Transitions in club tracks
Dance producers have long understood the power of in-between parts, and with some cinematic principles, we can make our transitions even better
In this track, we’re going to see how to turn what starts as ‘just another four bars’ of a track into a development section which bridges what comes before to what happens afterwards. What’s interesting is that, having been on this little four bar journey, when the track returns after it, it sounds developed or changed in some way. In truth, it’s simply a repeat of the opening eight bars, but the way in which the transition is managed somehow gives new weight and importance to what comes after it. That said, transitions like the one we’re building here offer the perfect ‘introduction’ to then bring new sounds into your tracks. There are endless techniques you can use for creating transitions in tracks: new sounds, filter treatments, spatial or delay effects, and more. We’re choosing a couple of our favourites here.
Our backing track consists of two beat loops, plus separate bass and synth stab parts. At the top is a siren synth which comes in for four bars. We want to make this section more of a transition into bar 14 but the backing track currently continues relentlessly.
We render all parts except the siren as an audio file and add a high-pass filter treatment. This deliberately finishes ‘above’ the kick drum so that there’s a pleasing drop at bar 14. To the siren, we add an auto-panner, which speeds up between bars 10 and 14.
This works well, but we want separation for the synth part, so we re-render the backing track, splitting it into ‘Drums and Bass’ and ‘Synth’. This gives independent control over filter curves, and we also copy and reverse the final slice of the synth part for further variation.