The producer behind our Jacking Tech-House sample pack shares insight into their production process and gives a few nifty production tips and tricks along the way! So if you’re a fan of the mainroom tech-house sound taking clubs like DC-10 and Cocoon by storm then keep reading for tips on creating pumping beats, tech-house riffs, retro-fused chord stabs, shuffling percussion loops, twisted FX and more…
Synths and Bass
Most of the synth and bass sounds in the Jacking Tech-House sample pack were created with analogue synthesisers such as the Moog Minitaur, Roland SH-101 and Korg MS10. All of these synths were multisampled extensively and brought into Ableton’s Sampler in order to lay down basslines and hooks. The pure sawtooth wave from the Korg MS10 is particularly juicy and features heavily, being used to create a lot of the minor chords found in the loops and chord one-shots folders.
Rendering synth parts from either hardware or software synths into audio can be a great way to create really interesting and unique melodic hooks and grooves. Rendering parts into audio means you can then edit them in ways which simply aren’t possible with MIDI - think glitch, pitch, chop, reverse (and more!) techniques. Processing the parts before exporting is a good way to keep the production process flowing; bouncing the audio gives a level of closure on the sound by taking away the temptation to constantly tweak the source sound. Then, when you export the audio you can begin reprocessing the audio to create some really interesting sounds with a depth and warmth not previously possible.
FX transitions are a real staple of the tech-house sounds. Having a selection of FX sounds to choose from can really speed up the process of creating builds and breakdowns in your tracks. The FX sounds in this pack were created using both Native Instruments’ Massive and also the Roland SH-101. Using Massive to create FX means you can really go to town on the programming and automation to add movement to sounds that really helps heighten the tension when used in track arrangements. The sounds were additionally processed with analogue-modelling plugins to give a warmer, more vintage sound that is more in-keeping with the overall flavour of the Jacking Tech-House sample pack.
The Roland TR-909 is a classic hardware drum machine that has been a cornerstone of the tech-house sound for decades so it was important to use these seminal drum sounds to create loads of moody tech-house percussion grooves. Using the 909 samples within Native Instruments’ Maschine was a great way to get that classic sound with cutting-edge FX processing and programming techniques that go way beyond the limitations of the original drum machine.
As well as more in-depth control over dynamics and swing settings, Maschine also offers a myriad of onboard FX. Bitcrushing gives percussion loops a really authentic gritty old school feel when used right, for example. The loops in the packs haven’t been over-processed though. This is to give you the freedom to add your own FX and processing to suit your tracks. If you’re struggling to get your percussion loops to sit well in the mix, try adding a low-pass filter and tweaking the cut-off. Whilst we’re often told about the virtues of low-cutting sounds, it’s also important for higher frequencies. Try cutting around 8k and sweep down until you make more room for your hi-hats and shakers, which should make for a more coherent drum mix.
Drum Loops and Hits
The drum loops and drum hits in the Jacking Tech-House pack have a warm vintage feel inpsired by the more classic tech-house sound. To achieve this vibe the hits were processed through the Moog Minitaur. The Minitaur has an audio input which allows you to route audio through the synth and record it back into your DAW. The result is that it tends to knock out the often harsh and digital-sounding frequency in the upper-mids, which gives it that dirty, old school analogue feel. For the loops a custom drum bus processing chain was used. The chain was packed with mainly Slate Digital plugins - which have a superlative analogue feel - such as the VVC, VTM and VBC. The Eiosis Air EQ was also used fine-tune the loops at the end.