This post is a little different. Over the years, I have watched many (MANY) tutorial videos on EDM production and music production in general - too many for my own good perhaps. However, there have been a number that have stood out above the rest.
These videos influenced my production techniques and musical style above any others, and if they had this affect on me, they could have a similar affect on other people too.
So, I've decided to delve back through the archives and share these videos, in the hope that they provide you with the same nuggets of musical gold.
An EDM production masterclass
I'm starting with a big one. In fact, it's a whole series of tutorial videos on EDM production delivered by D. Ramirez at Icon Collective in LA. D. Ramirez is a Tech House legend and an extremely knowledgeable producer.
In addition, however, he's also a fantastic instructor in my opinion, with a refreshingly open personality and friendly manner.
In this series he walks you through his entire process for creating a track from scratch. Areas include:
- Planning and organisation;
- Finding inspiration;
- Laying down ideas;
- Creating beats;
- Working with synths;
- Basic vocal production;
Yes these tutorials are from 2010 and yes he's using an older version of Logic (Logic 9), but don't be put off, because the principles and techniques remain the same no matter what DAW you're using. Even if you're not into EDM or EDM production, there is a lot to be learned here.
The videos are split into 6 core parts and each video is around 12 minutes on average, so that's a heck of a lot of free content!
As an added bonus, Steve Duda was also promoting his drum synth and sampler Nerve at the time, so he also drops some knowledge bombs.
Upon release, I was getting back into dance music at the time and this series was significantly pivotal in teaching me the core principles of EDM production.
One of the biggest influences on me at the time was his use of templates. If you're regular reader or you've taken my course Finish Tracks Faster, you'll know how much I believe in templates for speeding up workflow and finishing tracks. So this certainly stuck with me!
A particularly strong point that he makes is that there are 2 main stages to producing music: creative and organisational.
It can be a pain to track all of these videos down in order on YouTube so, in this post, I've handily embedded the whole series so that you can go from start to finish all in one place.
#1 Project Setup
#2 Vocal Production
#3 Beat Making (with Steve Duda)
#4 Synths & Programming
Episode 4.4 (Organisation)
#5 Track Arrangement
EDM production start to finish
So there you have it, that's how you make a track from scratch! Whether you like the end result or not doesn't matter, it's the process that I want you to pay close attention to. A systematic way to create and finish tracks, time after time.
I love the way that Dean approaches EDM production and visiting this series again has reminded me just how much value he provides. I'll also be spending some time revising the techniques!
I hope this post was helpful for you, whether you're into EDM production or not, and if you'd like to see more breakdowns like this please do let me know in the comments.