For Volume 15 we examine the science and practice of Techno, and in particular DrumCode Techno. While to many Techno can appear a relatively simple genre its simplicity belies a far, far more complex production ethic. Designed mainly as a DJ’s tool for the dance floor it is also perhaps one of the more complex genres of modern dance music to produce. Infusing multiple rhythms with a major emphasis on its rhythmical continuity and a relatively limited motivic development it instead relies on a fundamental knowledge of a number of very specific compositional and production techniques such as multi-measure programming and development, cross-processing, metrical dissonance and varying rhythmical cells. Spread over 3 discs and running over 10 hours of tutorial video, we examine the production ethics of this genre in detail. Starting from a blank sequencer, we explain many of the techniques used in the genre as we build an example track using the techniques discussed.
With disc one we examine the importance of sound design and processing to produce the style of sounds for the genre, from sampling sounds and field recording through to the creation of kick drums, bass lines and leads with an emphasis on the compositional aspects including multi-measure patterning, syntactic ambiguity, modulation, harmonic cells and how to produce the “nervous” style bass popular in some Drumcode releases.
For disc 2, we develop on the the previous disc and move into the most popular form of construction for drum rhythms, working on building the percussive elements of music while examining the importance of micro-tuning and amplitude modulation alongside cross processing the leads, creating background swirls & vocals and the uses of displacement and compositional techniques.
Finally for disc 3 we examine how to arrange Techno using textural layering and development in order to keep the music fresh and interesting to the listeners.