It’s no secret that techno is one of the most popular genres of electronic dance music currently out there. For those who are just starting out with creating techno tracks, it can feel intimidating to get started in a field where there are so many established professionals. However, creating tracks perfect for the dance floor isn’t as difficult as you might think!
To help you start making your first dance hit, we’ve created a list of 15 Classic Techno Creation Tips:
1. Techno is All About Hiding the Downbeat
Some of the most successful dance music is in the classic time signature of 4/4. However, good dance music knows how to keep the music in 4/4 without making the audience feel like it is. To keep dancers guessing, experiment with removing the kick drum or other elements that indicate the downbeat!
2. Use Compression
Making your tracks “pop” on the dance floor is often as easy as putting compression on your mix. If you want to get the most nuance out of your sound, we recommend using a multiband compressor!
3. Don’t Use Too Much Compression
Despite compression being a great tool for anyone wanting to create dense tracks, too much compression will prevent your track from having enough variety. For this reason, we recommend that you keep track of your decibel range.
4. Use a DAW That You Are Comfortable With
Digital Audio Workspaces (DAWs) are undoubtedly the most essential tool to use when producing your own music. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to purchase Ableton simply because everybody else does. We recommend that you try out different DAWs until you find a program that you feel comfortable using!
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Use an 808
The TR-808 is one of the most well-known synthesizers in the history of dance music. Its immense popularity has lead people to believe that using it is cliché, but that is not the case. In fact, using an 808 on a track can be a wonderful way to give your audience what they’re used to hearing!
6. Create Your Own Samples
Though it can be tempting to only use built-in samples, creating your own samples is a great way to make some truly creative beats. Experiment with couches and silverware to get the perfect drum sound!
7. Add Your Own Voice
Tracks that feature voices are often the ones that connect most with an audience. In the event that you aren’t able to work with a professional vocalist, you should experiment with putting your own vocals on a song! If you’re not someone who enjoys singing, you can even experiment with the spoken word.
8. Use Vocoders and Pitch Shifters
Regardless of whether you’re working with your own vocals or a professional singer, using vocoders and pitch shifters always makes things more interesting!
9. Consider the Space You Want the Song to Be Heard In
When creating a techno track, it’s important to understand where you want people to be listening to it. For example, if you are making your track specifically for a party or a club space, consider adding echo or other effects that work better in large areas.
10. Reverb Isn’t Always the Answer
Contrary to popular belief, there is such a thing as too much reverb! We recommend experimenting with no reverb at all until you achieve your desired sound world.
11. Always Get Permission Before Sampling Recordings
It can be very easy to simply experiment with a recorded sample while making a track, but we recommend only working with songs that you know you’ll be able to license once you’re done with the track! If not, you run the risk of creating a song that relies too much on the sample.
12. Use a Tape Machine for Nuance
One of the most classic techno sounds is the warm nuance of tape machines. To make your track sound unique, buy your own machine and mix it in with your digital sounds!
13. Less is More
Many people think that good tracks are always filled with layers, but this isn’t true. In some situations, less can be more!
14. Put Claps on Every Other Beat
Putting a clap on the second and fourth beats in a measure is a great way to inspire people to dance!
15. Don’t Master Your Own Tracks
One of the biggest mistakes beginner producers can make is mastering their own tracks. Having someone else master your track is a great way to get a new perspective on a song!
Hamed Wardak currently lives between his home in New York City and On the island of Puerto Rico. Wardak is the son of a former defense minister for Afghanistan. Hamed Wardak is an entrepreneur and recently joined the techno music world, creating, producing, and performing his new artistry in underground techno clubs all over the world. Hamed Wardak is known as Valen of Wicked.