How to Make Sure Your Track Fills Out The Full Frequency Range

Can you see what's wrong with this picture?  The image above is a spectrum analysis of one of my (work in progress) tracks.

I sent it off to Björgvin over at for a review and loved his feedback even though he doesn't really work at all in dance music. 

I had asked him to review what's done well, and what red flags does he see or hear.  His concern is my track is quite bottom heavy and lacking in mid-range.

This sent me back to the drawing board.

First thing I did was find a tune that I think sounds good, so I popped one of Harvey McKay's tracks into Ableton with Voxengo Span on the master fader. Span is a free spectrum analysis.

No surprise that Harvey's tune looks and sounds lovely.

I took a screen shot of Harvey's track to get a snapshot of what the spectrum looked like.

I then played my own track and too a snapshot and looked at them both side by side to see what was missing.

I was missing content from about 250Hz to 1500kHz.  So I played Harvey's tune and discovered that his chord riff is a big part of how he fills out that range of sounds in his tune.

So my tune needed a similar riff or hook which I added and you can hear in the video.

Very worthwhile exercise of getting feedback from another expert and implementing something new.

The little chord sequence I added definitely gives the tune a need boost of sonic character.

news round up

2 weeks ago an Underground Elite Member, Anthony popped by the house Jam on Maschine Jam.  I came up with a couple things on the spot, as we went over the Maschine software and Jam controller.  Feel free to put these sounds to use.  Right Click to Save As

Techno queen Rebekah drops her album "Fear Paralysis."  Here's a link to her FB to stream/purchase.  Rebakah has a very long history as a DJ and producer.  I dig that's she's 7 years sober.  I'm not on any "program" but I totally respect the discipline and self knowledge she's acquired. She's lifts weights and does Crossfit when not DJing.  I did Crossfit on the regular for 4 years.  In a live stream on Be at TV earlier this week she said it Crossfit is like "S&M" on yourself.  It's true, it is like torture but with benefits.

I'll prob grab a track or 2 from the album.

Harvey McKay drops and EP on Bedrock. Dope shit as usual.

Fact Mag had a nice round up of "cutting edge" synths, I may have to grab one of these.

Just today I had a Google Hangout w/ Dean Zlato, he's also an Underground Elite member.  He's based in Sydney where nightlife lock out laws have really taken their toll on the big clubs. Rather than get bummed about it, he and his mates are throwing warehouse parties, and he's beefing up his production game going through my course.

He has a remix due out soon, and is finishing the last track in a 3 track EP.  I told him to go ahead and start sending the 2 that are done as demos so he has home for his EP when the final track is done.

And since people have been eager to open emails about "the music biz" here's an older but interesting post from Mixmag that explains what DJs at different levels earn.

Coming soon is a new article in my "Finish Faster" series.  Till then I have music to finish and get mastered.

Have this stuff sorted out

Right as you get to 100 fans followers.  It will help you get your first release out the door.  I don't mean knowing how deals are negotiated, but the basics of website, social profiles (just pick your favorite 2) networking & involvement in the scene.  A couple hundreds local followers, a release or 2, a basic site with logo, electronic press kit, this will help with more and more opening gigs and so on.  When you open for bigger names you have the demos and promos to hand off. Networking is big, don't overthink the other stuff. It's so easy to turn the "marketing" into a far bigger project than it actually is.  Logos and what not can be changed overnight, but good relationships take time. 

Getting down w Maschine Jam

Anthony (on the left) is a subscriber and also bought my paid course. He happens to live 30 minutes away so he came down to kick it about Native Instruments Maschine Jam, since he recently grabbed one.

We covered the basics, as well as cool features like the variation engine that gives patterns a more human feel.  Also made some loops and exported to Ableton.

We finished right around 5 pm which was the perfect time for a cocktail.  Ant saw a bottle of Compari on my shelf so it was Negroni's all around.

Techno Production with lots of samples ripped from vinyl

(photo by Michael Bodnar called Reflections of the Needle)

During a snow day last month I had a change to rip some samples from vinyl and this morning I had a chance to mess with them and make some patterns. I use Maschine for the chopping and editing, what you see in Ableton are the exported individual tracks and how I processed them.

Everything is 100% native Ableton.

In the video you'll get some quick pointers on mixing like making sure the the full mix is mono compatible, using the Ableton EQ to roll off low end that's not needed etc. You'll see how I set levels and used several tracks for back ground atmospheric sounds.

Some nice percussion parts.  Nearly everything is all from sampled vinyl except the hi hats, synth and subby kick.

Download the Files Here.

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Or if you want something more in-depth my production course is still at the reduced introductory rate. For the first 30 students, 13 spots are left.

Free tech-house sounds and loops

my loss your gain. Here are some samples you can use as you like. Deep chugging tech house 124 bpm. Members can download the files. More info here

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