• Smoother Chord Progressions

    Smoother Chord Progressions

    When a group of instruments — like a string section — plays together, each instrument starts and stops each note at a slightly different time. Digitally programmed instruments, on the other hand, will start and stop exactly where they’re told to.

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  • Track Maps

    Track Maps

    One of the best ways to learn about arranging tracks is to analyze other artists’. Pick one of your favourite tracks, then listen closely to it, noting how and when each element enters and leaves the arrangement.

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  • Adding Movement to Pads

    Adding Movement to Pads

    Pads are simple, drawn-out synths that sit in the background of a track. Because they’re background instruments, pads are usually fairly uncomplicated, so as not to distract from the rest of the track.

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  • The Best Drum Sample Packs for EDM (Part 1)

    The Best Drum Sample Packs for EDM (Part 1)

    There are probably millions if not billions of drum samples that you can download and drop into your DAW’s drum machine. The depth and availability of these sounds is amazing, but it makes sorting through the billions of samples to find the best ones a bit tough. Here are, in our opinion, five of the best drum sample packs for producing house, drum ‘n’ bass, electrohouse, hip-hop, and trance.

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  • Mixing the Bass and Kick

    Mixing the Bass and Kick

    Because the bassline and the kick drum are the two lowest-frequency elements of your track, they’ll often end up occupying the same space...

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  • How to Make a Trance Gate Effect

    How to Make a Trance Gate Effect

    Add the sound that you want to gate (either a piece of recorded audio or a synth plug-in) to a new channel in Ableton. Create a new MIDI channel, then add the Impulse drum machine to this new channel....

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  • Snare Rolls

    Snare Rolls

    It’s been around forever, but the snare roll is still a dancefloor-devastating way to lead out of the breakdown and back into the beat. If your snare roll sounds too robotic and programmed, use MIDI velocity control to make it sound more natural. Program in a basic snare roll (four eighth notes, followed by four sixteenth notes, then eight 32nd notes).

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  • Frequency Splitting with Effects

    Frequency Splitting with Effects

    Frequency splitting divides a sound’s frequency spectrum into sections, allowing you to alter one section of the spectrum without changing the rest.

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  • Build a Bass Mono/Stereo Rack in Ableton

    Build a Bass Mono/Stereo Rack in Ableton

    Generally speaking, the bass channel in a track should be in mono: most subwoofers (not to mention club soundsystems) play a mono signal much better than a stereo one.

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  • How to Synthesize Risers

    How to Synthesize Risers

    Whooshing risers act as punctuation within a track, signifying the end of one section and the beginning of the next. The simplest kind of riser is just a white-noise generator run through an automated filter.

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