What are some EDM production tips

The perfect EDM drop

The secret to one perfect EDM drop is the suspenseful build-up in the break before. In this article you will find the best tricks for the perfect drop in EDM, hip hop and other electronic music.

The perfect EDM drop - producing tutorial with video

By Carlos San Segundo

Make EDM Drop epic - that's how it works

For your EDM drop to really crack, it needs an epic build-up. While this isn't rocket science, it's not as easy as just letting the kick and bass kick in, either.

That's why we've put together the best techniques for you to help the pros take their tracks to the top. So that you too can really let your tracks crack. And best of all: You can easily recreate these techniques in your music program.

For everyone who still wants to know how the bass gets really fat when it drops, I have a power tip at the end - stay tuned, it's worth it.

EDM drop - initial situation

The drop without techniques is initially very flat. The structure can already be seen, but this variant of drop would only drive the dancers to the bar.

There's an A section that runs before the break, a little build-up on the break, and then there's the EDM drop - here in the silence of Bass House.

Before

later

That still sounds a bit boring, that's why we want to get started right away - step by step to the perfect EDM drop.

See perfect EDM drop as a video

# 9 Add ambiences

First of all, I need some samples to spice up the break. We pulled our samples for this project from the Ghosthack Halloween Sample Pack.

We use horror-style sound effects because they are loaded with excitement in and of themselves. You can of course also use other samples.

I use ambience sounds here, which will not only make the build-up more interesting. They will add more character and depth to the whole track. The horror sound effects even add a bit of mystique to the track.

# 8 Stack impacts

An impact is perfect for marking the one in my beat. You can use it to reinforce the drop that begins or - like me here - make the beginning of the break a little more epic.

In our case, the impact signals the beginning of the build-up and thus the build-up of tension. It becomes particularly interesting when you stack several Impact-SFX on top of each other. This makes your sound fatter and it stays unique because you put it together yourself.

I like to use cinematic sound effects as impacts.

# 7 Stack risers

Risers are sound effects that push the tension up. Often they are sounds that have simply been turned around. We place such riser sounds just before the actual drop so that we maximize the build-up of tension.

And why do we also layer the risers? Well, for the same reason as with the Impacts. It sounds more interesting, bolder and the result becomes unique again and can only be heard in your track.

# 6 Announce melody

In order to get the dancing people in the mood for your fat drop, you should announce the melody of your track during the break. This means that the audience is already tuned to the melody, can be happy and really partying when it is played in full.

It is best not to reveal the whole melody right away, but only the first part, for example.

I add the first part of my bass to my track. I use a filter to reveal the melody more and more as the build-up progresses.

# 5 Have hihats put in

We do the same with the hi-hat. We will also announce these before the drop and have them flown in filtered. But this time we use a high-pass filter.

This also prepares the listener even more for the drop and lets everyone know: it's about to get down to business!

# 4 filter build-up

We want to make the build-up explode even more and make use of a technique that you can hear at Virtual Riot, for example. We build up some tension in the first four bars, then filter out the whole track after these four bars and come back fully on the one of the fifth bar.

This second part of the build-up is then perceived much more strongly because we were able to build up a lot of contrast by filtering it away.

The second part can be processed with additional risers, synths and effects - everything that pushes the build up to the extreme.

# 3 use poly rhythm

The snare drum plays a very simple rhythm that is absolutely straight on the accented beats. If we now add a second rhythm, the build-up becomes more interesting for the listener.

In my case, I used a second melody, which complements the current snare very well, especially rhythmically. But be careful: If you are already using complicated rhythms in your build-up, you should not add any more complex melodies.

# 2 Play with the panning

In order to conjure up more tension and movement in your EDM drop, we make use of the automation of your music program. We will now just let the risers, noises and other SFX wander in the stereo panorama.

The individual sounds play a little more in the foreground and the listener's attention is drawn to them. This technique works particularly well with white noise.

# 1 change the amount of reverb

Another way to get the perfect EDM drop is to play with the reverb component. To do this, you need to automate the dry / wet control of your reverb.

We do this by running a lot of reverb at the beginning of the build up so we're practically swimming in a lake of sounds.

The closer we get to the drop, the less reverb can be heard. This makes the sounds more precise again and you practically simulate waking up to a drop.

The icing on the cake

Before we drop, we add a short pause to make the contrast clearer. We also add a vocal that comes as a surprise at this point.

The perfect EDM drop video

EDM Drop - Power Tip

The result can be heard absolutely. After such an epic break-up, of course, you need a really big drop. And for that you need a really fat sounding bass.

In the article linked below, I'll show you how the bass gets even fatter in the drop. With these tips you can make it wider and therefore also fatter. This is not entirely without, especially with EDM you have to be careful here because of the mono compatibility.