The Importance of Build-ups

 

Build-ups are one of the essential elements of today’s dance music. They drive the track forward, introduce an uplifting feeling, and raise the overall energy level. There is no denying that build-ups with more or less complex drops can be found in most of today’s top charting E.D.M. tracks. I am sure you will agree that making a layered build-up can be never ending fun. Nevertheless, sometimes this can be a time consuming process. Combining an intense build-up with enough tension and a drop always works well on the dance floor. In my opinion, it’s always better to combine elements like snare rolls, white noise, synth risers into one effective buildup than to use them separately. This can be particularly useful for breakdowns in the track. In the next tutorial I will try to demonstrate how to make an effective buildup, one step at a time.

 

Creating a formidable Snare Roll

 

Without further delay, let’s start with a snare from which I will make a snare roll. You can use any kind of VST sampler for this purpose. In this case I will use a Battery 4 by Native instruments. The next thing would be to make a sequence of notes in the midi editor window of Lumit, with additional velocity changes that will trigger the snare sample. The sequence will speed up gradually as you can see in the picture below.

snare-1-midi-notes

 

It goes without saying that it would be a plus to automate few parameters like pitch and reverb to rise some tension. In the pitch envelope section within Battery 4 I will automate the pitch amount parameter. Subsequently, the automation of the built in reverb effect will follow. Here is how snare roll sounds processed like that:

 

pitch-reverb-automation

~Snare Roll 1 with Pitch and Reverb Automation

 

Next thing to do would be to copy the previously made instance of Battery 4 on the new track. After that, I will chose a different snare sample and make a different sequence in the midi editor that will also speed up gradually. Here is how it sounds now:

 

~Snare Roll 2 with Pitch and Reverb Automation

 

Adding a White-Noise Sweep

 

Once done with that, I will open a new instance of Massive by Native instruments. I will use it to make a white noise sweep sound. Next, I will make a long note in the midi editor window that will start and end exactly like the sequences of the snare rolls above. Following that I will automate 3 parameters: Amp from the noise oscillator section, Cutoff frequency from the filter 1 section and Amount from the built in reverb effect.

 

amp-noise-oscillator  cutoff-filter-section  dry-wet-reverb

~White Noise with Automation

 

Final Compression touch

 

Last but not the least, I will add all of the 3 channels to a newly made group track and process everything with heavy compression. There are lot of different compressor units you can use, but for buildups I like to use a free VST plugin called OTT by Xfer. Having all that set let us hear the final result with all of the 3 elements combined.

 

~Full Mix with added Compression

Download the patch here.