I've just completed a re-mix of one of my live favourites!
This is a DJ Mix with a great groove and features some wicked piano!
SEE HOW THIS TRACK WAS MADE (BELOW)
This track has been a favourite in my live set because of its mesmeric and monotonous groove. The groove started in a Synthstrom Deluge kit. I was playing with advancing the beat and started 'smearing' the ride cymbal by adding extra hits then applying large amounts of reverb. Also in the Deluge I added a pad that was sidechained to the kick for even more surging. With a straight kick (the rock) and minimal hats the groove was born.
The bass is a combination of a Toraiz AS-1 in parallel with a surging LFO driven bass from the Arturia Minibrute 2S. Once again we have solid vs surging to create movement. That's it but the groove is infectious!
Melody comes from three main sources individually before they combine. With such a strong foundation only minimal melody was required. Arturia's MicroFreak provides the initial ethereal sound. Then the Deluge's powerful FM engine provides the rhythmic pluck. Finally the Waldorf Blofeld contributes the broken arpeggio. Underneath these melodic lines runs a second pad and atmospheric FX samples coming from the 1010 Music Bitbox. These combine in different ways before the breakdown introduced by the earth shattering Prophet 5 VST synth.
When playing live I usually introduce a vocal sample after the drop but due to copyright issues had to come up with something different. As I am currently introducing more piano into my set I found a great Rhodes 73 VST in the Arturia V7 collection. Played on a 25 key midi controller it's a bit rough. But it has the vibe and I'll take vibe over slick any day.
The song was mainly recorded live into Logic Pro X with extra tracking for kick and basses etc. The mix is done with stock plugins. I also run it through a basic Mastering process and then export at 48 kbps and 16bit samples for Soundcloud playback. I also then combine several elements such as bass, keys, pads into groups and export full tracks and stems as 44.1/16 WAV files for import into Ableton Live Arranger. I will then cut them up into Scenes in Ableton for live playback using an APC40 MkII. At the time I can mute the piano track and replace it with a live version (when I buy a better midi-controller!!).
As this is a DJ Mix the file is available with a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 license for download for free. Perhaps if I get a thousand downloads I'll release it as single :-) Let me know your thoughts and any questions below.
Keywords: electronic music production, synths, tutorial, music gear, songwriting, music arranging, music recording, DJ Mix.