All Posts by eric

Metallics (Ableton Template-techno)

Are your grooves stuck in a loop?  Use this template to help you finish your own songs.  "Metallics" brings subterranean kicks and toms, metallic percussion of course, a middle section with a rolling chugging synth line with all elements coming together during the break and drop.  

Deconstruct the arrangement and mix. Uncover how patterns change and evolve over time so you keep your listeners interested in your music. All it takes is a few variations on your main musical patterns over time - see how it works in this template. 

All you need is Ableton Live 9 Standard.  Fully tweak-able as all tracks main elements are sampler instruments with midi and audio. It's very simple to get a demo or club ready master in the box or within Ableton. For best results always have a professional engineer master your tracks.  It will make a world of difference. This track was professionally mastered by Rob Small. The mastering chain in Ableton is get you results you could use to test your material in the DJ booth or to send to labels as demos.  

Copyright belongs to ItsTheDJ - this offering is not affiliated or endorsed by Ableton. This is offered for educational and informational purposes only.

  

Full Audio Preview

  • Fully mixed in Ableton  - no 3rd party plugins
  • All main elements available as midi - plus audio for effects and atmosphere 
  • Deconstruct the mix, arrangement and mastering chain
  • Full professional master included to hear the difference between a pro and an "In the Box" do it yourself master

Get This Template Today - $29

Finish Higher Quality Music in less Time

100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Stop struggling with mix downs and arrangements when you can deconstruct and borrow from this template.  Replace the elements of this template with your own sounds and you won't have to struggle figuring out where your break down should be, how you'll build energy in your tracks.  You'll even have a very close rough mix barring some additional adjustments.  

Meet Diana May from Berlin

Diana is an in-demand DJ residing in Berlin & beyond.  She does a number of parties, teaches and writes for amazona.de.  Catch her in the mix below. Her new single is out now.

Meet Diana Mau from Berlin - ▼ DJ ▼ Artist Coach @ Music Pool Berlin / Noisy Academy ▼ Producer.

Devil's Bells is her new single which is out now. Check it out on Beatport. 

In her own words, "Devil´s Bells is produced in Ableton, all automations I made with the APC MK 2, main synth with Serum VST.

Main Sounds are the reversed bells, a split hit hat ( which was the actual starting point, every sound is build around that) and the serum synth. 

Name of the track is referring to the bell sound ( original name of the bells is: „cursed bells“), plus my mom used to call me devil´s child - somehow it reminded me of that time 😀

Next release „Murmur" is out on 3rd of Oktober on Kellerbeats."

https://www.beatport.com/track/devils-bells-original-mix/12331004

Diana's Upcoming Events:

19.08 Crack Bellmer - Berlin

06.09 FridayHappiness - Tojeiro Portugal

12.10 Technoklstsche, Oldenberg (DE)

Got You (Ableton Template-techno)

Are your grooves stuck in a loop?  Use this template to help you finish your own songs.  "Got You" brings rolling bass, catchy key stabs and a hypnotic arpeggio to the table along with subtle atmospheric sounds and effects.  

Deconstruct the arrangement and mix. Uncover how patterns change and evolve over time so you keep your listeners interested in your music. All it takes is a few variations on your main musical patterns over time - see how it works in this template. 

All you need is Ableton Live 9 Standard.  Audio tracks only. It's very simple to get a demo or club ready master in the box or within Ableton. For best results always have a professional engineer master your tracks.  It will make a world of difference. This track was professionally mastered by Rob Small. The mastering chain in Ableton is get you results you could use to test your material in the DJ booth or to send to labels as demos.  

Copyright belongs to ItsTheDJ - this offering is not affiliated or endorsed by Ableton. This is offered for educational and informational purposes only.

  

Full Audio Preview

  • Fully mixed in Ableton  - no 3rd party plugins
  • Audio Only
  • Deconstruct the mix and mastering chain

Get This Template Today

Finish Higher Quality Music in less Time

100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Stop struggling with mix downs and arrangements when you can deconstruct and borrow from this template.  Replace the elements of this template with your own sounds and you won't have to struggle figuring out where your break down should be, how you'll build energy in your tracks.  You'll even have a very close rough mix barring some additional adjustments.  

Techno Production: An Easy Way to Think About Arrangement or Song Structure

An easy way to think about arrangement is if we think about the song in 3 main sections:

Beginning

Middle 

Conclusion

There are certainly sections within each but if we keep it high level this means you have about 2 minutes or so for each main section.  

