I’m super excited to announce the (non-commercial)release of my new single “Formulaic”. It’s been sitting on my computer for weeks and I’d been itching to finish it, but I was busy.
Anyway, this is called Formulaic because I wanted to try out how sticking to a formula would help. I think this track sounds closer to mainstream electro house than my other sounds. What I found was that it helped me quicken my workflow since I didn’t have to constantly focus on the final song structure. I also realized that I was stumped for ideas less often. Usually, I end up splitting the production over several periods over a week so I can be inspired by the things happening around me.
As always, I’m pleased and eager to hear feedback and suggestions! So please comment.
If you like it please vote for it on the Spinnin’ Talent Pool here. Stay tuned, new post on my latest coding adventure coming soon.
Being a huge big room, electro and progressive house fan, I love finding patterns and themes in tracks To the unfamiliar ear, most songs of Big Room and house in general sound same – an intro, the rising action, the break and THE DROPPP 🙂 (it’s become all we listen to nowadays, seriously). Rinse. Shower. Repeat(rather Eat Sleep Rave Repeat 😉 )for producers , DJs and fans alike.
But all drops are different. Whether they are unusually long – Higher Places – Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike (Bassjackers Remix), minimal – Akufen – Skidoos and Coldplay – Fix It(Datsik Remix), meta and self-referential drops – [Drop It Like Drop It Like Drop It] Like That – Bassjackers or even every single siren-swept Martin Garrix drop, each drop has infused in it, the style of the producer which unfortunately leads many to think that all, say Armin van Buuren songs are the same. . I think that while exploring new genres and artists in in EDM, consistency in terms of song structure is by no means the only criterion and a crowd-satisfying and assured euphoric drop is definitely something producers need to always keep in mind. In the below video, DJs Mashd N Kutcher, bored of playing drop after drop(really? how is that even possible?), to see crowds going crazy regardless of whether they liked the song or not, … well, I’ll let you see it.
I can really feel the frustration and crushed hearts after that underhand swap-out. I mean they’ve paid for a rave and their night has literally just been ruined.
Anyway, I digressed a bit over there. Being a huge +X fan, I had this intriguing idea of swapping drops among songs. After surfing on YouTube, I found several people who’ve done something similar – play several of Martijn’s songs together, aligned drop-wise.
A cursory listening makes it look like the drops are swappable, but the basslines would sound weird, the style unnatural, and moreover a rude shock. All of them playing together sounds like a mess. Even if it showed the futility of such an action, at least we confirmed that consistency and repetition in sounds are still cornerstones of a great house track.
A few other observations, if I may. Many Big Room and Electro House tracks have this 8 or 16 bar synth variation after the intro, followed by a 8 bar bridge usually with the low pass filter opened way up. This seems to help in filling up the sound spectrum and to prepare for the drop. The bridge is also the time for a siren or wobble bass to be slowly introduced that serves as a complement to the bassline after the drop. In several “In The Studio” videos, such as those by Future Music and the like, producers comment that using particular EQing techniques and other quality improving effects and specific sample packs such as Vengeance for this purpose keeps the recording from becoming too loose and from disintegrating in the ears of listeners.
Another thing producers have been doing is creating a short section of their signature loop or an effect which they use in every song. This helps in standing out from the arguably crowded community of producers. It’s often a very enticing hook, such as a few synth blasts, wobble basses, air horns, repeated snare rolls, or even just a chant. I find that these characteristic riffs work wonders in pulling new listeners and in retaining old followers. This often results in the branding of a track and a style of producing.
I hope you learned something new, got some food for thought and started appreciating this splendid genre more!
Cheerio and as always, keep “Getting Your, Getting Your Hands Up”!
LMMS(previously Linux MultiMedia Studio) is my digital audio workstation(DAW) of choice. It’s FOSS(free and open-source), easy-to-use, cross-compatible and has a lot of cool features.
What I like most is the interface. Designed to be used on a single screen, it is much less crowded than those of other DAWs. It’s really simple to choose samples(a recording of an instrument playing a note or a series of notes) from the sidebar, add it to the beat and bassline editor and prototype your loops immediately. In fact, users of FL Studio(previously FruityLoops) will find themselves very much at home as LMMS is designed to replace such commercial DAWs.
What’s more, you ask? The whole interface is, wait for it…. themeable and you can upload themes to as well as download one of 59 user-created themes from the Sharing Platform.
It comes with a lot of built-in software synthesizers/instruments, most famous of all, ZynAddSubFX, a hybrid synth, originally developed by Nasca Octavian Paul. I use this a lot to create Big Room Saws and String Pads. Apart from this, it comes with an eclectic range of audio and MIDI effects in the form of LADSPA plugins. These really add that touch of originality to your music and help you create a signature sound.
Using VesTiGe, one can use VST instrument plugins to emulate instruments and expedite the creation of your track without having to focus on creating your own sounds.
What’s more, it’s super simple to connect it to MIDI equipment like an Oxygen 49 keyboard or even an Akai LPD8 pad so you can record your compositions and improvs directly from your instrument. All you need are the latest MIDI drivers for your instrument installed and a usb-midi cable. Turn off your instrument, connect it to your computer and turn it back on. Now, you can change the note input on any instrument to your instrument’s name in the drop-down menu and voilà! Remember to turn your instrument off before you try to remove the cable.
You’ve been warned.
On a lighter note, you can get LMMS for your desktop OS, here. Good luck on your music making journey!
Check out my recent track Speeding Moment, on my SoundCloud, below. I’d love to hear feedback on it and on my other tracks.