Do you struggle with building tension in your breakdowns? In this tutorial, I show you how to add that feeling of raw excitement on the dancefloor as everybody gets ready for your track to drop and make the place go crazy! This technique is simple and fast to create using existing sounds and midi patterns in your track.
One of the areas I know a lot of producers struggle with is building tension in their breakdowns. That feeling of war excitement that you want on the dance floor as everyone gets ready for the track to drop and the place is gonna go right off.
So in this tutorial, let’s take a look at a nice easy way of creating that tension. Now as I play this section of the breakdown for you, just be aware of the feeling you have, that anticipation and tension that is building. So let’s have a listen.
Okay, so did you feel that now? Obviously one of the things doing it was the snare role but there was some going on before that even came in. And it’s all to do with building tension around the main theme, the melodic idea in the track. So let me walk you through exactly how that’s happening. So this is the main sound on its own. And this is the MIDI pad that it’s playing. now it’s all of the notes that are playing. So this is the whole pattern. But then what’s happening is there is another layer of the same sound being boarding. It’s an octave up and it’s got these notes removed from it. So let’s have a listen to how that sounds on its own. And this is basically sneaking in overtime and when they’re both combined…
You can immediately feel that tension and anticipation building. Now you can experiment with the notes that you’re going to use. So you might decide to go for something like this or something like this. Entirely up to you. What you’ll find is that depending on the notes you pick it might have a more sort of edgy more horror-movie kind of sound. And that’s all to do with the intervals the relationship between the pitches of the notes. So experiment with that to get the kind of feeling that you want. So that’s one way of doing it. Very very easy, duplicate the sound. You can either stay in the same octave or stick it an octave up and just delete some of the notes and experiment and then slowly blend it in.
Here are some other varieties. So this one is a different sound entirely. Same deal just those two notes playing. Here’s that sound an octave up a couple of different patches. And literally all of these will work it’s just a case of flicking through some presets and finding ones that fit the vibe of your track. So just to go through that again, one option is duplicate your exact same sound and then you can mess around with the octave of it. Another is to create presets and different or sorry find different presets in a different synth maybe or the same synth and use those. And another one would be to start applying processing effects maybe distortion and things like that they’re going to give you slightly more contrasting sounds to bring in under your main lead. So let’s just have a quick listen to some of these different options.
So you can hear as I’m adding each one in there’s that rise in tension that we’re feeling. Exactly the same MIDI pattern just taken a couple of notes out and then used a different preset. It works an absolute treat it’s super easy to do and it builds that anticipation. It grabs the dancefloor and people cannot wait for the track to drop. So it’s a super easy one if you’ve been struggling to build up some tension in your breakdowns add that tool to the kit and give it a shot experiment with it. Explore and have fun with it.
So let me know how you get on with this one in the comments. Always interested to hear if you’ve got some other techniques to share. Until next time stay safe and happy music making.
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