Italian producer and DJ Rowee returns to Lee Burridge’s All Day I Dream imprint to release his four-track EP, ‘Begin The Life’. The EP features contributions from rising Berlin vocalist Eleonora, as well as Greek artist and past collaborator One of Vas.
Since he began releasing music in 2017, Rowee has made a serious impact with his unique style of dance music. In addition to being an All Day I Dream frequenter and fan favorite, Rowee has released music on TRYBESof, Lee Burridge’s other imprint, as well as labels such as Damian Lazarus’ Crosstown Rebels, BLOND:ISH’s Abracadabra Music, and Steve Bug’s Poker Flat Recordings.
To landmark the drop of his ‘Begin The Life’ EP on ADID, Rowee invites EG into the studio for 5 essential studio tips.
1. Mixing kick & bassline for a balanced sound
Mixing the kick and bassline can be a challenging task, but there are some techniques you can use to achieve a balanced and cohesive sound.
First, make sure the kick and bassline are in the same key to avoid clashing notes. Next, use EQ to carve out space for each element. The kick and bassline both occupy the lower frequency range, so using EQ can prevent them from competing for the same space. Consider using a high-pass filter on the bassline or a low-pass filter on the kick.
Sidechain compression is a popular technique that uses the kick to trigger the compression on the bassline, creating a pumping effect. The compression on the bassline is set so that it reduces in volume slightly when the kick hits, allowing the kick to cut through the mix more. Pay attention to the rhythm. The kick and bassline should work together rhythmically to create a groove that drives the track forward.
Check the mix in mono to hear any phase issues that may be causing cancellation between the kick and bassline in certain frequency ranges. If you hear any issues, try flipping the phase on one of the elements. Every mix is different, so these tips should serve as a starting point to help you create a balanced and cohesive mix.
2. How to make your hi-hat stand out in a mix
Making a hi-hat sound special can add interest and personality to your track.
Use a unique sample, try using a hi-hat sample that is not commonly used or one that has a unique character or texture to it. Add effects, experiment with adding effects such as reverb, delay, or distortion to the hi-hat to create a unique sound. You can also try adding modulation effects such as chorus or phaser to add movement and interest.
Create a custom pattern, try creating a unique hi-hat pattern that is not commonly used, or add subtle variations to a standard pattern. You can also experiment with using different time signatures or swing settings to create a unique rhythm. Layer multiple hi-hat samples. Layering different hi-hat samples can create a more complex and interesting sound. Try layering a closed hi-hat sample with an open hi-hat sample to create a more dynamic sound.
Use automation. Automating the volume, panning, or effects on the hi-hat can add interest and variation to the sound. Try automating the volume or panning of the hi-hat hits to create a more dynamic sound. Thinking outside the box and creating a unique sound that fits your specific track is what you should try to make when you produce music.
3. Less is more. Creating an interesting track with fewer elements.
Creating an interesting track with fewer elements can be a challenge, but there are several techniques you can use to make the most out of what you have.
Focus on the groove. A strong and interesting groove can carry a track, even with minimal instrumentation. Use rhythms and percussion to create a strong foundation that will keep the listener engaged. With fewer elements, variation becomes even more important. Try adding subtle variations to the rhythm, melody, or arrangement to keep the listener interested and engaged.
Experiment with textures. Even with fewer elements, you can still create interesting textures and sounds. Experiment with different sounds, effects, and processing to create a unique and engaging sonic landscape. Use space, with fewer elements, the space between them becomes more important. Use silence and space to create tension and release, or to highlight certain elements in the mix.
Focus on the melody. A strong and memorable melody can make a track stand out, even with minimal instrumentation. Try experimenting with different melodies and see what works best for your track.
4. EQ mastery. Using equalization effectively
Equalization is a powerful tool for shaping the tonal balance of your audio.
Use subtractive EQ, rather than boosting frequencies to try and fix a problem, use subtractive EQ to remove frequencies that are causing issues in the mix. This will create more space for other elements and make the mix sound cleaner and more balanced.
When making EQ adjustments, it’s important to listen critically to the changes you’re making. Use reference tracks and take breaks to give your ears a rest and ensure that you’re not over-correcting. Before you start boosting frequencies, try cutting first to see if there are any frequencies that are masking other elements in the mix. This can help create more clarity and separation between elements.
Use a high-pass filter to remove unwanted low-frequency content from elements that don’t need it, such as vocals or guitars. This will create more space in the mix and prevent low-end buildup. It’s important to remember that EQ is not a magic fix for every problem in the mix. Use it sparingly and focus on creating a strong balance between elements through careful arrangement and leveling.
Overall, the key to using EQ in the best way possible is to be intentional and focused in your approach. Listen critically, use subtractive EQ, and be mindful of how each adjustment is affecting the overall balance of the mix.
5. Secrets to achieving dynamic synth sounds in your music
Getting the best dynamic from a synth involves a combination of careful sound design and effective mixing techniques. Here are some secrets to help you achieve the desired level of dynamic in your synth sound.
Use modulation. Modulation effects, such as LFOs and envelopes, can add a sense of movement and variation to your synth sound. Experiment with different modulation sources and parameters to create interesting and dynamic sounds.
Layering multiple sounds together can help create a more complex and dynamic sound. Use different synths or layers of the same synth sound to create a full and varied sound that evolves over time. Many synths respond to velocity and aftertouch, allowing you to add dynamic variation to your performance. Use these features to create a more expressive and dynamic performance.
During mixing, use compression to even out the levels of your synth sound and make it sit better in the mix. Automation can also be used to create dynamic changes throughout the song. Pay attention to frequency balance, dynamic range can be improved by ensuring that the frequency balance of your synth sound is appropriate. Too much energy in certain frequency ranges can limit the dynamic range of the sound.
Overall, getting the best dynamic from a synth requires a combination of careful sound design and effective mixing techniques. By using modulation, layering sounds, utilizing velocity and aftertouch, applying compression and automation, and paying attention to frequency balance, you can create dynamic and engaging synth sounds that add depth and interest to your music.
Rowee’s ‘Begin The Life’ EP is out now via ADID. Purchase your copy here.