Deep House Production Tips

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Getting that Deep House sound can be accomplished with some simple tweaks and by having a more technical understanding of the aesthetic goals involved. Here are some tips to help you get that perfect, floor-killer sound.

Add a Human Element

Deep House tracks benefit from a bit of laziness in their grooves. To get this effect, add some time offset to your percussion patterns. This gives a closer feel to what they’d sound like if a human were producing the drum hits. Experiment with shifting around the kicks and snares to get this effect.

Wide Spectrums

Make your rhythms more expansive by spreading them out across your stereo field. This will work much better if you tune your audio samples in advance, so that they match the overall key of the track.

Dissonance Is Not Bad

Modern music can be quite dissonant and Deep House is no exception to this trend. Use complex chords—including sophisticated sonorities, such as 13ths—to give your track some audio interest. This also gives the more laid-back sound for which Deep House is widely known. Inverting chords can add some interest to the track, as well, and don’t be afraid if the result is a bit more dissonant than you expected.

Double Up

Doubling up on sounds that need to be emphasized in a mix is an old but very effective technique. If you want the bass to really come out in a section of the song or if you want to firmly root a chord, double up where appropriate. Doubling the root of a chord when it’s being executed in an inversion can add some weight to the root tone.

Work what You Have

Remember that changing around your patterns very slightly is more characteristic of House music than is adding bold changes to the music. These slight changes in a synth line or another element of the song can keep it moving forward and keep the listener’s interest.

Get Your Dub On

The trick to creating Dub effects is plenty of delay and feedback. Automation can make this more effective. Try to keep a tight, defined low-end to the sound for the best results.

Get Dirty

Don’t be afraid to throw in well-placed distortion or other effects. Wide sweeps are particularly popular in Deep House, as well, and they can solidify your track’s membership in the genre while still allowing a great deal of creative freedom in what you produce.

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2 Comments

  1. tguidon

    March 29, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    What theme is this for Ableton? Looks amazing.

    • Mark F

      March 29, 2013 at 2:36 PM

      It’s the FoxyBlack Skin Version 1.0.

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