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How To Make Your Songs POP – EDM Tutorial

The Summit EDM Livestream

Expand your edm arrangement and your skills with Tesko’s detailed guide explaining the importance of every sound in your mix. Learn how to make your music POP, stand out and have depth.

Mix Hierarchy
Write down all of your elements from most important to least important in a list. Your mix should reflect your list. Most important elements should be more present in the mix than the less important elements. This includes but is not limited to volume.

Far Away Rack
By combining the filtering of lows and highs with reverb we can effectively make a sound feel like it’s moving in a field of depth. Depth allows us to unlock the third dimension of the ‘mix cube’.

How To Add Depth

Freq Distribution – The amount of low end and high end of a sound/ section directly correlates to weight and excitement respectively. Sounds that are closer to the observer have more highs and lows than sound further away. Heavier, more powerful things tend to produce lower frequencies (think whale vs mouse).

Amount of Reverb – The closer the sound to the observer the less reverb, and vice versa. Make sure to play around with room sizes. A small reverb at 90% is going to sound more present than a large room at 30% reverb.

Dynamic Range – If I’m right up to your ear I can whisper, talk or yell. If I’m far away I can only yell, you’re not going to hear me whispering or talking. Essentially the threshold for the quietest sound you can hear increases and the quietest part of the dynamic is lost. This is why over compression sucks things back into the mix. Your mix needs a combination of loud and quiet elements.

Arrangement Hierarchy
From the intro to the drop, where do the sections of the mix lie on the spectrum? Often times producers have arrangement problems because less intense sections have more depth attributes than the intense sections. The high end towards the end of a riser in the buildup will not exceed the high end in the first downbeat kick of a drop. This makes the drop NOT slap.

Start with the drop. Make the drop as big as possible and make the other sections lower in hierarchy. Use the intro/build sections to somehow minimize the drop idea in the intro, verses, builds etc and show an evolution of that sound throughout the song.

Do’s and Dont’s Guidelines and Suggestions

Don’t introduce a new element in your intro to make it more interesting.
Do take your drop/ chorus idea, add more silence in the phrasing, move it back in the field of depth and show character development leading up to the drop.

Don’t use the same sub from the drop in the intro, build etc.
Do adjust your sub accordingly relative to which section you use it in. Use sub drops/ reverses, glides etc to coordinate your sub with the general flow of energy through out the mix. The dance floor will feel it in their bodies.

Don’t mix ambiences, textures, fx, etc too loud.
Do explore more of the dynamic range available to you. Most people are mixing in a 20db range. Some elements should be felt more than hear. Keep in mind the heavier compression in the mastering stage the louder the quiet elements are going to get in the final.

EDM Production Workflow. How To Make EDM
EDM Artist and Music Producer Tesko on ProducerDJ
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