Electronic Dance Music Terms
When you look up electronic dance music terms like “breaks”, you can learn a lot from reading electronic dance music glossaries. Most popular dance and house music resources will include an electronic dance music glossary. This is a list or description of the most important dance and house music terms related to beats, percussion, and samples. The terms are not hard-and-fast and may not even be in your vocabulary. But knowing what the words mean and how to find them when you need them will come in handy. Here are some definitions:
Beats are the basic building blocks of electronic dance music. Basses, vocals, guitar, and other instruments are added to the beats to create new and interesting compositions. Electronic dance music often incorporates keyboards into its beats. Basses and vocals are adding to make rhythms that are then processed through digital signal processing (DSP) and then amplified. Sampling is also often used to create new sounds within the electronic dance music composition.
Sampling and electronic dance music go hand-in-hand. When someone performs live or in a recorded set using electronic equipment, it’s called “performing”. In electronic dance music, a performer is the one playing the electronic equipment or sounds through headphones, speakers, or headphones/ear buds. The equipment used then is referred to as “the sound”. As a dancer you’re trying to match the sound with the beat created by the DSP.
There are several types of electronic dance. Technically, any electronic dance that utilizes a computer to track beats and samples is considered “live” electronic dance, but some terms may overlap. It’s important to understand the difference between traditional and modern electronic dance music. Traditional electronic dance tends to be fairly straightforward, typically having only one main beat or rhythm.
Modern electronic dance has many different sections or sub-styles. For instance, a breakcore refers to a sub-style that is centered on the use of a series of electronic drum pads (usually eight-track tape-based). Another popular electronic dance style is dubstep. Dubstep is an electronic dance music genre which typically utilizes a kick drum (a high-pitched drum sound) and a breakably produced lead guitar. Other popular sub-styles in breakcore are glitch and breaks.
Audio compression is a technology that makes files smaller. There are many forms and types of compression. MP3 and WMA file types are examples of compression. Most electronic equipment compressions use the more modern LZ compression algorithm. Many people refer to any audio compression process as “lossless compression”.
Audio effects are any software or hardware methods for improving a sound quality or “mutation” of an audio signal. There are two categories of audio effects: conventional software, and hardware. In computer-generated audio, noise processing is done with a filter. Hardware noise reduction is achieved through processing with digital signal processing tools (such as samplers and compressors). Some artists use hardware effects as part of their electronic dance music terms. Examples include relic, and wah.
There are plenty of other electronic dance music terms that you may find interesting. But the ones listed here are the most common. As you become more experienced, you will likely discover more. And as you grow as an artist, you will probably come up with new and more complex terms, as well. The more you learn, the more your work will stand out and be recognized.
If you’re looking for electronic dance music terms, the Internet is the best place to start. Check out websites related to electronic dance music. Some of the popular websites include Electronic Beats, LoopLabs and others. These are all websites that you can find to learn about electronic dance, or to get technical with digital audio. You can also try searching for “EDM” or “EDM membership site.”
You should also become familiar with online electronic dance forums and discussion boards. These can be an excellent place to get technical with new ideas and hear what other electronic dance musicians are working on. The forums tend to be very interactive and are moderated by industry veterans. Search Google for “dance music forums” and check out some of the large discussion boards on the Internet.
So you now have some basic information about electronic dance music terms. Remember, there’s no right way or wrong way to learn. Experiment with all the different electronic elements to see which sounds good to you. The Internet is full of electronic elements, you can mix and match. Take it slow and you’ll find your style.