Advertisement
  1. Music & Audio
  2. Audio Production
Music

How to Remix an Electronic Progressive XMAS Song

by
Difficulty:IntermediateLength:ShortLanguages:

Before I begin the tutorial please note that for the lead part I intentionally changed the rhythm to fit the straight 4/4 rhythm signature. The original song was in 3/4 and I had to modify it to adapt into another system.

Vision

My aims for the new version was

  • make an extended version of about 6 minutes long
  • give a more modern progressive style

Unique Selling Points

I think these two parts makes this music special

  • the modern and classic progressive style
  • the epiano part in the intro and outro

Project Basic Settings

With Progressive House styles I usually stay between 120 - 125 BPM. So I did that. I chose 120 BPM for this project.

  • tempo: 120 BPM
  • rhythm signature: 4/4
  • musical scale: C-major
Project View
This is how the complete arrangement looks

Production Workflow

This is a summary, how I made this project:

  1. I opened up the old project
  2. I kept the lead, bass, pad and piano
  3. I added new drum loops and samples
  4. I made a longer intro and outro
  5. I automated then filtering
  6. I deleted some of the loops to have some breathing at sections

Mixing and Mastering Workflow

I mixed as I went along, then I added some volume on the Limiter.

On Plugins

I like to stay in Ableton with the tooling. So I only used Ableton plugins for instruments and effects.

Lead

I started with this lead synth. This is the classic Silent Night melody part. I wanted the main melody to cut through the mix and give it a strong sound. I was thinking about either a saw wave or a square wave. I decided to stay with square wave.

Actually I shaped the Square wave further with the Saturator.

I used a simple Square wave for the Lead synth

Synth - Analog:

  • Osc1 Square Wave
  • Amp ADSR, 5 ms, 626 ms, 0.32, 626 ms
  • LFO1, 1/4 triplet time
  • Osc1 Pulse Width Modulation, width 50%, 1.0 LFO1 depth
  • Volume, 3 dB

Fx:

  • Saturator, 4 dB, Analog Clip, 16 base, 471 freq, 50% width, 12 depth
  • Ping Pong Delay, 70% feedback, 44% dry wet
  • Limiter, default settings
  • EQ Eight, low cut 370 Hz (basic HP filter)

Bass

A simple bass part for counterpointing the melody. Most of the time the motion of the bass follows the lead.

Bass Patch
The bass patch contains Square and Saw wave as well

Synth - Analog:

  • Osc1 Saw
  • Osc2 Square, -3 dB, -1 octave
  • Filter1, LP12, 1.5 kHz, 0 reso
  • Amp1, ADSR, 12 ms, 3.54 s, 1, 40 ms
  • Filter1, ADSR, 5 ms, 626 ms, 0, 626 ms
  • Volume, 4.5 dB

Fx:

  • Compressor, sidechained to kick, 1.8:1 ratio, medium attack, auto release
  • Auto Filter, used for automating HP filter

Pad

The pad is playing two-note and three-note chords, and also single root notes at places.

Pad Patch
I used an Analog synth for the pad using Squares tuned an octave apart

Synth - Analog:

  • Osc1 Square
  • Osc2 Square, -1 octave
  • Filter1, LP12, 1.5 kHz, 0 reso
  • Amp1, ADSR, 126 ms, 11 s, 1, 919 ms
  • Filter1, LP12, 974 Hz, 0 reso
  • Filter1, ADSR, 5 ms, 626 ms, 0, 626 ms
  • Filter2, LP12, 6 kHz, 0 reso
  • Filter2, ADSR, 5 ms, 626 ms, 0, 626 ms
  • Amp1, panned left
  • Amp2, panned right
  • Volume, -14 dB
  • LFO1, 1/4t
  • LFO2, 1/8
  • Unison detune 25
  • Voices, 4
  • Osc1, Pulse Width Modulation, 50% width, 1 depth
  • Osc2, Pulse Width Modulation, 50% width, 1 depth

Fx:

  • Ping Pong Delay, 39% feedback, 38% dry wet
  • Reverb, maximum size, 3.7 sec decay, 39% dry wet
  • Compressor, sidechained to kick, 2:1 ratio, default attack, auto release, -19 dB threshold
  • EQ Eight, low cut at 285 Hz
  • Utility, +8 dB gain

Piano

This is a very soft and relaxing sound, this is my favorite part of the song.

Piano Patch
The electric piano patch has a very soft tone with the help of FM synthesis in Ableton Operator

Synth - Operator:

  • 8th algorithm
  • Op A, Sine 8
  • Op A, coarse 1, fine 3, level -6 dB
  • Op B, User waveform
  • Op B, coarse 18, fine 25, level -14
  • Op C, Sine
  • Op C, coarse 1, fine 0, level -6 dB
  • Op D, User waveform
  • Op D, coarse 18, fine 18, level -24 dB
  • Spread 100%
  • Tone 100%
  • LFO Sine, Low, Retrigger, 99 rate, 77% amount
  • Volume, -14 dB

Fx:

  • Simple Delay, Left 4 Sync, Right 5 Sync, 41% feedback, 38% dry wet
  • Reverb, 100 size, 8 sec decay, 40% dry wet
  • Utility, +5 db gain
  • EQ Eight, low cut at 300 Hz, default HP filter

Drums

I used hits and loops samples for the rhythm sections. For actually using the samples I used Simpler, Drum Rack and timeline placement.

Drums View
This is the second half of the song about the drum parts

Kick

Fx:

  • EQ Eight, -2 dB low bell cut at 53 Hz
  • Auto Filter, HP filter

Clap

Fx:

  • EQ Eight, low cut at 650 Hz
  • EQ Eight, same as previous, I doubled it for making an overall stronger cut
  • Limiter, default

Rev Clap

Fx:

  • Reverb, max size, 20 sec decay, 50% dry wet
  • EQ Eight, low cut at 300 Hz, 6 dB shelving boost at 2 kHz
  • Compressor, sidechained to kick, 2:1 ratio, default attack, auto release, -16 dB threshold

Loop1

Fx: EQ Eight, low cut at 300 Hz, 3 dB shelving boost at 3.5 kHz

Breakbeat

Fx:

  • Utility, +4 dB gain
  • EQ Eight, low cut at 300 Hz

Shaker

I used Utility with +5 dB gain.

Conga

EQ Three, +1 dB mids, +2 dB highs

Perc

I made a cut with EQ Three -8 dB from the lows.

Fx

Effects Chain:

  • Reverb, 100 size, 4 s decay, 44% dry wet
  • Ping Pong Delay, 33% feedback, 33%, dry wet, default settings
  • Utility, +2 dB gain

Master

With the Utility tool I checked mono compatibility (width 0%), then used EQ low cuts to remove unnecessary information.

Master Chain
This is the Master Effects chain: Utility, EQ and a Limiter

I applied a default Limiter to catch peaks and amplified 2 dB gain to have a louder level.

Fx:

  • Utility, default
  • EQ Eight, mid-side operation, low cut at 40 Hz - mids, low cut at 255 Hz - sides
  • Limiter, +2 dB gain

Export settings

I used these export options. Usually this is my default for a master render file.

Export Settings
I usually export to WAV with 24 bits bitdepth
  • filetype: WAV
  • sample rate: 44.1 kHz
  • bit depth: 24 bits
  • dither type: Triangular

Summary

Finished version

In this tutorial I explained my session of remixing my Christmas song made in progressive house style. First I remade the lead, bass, pad and epiano. Then I continued with drums then fx. I mixed and mastered as I went along.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Looking for something to help kick start your next project?
Envato Market has a range of items for sale to help get you started.