Bass.....the most important element of a dance record? Probably.
Naturally, different genres of music call for different styles of bass. Dubstep calls for loud growling basslines, techno calls for a more rumbly and sub focused bass. Each to their own.
Bass is subjective and changes in relation to the genre of music you make, however, these tips should apply to all genres of dance music. Mixing a live bass sound is slightly different, but here at North Origin, we are all about dance music, so lets have a look.
Another quick tips post, this time the topic is EQ, arguably the most important mixing tool.
In my opinion, EQ is the second most important aspect of a mix, behind setting your volume faders. EQ really allows us to carve out space and craft sounds to fit together.
EQ is generally subjective, however, it is very easy to over do and often people set very unnecessary EQ plugins. EQ doesn't have to be complex and if you find yourself making outrageous changes to your EQ, it is probably better to just change the original sound.
Lets dive into some tips:
Another 'tips' post today and the topic is Compression.
In this day and age, if you produce dance music then there really isn't any need for external compressors. Yes, you can get a great sound by using hardware compressors, however, you can also get great results using software compressors, which is far easier. Software has come a long way, so if you aren't familiar with how to operate hardware compressors then don't worry about it.
Here are some tips when it comes to using compression in your productions.
Time for a post about stereo imaging and width. Now I will not cover absolutely everything in this post about how to achieve a wider sound but hopefully there will be some useful information in this small post. Many people seem to get hung up on making their sound super wide. Yes, wide is good but remember you can go too wide. Remember not to make everything wide....this is dance music after all and you want most of the energy coming straight through the middle and hitting your listener smack in the face. Finding the right balance between wide sounds and narrow / mono sounds is key.
One of the main reasons for grouping your drums is that it allows you to process that group as a whole. There are many benefits to this and adding processing to a whole group makes the individual elements in the group slightly more cohesive. In other words they work together better.
Lets have a quick look at grouping drums.
This is a really interesting video for any independent artists out there. Although it was posted a few years ago, many of the principles still apply today.
It gives good insight into how independent artists can promote their music and enforce good marketing practices. The principles can apply if you are a band, solo artist or even a producer / DJ.
Click read more for the video.
Reverb is used on absolutely every production. There is no way you can make a track, especially in the realm of dance music, without using reverb. Every sound we hear has some form of reverb on it, therefore, adding it to your productions makes them sound more natural. Think about any sound you hear in real life, you hear the sound waves that go into your ear and also sound waves which are reflecting off other surfaces before going into your ears. So with that in mind, if you produced a track with no reverb, then it will sound very unnatural and dry.
Lets have a look at some quick tips for reverb.
In our humble opinion here at North Origin, mixing is the most important part of producing dance music, behind the actual music. At the end of the day, if the music doesn't connect with people then no one is going to give a shit how well the kick and bass are mixed. That said, mixing is massively important with any genre of music but extremely important when it comes to making dance records. Mixing is also a huge part of your production process and your sound. How you mix records becomes part of 'your sound'.
Since mixing is a HUGE category, we will more than likely have many posts related to this subject but for now, here are some tips to get you started.
Mastering is a bit of an art form, a subjective one at that. Some people want masters that are pushed, with little dynamic range and others want something that competes in volume, yet retains some dynamics. Whatever your style, understand that mastering isn't the be all and end all. Mastering is simply the final touches to your music, which will get a little extra brightness and loudness out of your productions without causing distortion or clipping.
Lets have a look at some tips when it comes to mastering.
I wanted the first educational post to be about the kick drum - arguably the most important part of a dance record. If your kick drum doesn't fit then your track is doomed from the outset. The kick is the holy grail of dance music production so get some good samples which fit your style of music.
At the end of the day if you start out your productions with poor samples then you are going to end up with a poor track. You can polish a piece of shit all you want, it just becomes a shiny piece of shit.
Click 'Read more' - Lets dive in and take a look.