Minimalist Techno Tutorial With DJ Lil Dandelion
Minimalist Techno Tutorial With DJ Lil Dandelion

Wednesday • January 27th 2021 • 5:34:11 pm

Minimalist Techno Tutorial With DJ Lil Dandelion

Wednesday • January 27th 2021 • 5:34:11 pm

Techno is about love of technology,

and there is nothing more technological than an oscillator.

Oscillator oscillate,

oscillation is about back and forth movement.

The music oscillator is the throat of a machine,

it is the thing that generates the sound.

Music is about breaking rules,

a genre is about not breaking all the rules all at once.

In a techno song,

we make most sounds with machine throats.

There is a very interesting trick at play in a techno song,

when we move the bass off the drum beat in a weird pattern it gives our song a unique melody.

The overall structure of a techno song,

is about build up to a full melody, and then a wind down to the ending.

Interestingly enough there is a small tradition here,

right after the melody is done playing turn off your beat, drums and base, just for a second.

Let us make a very simple and minimalist song,

that touches upon the more important components of techno.

The special thing about this song is that it will capture the progress of making it self,

so as we start you will only hear the sub layer, because the sub layer is the first thing we will work on.

We will then add the mid layer,

and you will hear that as the song plays, you will hear the sub layer enriched with the mid layer, and so on.

The Sub Bass Layer, is a low and boring pattern at first,

but once we get to the drum and hats we are going to mess it up, and our song will become richer for it.

Here is the simple version:


Now the Mid Bass Layer, it is a little bit more complex, and more notes are going to be hit,

these are very machine like sounds you can hear the electricity here.

I think this is the most memorable part of hearing techno for the first time,

I thought to my self when I was little "that is the electronic in electronic music".


Now that three is something going on in our ears,

now that we are sure our song will not be empty between the drums.

We add a pronounced drum, and we have to make sure to space everything out,

so that our bass is not covered by the drum, we want out the sounds coming through.

I grew up with shorter sounding drums,

ones powered by electricity and controlled by good old knobs.

Here is what the song sounds like with our snappy drums now,

* DRUM *

Now we have a song going, we got bass we got drums,

personally at this point I would add hats with a shaker to blend them in, kind of serve as an echo.

But instead we are going to warp the sub bass layer to give our song a sub pattern,

I want you to hear it nice and clear.

In the first half of the sample that is about to play the the sub bass plays in a perfect sequence,

in the second half you'll hear something come out of control.

Even though we only have sub bass, mid bass and drums, it sounds like something else is going on.


Now we add hats to make the song come alive, to get that main energy,

it is not always best to add the shaker at the same time.

The shaker is basically the hat echo effect,

and if we have a clean melody, we may only wish to hear crisp hats.

So let us add the shaker separately in the next step,

here are the hats:


And now let us add the shaker,

I like my shaker short.


Now let us add a simple melody as the main lead,

there is no trick to it just find whatever you like.


This is one of my favorites, it comes from Chopin's Étude Op. 10, No. 12,

also known as the Revolutionary Étude.

At fist I start of with a short snippet that leaves the listener wanting,

and then then I expand with a slightly sharper and longer variation that you heard here.

This is my go to song when I am studying something,

my music teacher made it so that I would hate Chopin, but I failed that class.

It is important that you reach out to big names for ideas,

beautiful songs are great teachers, and we should all learn from the best.

Teachers that make us pretend to learn by forcing us to memorize under a threat of repeating a year,

are just frauds.

If there is one thing that you take away from this tutorial it should be that you are a genius,

and that greatness is not a privilege for the lucky few.

Greatness is a reward for reading books, acquiring functional knowledge,

and building a beautiful body of wisdom.

* here is the song in full *