I had been thinking about how you make a ‘electronic’ dance track for a while. I was speaking to Mike Vass and he said that this is something he would be interested in so I got in touch with Asian DJs Tigerstyle who had taught an electronic Distil a few years back and asked if they would be able to help.
I didn’t want a workshop where we tried to make a track ourselves – I wanted to sit and watch someone experienced make a track for themselves. It turned out that Tigerstyle were working on a track at that moment and they invited me, Mike and Mairearad Green along to watch. It was very interesting. Raj basically had a plan in place with lyrics and he had put down a basic beat. He showed us different plugins he used to add to the drum track (BATTERY 4) and how you can manipulate different hi-hat sounds etc. Of course he made it look easy however he made a loop up and then added string and bass sounds and more. He only worked on a 4 bar section for the whole time moving on to the next layer when he was happy with the last. When Raj was happy with what his sounds he started arranging the track – moving it around, splitting and building it up. We learnt a lot from this ‘simple’ process.
One of the other great things about the day was an impromptu chat with Pops. He was telling us about how they use promo mailing lists to get their music out (React Promo was one he used). Also they don’t really make albums. They can make more money from releasing a single and spending their time promoting this rather than confusing the issue with lots of tracks for radio stations to choose from. They can also track where their songs are being played. In fact whilst we were there they got a message to say they had just gone to number 1 in the iTunes World Music Chart!
It was a really good day with a nice curry for lunch with Mairearad and Mike. We even got a free coffee thrown in!