Commercial Trance Formulas
Having heard a fair amount of commercial trance, I've begun to figure out some of the formulas used. So I've made two short clips to show how formulas can be used in trance. This is only for those new to trance/electronic music. If you're already familiar with trance you won't find anything new here.
Download Clip 1 [BPM 135] [2:50] [2.7 MB]
I've described the track as it progresses so you know whats happening...
[0:00] First the kick, at every beat. Add an extra kick at the end of every 8th beat.
[0:04] Add the open hat, spaced between the kicks.
[0:07] Add the clap, superimposed on every second kick. So now you have the generic kick-clap-hat beat thats is the staple of every commercial dance track.
[0:14] Add piano notes. A soft piano note on every kick, and a louder piano note on every hat.
[0:21] After 16 beats, increase the pitch of the piano notes. Then after another 16 beats, bring it back to the original level and so on.
[0:42] Add a choir, and when the piano pitch increases increase the choir pitch in accordance. Basically its should mirror any changes in the piano pitch.
[0:56] Add another layer of piano notes with ping-pong echoes i.e. reverbatory echoes. I put each note at 5 echoes with amplitude decay of 79%. At every 4th beat, a loud piano note, and at successive 2nd,3rd,4th beats, softer piano notes at a lower pitch.
[1:25] Time to take away the beat and just let the piano notes do their thing.
[1:39] Bring back the "1-2" piano notes.
[1:50] A mandatory snare roll.
[1:53] End snare roll and bring the beat back.
[1:53] Use the same ping-pong echo piano loop, but scatter some more notes to give some variation.
[2:22] Now change the pitch of the piano loop every time it repeats.
I'm not sure what you're going to make of this article, but I just wanted to show how easy it is to make something if you follow the formulas. It took me around 40 minutes to do this from scratch. This is why I like to put in lots of different loops in my tracks.
Download Clip 2 [BPM 135] [5.8 MB]
I made this track by following a "How to make a Hard Trance track" manual here =P It took me about 10 minutes to do it, I just used the built in Fruity Loops trance template and I swear I didn't add a thing, just used the presets alerady in that template and the patterns in that link.