You have been practicing your moves and faking for weeks now, but you still don’t have that perfect beat to set the tone for an electronic dance music show. It is time to get out the violin or keyboard and learn some new tracks that will make you feel like a star at the next party you go to. So how do you find the right kind of electronic music equipment? You may not be able to just dump out your CD player and a pair of headphones, but you should still have the basics down pat. Here are three tips that will get you started on the right path.
The first thing you need to look for in electronic dance music equipment is quality sound and video. Your recordings will play on the radio and on the internet, so you want a recording that looks good and does not play up a bunch of static or sounds that are choppy or are too low end. If you can, try to find a studio with a professional mix and any vocals applied to the recordings. Some artists will do their vocals through their instruments, so you will want to check to see what kinds of effects or vocal styles they use on their recordings.
Once you have found a studio or an artist with a live setting, you need to know what kind of electronic dance music equipment they will use. A word of warning about studio setups: Unless the studio is actually attached to a club or event space, chances are that they are using a laptop or computer to mix recordings. Even if they are, chances are they are using a laptop to manually feed tracks to a soundboard or mixing board. If you are spending big money on these recordings, it is important that they sound good. Your guests are not going to come back if they hear muffled vocals or guitar feedback during a track.
Another key factor is the ability to control the tempo of your tracks. Today’s electronic music production tools allow for very intricate and smooth transitions, but even the best computers can only do so much. You need to be able to fine tune the tempo on your own and this is where a professional DJ or audio engineer can come in handy. They have the experience necessary to ensure your tracks match what you feel like they should be as well as being listenable to others in your party or event.
The final piece of the electronic world is stage productions and sound effects. If you’re just playing to a handful of friends, you probably don’t need much equipment at all. Stage productions and sound effects are a different beast though. At a high-level club or event, you will want a wide variety of effects and musical patches that match the level of the show and the type of music.
Of course, most people who dabble in electronic music production are highly focused on making quality, memorable recordings that will blow them away at the next party. If you’re more into crafting a set that feels like a genuine musical event rather than something that’s meant to be shared with several hundred other people, then this is the area for you. You’ll want to focus on quality over quantity, and this can translate directly to a greater investment in time, money, and quality tools.
The last thing we’re going to discuss in our overview of the compositional process is the stereo image. In simple terms, this refers to the separation of the left and right channels in your track. The stereo image in an electronic setup is critical to the sound of the track. Without it, you won’t hear yourself on the audio field and your mixes will sound distorted no matter how good your subwoofers or speakers are.
Overall, the compositional process is important to the sound of your songs. It ensures that the song flows well and has a cohesive feel when played back in a live setting. A radio host doesn’t have to worry about the stereo image of his songs. He can play any style of song he likes in any configuration he desires thanks to the various interfaces available. Your electronic dance music gear should allow you to perform along with your favorite dance artist, even if they don’t use professional equipment.