In House music, the piano is a very important element. It’s the key ingredient in a wide range of dance floor hits. When it comes to House music, the piano riff (or progression) is a two, three, or four-chord sequence that is played rhythmically and percussively, typically in the piano’s middle register. When produced properly, a great piano song can become an anthem. In this tutorial, we will show you how to add sharpness to your piano chord progression and blend it into the overall mix.

As usual, we have prepared a short sequence in our SoundBridge: DAW with most of the elements – including the piano chord progression. Let’s listen to it.

This is the mix before the piano chord progression.
~Full Mix- Unprocessed Piano Progression

In this example, the piano is pushed too far into the background and that is something we want to change. To achieve this, we’ll duplicate the piano chord progression’s MIDI channel and place it underneath the original. Also, we will move the duplicated version by an octave up.

This is a picture of the SB sequencer and the original piano chord progression's MIDI editor.
This is a picture of duplicated piano chord progression with shorter notes.

In comparison to the original piano chord progression, the duplicated one has shorter notes. This is done because we want to process the duplicated version differently. Especially with the main emphasis on the attack of the notes rather than the sustain and release. Let’s now compare the original piano chord progression to the duplicated version with a shorter note length.

~Original Piano Chord Progression
~Duplicated Piano Chord Progression With Shorter Note Length

We will proceed with the duplicated version’s processing. The first step is to add a transient shaper effect to the channel’s effect rack. We will slightly increase the transient shaper’s attack parameter, but decrease the sustain parameter. Now, we’ll use the reverb effect to add some more color to the sound. Let’s check how this sounds.

This is a picture of the SB sequencer, duplicated piano chord progression's MIDI editor, along with the interfaces of the transient shaper and reverb effect used for processing.
~Duplicated Piano Chord Progression (Processed With TS & Reverb)

Finally, let’s hear how our piano chord progression layers sound solo and with the other elements of the full mix.

~Piano Chord Progression Solo (Processed)
~Full Mix- Piano Progression (Processed)

So, this is how to add sharpness to your piano chord progression and blend it in the overall mix.

If you liked this article on processing pianos, here are some more on this subject: