Loop-Based EDM Production in Cubase | Will Edwards | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

12 Lessons (1h 17m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:20
    • 2. Finding Loops

      5:31
    • 3. Rapid Arrangement

      4:11
    • 4. Writing Chords

      5:39
    • 5. Beat Designer

      11:02
    • 6. Building a Layered Kick

      3:01
    • 7. Randomizing Snare Hits

      2:43
    • 8. Arranging Synths

      13:01
    • 9. Conforming MIDI Loops

      4:24
    • 10. Transitions & Automation

      14:23
    • 11. Mixing Tips

      10:46
    • 12. Wrap-Up & Project

      1:01
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About This Class

If you are looking for a better strategy/workflow for EDM production, then this course is perfect for you!  Cubase offers producers a number of valuable construction kits, editing tools and compositional features for rapidly creating EDM style tracks.  

My name is Will and I’ve been using Cubase for 15+ years to produce music in a variety of genres for commercial and personal projects.  As Cubase’s feature set has expanded, I’ve refined my workflow to make use of Cubase’s suite of tools.  In this course, I’ll share my insights for rapidly producing music using Cubase tools including:

  • MediaBay
  • Groove Agent SE & Beat Designer
  • Chord Tracks
  • Arranger Tracks
  • Mixing VSTs & Automation

This course offers tips and best practices for EDM style music production.  Together, we’ll be produce a track (from beginning to end) and develop a strategy that facilitates creativity and keeps the process fun!  This course is intended for motivated beginners and intermediate producers.  The lessons assume that students will have some degree of familiarity with Cubase and general audio recording/editing concepts.  Plus, I’ll share some of my mixing tips and techniques for making loop-based productions unique (and my own) by relying on intermediate features of Cubase to compose and organize our production.  

If you’re using Cubase to produce EDM and you'd like to use more of Cubase's feature to make music in a fast, fun way this course is for you...  Thanks for checking it out and I look forward to seeing you in the course!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Will Edwards

Artist. Creative Problem Solver. Musician

Teacher

I am a full-time professional musician who has broad teaching experience with guitar & bass students in rock, blues, jazz and many other genres. I perform live on bass, guitar and keyboards.  In addition, I perform live electronic music improvisation.  I've devoted over 26 years to my own well-rounded musical education, focusing on a mastery of all aspects of modern music - from music theory to ear training; from live performance to composition and practice routines.

