Tutorials / 22 August 2018

How to make Electronic Dance Music in Minutes

The North of England. An epicentre of the Northern Soul movement in the 60s and early 70s, venues like Wigan Casino became iconic for not only for the music, but for the dancing that went on inside. People would travel from far and wide to hear the music being played, but mostly to show off their moves on the dance floor.

Fast forward to the 80s in Manchester and Tony Wilson, a news reporter, music lover and Factory Records owner would open a new venue inside an old factory – which many cite as the birthplace of modern DJ culture, The Hacienda. Recognised as the first place where people faced the DJ and praised them for the music they were playing, the trend quickly spread worldwide and dance music was born. 4/4 Beats made the music easy to predict and therefore to dance to, and DJs spliced tapes and mixed records together so there was never a break in the music, from opening, right through to the clubs closing time. The music influenced people dancing, and people dancing, influenced the music.

Today, Electronic Dance Music has taken on many forms and is influenced by a wide range of other genres. Subgenres include House, Techno, Trance, French Disco, Deep House, Funky, Latin House, Afro and EDM (yes it’s a sub-genre all on its own!) to name but a few. But whatever the sub-genre and style, the fundamentals of the music are always the same. It’s the predictable nature of the music that is what makes it easy to dance to. The 4/4 beat, the break, the build, the drop, all employed by the various subgenres, all of which stress different importance to different elements. With techno, the is more sub sounds, less breaks and it’s often more industrial. House often has more open hi-hats and groove and the sound is more positive in nature.

If you consider yourself the next Richie Hawtin, Derrick Carter, Seth Troxler or Dixon, just know that on BandLab, we’ve got you covered. As well as having your own Digital Audio Workstation to take with you anywhere which is accessible via the cloud on your laptop, here you have full access to sound packs, midi loops, drum machines, and loads of features and FX to get you on your way to making your very first bomb for the dance floor. Here we’re going to show you a few…

The Looper

If you have little or zero knowledge of how dance music stars put their music together, then that’s ok, you can start with the Looper. The Looper is accessible on mobile and has built-in sound packs in loads of different genres and the tool never goes out of time or key! Just select looper, choose your favourite sound pack and away you go. Sound packs include:

  • Tropical House
  • Atmospheric Dub Techno
  • Classic Disco
  • EDM Starter
  • Indie Electro
  • Electronic Fusion
  • Pop Funk
  • Techno Dub
  • Minimal Techno
  • Minimal
  • Progressive House

The Looper is It’s a great way to generate ideas quickly. Record on the go and make edits later in the bedroom when you have access to your speakers.

Loops

For greater control over what you are producing, check out the mix editor on your laptop. Loops give you a lot of creative freedom to select, drag and create your sound from a library of beats all made by our in-house professional sound team. Again, there are loads to choose from and for Electronic music, here are just a few of our favourites…

  • Classic House
  • Synthwave Ultra
  • Progressive House
  • EDM Express MIDI Pack
  • Classic Acid
  • Deep House Essentials
  • Nu Disco
  • EDM Megapack 1 & 2
  • Minimal Masters

Drum Machine

Where would Dance Music be without the drum machine? The Roland 909 was, and still is an absolute signature of the dance music sound, forming the basis of almost all dance music through the 90s. Use the Techno Throwback kit to emulate that sound and then get playful with other elements. Maybe you like it afro and percussive, or maybe you want elements of Prince’s sound.

Whatever your take on Electronic Dance Music might be, there are loads for you to play around with on BandLab, so give some of our awesome tools and loops a try and who knows, maybe we’ll see you sharing a stage with the stars real soon!

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