The Aus­trian DnB mer­chants share their tips and philoso­phies on craft­ing hard-hit­ting drops

Computer Music - - The Drop -

Com­puter Mu­sic: The all-im­por­tant drop is the cli­mac­tic mo­ment of any DnB track. How do you ap­proach the track-writ­ing process to en­sure that the drop hits hard enough? C&K:

“The most de­tailed, cre­ative and emo­tional parts of a tune are of­ten not to be found within the drop it­self, but it’s still the most im­por­tant in­gre­di­ent for a DnB tune, as lots of it is de­signed to work in the club. We try to ap­proach the drop in dif­fer­ent ways – some­times it’s the more ‘clas­sic’ drop, with all the en­ergy within the drop mo­ment; but what we re­ally en­joy is to play more with it in a kind of an­ti­cli­matic way. So the most en­ergy and eu­pho­ria in the break­down, and a drop that hits deeper with more em­pha­sis on the lower fre­quen­cies.”

: Most drops are a process of ten­sion and re­lease. How do you like to build an­tic­i­pa­tion, and then un­leash that built ten­sion?

C&K: “Its very easy to cre­ate a drop that works on the dance­floor when you fol­low the known recipe of ris­ers, kick or snare rolls and im­pacts. When it re­ally gets in­ter­est­ing, though, is when you try to cre­ate ten­sion while avoid­ing those el­e­ments – maybe by build­ing up a chord pro­gres­sion or by hav­ing the el­e­ments start dis­tort­ing, cre­at­ing con­fu­sion that gets re­solved in the drop.”

: Sound ef­fects like crashes, rises, sweeps and falls are all clichéd FX that pro­duc­ers use to build to­wards a drop. How do you like to use (and sub­vert) th­ese kinds of clichés? C&K:

“We try to avoid reg­u­lar swooshes in our buildups, al­though we do mostly end up hav­ing at least a synth with some white noise open­ing up be­fore the drop. As far as white noise swooshes go, we try to keep them sim­ple, giv­ing them a vin­tage feel rather than ‘lasers in space’.”

: Can you think of any stand­out tracks that have the per­fect drop, in your opin­ion? C&K: Helix

“Flume’s ( re­ally does it for us, be­cause the ten­sion in it builds over such a long time. The mo­ment when the bass fi­nally does kick in is very in­tense, and the groove is sur­pris­ing with­out be­ing con­fus­ing.”

: How does your ex­pe­ri­ence of DJing to huge crowds around the world in­flu­ence the way you cre­ate earth-shat­ter­ing drops in your own tracks? C&K:

“If you have longer stu­dio breaks, you tend to make mu­sic you want to chill to, and when play­ing loads of big fes­ti­vals, you tend to write more floor-ori­en­tated ma­te­rial as you want to please the crowds and make them go crazy. So it’s very im­por­tant to have a good bal­ance be­tween gigs and stu­dio time to keep the mu­sic di­verse.

“Mu­sic for the club is very dif­fer­ent to mu­sic we lis­ten to in our spare time, so we want to make mu­sic that ticks both boxes. When you can lis­ten to a tune on the plane back home – one that went off in the club the night be­fore – with­out be­ing an­noyed, you know you’re onto a win­ner.”

: Fi­nally, can you give us any more cool tips or tricks for max­imis­ing a drop’s dance­floor im­pact when craft­ing an ar­range­ment? C&K:

“Try to think out­side the box and cre­ate drops that leave the crowd sur­prised in a good way. Its only half as fun if you al­ready know what you’re about to be served be­fore it hits you.”

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