I specialize in bridging the gap between music and technology, focusing on using modern tools to demonstrate all aspects of music.  I compose and perform with Ableton and Push 2 and I have experience with Cubase, ProTools and Logic.  I'm extremely comfortable using web-based to... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hi, my name is Will and thanks so much for joining me in this course. We are looking at EDM, the EDM toolbox which comes with Cubase. And we're going to be looking at how we can rapidly produce some EDM tracks and stems in Cubase quickly. So I have been using Cubase for the last 10 or 15 years, both in my own commercial studio and then also in my home studio. And in that time, I've become very familiar with how Cubase works, how the production workflow can be optimized. And I've learned to use tools like the media Bay groove agent using the built-in synths and patches that are coming with the VST engines inside a Cubase to put together music. Use effects, do reversing of samples, things like that to pull together an entire production relatively quickly. But which is also totally unique because we're going to be looking at things like conforming middy to the chords and harmony in a chord track. So I'm hoping that everything I've learned will come through in these lessons to help you learn how you can rapidly develop your own EDM tracks and still make them your own. So I'm looking forward to getting into the upcoming lessons. Thanks so much for joining me and let's get started. 2. Finding Loops: We're going to build out pretty rapid EDM and track here. So electronic dance music, this is going to be a broad overview, right? So this is not necessarily the be-all, end-all EDM Production approach. I personally think a lot of people think EDM is very easy to make from loops and it's not good. Edm is really a refined craft. The fact that it's generally relying on loops is no excuse for just slapping together a bunch of arbitrary loops. That's my personal artistic opinion. And I don't want this section to send any kind of messages that slapping together loops is all EDM is about. But Cubase does have awesome tools for rapidly putting together EDM tracks. And that's what we are focusing on in this section. Just like any effort to quickly make some music in Cubase, we're going to start with our media base. I'm going to hit the F5 key. And I'm going to navigate over onto my left panel here into VST sound and go down to EDM toolbox. So obviously, that's a kit sort of construction materials that are oriented around EDM. If we expand this folder, we can actually see that there's a lot of midi loops there. And one of my favorites is Jupiter, which I can only imagine. I sort of inspired by that Jupiter keyboard and the Roland Jupiter. And so I want to look through a few of these here and they can take a little while to actually load up. All right, that's the kind of vibe I'm looking for. I mean, that's the more true to like Jupiters, which were very influential sound in the eighties. So I've got a number of parts here under what they call Jupiter scratchy synth. That's the name of the patch. And we can see that there's a bridge as a chorus is a chorus B inverse b. So we can see there's a few different sections here. And let's see where these are coming from in terms of key. So we can see over here in the key that we're in, the key of B-flat. Alright? So I'm going to drag all these over here and basically start with, with this as my foundation. So this scratchy synth collection, I'm just going to grab all of those. And I'm going to drag them into my project. And I'm going to select different tracks. That's going to load all of those clips into separate tracks. Ok, So at this point we've got probably some sort of stab type sounds and there's a lot we can do to embellish that, which we'll do later on. But I'm definitely also going to want some drums. So let's see if there's anything in this same kit, this same Jupiter folder that we like in terms of drums. Let's go down. Actually. Am I kinda like that sound? I'll drag that in there. And let's see now about, let's see. Well, those might work. So I am going to grab all five of these and bring these in here on two different tracks. So at this point, I've got a handful of drum loops. I've got this little BP thing and then these stab like sounds. And I can also go ahead and start organizing these into Folder tracks. So I'm gonna go right here, select, Add Folder track. And I'm actually going to create two of these. I'm going to name one of them drums. And I'm going to drag all these German tracks in there. And I'm going to name one of them. Since I'm going to drag all of these in there. And that's going to make it just a little bit easier to navigate my projects. So I've got some drums, I've got some since. Those are the loops and samples that maybe I want to start with in terms of my parts. But I definitely want to have some good drum samples as well. So we're going to be working more on the drum samples and some patterns in a later lesson in this section, what I wanna do now is move into the next lesson and look at putting together a quick arrangement. 3. Rapid Arrangement: Now we're going to put together an arrangement. I am going to go up to the project menu and select divide track list. Just because I prefer to have a divided track list when I'm working with arrangements. And then I'm going to right-click and I am going to add an arranger track like that. So the arranger track allows us to set up song sections. And we're going to basically follow a sort of somewhat traditional EDM songs structure or attract structure here. So I'm going to switch with the eight key to my pencil tool, and I'm going to draw in a four-bar intro. Then I'm going to draw in this section is going to be my breakdown, my first break down. Then I'm going to have another eight bars build up. Then I'm going to have a drop for eight bars. And then let's see, after the drop, I'm going to have an outro maybe for another four bars. All right. Something like that. Okay, Now, if you have seen my lessons on the arranger track, you'll understand these are arranger events and then we can rename them up here in the info bar, up here in the upper left-hand corner. So I'm going to just select them and I'm gonna rename them intro. This is my break down. This is my buildup. This is my drop. And then I have an outro. And then I wanted to look at how I can place my different components to kinda match that, right? If I zoom in here, these are, these are named Bridge, be chorus, a chorus be Verse, be that sort of thing. So I'm going to treat bridge basically as my breakdown. So I'm going to move that here. And you'll see that there's actually when you mouse over a loop like this, There's a button in the middle. And I can actually use that to just draw out loops, which is really nice. I'm going to do that. Now. I'm going to use chorus a. I'm going to use that as my buildup. And again, I'm going to drag that out to the right like that. And then let's see, I've got a chorus be, maybe what I'll do is I will create an alternate buildup. So this will be build up alt like that. And under my buildup, Alt, I'm going to grab the chorus, be part, and drag that into my buildup Alt, again, drag it out to cover that whole section. I've got a couple more parts here. I'm going to bring this bridge part here to match right in there into my breakdown. And then verse B is, I'll bring that over to my main drop here, which I'm going to just line up there on my grid. Little part there, stretch that out. Now again, if you're familiar with my lessons on the arranger track, you'll know it doesn't matter if there are gaps and spaces because once we flatten this arrangement, there won't be any such things. So we can just work with these sections totally independently. So I've got a foundation now with all my parts. I don't have any music going on in my intro or my Alto, but we can kind of play that by ear as we go through this process. In the next lesson, we're going to create a chord track and we're going to establish a harmonic structure. 