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Making House Music

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Hello everyone, here's StocKo.

I see all the very interesting threads out there, like the Jay Dee one, and at the moment I'm listening to "old-school" house music, like Motorbass and most of the Crydamoure/Roulé stuff that came out. I'm still amazed by the sound of their 909s beats and their soulful samples.

Example :

 

But I can't make a "good" house song :shrug: . I mean I actually do put 4-to-the-floor 909 patterns with some bass and sample but I never managed to have something actually House-sounding. I suck pretty much with the EQ and Compressor things (except for sidechaining pads in Ableton).

So I was wondering whether you could help me or not - please don't answer by "Sample better stuff" or "Make better beats". I hope there's not a similar topic for that kind of music.

That would be very kind of y'all :music:

 

Cheers !
StocKo.

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A lot of what made that era and the earlier era of house sound so cool in terms of sound design, i think, was the noise artifacts around the sounds, the type of compression, the somewhat (un-intentionally) lo-fi production, the vinyl/tape sound mixed with the short reverbs, hardware samplers, etc etc etc. I will definitely agree, it's very difficult, even with tape saturation plug ins and filters to emulate tones from that classic house sound.

 

my word of advice, go for dirtier sounds and mix them with basic, cleaner ones... tweak until you find your own unique grooves that sound jackin and jazzy and groovy (use matrix sequencers/arpeggiators to experiment to find weird/slightly off grooves).. it's more than just the 4/4 thing. gotta have a funky framework to begin with. then you can drop a 4/4 over anything and it'll most likely sound tight. also, even though, im very guilty of this, try not to mix so much as you're producing/writing. rough drafts/demos are important for a reason- to allow you creative space to make good music, sick grooves, compelling arrangements, layers... you can always replace or tighten sounds later if need be.

 

sorry, hope that didn't sound too generic or preachy... there's just no one way to make good classic house. As far as actual samples though, 909 in particular, look for high quality 909 sounds that aren't already compressed and stuff. I really like "Normal Sounds" 909 kit... I think it's called "Smaller 909". You can purchase it off their site. They recorded actual samples from a 909 with a huge collection of hits of different pitches and lengths. ..

 

Also, don't forget to use a lil distortion here and there to get things gritty and less perfect.

 

Good luck!

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turn up your swing setting

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House is a feeling

 

So true !

 

Thanks for the answer Lane Visitor ! I also work a lot with rough tracks but I don't know, it's quite difficult to reproduce a sound you truly love without thinking of it in a first time (don't know if that sentence was really clear lol). I'll try anyway.

Also thanks for the advice on the 909 samples :)

 

I guess it's a groove thing...Pretty hard to reproduce on a computer, I might try to do something on the MPC :/

 

 

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Akin to what Lane said about old equipment, including non-quantized sampled beats, being a big factor:

 

 

Like BCM said: add swing or shuffle you beats a bit if it's a drum machine. People can make the lamest eurodance with 909s or even 808s, but then the same machines are amazing in terms of rhythm in the hands of people like Jeff Mills or Egyptian Lover.

 

It's the details for sure, but it doesn't have to be vintage equipment or MPC's. Some of the best future garage I've heard were made completely within DAWs. MIDI + software should be enough.

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Guest igloos unlmtd

yeah - i was just writing a response in regards to samplers & rhythm.

 

i really like the sound of the old akai's - they smooth sounds & give everything a nice texture. i would almost bet alan is using an akai in that track - it sounds like one to my ears. i have an S1000 still kicking around & you can get them for next to nothing.

 

play around with setting your loop points off a little to give a swing feel. i once composed a song that switched between 4/4 & 5/4. and that 5/4 bar created a rhythmic hook. the song was really simple but i still get compliments on it because that extra note isn't expected but sounds natural at the same time.

 

you use use a midi editor take the snap off & just start dropping note that are a little off the bars.

 

also, you should get yourself a nice analog filter too. i'm a filter freak - i use them more than just a standard eq.

Edited by igloos unlmtd

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some quints and a nice bassline make every house track great.

dont be afraid of breaks.

 

 

 

House Is A Controllable Desire You Can Own!

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I read somewhere that Daft Punk use really shitty cheap compressors like Behringer and Alesis :cerious:

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luls

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some thoughts:

 

I would say not only is swing a very very crucial to the sound, but 'hard swing' specifically

 

(hard swing is dotted-eight + sixteen

instead of the first and third partial of a triplet)

 

 

Try having your kick consist of two samples:

a sub sample and a clicky attack sample

 

a staple of the sound of deep house seems to involve taking one sample and pitching it about

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great thread. Does anyone have a good place to find some oldschool house mixes? This is an area of electronic music that is sadly neglected by me. :D

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Aha! Great link for that gearslutz thread, thanks.

 

On the Akai products, as in that quite nice video by the guy with the S900, swing is defined as the amount each note is from the preceding note. So, no swing is 50% (in between the surrounding subdivisions), and `swing` is any value higher than 50% (pushing the note closer to the following note).

 

It's as simple as that, I think. There's a good amount of house music, in my opinion, that does not `swing`, according to this definition. Then there's a good amount of it that has a relatively small amount of swing, similar to the video trac. Then there's the stuff that has a really sharp swing, which in my pretty uneducated experience tends to be later 90s stuff. It depends on what you're going for. I think the stuff that only swings a little (as in the video) is my favorite.

 

I enjoy using the delay column in Renoise to come up with even weirder swings, making one track swing harder than another (can be done on other sequencers obviously, just not as easily) or making different parts of the bar swing harder than other parts of the bar.

 

Another thing I think about is, don't discount the expressiveness of note-offs. I think it makes a big difference to the feel whether you are playing staccato or legato, or whether you decide to quantize your note-offs or just leave em hanging out there. Just my opinion, but since classic house music involved a lot of keyboard playing, you probably want to leave it loose. Otherwise you're edging into a more `techno` territory.

Edited by Ascdi

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Guest igloos unlmtd

Yeah, the gearslutz thread has some nice moments & made me remember this :

 

 

house music doesn't have to be complex or hard to make to be beautiful either :

 

Edited by igloos unlmtd

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house music doesn't have to be complex or hard to make to be beautiful either :

 

this

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It's the details for sure, but it doesn't have to be vintage equipment or MPC's. Some of the best future garage I've heard were made completely within DAWs. MIDI + software should be enough.

 

this too ...mmmm future garage

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Another thing I think about is, don't discount the expressiveness of note-offs. I think it makes a big difference to the feel whether you are playing staccato or legato, or whether you decide to quantize your note-offs or just leave em hanging out there. Just my opinion, but since classic house music involved a lot of keyboard playing, you probably want to leave it loose. Otherwise you're edging into a more `techno` territory.

 

I didn't knew for the keyboard thing and never really gave the note-offs a go. Thanks for the heads up :) !!!

 

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