In electronic music genres such as House, Techno, and Psy Trance, it’s important to have a proper impact after the main build-up. The importance of the build-up’s transition to the drop in most arrangements can’t be overstated, so taking care of this part of the song is necessary. Besides the usual tricks like snare and kick drum rolls or pitched noise uplifters, other techniques can help you achieve even more contrast when you come to this transition. In the next tutorial, we will show you one such technique. 

Let’s begin by listening to a previously made sequence in our SoundBridge: DAW. It contains all the essential elements of a full mix, as well as a build-up before the drop.

~Full Mix – Without Stereo Imager

It’s a proper sounding track, but the impact could be emphasized even more with a stereo image trick. 

Automate the stereo width

The idea is to insert a stereo imager plugin at the top of the master chain. In this case, we have chosen the PHA-979 by Voxengo, but there are plenty of alternatives out there. The only parameter we need to automate is the “Side Mix”, marked in red in the picture below.

As you can see, this parameter controls the global side signal. This means that if decreased, the stereo image of our whole track will get narrower. We will automate the value of this parameter from the beginning of the build-up, where we will set the stereo image to its default value and gradually decrease it as the build-up approaches the drop. Right before the drop, we will return to the initial setting. You can see how that looks in the picture below.

One further move we can do is to automate the main volume of the master channel, decreasing it slightly as the build-up progresses, or increasing it slightly when the drop hits. By doing this, the drop will be even more emphasized.

We advise you to listen to these audio examples on a pair of headphones or studio monitors, in order to hear the proper difference in the stereo image.

Let’s hear the result. 

~Full Mix – With Stereo Imager Automation