4. Writing Chords: Now let's create a harmonic structure, so a chord progression for each of these parts, what I wanna do is I want the drop over here to be in a major key. And I want the other sections over here to be in minor keys. So I'm going to start by right-clicking, and I am going to go down here to add chord track in my context menu. Click on that, and I get this chord track up here. Right? Now the chord track again, if you've watched some of my lessons on the chord track, you know that this is a way for us to start writing out a harmony for the entire Thai track. We're going to start with a very common chord progression. I'm going to switch to my pencil tool. And I'm going to write in four chords like that for my breakdown. Just going to start with my breakdown. And I want to think at this point about what key I'm in now, I noticed earlier when I dragged all of these clips out that these scratchy synth tracks over here, we're in the key of a sharp or B flat. B flat is really the more appropriate name for that key. So before I do anything in harmony, I want to be thinking about it in the key of B-flat. I'm going to go up here to my project root key and I'm going to make sure I select. It says only gives me an a sharp option, but a sharp and B flat are what we call enharmonic equivalent. So the same thing. So I can choose a sharp and that'll function fine. Now, I want to create a chord progression that's going to follow a common, common progression, which is going to start with the relative minor of B flat, which is G minor chord. So if you don't know the theory for this, this is not really a theory course, but this is a great chord progression to start any kinda EDM track width. Now we want the second coordinate progression to be the four chord. And in the key of B flat, the four chord is an E-flat chord, and I'm gonna go ahead and select a major 7 quality. And then we are going to go to the one chord, which of course in the key of B flat is a B flat coordinates. No surprise. Again, I'm going to go for a major seven chord quality. And then the final of our four chords is going to be the five chord. And this is going to be an F seven chord, just like that. Now I want to just have kind of a demo instrument that I can follow this chord progression just to test out. But I'm going to add an instrument track here. Hailey and Sonic is what I'm choosing. Just going to add that track. And I'm just going to grab a basic piano here, so acoustic piano and yeah, this will be fine. I'm just going to go ahead and load that and come up here and my chord track, I'm going to change this to basically play it through the Helion. Gonna go back to the beginning. That sounds nice. I want to meet all these which I can do just by meeting the groups, the folder collections, which is nice, can actually take that outside of that folder. So now I can listen to this piano and I can hear the chord progression. Alright, sounds nice. Make sure you change that F7. I'm not going to have the seven on there. Just going to have it be a regular African art. Now I'm going to create a copy of this. I'm going to grab all these and I am going to move them over here into my buildup. I'm going to leave the chord progression exactly the same. And then I'm going to bring it into my alt buildup as well. However, when I move over into my drop right over here, I'm actually going to switch to the relative major key, which is B flat major. So I'm going to grab again my pencil tool with the number eight. And I am going to write in, let's see, 1234 chords. And this time the progression is going to start with B flat. That's the key. We're going to start with B. For that, I'm going to go to a five chord, which is going to be F. I'm just using basic triads here. And then I'm going to have my third chord in the drop be a six chord, that's a G minor. And then my final chord of the progression is going to be a four chord, which is an E-flat like that. Okay, so now I've got this sound. All right, It's a very common chord progression, but it'll work well here. So we've got a little bit of contrast in our arrangement between the breakdowns, the breakdown build-ups, and the drop in terms of it's all in the same key more or less. But we're going to be getting a slightly different mood shift in the drop. So that's it for our arrangement. We've got all the sections that we need. In the next lesson, we're going to start looking at using some tools to generate a really compelling drum track and some beat patterns. 5. Beat Designer: Now that we are ready to work on the beat, I am going to bring in an instance of groove agent. So I'm going to go to my VST instruments. I'm going to bring in Groove Agent. And in groove agent. There are really, in, at least in the SE version, there are really two types of kits. There's the acoustic agent kids, which are oriented around acoustic drums. And then there is the beat agent, which is oriented more around drum machines, MPC style drum machines, which is going to be more appropriate for an EDM sound, right? So I might use an acoustic kick sample or something like that. But generally a good place to start would be an electronic kit. So I'm gonna open up my navigator over here. And under kits, I wanna go to electronic dance. I am creating something here that is kind of a house sound. It's probably going to wind up being more house than anything else I see here. So I'm gonna go ahead and choose progressive house. And I'm going to this kit. Let's listen to what some of the patterns sound like in this one. So I'm going to switch to my pattern view and just listen to some of these. So I kinda like the sounds that could work. I could use, I could do something like that. And maybe that would work for that this particular group. I actually just grab and move it up here into my drop. I might do that for my job because it's pretty active sound. I'm just going to copy that out. All right, so there's a lot we're going to be doing with those sins to make them more interesting, make this drop much more impactful than it already is. But I like the way that those, that drum loop works there. The thing is, I want drums to be in the intro altro. And unfortunately, beat agents do not really support this style option here that is style editor where we can like