• 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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  • 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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  • Arranging Dance Music

    A dance track usually has a looser structure than a hip-hop or pop song — but it does have a structure. Following a structure when you’re arranging your track makes it more DJ-friendly — and therefore more likely to get played out in a club.

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  • How to Make a House Beat

    Open Drum Rack on a MIDI track, then set the global BPM to about 125. Load up a kick, snare, hi-hat, shaker, crash cymbal and ride cymbal. Turn all of the samples’ velocity controls up. Create a new MIDI clip, then put a kick on 1, 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4. Put the snare sample on 1.2 and 1.4. Program the hi-hat on 1.1.3, 1.2.3, 1.3.3 and 1.4.3. Add a shaker on every sixteenth note.

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  • 3-D Mixing

    To prevent sonic conflict, each element in your track needs its own space in the mix. To help you put each element in its own space, think of the mix as if it were filling a room...

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  • 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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  • 3-D Mixing

    To prevent sonic conflict, each element in your track needs its own space in the mix. To help you put each element in its own space, think of the mix as if it were filling a room...

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  • How to Make Sub-Kicks

    If the kick sample you’re using isn’t beefy enough, layer it with a low-pitched synthesized sub-kick. The sub-kick adds bass without overly changing the tonal character of the kick.

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