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Methods For Making Electronic Dance Music

Phraktal | November 10, 2020

Electronic dance music is defined by its use of synthetic and digital sounds that differ from the organic and acoustic sounds of traditional instruments. Some may consider these sounds as “cold” or “inhuman”, but they are actually the result of creative and innovative manipulation of musical elements such as rhythm, pitch and melody. Electronic dance music employs various devices that can produce, modify and combine these elements into one musical expression.

One of the first and most influential devices in electronic dance music is the synthesizer. This device can generate and shape various sounds by controlling parameters such as frequency, amplitude, envelope and filter. Since its invention in the 1960s, the synthesizer has evolved to have polyphonic and sampling capabilities, allowing it to create multiple sounds and imitate other instruments. A synthesizer can be used as a solo or accompanying instrument in a musical composition or performance.

Another device that is essential for electronic dance music is the turntable. This device can play back prerecorded sounds from vinyl records and alter them by changing the speed, direction or position of the record. The turntable can also create new sounds by scratching the record with the stylus. The turntable is often used by DJs who mix and match different sounds from multiple records and other sources. The turntable has also been recognized as a musical instrument in its own right, with compositions written for it that use scratching techniques.

A computer is also a common device in electronic dance music. It can store, process and playback digital sounds from various formats such as discs, files or streams. It can also run software applications that enable sound creation, editing, sequencing and mixing. A computer can be used as a standalone instrument or connected to other devices such as turntables, keyboards or controllers. A computer can also provide samples or effects for live performances or studio production.

Other devices that can be used in electronic dance music include gaming consoles, tablets, computers and more. These devices can offer unique sounds or functions that can enhance or diversify the musical palette. They can also be used to create loops, patterns or sequences that can form the basis of a musical structure. Electronic dance music is constantly exploring new possibilities and boundaries with these devices.

In more recent electronic dance music, the turntable is a significant component. For many DJs, this device is coupled with a mixing console and other devices needed for on-the-spot production. Nevertheless, from production to scratch DJs, this device has become a necessity for playing the sounds that the DJ then tweaks. To further its reputation as a legitimate instrument, a concerto for a turntable that utilized scratching techniques was written earlier this decade.

Aside from these main components, additional ones may be added. Tape players, similarly, have been added from genres ranging from synth-pop to classical as a source of loops and repetition.

Written by Phraktal


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