Need some advice on making darker side of techno

Discussion in 'Electronic' started by Bunford, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. Bunford

    Bunford Rock Star

    Jan 17, 2012
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    I've gone through a few genres, and finally arrived at dark techno where I think 'feels' like the right music for me. However, I've previously dabbled in other genres from being in indie bands to DJing and making dancey house to now arriving at darker and minimal techno.

    Just wondering what people consider to be the key fundamental components of making techno. I know that (in my listening) the key components seem to be that low end rumble and interesting and evolving percussive elements around a 4/4 kick.

    Anything anyone feels like providing as some pointers or any techniques anyone wants to share? :wink:
  3. Satai

    Satai Producer

    Feb 23, 2013
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    Look for a hypnotic, anti-musical feel, like being inside of a mean-ass clockwork machine. Lots of "wrong" and "alternate" tuning for things. It's a style made from equal parts hypnotism, inhuman aggression and venom.

    Detune your loops/sounds with a sampler like TAL, for more oldschool vibe. Even though that makes the BPM "wrong", the goal is to find sweetspots where it sounds jusssst right anyways, in full spite of paint-by-numbers music theory.
  4. 11Fletcher

    11Fletcher Member

    Sep 12, 2016
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    It's mostly about experimenting, at least if you don't want to sound generic in this genre. From what I see with people I work we (and from my own work in that genre for other people) it's like @Satai said, lot of stuff that can sound wrong, off tune or off rythm and find the "right" spot (right for the track and the atmosphere you want). On the synth side, the sound design is not really hard itself, it's mostly basic sound, but lot of effect push in extreme situation, like a reverb that can turn a simple clik into a pad.
    Don't hesitate to resample a lot, because those extrem effect can become quickly a big mess.
    On the low end side, it depend what kind of atmosphere you want to give, so the low can come from the kick (like a sub kick when you do your layer) with a root note in the 40-60hz region, to give a push feeling when played on a big system. For working on that I highly recommand you to invert in a subpac, unless you have a really nice treated room with precise sub, but with the subpac you will be able to feel that sub part like you stand on in front of a big festival sound system.

    For giving an atmosphere to your track, find a sound like a pad (not necessary a pad, but a continuous sound), in dubstep and big room they often use crowd sound, just to fill the space, and give an global feeling to the track. In that genre don't use crowd but more stuff like factory atmosphere or urban night atmosphere, or even a weird pad made from a synth, note necessary something tonal, just cut the low frequency to make your sub breath alone. It's mostly to give that hypnotic atmosphere, and give some element to fill that space, because it's not a charged genre (but not empty like minimal tho). This can be some kind of signature sound, like once your find your atmosphere that suit your taste and it sounds unique, it can be use in most of your track to give them that link and make your sound recognizable without sounding all the same (that's why you have to find your sounds for that part, and to push it to forward, as it's just some kind of background noise to fill the space and give some feeling to the sound)

    But at the end, it's always about experimenting and find what's work for you, and find your own sound
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