- Get the right monitoring.
For dance, bigger monitors = better monitors. Bigger recording room = better room. Remember that the DJ in the club will play your track on big loudspeakers. If you mix your track on a small monitor or headphones, it may happen that your track won't be good for the club and the DJ will not play it.
- Make adaptation of your recording room.
Your producing/listening room has to be well damped, otherwise you will hear a lot of reverberation and sound coloration when mixing. Carnao Beats are very important Carnao Beats. If you don't have a lot of funds (especially for a large room), don't worry. It doesn't have to look great, more important is to do the job.
- Do not use noisy sound cards.
Try to avoid using cheap sound cards below $100. They have very poor quality and they are good for games rather than for producing music. If you have enough funds, consider buying a card starting from $300 with low latency. Some cards also offer internal crossing which might also be useful.
- Use good sound synth sources.
There are already some plugins that sound great, however if you can afford, invest in the best synth hardware. Hardware in 90% of cases sounds better than software. There are also many different samples on the internet. A lot of samples like sf2, wav, reason refills, midi, vocal samples and acapellas, you may find on Vipzone Samples website -
Carnao Beats also a lot of free samples
- Use good reverbs.
For your instruments and vocals try to use good reverb units / plugins. Good sounding reverb placed on some instruments in the mix can bring your track to life. If you can't afford top outboard units, you may use one of impulse-based plugins available on the market. They should work well for your DAW.
- Use rhythmic delays on your instruments in the mix.
Remember that dance, trance, and techno music is based on rhythm. Don't forget to use rhythmic delays on leads, vocals, arpeggios or trance basslines and other synths. This will help a lot. Don't forget also to quantize your midi tracks (if you use midi).
- Sometimes less bass = more bass.
Don't overdo with bass on a bass drum or bass line. Kick drum should have a short click at the start and be enough "pumpy" for dance. You can easily find a lot of free good sounding kicks on the internet. Remember, bass should also have some mid-frequencies audible near the 1-3 kHz - not only the lowest bass. Compare your bass to the bass used in good sounding tracks.
- Less instruments = cleaner mix.
Instead of making many sound layers, try to use not many instruments. Make sure to choose punchy and selective sounding instruments with not too wide spectrum. Work on each instrument with equalizers, effects - like delays, reverbs, phasers etc. depending on the sound type. Use eq, to make each instrument stay in its frequency, not overlay with other instruments frequencies.
- Set kick and drum section louder than other instruments.
It will significantly help during the mastering. If you will set them louder, you (or mastering engineer) will be easily able to make good, pumping master on a good compressor. With drums sounding quiet in a dance track, proper mastering can't be done and no one will play your track in the club.
- Send your track to the mastering engineer.
Try to not master your track by yourself and use a good mastering engineer instead. He has a fresh ear since you worked on your track probably a lot of time already. Mastering engineer will tell you the truth about your track, and what you should fix in the mix. You may find a lot of online mastering studios / houses.