The intro kicks things off, the middle section is where you have your main element or hook. There will likely be a breakdown and drop and finally the conclusion wraps things up. The conclusion can be the same or a slight variation of the intro.  Don't need to re-invent the wheel when it comes to your tracks conclusion.  

If you can develop a solid sounding 8-16 bar loop you can easily turn this into a whole song. 

Watch and follow along as I break this down in the video. 

This entire Ableton Template is available for purchase at the link. 

Ableton Live Techno Template

How to make techno in Ableton Live 

Starting with a template is a good way to start making tracks because it gives you a framework to start with.  As a beginner step it's great because you have a road map of how the entire track can come together.

The alternative is to start with a blank new session and from there figure it out.  The problem for newer producers is they never get past 8 or 16 bars of music.

It's easy to make new ideas, it's harder to turn those ideas into fully fleshed out dancefloor ready tracks.

In the video above I cover how I made the rumbly low end in my techno template "afraid" you can find on Abletunes.com.

Here's the Link.

Dance Music Production – How I got a track released on a well known German label

Here are some tips to help you with any sort of dance music production, house, techno and anything in between.

So what major German label did  I release on? Berlin's Get Physical. 

The name says it all: Get Physical tracks could hardly be more moving and corporeal.

Get Physical Music has been doing it's thing since 2005.  Over the years a number of their tracks have found their way into my files.  As they are one of the top selling labels on beatport which is where I've been shopping regularly since 2004. 

This post is about how I landed a release with them.  Taking over the details is Jacki-e, who did the music and melodies of the track.  I'm not one to collaborate, really ever, so in this instance I acted as mix engineer and arranger, perhaps executive producer, as I provided some high level strategic input.  If you're new to this blog I release my own stuff as a solo artist and share tips via this blog and a premium pay for course.  Jacki-e was a student of the course who also wanted some 1/1 instruction to help move things along faster.   We worked on this tune back in August of 2017, it's release date was 26 October 2018.  Here's the story as written by Jacki.

My track 'Marionette', on which I collaborated with Eric Louis, is being released as a single by Get Physical Music. How did I, a complete unknown in the dance music industry, get a track signed and released by a major label? 

1) Creation/Production - To answer that question we have to go back 2 and a half years to Easter 2016. I'd purchased Ableton about a year before that and I was trying to get my head around how to use it to create my own tunes. I'd created a few tracks in Ableton, but I didn't really understand EQ-ing, frequency distribution and sound separation and everything sounded dense and muddy. I was searching through the sound packs I had for some cool sounds for a new track and on a Deep House sample pack which had come from Digital DJ Tips, I came across a jaunty bass line that lodged itself inside my head for the next few weeks. The same sound pack had this great 8 bar Synth Chord Loop in the same key as the bass line and they worked together really well.

The synth chords filled in the spaces left by the bass loop and built into this dirty crescendo in the last two bars of the 8 bar loop. I put together a kick, and an additional bass chord loop to give a solid bottom end and found some hats for a nice crisp top end, then created some breakdowns and added risers and a crash for added dynamics. I liked the track. It suggested to me a puppet dance, with the lilt of the bass and the crescendo of the synth chord loop, but it sounded muddy and dense and I didn't really know how to fix that. I understood it was to do with EQ and sound separation but I didn't know how to do this effectively. So the track sat in my Ableton Project file for a year.

2) Refinement In that time I'd learnt a lot more about music production by watching on line tutorials and then implementing what I'd learned. At about the same time that I'd originally created the track (April 2016) Eric Louis did a guest mix for my radio show, A Darker Wave. I joined Eric's on line community for underground DJs and Producers, It's The DJ, and I found it to be the most valuable learning resource I was using to help me improve my production techniques. In summer 2017 Eric told me he could do four hour long one on one tutorials via Skype on the fundamentals of music production and I was eager to learn so I jumped at the chance.


Eric asked me to send him a track we could work on over the four sessions and I immediately thought of the one with the jaunty bass line and dirty synth loop that I'd shelved the previous year. In fact I'd already done some more work on the track, in particular creating four samples from the dirty 8 bar synth loop that finished in that dirty riff and, using the techniques on It's The DJ, EQ-ing them into distinctive sounds of their own. My original track was deep house but I really wanted it to have more of a techno sound. 

In the one on one sessions, Eric worked with me to do this, shaping the kick, using background noise throughout to 'glue' the sounds together, improving the risers and crashes, adding and shaping claps, refining the hi hats and teasing in the main riff. In the first session, Eric asked if I had a reference track in mind. I had, but then what I'd produced sounded nothing like what I had in ye head!! He suggested I have a listen to the Claptone remix of 'Let's Groove' by George Morel. 

