In this tutorial I would like to draw your attention to a mixing method that may help you to make the drop section of your EDM song hit harder and/or to be more dramatic.
In electronic dance music song, drop is a part that comes immediately after breakdown and build up (build up is a section where you build the tension towards the drop). Drop is where you reintroduce the full bass line with drums and also – depending on the genre – a melody perhaps. If your track is played in a club, drop is where people start dancing and jumping like crazy. It is a part of your track that you should really try to make stand out.
So how to make it stand out then?
There’s several ways for sure, but one of the essentials (IMO) is this: pay close attention to the FREQUENCIES of your song and try to make your build up LESS BASS HEAVY than your drop. Try to preserve a clear contrast between these two sections by using EQ to “hold back” the lower frequencies during the build up. And when the drop hits, RELEASE those frequencies. After all, we are talking about a part of a song where we should “drop the bass”. If the build up is already as bass heavy as the drop, it’s hard to make these two sections differentiate from each other and thus, the impact is less dramatic. So in a nutshell: use EQ (high pass filter) to CUT the lows in the build up and the contrast between your build and drop will most likely make a greater impact. Try doing this, if not for the whole build up section, but at least for those few last bars of it.
Of course, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have ANY bass at all in your build up. You don’t want to make it sound too thin. And you may also have some hits and stabs in your build that require low frequencies to make an impact. But as in whole, try to make the difference between the build up and drop obvious to the listener in low frequency wise.
So in practice, in your Mixer, you can either roll off the low frequencies from each individual sound you’re using in the build up section via EQ using high pass filter if necessary. But the easier way to do this is to EQ them AS A GROUP by routing all the associated Mixer tracks into one Mixer track, then EQ that track.
Below is an image of my example mix and I have done just the aforementioned: I’ve routed the Mixer tracks associated to build up sounds into one Mixer track and done the same to drop sounds. Now I can easily control the EQ and levels of both sections using just two Mixer tracks.
But exactly what EQ frequencies you should cut?
Try rolling off frequencies of 70-100 Hz and below using high pass filter. Use your taste to cut more/less lower frequencies. Try to make it sound natural and not too thin in relation to the rest of your mix.
Also, when you roll off those low frequencies, this will most likely give a bit more headroom to the build up part so you can increase its volume level if you feel its necessary.
The end. 😎
Watch the video version below: