This house music production article is written for the same reason you are reading it, and that is to take my skills to another level and get even better at what I do best, producing house music. With this guide I want to help you learn how to get your producing skills sound really bona fide. It may sound very simple in theory but it can be a pain to make a dope house track, and as always, in order to understand it you need to listen to it.
The favorite kick drum for house music production is the Roland TR-909. The main reason would be that, it has got a great low end power. The pattern for the kick is mostly a 4/4 beat, but you don’t have to leave them straight because they will sound robotic. Propellerhead Reason 4 has got a new feature called the Re-Groove to steer clear of that.
You can even do this manually by shifting individual notes (in your software midi editor) and changing the level of certain notes. Another way is to apply a 16th note swing quantization. If you are producing your tracks digitally, you must make sure that you give them a human feel and soul to you track, make it sound as if it was performed by a live band.
House music uses a lot of synthetic sounds such as the Omnisphere by Spectrasonics, Jupiter-8V by Arturia, Massive by Native Instruments, Sylenth1 and many more. The Arturia MiniMoog is my favorite VST instrument for bass sounds.
The Hi-Hats patterns are mostly on the eighth-note and open hats on the offbeat pattern. For percussion, most producers use loops, but you are more than welcome to program your own. Playing the riffs and chords with a midi controller is better than programming them using a mouse. You can double your chords with another instrument to have enough body, if needed.
If you have a vocal feel free to play around with it, chop it or even create great effects from it. Try not to make the track repetitive, your song needs to have dynamics (loud and soft parts). Always keep in mind that house music is all about making people dance. You can also use automation to keep the song moving, automate the vst instrument knobs (especially the filter) to create a sweep sound.