To prepare for our second one on one session, Eric had asked me to look for some sounds to fill in some of the spaces and give the track some tension, colour and variety. I wanted a top end sound, maybe a melodic hook, but when I heard the George Morel track I knew what I needed. It was the bubble synth sound from 'Let's Groove'. 

I found a place in the track where I could sample it and added it to my own. In the remaining sessions Eric helped me with the final EQ-ing, arrangement and mixdown and at the end we had a really great sounding track. 

3) Release My intention was to get it mastered and upload it to my Soundcloud page, but before I did I thought I'd do the right thing and e-mail the label to ask for permission to use the bubble synth sound from the George Morel track. The label was Get Physical Music. I never expected a reply. When I received one it certainly didn't say what I expected. 

They loved the track and wanted to release it!! That was about a year ago and since then the label has had the track mastered and arranged for two fantastic remixes by S African producer Jazzuelle; a 6am Disco Remix and a Spaced Out Dream Remix. When the label asked me for the track title, I thought back to the image of the puppet dance the main bass line had given me, when I first started to put the track together. 

A puppet controlled by strings is known as a marionette and I think it fits the feel of the track. The official release date of 'Marionette' is 26th Oct and I couldn't be prouder or more excited.

Marionette is off to a strong start

OK it's Eric and I'm back.  Already charted on beatport's "Best New Tech House" chart, the tune is off to a fantastic start. I should add that the EP includes 2 fantastic remixes by South Africa's Jazzuelle.  Jazzuelle has also a repeat offender on Get Physical Music with an album and other releases behind him.  

Shop the Full EP at This Link

beatport tech house chart october 2018

Wrapping It Up

I hope you found this post helpful, there's a number of take-aways about dance music production, be it house, techno, or whatever..it doesn't matter. 

1. You need both skill and luck!  Plug away, work smart and hard on your craft because you'll never know when luck will find you.  Luck and opportunity is not totally in your control.  You can control the hours you put into your music game and what you do in that time. What you can't entirely control are things like who you will meet and how they will react to your music.  

It was luck on my part that I bumped into someone from Nervous Records back in September 2013 at Output in Brooklyn.  It was my skills that lead to them signing 3 of my singles over the years. 

It was somewhat lucky for Jacki to have gotten a not only a response from Get Physical but also a yes,  and it was skill that the music we did was worthy of a release with them.  

Luck and Opportunity are very much part of the equation and they are not entirely in your control.  

Here's another production tip

Develop your "finishing" skills.  If you don't finish what you start, that ensures your music will NEVER be heard by others.  If you've been doing this a while and have folders full of groovy beats and ideas that are not more than a minute long, you need to stop making new music and work on your finishing skills.  Finishing off a dance track is hard and daunting at first and can often seem boring and un-sexy.  

But this is where rubber meets the road. 

Once you finish a track you can work smarter the next time. It used to take me the better part of a full work week to complete a track from start to finish.  We're talking a good 25-30 hours spread over weeks and months.  

Now I spend 4-10 hours on a track.

Mixing is no longer super time consuming, it's a rather mundane task.  If you practice and develop your ear and how selective you are about sounds, there's really nothin fancy or complex to do in the mix down phase. 

Plugins Oh Boy!

One could get lost in the number of plugins available for mixing.  In this case, the track was done 100% in Ableton with no 3rd party plugins.  I love my UAD stuff but again this was a project we collaborated on so it's not helpful for me to try and teach Jacki stuff if she doesn't have the same plugins I do. 

Because she asked for 1/1 instruction, I worked with her files in Ableton Live using Live's native plugins.  

The version that went to Get Physical was exported straight from Ableton.

That said, I love my UAD plugins and they are very helpful for me, more so some years ago, a bit less so now.  Reason for that is that in this time, I've gotten better at picking sounds, be it from sample packs or VSTs.  

The better things sound in the creation phase the less heavy lifting needs to be done when mixing down.

Think about it like this.

If you were recording a band, the quality of the initial recording is super important.  A good recording and mix engineer will get good at capturing good recordings and performances right?  Take this concept and apply it to dance/techno electronic music production.  

Jacki came to the table with some solid ideas that didn't need a ton of work as far as mixing.  She did need help with song structure and some little things to give the tune extra bits of interesting content or "ear candy."

Develop your "finishing" skills.  If you don't finish what you start, that ensures your music will NEVER be heard by others.  If you've been doing this a while and have folders full of groovy beats and ideas that are not more than a minute long, you need to stop making new music and work on your finishing skills.  Finishing off a dance track is hard and daunting at first and can often seem boring and un-sexy.  

