We listen to a lot of our client’s build-ups, some sound really amateur, simple as that!
Most commercial and well know tracks have huge and intense build-ups, right? These are the ones that will drive or kill you when the drop comes, and these are the ones that distinguish a good producer and song for those who sound amateurish! But, why can’t you do a killer build-up?
Build ups are an opportunity to create tension, emotion, and much-needed energy in your music.
Here are 5 great build-up tips, tricks, and techniques we use on many in-house productions, that will help you develop more confident and commercial build-up skills!
1. CREATIVITY WITHOUT LIMITS
One thing is certain, without a well produced and memorable, interesting drop, your song will be just one more song among many others!
But if there’s an area that most producers overlook, it’s how they enter the drop. This is one of the most fundamental musical characteristics that distinguish you from the others!
Instead of relying on the same snare or reverse cymbal for every transition, try a unique gap of silence, or introduce a sound using triplets, or get creative with drum fills.
Long story short, don’t skimp on creating a unique entrance to your drop. If you do skimp it, it may be just one more build up… just one more… that will certainly be unnoticed, unable to create that surprise factor to awake the listener to that magnificent drop you’ve just created!
Yes, be certain that you’ll spend a great amount of time to get THAT build-up, but always try something new, single! If it was easy, my grandma was on that build-up along time ago! 😉
There are at least several things you can automate on build-up production:
* Volume (lower the volume just 1-2 dB during the build)
* EQ (automate the low cut and resonance to taste to get the famed DJM effect)
* Reverb (small amounts of reverb can create tons of depth and spacing)
* The mono build trick (automate your stereo image for added drop impact)
3. A MORE INTRICATE AND DRAMATIQUE SNARE
Intricate build ups require multiple layers all working together to create one dramatic moment of tension. There’s no single secret to making this work, but here are some things that might help:
* Begin by building the necessary bars and fundamental elements (you can’t make the build interesting unless the basics are there first).
* This basic set may be a set of several snares and snaps, that alone don’t ad nothing, but together sound huge and interesting!
* Layer by automating the volume of loops and snare rolls to slowly come up over time. This will create the perception of a much more intricate, detailed build.
* Try your basic white noise and risers for background tension. These make builds a lot easier.
4. USING SAMPLES
Why not? If you some, I mean quality samples, even known samples… use it!
Then, try to manipulate those samples ’till you get that original, different and desirable sound! try to use some plugins to manipulate the pitch, attack or release of those samples. Try to distort and flanger too!
There is nothing more refreshing than unique, original sounds outside of the norm of what everyone else is using.
This doesn’t take too much work either – just a decent amount of experimentation.
If this doesn’t sound fun to you, you might be in the wrong field. 🙁
5. CREATING UNIQUE DRUM-FILLS
The best drum fills we’ve come up to, are a combination of self-programmed MIDI alongside chopped up loops and pre-made fills.
There’s an art to this, but generally speaking, someone spent a lot of time making those drum fill samples sound good – so take advantage of their efforts and use them.
Combine the pre-made fills with some of your own chopping and self-programmed MIDI, and you’ve created a unique fill that no one else has on any track.