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Difference Between Dubstep and Techno

Dubstep vs Techno

Dubstep and techno are electronic forms of dance music. They belong to different genres and are very different from each other in their characteristics to a trained ear, but to the people who are just transitioning towards the new instrumental music, they can be difficult to differentiate. There are basically three different genres of electronic music: house, dubstep and techno. Here we are discussing only two. This type of music is produced by the producers not DJs.

Dubstep has its roots in the Jamaican dub music,though it originated in south London and was first released in 1998. It started becoming popular in 2001 when it was first promoted and showcased by a night club in London named “Forward.” The name “dubstep” gained popularity around 2002.

Dubstep incorporates bass lines. It has a lot of drum patterns and bass drops. “Bass drop” means the percussion pauses for some time resulting in silence in the track, and then the music resumes with a higher intensity. It is basically instrumental music for dancing. The feel of this music is towards the darker side. The beat of the music keeps changing. Dubstep does not have four-to-the-floor music patterns like other techno and house music. The tempo of this type of music is usually 132-148 beats per minute. Another important characteristic of dubstep is the wobble bass, which means that the bass note is produced by low-frequency oscillators. Rewinds by the DJs without lifting the stylus is also a characteristic of dubstep.

Techno originated in Detroit in the 1980s. The term “techno” was first introduced in 1988. This genre of dance music has many styles like intelligent techno, acid house techno, etc. However, Detroit techno is considered as the foundation of all the techno styles.

Techno music has an emphasis on the rhythm mostly; the same beat is repeated many times for a 4/4 time. The use of synthesizers creates different kinds of electronic genres. The synthesizers utilize tone generators and filters to generate waveforms. These waveforms are processed through the instrument itself or through computers to produce different techno sounds. The beats are really fast, and there are hardly any vocals in it. It has four-to-the-floor patterns.


1.Dubstep’s origins or roots lie in Jamaican dub music; it originated in south London and was first released in 1998 while Techno originated in Detroit in the 1980s.
2.Dubstep started becoming popular in 2001 when it was first promoted and showcased by a night club in London named “Forward” while the term “techno” was first introduced in 1988.
3.Characteristics of dubstep are: bass drop, lots of drums, wobble bass, and rewinds while characteristics of techno are fast beats, usage of synthesizers, four-to-the-floor patterns.

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  1. This is very inaccurate, since when are there only 3 genres of electronic music? What about drum & bass, breaks, hardstyle, glitch hop, etc.. ?

    • This is truly an apples to oranges comparison.

      As stated above, there are not simply three basic forms of dance music. You could, however, consider breaks (IE not a 4 on the floor kick pattern but using syncopated kick patterns with heavy snare back beats) to be a major evolutionary arm where dubstep, drum n bass, glitch hop, trap etc. are found. All of those could be considered to have a broken beat but comprising of wildly differing tempo, phrase structure and swing/groove structure.

  2. The real difference between dubstep and techno is how the music is constructed. Techno is more made up of patterns and the higher range of notes played. Dubstep is more about the build up the wub and the drop at the lower end range of notes played.

  3. hey im lost guys XD what is the real diff ?

  4. Same here I’m more confused than I was before.

  5. I’m going to assume who ever wrote this is a dubstep hipster. I am forced to listed to to this at work from the kid (2o something) next to me. there is no big difference between the two…oh oh oh one was jamaican and one ……REALLY . some has tried to polish a turd and re make the wheel….its all techno….still dont care for it to much

  6. not sure about this , way to complicated to explain in a paragraph….

    also it is subjective …

  7. Are you guys serious? Techno and Dubstep are completely different styles. They don’t even sound remotely alike.

    Just look up these examples on YouTube:

    This is Techno: Speedy J – Armstrong
    This is Dubstep: Digital Mystikz – Thief In Da Night

    It is easy to tell the difference from my examples. This article is highly inaccurate and incomplete. Modern techno doesn’t sound poppy at all.

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