But this is where rubber meets the road. 

Once you finish a track you can work smarter the next time. It used to take me the better part of a full work week to complete a track from start to finish.  We're talking a good 25-30 hours spread over weeks and months.  

Now I spend 4-10 hours on a track.

Mixing is no longer super time consuming, it's a rather mundane task.  If you practice and develop your ear and how selective you are about sounds, there's really nothin fancy or complex to do in the mix down phase. 

Plugins Oh Boy!

One could get lost in the number of plugins available for mixing.  In this case, the track was done 100% in Ableton with no 3rd party plugins.  I love my UAD stuff but again this was a project we collaborated on so it's not helpful for me to try and teach Jacki stuff if she doesn't have the same plugins I do. 

Because she asked for 1/1 instruction, I worked with her files in Ableton Live using Live's native plugins.  

The version that went to Get Physical was exported straight from Ableton.

That said, I love my UAD plugins and they are very helpful for me, more so some years ago, a bit less so now.  Reason for that is that in this time, I've gotten better at picking sounds, be it from sample packs or VSTs.  

The better things sound in the creation phase the less heavy lifting needs to be done when mixing down.

Think about it like this.

If you were recording a band, the quality of the initial recording is super important.  A good recording and mix engineer will get good at capturing good recordings and performances right?  Take this concept and apply it to dance/techno electronic music production.  

Jacki came to the table with some solid ideas that didn't need a ton of work as far as mixing.  She did need help with song structure and some little things to give the tune extra bits of interesting content or "ear candy."

Develop your "finishing" skills.  If you don't finish what you start, that ensures your music will NEVER be heard by others.  If you've been doing this a while and have folders full of groovy beats and ideas that are not more than a minute long, you need to stop making new music and work on your finishing skills.  Finishing off a dance track is hard and daunting at first and can often seem boring and un-sexy.  

But this is where rubber meets the road. 

Once you finish a track you can work smarter the next time. It used to take me the better part of a full work week to complete a track from start to finish.  We're talking a good 25-30 hours spread over weeks and months.  

Now I spend 4-10 hours on a track.

Mixing is no longer super time consuming, it's a rather mundane task.  If you practice and develop your ear and how selective you are about sounds, there's really nothin fancy or complex to do in the mix down phase. 

Plugins Oh Boy!

One could get lost in the number of plugins available for mixing.  In this case, the track was done 100% in Ableton with no 3rd party plugins.  I love my UAD stuff but again this was a project we collaborated on so it's not helpful for me to try and teach Jacki stuff if she doesn't have the same plugins I do. 

Because she asked for 1/1 instruction, I worked with her files in Ableton Live using Live's native plugins.  

The version that went to Get Physical was exported straight from Ableton.

That said, I love my UAD plugins and they are very helpful for me, more so some years ago, a bit less so now.  Reason for that is that in this time, I've gotten better at picking sounds, be it from sample packs or VSTs.  

The better things sound in the creation phase the less heavy lifting needs to be done when mixing down.

Think about it like this.

If you were recording a band, the quality of the initial recording is super important.  A good recording and mix engineer will get good at capturing good recordings and performances right?  Take this concept and apply it to dance/techno electronic music production.  

Jacki came to the table with some solid ideas that didn't need a ton of work as far as mixing.  She did need help with song structure and some little things to give the tune extra bits of interesting content or "ear candy."

Last Tip and Final Thoughts

Mastering - there seems to be this idea that one must master their own music, so new producers who can barely make and mix a full dance track now task themselves with learning how to also deliver a punchy, dynamic, dance floor ready master.

Mastering is TOO MUCH to take on and I assure you, your "do it yourself" masters are going to come up short.

Some people out there are just really cheap - the costs of entry have never been cheaper so those producers hunting for samples and software for little to no cost will probably never shell out the $20-$40 to have a pro master their music.

To the reasonable people out there this is a bargain for what's delivered. If you have good music labels want to sign and release there's a good chance that the label will master your track with their preferred mastering guy or gal. 

It's true that mastering can't polish a turd, but mastering will make your tracks sound heads and shoulders better than your "self master."  

I highly recommend hiring a mastering engineer and going through the process.  This was you know what's up to you to fix in the mix and when you hand it off to them, they will take care of the fancy mid side EQ treatments, multi-bad compression, as well as delivering appropriate levels of loudness.

In closing Marionette is now out for sale.

If you need more thorough dance / techno production help and instruction have a look at my course.

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