Melodic house is defined by hypnotic and atmospheric sounds with arpeggiated, mostly minor, melodies, and a tempo between 120 and 125 BPM. It soon rose to popularity in the electronic music scene around the middle of the 2010s. In the next tutorial, we will show you how to create a complete melodic house theme from one initial idea.

As usual, we prepared a short sequence in our SoundBridge: DAW. It includes most of the drum elements of a full mix. Let’s take listen to it.

This is a screenshot of my mix taken before creating the initial pad sound from Diva by U-he.
~Full Mix – Drums (Solo)

Diva by U-he is a versatile VST instrument with a well-known analog flavor that we will use to create our first sound. First, let’s load a fresh instance of it on a new MIDI channel.

This is a screenshot of my mix and Diva interface with its setting for the pad sound.

Melodic house theme elements

The first sound you hear when you open the Diva is a great place to start, so we used it as a base. This can be transformed into a pad, pluck, or bass lead sound with a few minor adjustments. As shown in the image above, we have decreased the value of the “Lag” parameter, which is the envelope controlling the filter. We also increased the glide time and turned up the sustain on the volume envelope section. After writing our basic chord progression, let’s hear our pad sound.

This is a screenshot of chord progression used for the pad sound.
~Pad – Solo

Moving forward, we will duplicate the channel of our pad sound and create an arpeggio melody using the same notes from our chord progression. In this case, we made minor changes to the pad sound in order to create a pluck type of sound. We have done this by assigning the “Envelope 2” parameter to the filter section, reducing the glide time slightly, and activating the built-in delay. The final touch would be to add some noise by increasing the noise oscillator’s level. Let’s hear how that sounds.

This is a screenshot of arp. sequence used for the melody.

~Melody – Solo

Again, we’ll start with the initial preset to create our final sound, which will be a bass lead. Since there isn’t much to tweak here, we’ll just turn off the built-in Plate reverb and adjust the filter envelope. Also, we’ll use the initial pad chord progression to extract the notes for our bass lead sound.

This is a screenshot of keys used for the bass lead.
~Bass Lead – Solo

Finally, let’s hear our melodic house creation in the context of the full mix.

~Full Mix

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