Friday, November 30, 2012

Mixing: Tips and Tricks

Mixing your Eurodance song takes time and practice.

Here are some useful tips and tricks when mixing:

- cut narrow - boost wide

- roll off the low end

- try to cut more than boost

- boost moderatly and subtly

- try to stick to smaller dB adjustments

- be careful about boosting around 200-250 Hz (muddy zone)

- mix with professional headphones, hear it on good audio monitors

To compress or to equalize first? There is no general rule. If you change your EQ settings very often, you may benefit most from placing the compressor first; but if you set your EQ once, then you could benefit from placing the EQ in front.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bass Paterns

When it comes to constructing the bass line for your Eurodance song the posibilities are endless.

Start constructing with the first note of your chord. If needed you could also use the other notes of the chord.

Use your imagination and create a catchy bassline that sounds good to the ears.

Mastering Your Eurodance Song

Mastering should be done by a professional!

So I won't be covering this topic, although you can find basic mastering methods by searching the Web. However, a professional mastering studio will make your song really stand out from the crowd ;)

Recording and Mixing the Vocals

The vocals play an important role in Eurodance music, so pay attention when recording and make sure you choose the right singer(s).

Use a condenser microphone while recording. Also use a pop filter/an audio editor and remove all the pops from the audio file.

Double the vocals and add a delay of 50-120 ms to the copied version.

Panning: center


General settings:

Ratio     : between 2:1 and 7:1
Attack   : between 1 and 7 ms
Release  : 50 ms / auto
Gain      : between -3 and -10 dB
Knee     : soft


Remove everything below 150 Hz

Add air by boosting around 12 kHz


You can add reverb, but there is no rule how much rever to add, it's just personal taste.

Mixing: The Synth Leads/Strings/Pads

Panning: for synth leads: stereo (fully left/right) or central
               for synth strings: at 4 o'clock


Some general settings for leads:

Ratio     : between 2 and 8:1
Attack   : between 3 and 10 ms
Release  : 40 ms / auto
Gain      : between -8 and -10 dB
Knee     : hard

EQ (leads/strings/pads):

muddy frequencies: 250-800 Hz
add body: 100-250 Hz
add clarity: 6-8000 Hz
add brightness: 8-12000 Hz

Mixing: The Bass

It's important to avoid the clash with the kick, so sometime the bass may be harder to balance.

Panning: central


Some general settings:

Ratio     : around 1:8
Attack   : between 1 and 10 ms
Release  : 20 ms / auto
Gain       : between -6 and -13 dB
Knee     : hard


Remove the frequencies lower than 50 Hz

Boost between 60 and 80 Hz to fatten up the bass

For more clarity boost between 400-800 Hz

Mixing: The Drums

Ok, let's talk about the mixing of the drums. Please note I'm not a mixing specialist and I'm also learning myself.

The drums and the bass should sit at the front your mix, with everything else located centrally behind them.


Kick    : always central
Snare   : slightly right or (most of the time) central
Hi-hats : far left with a delayed version in the far right (create a hi-hats track copy, link them to different mixer channels, pan to different sides, delay second track to 35-45 ms)
Claps   : central


Here are some general settings for the drum loops:

Ratio     : between 5:1 and 10:1
Attack   : between 1 and 10 ms
Release  : between 40 and 100 ms
Gain       : between -5 and -15 dB
Knee     : hard


The Kick

The kick is one of the most important components of an Eurodance track.

It's made of two components: the attack and the low-frequency impact.

Remove all frequencies under 30 Hz

Apply short boost between 40-120 Hz (for more thud)

Decrease gain between 200 and 350 Hz (muddy zone)

The attack resides between 3-6 kHz (boost/cut for more/less click)

The Snare

Remove all frequencies (apply high pass filter) under 150 Hz

The snap: 2-10 kHz (apply small boosts to brighten)

The body: 400 Hz - 1 kHz

The Hi-hats  

The hi-hats are the brightest instrument in the mix.

Remove all frequencies under 300 Hz

Presence: between 1 and 6 kHz

Brightness: between 8 and 12 kHz

To prevent hiss roll off the requecnies above15 kHz

The Claps

Remove all frequencies under 130-140 Hz

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mixing Your Eurodance Song

Once your song is ready, it should be mixed. I will present below a basic mixing method consisting of the following steps:



What's the role of compression?
It squashes the loudest peaks and boosts the quieter troughs, meaning you can up the overall track volume to get that extra punch. Please note that it's not necessarily for each track to be compressed, it depends. The kick drum, the snare, the bass, and the lead vocals usually get (some) compression and it's less used on acoustic guitars, piano or pads.


What's the role of EQ?
It helps to obtain an audio balance where each instrument (drum beats, bass, lead and vocals) can be distinctly heard.


What's the role of the effects?
They can make your instruments sound more interesting (some of the effects them include delay, reverb, etc.)

Next we will start detailing the mixing for each instrument used in the Eurodance music.

Tools: The Strings/Pads

The most used synths for the strings/pads in the 90s Eurodance were:

Roland U220 - for strings

Jupiter 8 - for strings

Roland D 50

Roland JD-800/JD-900 - for pads

Korg Wavestation - for pads

You could also try the following free VSTs:

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tools: The Leads

When it comes to lead synths for Eurodance music there are several options to choose from:

Roland Jupiter 6 and 8

similar free VST:

Roland Juno 106

similar free VST:

Oberheim Matrix 1000

Roland D-50 

Roland JD-800 / JD-900

Korg M1 Piano

Korg M1 Perc Organ

Also great VST is Synth 1 - with the right presets you can get the famous 90s Eurodance lead sound

You could also try  P8 Superwave

Tools: The Bass

One of the most famous bass sounds for the 90s Eurodance was:

TX81Z Lately Bass

You can download the patch for free from here:

tip: if you cannot succesfully load the file into your sfz player, just copy the .sfz file inside the samples directory and also change the "default_path= "

Yamaha DX7 or Juno 106 could also be an alternative

Tools: The Drums

The most used drums for the 90s Eurodance were the TR 909 drums from Roland.
You can download free VSTs for TR 909 below:

The Tools

How to obtain the classic 90s Eurodance sound?

We will soon present you what free tools you can use and how to configure them, stay close!

The Vocals

The vocals play a huge role in the Eurodance music. They are usually done by a solo vocalist or by a duo (female vocalist and male rapper) but this is not a strict rule. Rich melodic vocals are the key of a successful Eurodance song.

Beside the usualy verses and chorus, an important role is played by the vocal riffs (see La Bouche - Be My Lover as an example), don't be afraid to use a lot of "oh la la las" in your songs, even if they sound cheesy - it's an important aspect for the Eurodance music. After all, it's all about joy and having a good time!