manufacturer nice intros and outros. Now, I could grab a style from over here. I could go to this styles menu up here. I could choose Style. And then I could grab one of these options. You see these options are much more limited because these are the styles for acoustic agent kids, which have styles built-in. So if I were to grab this dance pop and set it in there, I could try a different ending using this dance pop. All right, That might work well enough. I'm going to grab that and drag that up, altro. And then I'm going to go ahead and say, well, for my breakdown and build up sections here, I'm not really happy with any of the grooves like the main groups that I have here. And I don't really want to have the bulk of my song rely on mismatched styles. So what can I do? I can use something called the beat designer. And I'm going to find that by going into my groove agent here, going over to the midi Inserts. And I'm going to choose beat designer. And the designer is basically a way for me to create patterns, beat patterns. And it's a great accompaniment for Groove Agent SE because if you want to have the pattern editor in Groove Agent, you have to upgrade to the full groove agent five. But with beat designer, you kind of get this built-in. Now, if we look at the instrument pads here, we can see that these are kick one, percussion, one snare, snare off grim shot, right? But when we look over here, we see bass drum sidekick. We're not seeing them exactly matched up. That's, can be x-ray results pretty quickly if we go up here into the groove agent properties down here where it says drum maps. We can say create drum map from instrument. Now once we do that and we look at our beat designer again, what we're going to notice is that we have names that match up kick and kick percussion one percussion one and so on, so forth. So now we can actually just create a pattern. So I'm gonna go ahead and create like four to the floor type pattern, right? So what's happening right now? If I go to a section that has no drums, like buildup, ALT, right? What I'm getting is, and I'm just going to go ahead and hit Option P. That's going to set loop markers around this event and turn on cycling. That's a really nice quick way to just start looping through something. Alright, so in my bead designer, I've got this setup configured so that it's firing the pads in Groove Agent. But now my ideas about how to develop a pattern are really happening over here. I'm not seeing my, I'm seeing my hi-hat closed, but I'm not seeing my hi-hat. So I could do a couple of things. I could add lanes. And I can see them down here. Different grooves, right? I can remove lens. But there's a kind of a better way to, and that is, I can actually change the individual instruments to whatever pad I want, right? So I can change this to my hi-hat closed and leave that on snare. Change this to hi-hat open. And now I can basically a snare it there. And I want to make sure that my open hat is being basically close by my clothes tasks. I can do that over in Groove Agent using something called exclusion groups are exclusive groups down here, this little e icon show exclusive groups. And if I go ahead and I enabled that, I can see that my open hat and my closed out or part of the same exclusion group, that means that as soon as my closed hat is hit, my open hat is turned off, and that's the way a normal drum kit would work. So that's really important. I actually want the closing to happen with the kicks. Now it's really easy in beat designer to move a whole row of notes as is. So I can just hold the Shift key and I can drag in the lane, it'll move all of those like that. So it just makes it a little easier. There we go. Now I'm going to add in a snare. So I have a pretty basic taus. B is at this point an intersection, something like that maybe. And it's actually pretty easy to do once you've got the designer open. You can actually go ahead and place your cursor up in the beat designer. And up here in the upper left-hand corner, there's an option for filling a loop with a pattern or inserting a pattern at the cursor. So I can go ahead and do that and added it right here, right? But I could also go ahead and select my whole intro arrangements section. Go ahead and hit Option P, just going to set loop markers. And then when I have my beat designer open, I can choose Fill loop with pattern right here. And we're going to see that actually fills the entire space without one pattern. So that becomes our intro. All right, so what's going on right now is that the designer is playing in addition to the midi clips here. I don't really want that. I'm going to look up some additional beat patterns because of course, beat designer is loaded with all kinds of prefab patterns. And I can go up here to Preset Manager and I can say load reset, and then scroll out here, I've got a little window up here. So let me go. Funky House. Let's see what that sounds like. And it's going to load a whole bank of patterns. So I'm gonna go ahead and select buildup. I'm going to hit Option P, set the loop, right? And I'm going to load up be designer like this pattern. I'm going to go fill loop with pattern. Now, I'm going to go over to my breakdown and Option P again to select that. I'm going to go ahead and try a slightly different patterns, see what I like. And I'm going to fill that with that pattern. And then finally my buildup Alt Option P. Go back to the designer. All right, that's a little different. So fill loop with pattern, beat designer and Groove Agent together have made a big, big difference. Now, one thing that I wanted to do in the next lesson is actually create a bit of a thicker kick by doing some layering, which you can do in Groove Agent pretty easily. So we've basically got our drum patterns outlined for all of our sections. In the next lesson, I'm going to create a layered kick. 6. Building a Layered Kick: So now I want to actually beef up this kick a little bit. One thing I definitely want to do actually is take off that crash. So the crash up here, I'm going to just be muted. So I don't have that and I really like the sound of that in my drumbeat, too distracting. But I wanted to take this kick, which right now just has one sample in it, and I want to fatten it up with some other samples. So I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to add another instrument track. Or I can just come over here to VST instruments and drag and other Groove Agent on here. Now why am I going to do this? Because I want to get some different bass sounds. So let's see, I'll pick a dubstep and it's going to load up. I'm going to make sure I'm an instrument. Got a different kicks sounds, right? So this kick, it very different from this kick. And I can actually drag this pad onto my old pad. I'm going to zoom in here so you can see what's happening. When I drag this over, I get a variety of options here. And the one I want is on the top here. This basically means add a layer, add another sample compound layers. I'm going to drop that on there. And now what we see on this kick is that we took all of the velocities samples from the original kick, and we basically move them over here. So I've got these five different