To celebrate the release of Bass Music 3 we’ve put together a brief list of tips and tricks to help you make your drops more exciting. When producing Bass House, as with most genres, simplicity is key. However, you want to prevent your tracks from boring the listener, instead, you want your tracks to excite the listener! In this post we’ve selected 5 subtle tricks to achieve this goal.
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1. Reverb Automation
Automation is a key tool to prevent your drops from sounding static. Automating volume is a great way to utilise this tool, however, automating your reverb adds a whole new dimension to your productions. The way it works is you can automate the mix or length/decay of your reverb, giving some notes a more spacious feel than other notes. Also, by automating the volume of your reverb you can create reverse effects to sweep into the next note of your melody. With this technique you can be as creative as you want, and it’s a cool way to add variety and depth to your drops.
2. Glitches and Drum Fills
A good melody allows for some space to breathe at the end of phrases, however, having too many empty gaps can make a drop less powerful. A great way to fill up these empty gaps in between the notes of the melody is to use glitches and fills. Especially at the end of a 4 or 8-bar phrase, using glitches or drum fills is a nice way to bring that section to a close before it repeats. You can also use glitches at the start of a phrase to create tension before the melody kicks in.
Fx are an essential element in any production. They’re the ultimate tool to create tension and release in your tracks. Since the drop is the most exciting part of your track you’re going to want to make use of down-sweeps, up-sweeps, white noise as well as reverse cymbals. Doing so will help to make your drops more detailed and exciting. Don’t overdo it though, use the FX in a subtle way. They should support the other elements, not overpower them.
4. Syncopation and Groove
In Bass House it’s quite common to use syncopation, and it’s a useful trick that can be applied to any genre. Having your bassline notes slightly off-grid will make your drop more interesting. Furthermore, quantising your melodic elements, as well as your drums, to a certain groove will make your drop sound more lively.
Using filters is another way to add movement and variety to your drop. It’s also a useful tool to help create tension. Use a high-pass filter at the end of a section or at the start of your drop, and then, when the bass comes back in, it will sound even bigger due to the contrast in sound. This idea can also be applied with a low-pass filter which will give a similar effect.
Each of these 5 techniques are very useful, however when you start combining them, your drops will really start coming alive. For example, try automating the cutoff of a high-pass filter, while bringing in a reverse cymbal or up-sweep, as well as increase the reverb mix on the lead. You can probably imagine that this will give a really cool effect, and could be something to implement in the middle or at the end of your drop. Try to experiment with these techniques as much as you can and your drops will instantly become more exciting!