> Step by step
4. Auditioning and selecting FX sounds to maximise a drop
1 The lead up to the drop can be just as important as the drop itself. A great way to maximise your impact is to let FX samples lead us into and through the drop. Start off by loading DropNoFx.wav onto a new audio channel. This is a basic sketch of a build-up and drop section, but it’s missing the transitional effects. 2 There’s three main areas that would benefit from some decoration with transitional effects. We need effects to lead into the breakdown, some to build up to the drop, and some to increase the impact when the beats and bass come back in. The first thing to do is define the start of the breakdown with a noise effect, so drag NoiseCrash.wav into a new channel at bar 9. 3 It’s far too loud, so pull the track volume down to -11dB. Now it’s sitting in the mix better, we’ll add another effect to smooth the transition into the breakdown. Drop in PanSweep.wav onto a new channel halfway between bars 7 and 8, and turn the track volume down to -9dB. This sample leads us nicely onto our crash effect, tying the two sections together nicely. 4 Now we’ve smoothed the transition into the breakdown, lets lead into the drop. Load in LongNoise.wav onto a new channel at bar 9 and pull the track volume down to -16dB. We want this effect to lead us up to the drop, so we’ll play it backwards. Double-click the clip and click the Rev button to reverse the sample. 5 This sounds OK, but we could use a little extra power at the last moments before the drop. For this we can add an additional sample right at the end of the build-up. Import BuildWoosh.wav onto channel three at bar 16. This sample has a sharp ramp upwards, which gives an extra burst of power right before the bass kicks back in. 6 A falling tone right when the drop hits will add a little drama and intensity when the beats come back. Import Falltone.wav onto channel two at bar 17, just when the drop hits. In contrast to all the other sounds used, this sound has a descending tone which releases the tension and lets the groove take over. Experiment with layering up additional samples to really make the drop hit hard!