Did you know that it is possible to write a perfectly acceptable dance tune in just 24 hours? I know – I just did it. In fact, I do it all the time. And in this article – part one in a series of three – I’ll explain how it can be done. Take a listen to the track I made below:
There’s no big secret to doing anything quickly; it’s more a case of knowing what techniques get you great results fast. When it comes to making music, there are two big secrets: start with a palette of sounds that’s good to begin with, and pick someone else’s song structure to base your track on.
Big producers the world over use these two tricks time and time again to make tracks that they play in their sets, sell online, and even get to the top of the charts. How do you think these guys managed to knock out hit after hit as well as touring the world relentlessly? It’s by using the exact techniques that I am explaining here. Let’s look more closely at them:
2 Secrets To Producing A Track Fast
1. Use sample packs for your sounds
Nowadays, you don’t necessarily need to have access to a big recording studio or have a degree in sound design to get great drum and synth sounds, driving basslines or even vocals. You just need access to great-sounding sample packs. Sample packs give you pre-prepared sounds that you can slot into your productions, letting you make music in any genre that sounds awesome.
Even better, many of these packs are what’s called “royalty free”: that means once you’ve bought them you can use them in your own productions. You need to check the licence on the packs that you buy, but if you buy the right pack with the right licence there’s absolutely nothing stopping you from using the sounds to have number one hits and not paying anyone a penny more for the sounds that you used. Pretty cool huh?
2. Pinch somebody else’s song structure
You know the truth is that every song in every genre ever made (except experimental music) follows a loose structure, and what’s more, maybe you didn’t realise that, in fact, a lot of songs follow an absolutely identical structure! That means all you really have to do to produce a song in a certain style is to find another song you like in that same style… and then duplicate its song structure.
It is simply a case of carefully working out where the intro, verse, chorus, breakdown, drop and so on are in the song, and mapping your new song to copy it – but of course, using sounds from your sample pack. This way, you never start with a blank sheet, and can literally have the structure of the song down in minutes and not spend days or weeks figuring out why your track doesn’t “flow” properly.
Want to have a go?
In the next part of this three-part series, I’ll show you step-by-step exactly how I made that finished production that you see above in less than 24 hours. By the end of that article, you’ll know how to do it for yourself in any genre of electronic dance music that you choose. See you then….
What do you think are the toughest hurdles when it comes to making music? Have you started producing music? If not, what’s stopping you? Share your thoughts with us below.