• Make a Drum & Bass Beat

    Set Ableton’s tempo to around 175 bpm. Open Drum Rack and load up a kick and snare. Create a new MIDI clip, then put the kick on 1 and 1.3.3. Put a snare on 1.2 and 1.4. This rhythm is the basis of the drum ‘n’ bass beat. Load up three hi-hat samples: one short closed hi-hat and two longer open hi-hats.

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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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  • Vinyl-ize Your Track

    Incorporating the crackles and hiss from a vinyl record into your digital production adds a subtle layer of dusty soul to your track.

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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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  • Synchronize a Sidechained Compressor to the Beat

    Sidechained compression is an ubiquitous sound in dance music. Its pumping sound brings a shot of energy to basslines, pads, lead synths, vocals: nearly any element of an EDM track.

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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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.

    Read More
  • Make a Synth from a Sample

    All sounds, synthesized or natural, are made up of waves. Most synthesizers produce simple, pure waveforms, while naturally occurring sounds are much messier — and more interesting.

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