Making unique EDM tracks is tricky business. Yes, we all have access to infinite samples and chords, but why do some DJ producers thrive while others flounder? Here are 5 things to help you really find your sound and make those floor shattering and roof lifting tracks that set you apart.
By: Adam Nicholson
DJ, Producer, Director of CX @MDIIO
1. Using Templates Within Your DAW Use a template in your DAW as a placeholder for your channels and tracks. You can even have a bus in your template with your favorite compression plugin setup on it. This can be done almost any DAW, and there are plenty of templates online you can download. This helps with song structure, workflow and quite frankly 99% of the time you’ll probably end up changing it. In the end it will help with slapping an idea down quickly. 2. Recreate Favorite EDM Tunes Try recreating your favorite EDM tune. You may get a different outcome from what you expect during this process, but it’s a great starter for arrangement inspiration. 3. Use Loop Kits While Being Original Use loop kits creatively and respectively. Some EDM producers will argue not to use loop kits as they tend to make your song sound unoriginal and generic. The trick is to splice loops, re-arrange and pitch them so you can get a completely different sound than the original loop. Don't just straight up use the loop unprocessed, c'mon you're more original than that! 4. Master your Kick Make sure your kick drum is in the right tune, don’t feel afraid to replace the kick with another until it jives with your track. Sometimes it may take up to 30+ different kick experimentations before you get it right. Use side-chain compression to make kicks cut through your mixes. Don’t be afraid to use cut-off filters and cut kicks within the 30Hz range if needed. In addition use a roll-off filter if the kick is disturbing other elements in the song 3-4kHz or higher. 5. Experiment Try with different combinations of sounds, pads and synths. Record everyday sounds within your home, studio and environment to get unique samples. Try experimenting with recording utensils in your kitchen, who knows it could be something unique! Don’t be afraid to step out of your genre of music, you can be limitless. Don’t pigeonhole yourself to a certain genre of electronic music! If you end up going a different direction to what you expected and it sounds great, that is success itself.