We often dedicate a lot of FM to discussing the specifics of sound design, production and mixing, all of which are complex and varied disciplines worth studying and exploring, but none are of any use without an actual song to work with.
To quote one of this month’s featured artists, Lewis Thompson, “the production should support the song”. While Thompson is often working with pop vocalists, the principle is true even for the most experimental, minimal or ambient tracks – unless you’ve a core song worth developing, no amount of mixing or mastering skill can paper over a lack of ideas.
This issue we’re tackling the principles of songwriting from an electronic musician’s perspective, with tips and techniques along with deep dives into the theory behind a classic tracks from Frankie Knuckles, Deadmau5 and Floating Points.
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James Holden – The UK producer tells us how Max patches and unique mixing techniques help bring humanity to his synth opuses
Nyokabi Kariuki – The US-based sound artist on channelling field recordings and Kenyan heritage
Octave One – The Detroit icons talk about stepping out of their comfort zone for their latest LP
Classic Album – Attica Blues on the making of their underrated, influential self-titled album
Produce Like: Lewis Thompson – The UK producer and songwriter on the process behind his collaborations with the likes of David Guetta and Becky Hill
The Secrets of songcraft – Music theory for electronic musicians. Write better chord progressions, melodies and basslines for your next track
Dance music theory in depth – We break down the chords and concepts behind tracks from Frankie Knuckles, Deadmau5 and Floating Points
Modern theory tools – Cutting-edge plugins that will help you write better tracks
Producer’s Guide – We share some tips for sequencing with the OP-1 Field, with some insight from the team at Teenage Engineering
Knowledge – The concepts behind control voltages
Erica Synth Zen Delay Virtual
Roland FP E-50
ADDAC System 700 Series
Focal ST6 Solo6
Eve Audio SC2070
Herbs and Stones Solid Felt
Tech and House Toolkit – Build floor-filling house and techno grooves with this pack of classic house and techno drum loops, one shot hits and bass loops.
Glitch Toplines – Add a creative, left-field hook to your next track with this bundle of stuttering leads, warped arps, mangled vocals and more.
Access the FM sample archive: Download the ‘Archive’ packs and get over 18GB of loops, hits and instruments from our back catalogue of high-quality and royalty-free samples. From vintage synths and drum machines to esoteric instruments and FX – think of it as our best of. All the samples you need to create great music!