How to make an EDM track

Want to learn how to make your own EDM? Whether you're a fan of Skrillex's dubstep or Martin Garrix's pop-sprinkled dance anthems, there's something in EDM for everyone. Follow these 6 easy steps to create some killer EDM tracks.

1

Start with the drums

EDM tracks usually sit at around 130BPM. Choose a drum kit (the 'Club 909' kit works great) and use the 'Make Beats' function, selecting the genre as EDM. Once you've got a pattern you like, add or remove notes until you're digging it.

Start with the drums
2

Add a sample

EDM tracks often have big chords - a sample is a great way to get this happening. There's a ton of free sample loops built-in to Serato Studio, we're going to go with 'Hidden Gems' - feel free to pick another one if you like that better. Once you load the sample, 8 cue point will appear which you can play on keys 1-8 on your keyboard. When you're ready, hit record and lay something down. Once you've got it, have a play around with the EQ until it's just to your liking.

Add a sample
3

Add FX

Now that you've got your sequence recorded - add some FX to shape the sound. Add in the Limiter Squeezer and Hard Sidechain, and adjust until you're happy with it. Sidechaining is a little bit of a holy grail for EDM - you want to be doing it, but don't tell anyone we told you.

Add FX
4

Adding Piano

Let's get some piano in to provide some emotion - find one you like and drag it in. Never played an instrument before? Serato Studio has got you covered. 'Play in Key' mode will ensure everything you play stays int the key of your project, so it all sounds melodically together. Play around until you've got something you like, and when you're ready, hit record.

Adding Piano
5

Add a bassline

Let's fatten up our track by adding an 808 bass (the '808 Head Explosion Bass' in Serato Studio works well, as the name might suggest). You can record it in, or just paint it into the beat sequencer. Turn up the 'Glide' to have the overlapping notes bend into each other.

Add a bassline
6

Structure your track

You can now build your track around the loop you've got. Copy the scenes over and label as 'intro', 'verse' and 'outro'. Rename the original scene you had as 'drop' - this is the biggest part of your track, so should be the main section. For the intro, leave only one instrument. For the verse, bring the drums in but hold the bass for the drop section.

Structure your track
7

Arrangement

Now it's time to arrange your track - head to the Song View tab and structure your track in order. Try this if you're unsure: intro-verse-drop-verse-drop-outro.

Arrangement
8

Adding Risers

Adding risers and sound effects is one of the best parts of making EDM, the bells and whistles. You can use a ride cymbal and reverse it into a new section, which will make a sweeping sound that creates suspense and builds well into a drop.

Adding Risers
9

Mastering and Exporting

This is going to make your sick EDM track a little bit more polished. Adding FX ike Brightener EQ, Master Compressor and Limiter will help achieve this. Add them in and adjust the levels to your liking. When you're ready, hit export and share around the sick EDM track you just made.

Mastering and Exporting
Serato Studio

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EDM Starter Pack

From floating saw synths to sharp drums, take the arena to your bedroom with these classic EDM sounds.

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