Deep House Music Production Tips (Part 1)

Are you looking to create the right feel and vibe for your next deep house track? This article will look at all the different components and discuss how to get them sounding like they should.

The drum patterns in this style of music generally don’t move away from the standard 4/4 pattern but just leaving them quantised and straight will lead to a very unnatural feeling track. To remedy this you will need to create some swing. This could be done by adding a simple 16th note quantisation from your sequencer. A more natural feel can be obtained if you disable the quantise on your pattern and manually add a little swing yourself. This can be easily done by either bringing the first snare of the bar slightly before or after the beat and leaving the second as it is or leaving the first and moving the second around very slightly. Spend a little experimenting with this to get the feel that you like. It is likely that as the track develops you will want to make readjustments.

Try to use a midi keyboard to record your riffs, bass lines and progressions whenever possible. Again this will give a more natural feel to the track. Feeling the rhythm in your fingers as you play is a great way to add life to the track and add groove and timings that you may have missed if just programming with a mouse. By recording a number of takes this way you will also likely come up with some slight variations which will be great for keep the track interesting as it develops. Of course you will want to go into your editor after and tighten it up. You may want to quantise your performance which is fine but again once you have done that turn the quantise off and manually move a few notes to come just before or after the beat to keep everything sounding “tight” and natural.

A particularly common sound in deep house music is the electric piano. There are some extremely good plug ins that are able to emulate this such as Native Instruments B4 but your DAW should have a good example in its preset library. Another option is to search the internet for a free ware vst. There are a number of extremely good examples around that are available for you to download gratis.

Next you will want to treat the sound. Use an auto filter and set the LFO rate to around 1.5Hz to add some movement than add a little delay and reverb, you will then need to mess around with the setting to get it to sit right in your mix.

When creating your chords, consider using 7th’s, 9th’s, 11th’s, and 13th’s rather than just standard triads as these will give you much more of that deep house flavour and don’t be afraid to layer up your sounds to give them a little more texture and body. If you can use a stereo imaging plug in then increase the width of the electric piano while keeping the other patch centred, this will help to increase the size of your production.

In part 2 we will look at some further production techniques in the creation of your track.