How do you give "energy" to your tracks?
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:26 AM   #1
GalacticBass
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How do you give "energy" to your tracks?

Is there certain mixing techniques you use to make your tracks have more energy to them? I often find that I have a problem making tracks with drive and energy to them. They seem to come out feeling slow even if it's at a high bpm.

I've been working on this song for a while and I just don't know what to do with it. I feel it could sound better/have more energy but I'm unsure on the proper steps to make it so. Do you tracks usually feel energetic before post production (mastering) or do they already have energy before you begin mastering?

Feel free to let me know what's wrong with this track. I've been working on it so much that I just don't know what to do to it anymore.

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Old 06-04-2016, 08:32 AM   #2
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Re: How do you give "energy" to your tracks?

Try some steady 16th-notes hats, and maybe occasionally throw in a few 32nd-notes. Try to sidechain compress them slightly to the 4/4 kick.

Try experimenting with percussion sounds that are offset in time, imitating a stressed or relaxed musician. Sometimes that can trick the ear to think that the music "feels" stressed or relaxed, depending on how you place them and how they play along with other sounds. That's basically how you define "groove" or "funk" or whatever you wanna call it.
Nowadays (in most generic EDM music) it's pretty common to place a clap sample (containing several single claps) slightly ahead of the beat, to enhance a slightly upbeat/stressed feel.

I think "energy" is more of a mixing issue and a play with dynamics. Perhaps the mix is a bit flat (mono-ish, overlapping frequencies, etc) and the dynamics stays the same pretty much throughout.

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GalacticBass (08-04-2016)
Old 06-04-2016, 09:29 AM   #3
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Re: How do you give "energy" to your tracks?

Melodically I find strong play with octave jumps works well.

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Old 06-04-2016, 09:38 AM   #4
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Re: How do you give "energy" to your tracks?

If you want REAL energy, study composition and dynamics.

Use dynamics to make things increase in motion and complexity over time, change in volume, intensity, etc...

For what it's worth i feel like the track you posted has a decent amount of drive to it. The hats are quick and snappy with plenty of motion, four to the floor kick creates a pumping drive... maybe work on the sound and intensity of your snare, have more variation to it over the parts to help build more tension and add more emphasis on certain beats...

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GalacticBass (08-04-2016)
Old 06-04-2016, 10:36 AM   #5
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Re: How do you give "energy" to your tracks?

Your track has a lot of different sections but they all kinda blend together. There's no big difference between one section and the other, so it all kinda sounds samey.

I think you need to have contrast between each section to really make your song have "energy". Because when there's always a lot of things happening, it kinda gets tiring for the listener. Take something out during one part then put it back in when you want there to be lots of energy.
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GalacticBass (08-04-2016)
Old 06-04-2016, 08:39 PM   #6
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Re: How do you give "energy" to your tracks?

listen to all of your favorite tunes and take notes while you listen and try to identify EXACTLY what makes them sound good, part by part, layer by layer.

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Old 06-04-2016, 09:25 PM   #7
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Re: How do you give "energy" to your tracks?

I'd sidechaining the kick a bit harder. Then, distort some stuff a bit (not obviously, just give it flavor). I think what you are doing has energy, it just doesn't sound intense because it doesn't sound loud. When people turn up music on most sound systems, it starts to distort. People don't realize it, but they start to associate distortion with loudness and, by extension, the energy of the song at hand. Therefore, my theory is that putting light distortion on your track makes people think it's louder and more energetic even if you don't change a thing.

I think a little distortion on the kick and the leads could help you get what you're looking for.

I'd also try moving some of the leads around a bit more with panning and pushing some frequencies out a bit with M/S eq on hats and pads to fill out the soundstage a bit: bonus, it'll help make room for the frequencies distortion is going to add in the center.
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GalacticBass (08-04-2016)
Old 06-04-2016, 09:53 PM   #8
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Re: How do you give "energy" to your tracks?

Depends what do you mean by high energy. As it fast, loud, dynamic, or maybe something else?
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Old 06-04-2016, 10:21 PM   #9
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Re: How do you give "energy" to your tracks?

I think much of this probably has to do with tension and release. You can do this with melody, harmony, FX etc. There are lots of articles about it on google.

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GalacticBass (08-04-2016)
Old 07-04-2016, 02:30 AM   #10
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Re: How do you give "energy" to your tracks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalacticBass View Post
Is there certain mixing techniques you use to make your tracks have more energy to them? I often find that I have a problem making tracks with drive and energy to them. They seem to come out feeling slow even if it's at a high bpm.

I've been working on this song for a while and I just don't know what to do with it. I feel it could sound better/have more energy but I'm unsure on the proper steps to make it so. Do you tracks usually feel energetic before post production (mastering) or do they already have energy before you begin mastering?

Feel free to let me know what's wrong with this track. I've been working on it so much that I just don't know what to do to it anymore.

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There's a lot going on in that track. I tend to do that, too: put more and more stuff in until there's no silence left. It all becomes a solid wall. Often less is more when it comes to energy. Certain genres, Industrial for example, seem to do fine that way, but even there a little silence does wonders. I guess it's a different way to talk about dynamics. You can also incorporate call and response elements into your percussion, which also is a neat little thing, e.g. Two different snares leading into each other or two kicks.

