Dance Music Formula

This course teaches you how to produce and release professional-quality dance music, no matter what your level of experience.

Course introduction

Dance Music Formula is a complete online training course that offers a whole new, simple approach to making music, taught clearly for the new producer. You’ll learn how to write, arrange, mix, master and release your own professional-sounding dance music, whatever the genre!

You don’t need to be able to play an instrument, you don’t need any formal music training, in fact you don’t need to know anything at all about how music is made. You don’t even need any gear – all you need is a laptop and a copy of any version of Ableton Live, the industry-standard music production software.

With 70 on-demand videos across eight modules, this is our most comprehensive production training yet, and comes complete with full tutor feedback and help lesson-by-lesson, plus all sample downloads, cheatsheets, and resources you need to complete the training.

You can download the full course brochure here.

What you'll learn

  • Using high-quality video and screen casting, you’ll learn the process of making and releasing professional-quality dance music in simple-to-follow steps, not weighed down by unnecessary theory or irrelevant extra information.
  • You’ll learn how chords and melody work, how professionals use EQ, compression, reverb and delay, how to build tension and release into your tracks, how to craft awesome basslines, how to quickly build captivating rhythms, how to get vocals onto your productions – all the elements required to make original, exciting dance music to a commercial standard.
  • We’ll show you how to mix your tracks professionally, and how to “master” them, so they are as loud and clear as anything you’ve heard in the clubs or on the radio.
  • It’s packed full of useful supporting resources including all the sounds you need for producing house, techno, trance, trap, drum & bass, future bass, hip hop and many other genres of music – if it’s dance music, it’s covered!

Full Course Details


This first module will get you up and running with this course. You’ll arrange your home studio set-up, download and install Ableton Live, and get the DDJT Sound Pack. You’ll also get a first look at Live before the end of this module.

What’s covered:

  • Setting up your home studio
  • Downloading and installing Ableton Live
  • Downloading and installing the DDJT sound pack
  • Downloading and installing additional plug ins
  • Running Live for the first time
  • Getting comfy with Arrangement View

Here you’ll begin laying the foundation of your production by creating a Song Map, which you’ll use as a guide throughout this course. You’ll be filling in the Song Map with basic drum and synth loops in this module too, which are the first steps in creating your arrangement.

What’s covered:

  • Importing your guide track
  • Building your song map
  • Adding more sounds to your song map

In this module we’ll zero in on building the beat of your production. You’ll add more “oomph” to the drum loops you added in the Arrange module, and I’ll show you a trick I use called the Master Drum Clip that makes it quick and easy to edit drums in Live.

What’s covered:

  • Creating the main beat using the drum rack
  • Adding snare, clap and hi-hats to your master drum clip
  • Shaping the kick and snare sounds in your master drum clip
  • Copy / pasting the drum clip to other sections of your song

This module is all about the melodic elements of your tune. You’ll add in basslines, chord loops, melodic loops, as well as vocals here. I’ll also teach you enough music theory to understand how chords and melodies are made.

What’s covered:

  • Adding the chord progression loop
  • Making your first chord
  • Creating your own chord progression
  • Adding the bass line loops
  • Creating your own bass line
  • Adding the melody loop
  • Behind the scenes: How I made the melody loop
  • Adding vocals: Drop vocal loops
  • Behind the scenes: How I made the drop vocal loop
  • Adding vocals: Verse vocal loops
  • Behind the scenes: How I wrote the lyrics of your production

This module is all about the melodic elements of your tune. You’ll add in basslines, chord loops, melodic loops, as well as vocals here. I’ll also teach you enough music theory to understand how chords and melodies are made.

What’s covered:

  • Adding loops to the breakdown & buildup
  • Adding your own kicks & snare claps to the breakdown & buildup
  • Adding extra effects: Risers & downshifters
  • Adding the synth tension loop
  • Creating your own synth tension
  • Adding extra crashes & FX
  • Removing bits to emphasis tensions

Having arranged and created the elements in your production, this module will focus on getting them to sound better through the use of effect plugins. You’ll work with EQ, compression, reverb, and delay to tweak certain tracks, leading to a more interesting and polished sound.

What’s covered:

  • Adding the EQ plugin
  • Brightening and dulling your sounds with EQ
  • Removing unnecessary sounds with a filter EQ
  • Adding compression to the drum rack
  • Adding compression to other tracks
  • Side-chaining
  • Making sounds fuller with short delay
  • Reverb: Adding depth

We’ll dive deep into mixing your production here. You’ll start off by organising and tidying your project, after which you’ll be levelling individual tracks and placing them in different areas of the sound stage through panning. We’ll make sure your track is ready for mastering before we end this module.

What’s covered:

  • Levelling your individual tracks
  • Automation: Adjusting volumes for certain sections
  • Creating space in your mix: Panning
  • Creating space in your mix: Removing “fighting”
  • Sends and returns: adding reverb
  • Sends and returns: adding delay
  • Giving your mix a final listen and tweaking

The final module in this course is all about mastering. We’ll create a mixdown file of your project that’s ready for mastering, and then I’ll show you how to do a DIY pseudo-master in Live. Of course you’ll want it to sound like the real thing, so you’ll then send your mixdown file to an online mastering service. I end the module by showing you how I get in touch with professional mastering engineers to work on your project.

What’s covered:

  • Preparing your song for mastering
  • Home mastering your tune
  • Online mastering with LANDR
  • Getting in touch with a professional mastering engineer
Bonus Resources

In the bonus resources you will find three complete courses, to take your music production to the next level.

Your bonus courses:

Promoting & Distributing Your Track

Producers Handbook

Producing Bass Music

Meet your tutor

Joey Santos DDJT Team

Manila-based Joey Santos is the Managing Editor of Digital DJ Tips. A DJ since 1999, he ran a successful recording studio for many years, and is a music producer and sound engineer too. He is the tutor for our Dance Music Formula and Music Production For DJs courses.

Every course includes a live “remote classroom” element - spend a minimum of an hour each month with your tutors, where you can ask any questions.
We offer 12 month money-back guarantee on all of our courses ​-​​ All our training comes with our cast-iron, no questions, 12 month money-back guarantee - the risk is all ours.
Our courses are delivered in full HD on-demand videos, yours for life and are viewable on any device, so you can learn from anywhere.
Multiple camera angles, on-screen annotations, step-by-step explanations, make the training easy to follow and fun! Plus resources to further lock in your learning.