samples now. And there are a couple of things that I can do with this. One is I can leave the mode here to velocity, in which case it's going to play these samples based on the velocity value over here is between 0200. Play that whatever the velocity and you can actually drag these if you wanted to adjust the velocity sensitivity with That's not what I want with the kick. I want layer so that every one of these samples is going to get played simultaneously. Gives me a totally unique kick sound. And that's what I want. I'm gonna do the same thing in the next lesson with the snare, but for a different reason. I don't want to necessarily layer the snare to get a richer snare sound. But you'll see in the next lesson that we can use a slightly different mode to actually have it play different snares randomly. So let's move forward into the next lesson and talk about more drum tweaks we can do. 7. Randomizing Snare Hits: So in the last lesson we moved some additional kick samples onto our instrument here, right? And when we listen to this loop, now the kicks punches a bit more because it's layered. It's playing all of these samples simultaneously. All right, I'm gonna do the similar thing in terms of layering my snare. Let's listen to that. But I'm going to drag my snare. Let's say this snare here, I'm going to drag that, which we can see just consists of one sample and a drag that over onto my snare here. And if I were to set the mode to layer, it's going to play both of these at the same time. The reason there are multiple samples here is because this already, this snare already had multiple velocity layers. But what we can do is instead of having our mode set to layer and let me zoom in again, I'm going to set it to either round robin or random exclusive. Round robin means every time you play the snare, it's going to play the next sample. Like that. But if I change it to random exclusive, it means it's going to randomly choose one of the others, but it's never going the exclusive Bart is it's never going to play the same sample twice. So I'm getting kind of random snares out of it. And the next thing about that is that when you're listening to a drumbeat, it introduces a little bit of interests. So it's threatened song. So I'm getting a different snare each time. So we've got some pretty good start here for our drums. I'm going to get rid of the extra groove agent. And in the next lesson we're going to revisit our synth section here because a, we want to start making that fill out a little bit more. So we have not just a beat, but we have some melodic and harmonic stuff going on too, that's coming up in the next lesson. 8. Arranging Synths: All right, now let's revisit the synths. I'm going to take groove agent, and I'm going to move it up into my drums folder track. Now, let's listen to our breakdown section. So the purposes of the breakdown section generally is going to have a thinner drumbeat creating some anticipation. My drums for the time being. And this sort of Stabby synth sound, It's kinda planes. So what I'm gonna do is go ahead and click here, I'm going to select all. So meaning Command a or Control a on a PC. And I'm going to drag these out now, you'll notice that it did not affect the other loops here, but that's okay. I can just go ahead and read, grab this and bring it out like that. So now I've got something like this. Longer notes, right? And what I wanna do with that is have an evolving sort of arpeggiator sounds. So I'm gonna go ahead, open up my instrument. This is a patch in retro log, which is a subtractive synths sort of classic modelling of an analog subtractive synthesizer. And there's an arpeggiator pattern. Up here. I can show our page. I can turn it on. Let's listen to this. That's a bit simple, but I'm going to go and change my phrase here to, let's say dance, art. Let's see what that sounds like. All right, that's kinda of a good vibe. Helps to build some anticipation. Now, I'm going to actually take out the first two sections of this, like retro beat, the thing this can build up. Now, I am going to just open up this section. I can see the two little notes dentin that's happening there. I'm going to hit select those. I'm going to hit Command D, which duplicates them. And I can actually drag every link that I'm going to hit Option key and drag them over like that. You could also go ahead and after you make that change, I'll zoom in here. I could actually cut this in half, but then pull it out like that. So I wind up with this sound instead. Let's go to the beginning of this. Some kind of creating a little bit of a rushing effect that might be better for my buildup. So I'm going to actually drag that over here. And I'm going to leave these on here. So there's going to be a little bit more of that rushing going on in my buildup. But I like what I've done here with lengthening the pad sound. Now, if I turn off cycling and head into my next section. All right, that's going to be a little too static RAM. So now what we want to look at this section here. I'm gonna go ahead and open that up. Select all quantized to make sure what happens sometimes is that a node in a, in a, in an edited midi event might if that midi notes starts just a fraction of a second before the beginning of the loop. The whole midi note doesn't play, I don't want that. So I'm gonna drag this whole thing out like so. And I'm going to drag it out to fill our whole section. I'm going to copy this over here as well. And on this scratchy synth, I'm going to put a gating effect. Okay, so I'm gonna come up here to audio inserts for the instrument. And I'm going to choose a gate. And I want to, I'm going to want to use side chaining on the gate. Okay, so I'm gonna do that. Now. I'm going to want a side chain this off of my kick, which we can actually do pretty easily. So I'm going to switch up here to my via STI tab on my right zone. I'm gonna come down here so you can see the different instruments that I have installed. I'm going to go down to the Groove Agent here and this little Show Hide VSD quick controls going to expand that. And then I'm going to change, activate outputs, okay? And you can see that I have a number of outputs available, but I've only enabled one output, two needs to be enabled as well. So that's all I gotta do there. Now I have two outputs enabled. And the next thing is for me to go into Groove Agent. And now I need to route my kick to go out that new output that I enabled. So I'm going to right-click on my kit. And right here I can see it says Assign output. And I'm gonna go to output two. Right? Over here on the right. I actually can see my groove agent channel and my new output to right. So I'm going to call that layered kick. So that's easy to find. It's actually in my mixer. And I can see that when I hit it, it's coming up. In that channel, right? So now I can come over to my gate and I can check my ad side chain input. And I can select layered kick right here. So now what's happening is every time a kick is fired, it's going to trigger my gate through side chain. All right, so let's go ahead and just kinda test this out. I actually want to go back into Groove Agent. And I just want to solo my kick. And I want