Utilizing various sound synthesis techniques, producers can craft unique custom sounds for their tracks that create that “wow” factor. However, this process takes time and requires both technical knowledge and creative flair.
Early forms of electronic music, musique concrete and tape music, relied heavily on altering natural sounds for their source. This raised an intriguing question: to what extent can an altered sound become identifiable again?
Electronic music’s most exciting sound design can often come from manipulating existing sounds. Producers begin with an inspiring presets set, tweaking and shaping them until they fit their song concept perfectly. Some might call this practice “sonic stealing”, but really it’s just good composition; an experienced sound designer can transform generic guitar, bass, drum kit, and vocal samples into completely original sounds for their compositions.
Sound design can be likened to cinematography: taking visual aspects and setting an appropriate atmosphere through use of filters, equalizers and delays; however, sound designers go further. By employing such tools as filters, equalizers and delays they can craft an entire musical environment using these tools; successfully finding their balance allows them to create an atmosphere which draws listeners in.
One of the keys to creating an effective EDM track is creating a strong sense of contrast. A captivating drop or breakdown can captivate listeners as they experience its intensity as it transitions between its original part and newer, more intense one – something achieved through various samples, EQs and effects, along with changing volume on every element in the song.
Arranging is another key element of creating an effective track, and producers often discover their signature sound when it comes to this aspect. A typical song will typically include characters who develop through the song with clear narrative arcs and clear climax and conclusion points. Loop-based songs provide one efficient method of composing musical composition; 4-8 bar segments repeated repeatedly are enough to compose entire tracks much more quickly than writing full length songs from scratch.
This article serves as a primer for EDM sound design, yet ultimately, each producer must experiment, imitate and practice until they develop their own unique process for sound design. Once done so, quickly going from creative inspiration to completed patch can happen by taking advantage of software as well as experience gained over time.
Synthesis refers to the process of joining two or more elements together to form something entirely new. It’s an extremely common occurrence in chemistry, where scientists create new compounds by mixing natural elements or synthetic chemicals together. Furthermore, nonfiction writers often need to synthesize research from various sources in order to provide a wider perspective of their topic.
Synthesis refers to the process of producing new sounds through electronic music synthesizers. A musical synthesizer can combine a wide array of sound sources such as samples, wavetables, MIDI data or even other musical instruments into one system and then processed through an array of filters that shape frequencies to produce desired tones – these filters are divided into oscillators, filters and envelope shapers; attack determines how quickly sound reaches its peak while decay determines frequency sustainment and release sets the rate at which frequency decay subsides back down towards silence.
Most modern digital sound synthesisers utilize sophisticated algorithms that can recreate the sounds of most traditional acoustic instruments, while some models specialize in specific areas such as vocals or dark textures. Some models utilize additive, subtractive, granular and/or other synthesis methods; additive is typically used to produce basic instrument tones while subtractive allows each note in the keyboard to be controlled individually for unique expressive effects like AM or spectral warping.
Granular synthesis works by dividing samples into short ‘grains’ that can then be modulated and layered for unique atmospheric sounds. Another popular approach, physical modeling synthesis, recreates how acoustic instruments such as pianos are played right down to their pedal pressure type.
Modular synthesis is an open-ended approach where individual modules can be interconnected in various combinations to produce sound sources. While this system is extremely powerful and versatile, programming it may prove challenging; an example being the REAKTOR Blocks modular system which gives complete freedom to build custom synths from scratch.
An electronic piece of music does not automatically become electronic just because it is played on an electric guitar or synthesizer, nor a Bach fugue transformed into electronic form simply by being performed on digital organ. However, certain experimental compositions with chance elements or indeterminate scoring often require electronic equipment for their completion – this specialized case necessitates its use as well.
In the 1950s, various composers initiated an innovative form of electronic music composition called musique concrete – which consisted of editing together recorded fragments of natural and industrial sounds – as a technique. This differed significantly from Karlheinz Stockhausen’s pure elektronische Musik which relied entirely on electronically produced sounds rather than sound recordings.
musique concrete became the starting point for composers who wanted to explore electronic music free from musical ideas or melodic lines, using only recorded sounds to produce pure soundscaping pieces. During this era, computer music pieces first made an appearance.
Most modern electronic music is produced through the combination of various techniques and software applications, producing an eclectic hybrid that encompasses rock, dance music and ambient styles. Many tracks are organized into blocks of four, eight or sixteen bar phrases with verse sections of consistent length that provide a basic structure to follow easily. Techno and EDM musicians will sometimes add a build-up section known as a riser that leads into an expansive chorus where main melodic motifs of songs reach their climax.
An experienced electronic musician understands the distinctions between sound design, which involves synthesizing and manipulating audio samples, and music composition, which involves coming up with an overall musical concept and melody. While some may consider these two things distinct, in reality there is always overlap; triplet delay delays, square wave LFOs, compression effects all contribute towards shaping musical pieces just like basslines or chord progressions would.
Many electronic music producers take an involved approach to production, from writing initial ideas through arrangement, production, mixing, and mastering themselves. This is due to their genre’s complex production process which must deal with variables like whether something sounds great on studio monitors in their apartment translates well onto car audio speakers or club sound systems.
As producers often utilize synthesized sounds, they have greater precision when handling dynamics of their tracks and can use this precision to easily sculpt sounds without compression and EQ. That being said, any producer must listen to their project with different speakers in various situations for an accurate representation of how their music will sound on real speakers and in real-life settings.
One effective strategy for doing this is using reference tracks for mixdown purposes. By listening to songs you like from artists you admire, you can get an idea of how you can improve the overall structure and balance of your track.
Example techniques might include using a master bus compressor to bring together your tracks or applying an EQ filter to reduce high frequencies in order to make room for vocals in the midrange, as well as narrowing your verse with stereo enhancer and opening it back up on drop to give more width to the track.
Use a high-pass filter to block low frequencies that might interfere with your bass lines and add some funky or unexpected sound effects to add visual and auditory stimulation for listeners.
Keep people engaged by creating tension in your song by keeping them guessing what will come next, or use this tactic to showcase the individuality and standout qualities of your music that set it apart from similar genres.