample and the clap:
Once you have this basic moombahton beat finished try adding ghost notes; extending the pattern out to eight bars and adding more variation; introducing additional percussion sounds into the beat; adding some swing — make it your own.