to make sure that my if I actually just play the kick, I can see happening right there. And it'll bring that down a little bit. Now this actually becomes my kick channels, so it's now being mixed independently from the rest of the groove agent kit, right? If I go and I select groove agent and I stopped soloing that kick, you'll see that all the other audio comes up in this channel right next to it. So now I basically have a channel for everything in groove agent except the kick. And then I have a Challenges for my kick. And if I actually come over here and I mute my kick. So the only channel we're not hearing, we're going to see a little sort of level of volume meter over here that shows us how this side chain is being fed. That's going to start lighting up. If I play the kick. Let's see that a go. So now you can see right here, it's actually showing me that I definitely have the right side chains connected. Okay. Now I'm gonna go ahead and select post fader. That means it doesn't matter what kind of level I have this layered kick setup. It will matter for my overall mix, but it won't matter For the side chaining feature here. So now I'm going to solo my kick so that I know it's all that I'm hearing. I've got this gate happening on this sort of synth pad here. Let's just make a little bit of room in my display here. So this is working on this scratchy synth channel here. Now the way a gate works is that the gate will either open and let sound through or it'll close and it will silence the track. So we want to be able to kind of test this little bit. If we drink, bring our threshold all the way down. Basically, right now, this green light here indicates that the gate is not being closed vowel, as I bring this threshold up, we're going to see that green light at some point, it starts to flash and we can start to hear the gating effect. So it's following the kick exactly. So it just adds a lot of rhythmic power to what was otherwise kind of a mellow pad, right? So the pad before before we had this gate, it sounded like this, just as static pad. Now we have this. So right now we've got our first break down. I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to copy everything from our first buildup over into our second buildup. Except now we're going to add this. Just want to hear this one track. Now what I'm gonna do here is I'm going to open up, quantize everything and expand it out so that I've got more sort of musical material to work with. Here. I'm going to go into my instrument and I'm going to set up a different arpeggiator pattern going into my art page, turning it on. And I'm going to select, Let's see some kinda step sequence here, and let's see how this sounds. A bit busy. Really busy. I kinda like that. Alright, so I've just basically got a new layer here. I'm going to copy that out. And then in our drop, I'm going to bring all of this in in addition to this new pad here. And again, these are pretty just mellow things going on here. So I'm gonna open this up, quantize it, stretch it out. And I like to just stretch these out so that I have something to apply arpeggiator or some kind of pattern to right. Going to stretch that out. Come up here to my instrument again, enabled my arpeggiator page and go with chord. All right. 9. Conforming MIDI Loops: So everything is happening in the key of B flat. Earlier on, we were really selective about choosing these sections to make sure that they were all in the same key. The thing is they're not actually following our key chord progression here up in the chord track yet. So the way we're gonna do that is we're going to actually select all the parts. And we're going to go up here. We're going to select what's called the glue tool right up here. Or we can hit the F4 key, so I'm hit F4. And with all of those midi selected, I can hit that once and it's going to make one part out of it, right? So that's kind of a nice thing to do. Go ahead for glue it together. It's just means that I'm working with one part instead of all of those individual sections. In order to make these follow our core Jack, we're going to select the track, just going to open up the midi editor here so that you can see how this changes with the synth track selected. I'm gonna come up here to my left. And under the chords area, I'm going to select follow chord track, select Chords. And it's going to open this window a little dialogue and leave it on synchronized and analyze chords. And you're gonna see the midi change quite dramatically. So let's listen to how that sounds now. Following our chord track, now it's going to the B flat major and, or the F. All right, Perfect. Now we just want to do the same thing with our other midi tracks. So we're going to select this one here. And we can see that if we select the track, record checks chords, okay, we get different voicings. Likewise here. Now I'm going to actually duplicate this track. And I'm going to want to just use that as is, but I also want a version matches my song to once again select the track, go up here, followed chords. Okay, rewrites the voicings for us. And what I'm gonna do is my original here that I kept. I'm going to have that play in the drop along with my regular scratchy synth. Alright, so let's listen to how these synth sound right now and get to unmute that whole collection. So we notice right away that these retro beeps down here, these are not matching. So I'm gonna go ahead, select them, glue them into one unit. Come here, select the track, got two chords, follow chord track and Okay, and now we have something that follows the track. So like this. Alright, so that's all coming together. Let's listen to the beginning of the drop. There's some kind of funky thing going on there. So I have to find out what that is so I can tell that it is this note that's an F sharp in the key of B flat, F sharps definitely not going to work. This app works fine. And this C-sharp, not good. This B flat is obviously fine. So these notes, I'm just going to, since this is a rapid EDM Production, I'm just gonna go ahead and delete all of those. And I'm also going to delete all of these. So now we've gotten rid of whatever funkiness was. We're just adding a little bit of weight with this extra track. Now in the next lesson, we are going to build some transitions, add in a few things to just make it sound more interesting. And then we'll wrap up with mixing. 