No matter the genre of electronic music you create, a drop is essential for progressive momentum. The drop is like a reward for partygoers anxious to “shake it off” after building up to high musical tension. How it all plays out is totally up to you.
Most EDM producers want every beat drop to strike harder than the previous. To do this, they creatively combine the anticipated with the unexpected.
In this tutorial, I will show you how to add more impact to your drops. As usual, I have prepared a short sequence in SoundBridge. It includes most elements in a full mix, including the build-up and the drop. Let’s listen to it.
~Full Mix – Unprocessed
Use a Filter to Add Energy and Impact to Your Drops
As per energy, the uplifting part feels too similar to the beat drop. We should certainly change that. There are several ways to take care of this. Subsequently, I’ll show you three simple techniques to improve your drops’ impact. Let’s start with the basics: Filtering.
The kick and bassline are the first sounds that should be filtered. Since I’ve already grouped them, I’ll use the built-in effect – Filter Unit – and set it to the High-Pass filter mode. The cutoff frequency will be automated towards the drop to thin out the sounds before the drop.
In addition, I will automate and reduce the volume of the group tracks so the kick drum and bassline have a greater impact when the beat drops. Let’s listen to it.
~Kick Drum & Bassline – Processed With Low-Pass Filter
Use Reverb Automation to Make Your Drops Hit Harder
Next, we can apply the same filtering style to the rhythm group. It obviously contains percussion sounds with some low-mid frequency content. This should be filtered towards the drop for a greater impact. The rhythm group could also be processed with reverb and delay effects. This provides an uplifting feel and a greater sense of space just before the drop.
Like with the kick drum and bassline, I will add a high-pass filter to the rhythm group. The cutoff frequency will be automated toward the drop. And then, for the reverb and delay, I’ll simply automate their Dry-Wet mix after I’ve set their parameters.
~Rhythm Group – Processed With Filter, Delay & Reverb
Reduce the Stereo Width of the Mix Just Before the Drop
Finally, controlling the stereo width would help create a more significant impact on your drop. With that in mind, we could use a stereo imager to control individual elements’ stereo width or that of the entire mix. In our case, we’ll go with the entire mix and place Ozone 8 Imager before the limiter on the master channel. This is the full version of the Ozone 8 Imager, but there’s a free version with the same results.
As shown in the image below, I selected all four bands and gradually automated their stereo width toward mono before the drop. Let us hear how that sounds.
~Full Mix- Master Channel Processed With Imager
If you liked this article on mixing, here are other related articles:
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Fix the Stereo Image Using an Advanced Mixing Technique Called Mid-Side EQ
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