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GalacticBass (08-04-2016)
Old 08-04-2016, 07:33 AM   #11
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Re: How do you give "energy" to your tracks?

These are all really insightful posts and it's great to hear your thoughts on what I could do to give my track more energy. I'm gonna go back into it and try side chaining some of the tracks to the kick and maybe take some sounds out to let it breathe more.

Originally, the song is even quieter. After mixing the track, I put Ozone on the Master track and put a preset EQ on it to make it sound louder and less muddy.

This track is actually supposed to be for someone to use on their gaming stream and he wanted a loud and energetic track so I want to give it my all and make it sound the best I can. I've already put well over 60 hours into it though and I might just tell him that I can't achieve what he's looking for if I'm not able to make it sound better.
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:10 AM   #12
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Re: How do you give "energy" to your tracks?

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Originally Posted by GalacticBass View Post
These are all really insightful posts and it's great to hear your thoughts on what I could do to give my track more energy. I'm gonna go back into it and try side chaining some of the tracks to the kick and maybe take some sounds out to let it breathe more.

Originally, the song is even quieter. After mixing the track, I put Ozone on the Master track and put a preset EQ on it to make it sound louder and less muddy.

This track is actually supposed to be for someone to use on their gaming stream and he wanted a loud and energetic track so I want to give it my all and make it sound the best I can. I've already put well over 60 hours into it though and I might just tell him that I can't achieve what he's looking for if I'm not able to make it sound better.
i highly doubt he wanted some new wave thing for a gameing stream.
possibly either glitch hop dubstep house future bass or dnb but not new wave thing your trying to achieve.
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Old 09-04-2016, 07:25 AM   #13
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Re: How do you give "energy" to your tracks?

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i highly doubt he wanted some new wave thing for a gameing stream.
possibly either glitch hop dubstep house future bass or dnb but not new wave thing your trying to achieve.
Well he never gave me a specific genre or a sample of music he was going for. All he said was that he wanted something energetic.
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Old 09-04-2016, 07:53 AM   #14
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Re: How do you give "energy" to your tracks?

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Originally Posted by GalacticBass View Post
Well he never gave me a specific genre or a sample of music he was going for. All he said was that he wanted something energetic.
Power Electronics will provide you with all the energy you need. And if you want to go lvl 9000, Incorporate some dnb or breakbeat. But keep the energy and focus on those screaming FM synths.

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Old 10-04-2016, 01:22 AM   #15
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Re: How do you give "energy" to your tracks?

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Originally Posted by GalacticBass View Post
Well he never gave me a specific genre or a sample of music he was going for. All he said was that he wanted something energetic.
yea but 95 percent of streamers (me inclkuded because you know its what the kids like)
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monstacat records or no copyright sounds.
i mainly use no copywright sounds as its royalty free to use there music with piratically no strings (you just have to give a link and a so called shout out to the channel)
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Old 11-04-2016, 12:36 AM   #16
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Re: How do you give "energy" to your tracks?

Up down up down.

On off on off.

Variations thereof.

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Old 11-04-2016, 06:03 PM   #17
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Re: How do you give "energy" to your tracks?

well i guess it sounds unfair , but i think making a track energetic comes from experience. Of course there are some basic thing to keep in mind like "wisely covering the whole frequency spectrum" will undoubtedly give you the energy you seek . But you have to do it right and doing it right comes from experimenting to see what actually works for you , for your taste , for the specific track , etc. I might take it too far but its essential to know that an instrument/sound its processed to its full potential ( in terms of energy) before move on to the other instruments. Thats not a rule , but keeping in this in mind might help you to improve the energy of your tracks.
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Old 13-04-2016, 09:45 PM   #18
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Re: How do you give "energy" to your tracks?

Every sound has to have move, wiggle, and dance. Everything must be alive.
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Old 16-04-2016, 05:21 PM   #19
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Re: How do you give "energy" to your tracks?

This might not help, but I think its personal preference when it comes to mixing. Like I prefer drums that have snares with reverb. As far as giving it more energy I'd say swing, timing, arrangement, and listen to what you like.

Like listen to a song you like, and ask yourself what gives it that extra. When you study the music you will have your preference like giving the snare that extra reverb or I know a guy who layers his snares with drum kicks. Try listening to how songs are arranged and how they build. Like think about the little stuff

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Old 16-04-2016, 10:51 PM   #20
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Re: How do you give "energy" to your tracks?

Wow, pretty cool! i really like this track. Reminds me of some Megaman X OST's.

Well, moving on. I personally think contrasts might help a lot when it comes about giving sensation of "energy" in a track. By that i mean, to be able to handle subtle moments on your track as well with adding more elements to give that sensation of "fullness" in comparison with the previous subtle components.

Also I personally like to focus mostly on the low frequencies and give them some prominence among some other elements by getting your percussive items as clean as possible along with the bass sounds, without them clashing at all, in other words being careful with the mixing.

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