10. Transitions & Automation: In this lesson, we are finishing up our production and we are going to do a couple of quick things. We're going to add some traditional sort of EDM style transitions. And we are also going to fill in our intro and outro. A really simple way to fill in the intro and outro is just to drag court events. So we can select, say, these first two chord events here. And I'm just going to drag those down onto the piano that we had started sampling our quadratic width. So I'm literally just dragging those down here. And I'm dragging these out like so, so that our intro now sounds like this. And we've got the drums. Alright, And we're gonna do the same thing, going to copy that over here to our altro. So we have a similar like that. Okay, so that's our intro and outro, and it's really nice to just drag chords from a chord track onto our main mix. We might even want to just bring that piano in on our breakdown because that's supposed to be a pretty mellow part. So we can just grab those and bring them down here. Giraffe breakdown as well. And you can see that it actually labels the midi with the chord that's represented. It's really nice, pretty slick. So now I'm going to add a new audio track. And this is just going to be our transitions. All right? And I'm just going to bring that down here. Going to bring up close, kind of minimize all of those except for our transitions. Now I'm going to find some sounds that we can use for transitions. I'm going to open up my media Bay and I'm going to look for base hits, audios, audio files only. I kinda like that. Okay, I'm going to drag that in here. And I'm going to just edit that quickly. Bring it down like that. If I turn my grid snapping off, I can actually edit it like so bring a little fade in. I am going to just zoom in. Really bring this up to their snap that on now. All right, so that when I start a new section, I have this kind of sound. Just going to be a little bit of force. So I'm going to add this, I'm going to duplicate it onto the beginning of each section, right? Like that. Over here onto my job as well. Now I want to find a crash. I'm going to bring this in here. And what I'm gonna do is go up to audio processes. And I'm going to select Reverse. All right, and here I'm going to move this so that it kind of snaps up against the actual boundary, kind of leading into these sections. Seminal want to turn snap off. Which I can also just do with the key J. I'm going to bring that in like that. And I'm going to use my stretch tool here. Let me show you where this is up here at the top. Sizing applies time stretch. And with, again, with my grid snapping enabled. And then we can listen to the way that this sounds. Right? So that sounds pretty good. I'm going to be doing that from, I don't necessarily want to do that in my intro into the breakdown. Do that at the end of my buildups, I'm gonna do that. So I will option copy that. So that's how they kinda go into the drop. Next thing I want to find is a riser. So I'm gonna hit F5 back in here, reset my filters, and I type in riser and listen to how these might sound. All right, so that could work. So I'm going to drag, just double-click that. And it's going to bring it into a track here. Now, our key is in B flat, so I'm gonna go ahead and play a B flat. That'll sound better. So I'm going to just create a simple midi instance or a midi event here. Open that up. And I'm going to go ahead and stretch that out. Go over here and listen to this. Now I want that to occur over a much longer period of time, right? So I'm gonna go to my buildup here. Again, use the sizing applies time stretch. And then I'm going to come in here and I'm just going to expand this so that instead of being one bar in length, It's going to be two bars in link. And then we can zoom out. And we can listen to the way that that sounds here. I think actually I'll move that to my buildup. That's going to be kinda like my second buildup. When we come into the job. Definitely want to make sure that we've got a very powerful thing happening there. So I also want to add kinda kick sound, an impact if you will. So I'm going to open up my media bay. I'm actually search for impact. That's a pretty good one. I'm going to go ahead and drag that into my project here. On to a new track. That's unmuted. We can hear that. All right, Great, So here we are. I want to flatten this out using my arranger tract. And we're going to create a new project. So I'm gonna come up here into my left-hand corner. I want to make sure the arranger is activated and open my arranger window. And then I'm just going to add, okay, I'm gonna go intro to break down buildup. And then I'm gonna go back to my breakdown. Then I'm going to go build up all the drop and altro. Okay, So that's gonna be my structure. And I'm going to rename this arrangement to EDM stems, say, and I'm gonna go ahead and flatten it. So if you're not sure how the ranger works, then you should definitely watch my lessons on the arranger. But basically we now we're going to flatten them. We want to choose this second button, which is basically flatten with some options because that gives us the ability to create a new project using this chain name. And we're going to leave the settings like so. And this is going to create a new project that is going to be named after our arrangement name EDM stems. So I'm gonna go ahead and save my project quickly just by hitting Command S or Control S. Go ahead and flatten. It's going to create a new project which I want to activate. And here we have it. We've got our entire track. So let's give it a see how it sounds. All right, So on the breakdown here, I'm going to want the drums just chill out a little bit more than they are. One thing I want to make sure is happening is that my beat designer midi insert is not enabled. Otherwise, it will be playing this pattern all the time. So I'm gonna turn off beat designer, open up the midi here and I can see the kick that's being played. And I'm just going to mute those. Now. I'm not hearing the other drums. That's probably because I left them muted. So I've got my kick solid and solid and never again. Now I head into the first 10 we go. Now we have that riser. That's a little loud. So we're going to go ahead and bring that down a whole lot in our mix. Let's go back. I sense that in that job, I want something higher pitch. I want something that is going to add a little more high-end flavor to this. So I'm going to expand my synths and I'm going to select my synth part down here. And I'm going to go ahead and select all of that. I'm going to hold down Shift and use my up arrow key basically to move this up a couple of octaves. So that now that section has a high, high pitched melodic part. I'm going to go ahead and just that part. Now, I want to make that a little bit more interesting. I'm going to loop it. I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to add in a midi insert here. Go with our patchy Sx. Going to leave that on there. In my automation lane. I'm going to select Standard painter and read enable. Then with my sign tool, which you can get to from up here. The line tool also offers you the the sign tool. I'm going to pan basically this is like auto panning. I can use the Shift key to kind of create my original sign shape. I'm holding shift the whole time. Once I get what I want, then let go shift. And it will just repeat that out. So now I get this panda effect from left to right. And then also fade this in using a filter cutoff. So I'm going to add another automation layer. I'm going to go down here to where it says more. And that gives me this window here. I'm gonna go to my instrument and scroll down until I find filter cutoff. Okay, I'm going to choose that option as my automation option. Again, it's read enabled. And what I can do now, I'm going to switch back to my line tool. And I am going to just bring these down like that and bring this over like so. So what that's gonna do is gradually open the filters. So we get this kind of, so that we get this kind of sound just creates a little bit of anticipation. So now if we listen to that in context, we can start to hear fading in and then it goes into the algebra. But we've got an entire arrangement all set up with some Chan, different transitions. You can actually go ahead and delete this track called transitions because that's not where we wound up putting our transitions. Actually going to create a new folder track and call that transitions like that. Thank you. Take my riser and the base and these things. But in transitions, leave my piano down there. Now I'm going to hit Save, and we're going to move on to the mixing stage. 