Give Melodies an Exta Edge

To give melodies an extra edge (like bass rifs, lead rifs, chords), add in the automation small peaks of reverb or delay, or any other effect.

This makes them a bit more interesting.



EQ Fundamentals

Equalization Principles

  • If it sounds muddy, attenuate at around 250Hz
  • If it sounds honky, attenuate at around 500Hz
  • Cut or attenuate to add clarity
  • Boost to make things sound “different”
  • Use a narrow Q / Bandwidth (6 – 10) when cutting
  • Use a wide Q / Bandwidth (0.5 – 2) when boosting
  • To make something stick out, roll off the bottom
    • For example guitars and vocals can really use this. Basically everything that uses a microphone.
    • Bass and kickdrum can use it as well but then only really low bottom under 20 or 30 Hz.
  • To make something blend in, roll off the top

Don’t forget: Less is sometimes more. So use it wisely.

Equalization Fundamental Techniques

Apply the following fundamental techniques for EQing your sounds:

  1. Use substractive frequencies to remove aspects of the sound you do not like. Two ways to do this:
    1. Bring down a frequency to -10db and while the sound plays drag it to lower or higher frequencies until the sound you want to remove is gone (for example nasal sound of a vocal around 1kHz). Once it sounds good, bring the grain up to -1 or -2Db as suited and use Q in that way until sounds good.
    2. Bring up a frequence to +10db and while the sound plays drag it to lower or higher frequencies until you hear the frequency of the sound you wqnt to remove. Once found, bring it down to -1 or -2db and adjust Q until sounds good.
  2. Substractive frequencies removal works best in the below ranges due to proximity effect and the way microphones are build to accentuate certain frequencies which you do not want: presence boost.EQ 1
  3. After substractive frequencies, add some points for improving character of the sound.
  4. Some sparkle as wel in the higher frequencies
  5. And eventually some air to make it feel more real and breathy.EQ 2

Bass EQ

  1. Bring up everything under 120 Hz for the big bottom
  2. Bring up a small point around 700 Hz for more attack of the Bass
  3. Bring up a point around 2.5 Hz for the finger sound on the bass.

Shirine – I Believe

My wife Shirine Irani just released her first song. She has been writing songs since 6 years old, but since last year we decided to invest in one of the songs and took a producer under the hood. The production and release of this song has been quite an interesting adventure into the world of commercial music production.

The song is availabe on Itunes and Spotify. Enjoy!

Build-Up Sound for Trance

Tip to easily make a build-up sound for trance songs towards the breakdown.

  1. Use a cheesy synth sound.
  2. Put a long note for over 8 bars (or use a rhytmic synth sequence of short notes – preferably the same note).
  3. Automate pitch bend to go up from bar 1 to 8 over 2 octaves.
    • Just before the end of 8th bar, bring the pitch bend completely down by more than 2 octaves.
  4. Put a high-pass filter that closes or opens from beginning to end.
  5. Add effecs to the sound as you like and automate where you believe this can build even more up. Like adding reverb or delay.

Build-Up Picth Bend Sound

How To Make A Typical Trance Build-Up Sound

  1. Use an analogue synthesiser and set the Oscillator wave to White Noise
  2. Put a Flanger effect and set a slow LFO on the flanger
  3. Put a Phaser effect and set a slow LFO on the Phase
  4. Optionally play with the frequencies on the effect or set an LFO on the virtual synth as well

Example in Ableton Live done with Operator – click on picture for zoom in.

White Noise Build-Up Sound


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