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. Surely 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. 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, we 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 SoundBridge, with additional velocity changes that will trigger the snare sample. The sequence will speed up gradually as you can see in the picture below.

It goes without saying that it would be a plus to automate a few parameters like pitch and reverb to raise 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 the snare roll sounds processed like that:



~Snare Roll 1 with Pitch and Reverb Automation


The next thing to do would be to copy the previously made instance of Battery 4 on the new track. After that, I will choose 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 least, I will add all of the 3 channels to a newly made group track and process everything with heavy compression. There are a 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.