11. Mixing Tips: Now, in the mixing stage, we want to think about how these instruments play off of one another in terms of dynamic range. So how loud or quiet or are they, and are they coming through clearly in the mix? So one of the simplest ways to do this is to take a section like our buildup here that we know has most of the sections already in there. And I'm going to just leave that section and listen to the individual parts. And I want to make it so that they all come out a little more than they are right now. So one of the simplest ways is to use EQ. So I'm going to go ahead and open my channel editing. For this first channel. Take out a whole bunch of the mid-range of this. So something like that. So that's a, that's a hefty change. Let's go ahead and we'll just listen to just this track. So that's a big difference. And make an area sounds. I'm also going to pan it a little bit more to the left. I'm going to disable my arrangement tracks of the looping keeps following around. Now I'm going to add in this second track here. And I'm going to make this the mid-range. You want less air. Hand this to the right one. So now the two of them together. Now when we loop this here and we just have this soloed, the reason that we can't hear anything is because it's gated based on the kick drum, but right now there's no kick drum opening it. So for a moment what we wanna do is just use this so that we can hear how our EQ curve sounding. We've got this more or less every year in the right ear. And if we re-enable the gate, then we'll be able to hear it. Once the drums are enabled. Then we're gonna go down to the next synth track. Solo, just this one. And I want to do a little of the same thing I want to basically. And what I'm actually going to do is I'm going to write some automation here. So I'm going to enable the right button right here. And I have the record enabled. And I'm just going to sweep this little EQ around here. Like that. Now what you'll see is that we've written this gain in here. And now I'm going to turn off, right, and just let it read that. And you'll see this move following the automation that I just recorded. Now in this last one, we had them automation happening here. Right? It's panning left and right and the filters opening up. There's just this one patch here, this synth, which is leftover. I want to make sure that this is also playing a role. So I'm going to open this up and I'm going to put in a studio EQ here. I'm going to disable all of them except this high one, which I'm going to bring down like so bring the gain way down. This is going to be kind of like an added base, which I'm going to bring up the volume on. So now when I enable all of my synths together, let's listen to how those sound. The sound a little bit thin right now, but I can actually solve that with multi-band compression. So on my mean stereo track, and I'll go ahead and add a multiband compressor. I'm going to want to compress the bass. So I'm gonna play everything. Bring up the base a little bit. I got a lot going on in the mid-range, so I'm going to compress that a little bit more. Not too much. And turn their release down much faster than these. And I bring down the compression on the syringe register there. Let me listen to some of the other transitions here and turn off cycling. All right, I like the way that that sounding right now, the last step is to add our maximizer. So I'm gonna go ahead and do that. My switch to the drop over here and loop that section. Optimize it until I'm getting a little bit of gain reduction. That's a little too much. I want this gain reduction to be about one dB. Before I export it can actually be really helpful to change the names of some of these tracks. So just as simple as changing this to sinth one, synth to close that up. Synth three, sinth for synth five. Just giving them names so that when somebody does want to re-mix them, they know what they're dealing with. I could rename this Halley onto piano and drums. Again, you don't want five Skippy drums. I'm going to say this is intro one. And I'll just copy that change into 23456. And now when we go up to export our audio mix down, if we choose instrument tracks, we're gonna get them named. So we can at least differentiate what they are all about. And you can see how just checking off instrument tracks, checked off all of the subordinate tracks, right? So we're going to wind up getting a set of stems that have all of these broken out and people can re-mix them. I am going to leave this as 16 bit. So I am going to use 441. And for the benefit of better mix down at lower bit rates, It's definitely advisable to add in the dither. So I'm going to add in the UV 22 here, makes sure that it is set at 16. Now when we go up to export audio mixdown, have all this selected. I'm calling an EDM stems. And I can export the audio. And that's it for our audio production in EDM. We've covered a lot and in the next lesson, we're going to wrap up review, reflect on some of the things that we did and learned. And then I'm going to outline a project that you can do to just consolidate what you've hopefully learned from this section. Thanks so much. And if you have any questions, of course, please reach out to me. You can post in the discussion or message me directly. I'm always very interested in hearing from students. I'd love to hear the music that you produce. I'd be happy to give you feedback or tips on specific questions that you have related to this section. And I look forward to seeing you in another one of my courses. 12. Wrap-Up & Project: In this course, one of the more interesting factors that's really unique to EDM Production in Cubase is using the beat designer in conjunction with groove agent. So I'm going to suggest a project here that is focused around B designer. I want you to try to come up with beats in different genres. Let's say a two-step be UK garage, be a houseboat, a techno beat. Try to program your own beats and bring them into beat designer and apply them to the EDM track that we've made. And you'll see it changes the groove considerably. If you don't know how to make those beats, of course you can reach out to me. I can send you some templates. Four different styles of electronic music where the beads are kind of unique to that style. Two-step beads, very different from a dubstep bead, for example. So please reach out to me. You can also post questions in the discussion. I appreciate you joining me in this section and I look forward to seeing you in some of my other courses.