Case study series – EDM music production
Michael was after EDM-influenced music production for his contemporary pop dance track Stay Down. Michael was looking for a full scope of professional production services, composing and arranging, complete sound design, mixing and mastering. He chose Supreme Tracks because he loved examples of our EDM music production and we fit within his budget.
Michael sent us the top-line vocal of his track and some sound references for us to work to – Rihanna’s Only Girl in the World and Diamonds, plus YouTube videos of dance-based songs from the Stargate Production Company.
How we worked – The collaboration process
To give you a feel for the original idea, here’s chorus line for Stay Down right at the beginning of the process, with just Michael’s demo vocal line:
We sent Michael’s track to an up-and-coming New York electronic and dance music producer who immediately got going with some ideas. First, he increased the tempo and made some harmonic changes to bring it closer to Michael’s reference tracks. The effect of changes was instant.
During the arrangement process, Michael informed us that he wanted to proceed with female vocals, so he sent us a female vocal track to replace and use while working on the song arrangement. We incorporated the new vocal track and sent the first arrangement draft to Michael. We were looking to get Michael’s feedback and ensure we were taking the arrangement in the right direction.
Here’s the first chorus of arrangement draft …
What did Michael think of the first arrangement draft?
“I think it sounds really good! Very professional. I’m happy with the sound. Maybe make it less `EDM’ influenced and more like a regular dance pop song”.
Our producer took that on board – less electronic, more dance pop-influenced. Michael also gave us some valuable feedback on changes he wanted to hear in the song structure. The track should begin with the verse, and the fast snare section could be replaced with a fill from later in the track. He also thought that one of the breaks sounded a bit unnatural and stopped the flow. To fix this, he suggested going directly from verse to chorus.
The faster tempo, harmonic shifts and professional dance production gave Stay Down a new feel. As a result, Michael thought one of Supreme Tracks’ session singers would be a great match for the new sound.
He wanted a Rihanna-type vocal… “nasal, not too much vibrato and a bit melancholy”, so we recommended one of our studio singers who we taught would be a good fit for what he was after. After hearing singer’s demo he gave us a green light for the vocal session. We recorded lead and backing vocals and sent him a preview.
At this stage, we also added more elements to the arrangement, you will notice the arrangement sounds fuller.
“Perfect! Exactly what I was hoping to hear.”
We had an approved arrangement and master vocal tracks recorded. As agreed with Michael, we were not to record any live instruments for the song, so Stay Down was ready to go into mixing and mastering stage.
During the mixing process, we had a couple of mix preview sessions with Michael. It is quite normal to have several preview-and-modify sessions when doing a mix, tweaking mix details is necessary so that the mix sounds exactly as the client envisioned.
Here’s Stay down, after mixing and mastering were completed and approved.
“Thank you! I’m so, so happy with your work for this song! Preparing a new one now …”
Part 2 …
A couple of months later, Michael came back with a new request. He wanted us to produce Stay down with his (male) lead vocals and he wanted an entirely new arrangement, the one that would reflect the sentiment of his voice. In order to get a fresh perspective on the song, we picked a new producer from our talent pool who never heard the song as we wanted to avoid using someone influenced by the original song arrangement.
Listen to master track of Stay down with Michael’s vocals, in an entirely new arrangement …
So, which version of the song do you like better?
Michael got two versions of his song, potential chart hits, produced by acclaimed New York dance producers, a professional vocalist plus mixing and mastering by experienced engineers. He’s become our loyal client that we enjoy working with and have done so on 5 songs so far. Not to forget, Michael saved more than 50% compared to real world prices for identical song production quality.
What could we do for your music? Tell us about your dance or EDM project and within 24 hours we’ll write back with our proposal how to make it a smash hit.