When it comes to making powerful music, everyone has a different approach. In my experience, synthesizers are a fantastic way to add instant epicosity (That’s totally a word now) to your music.
If we take some lessons from the genre of Trance music, that elusive epic feeling is garnered from careful management of highs and lows… loudness and quietness… buildups and breakouts. I’m about to share with you some secrets to turn your track into an epic masterpiece!
- High Strings If you include a single, high pitched note of a string or pad synth effect over the most epic parts of your songs (The chorus, the breakouts etc.) it adds tension to the feel of the song, and that tension is the key to making your track more epic!
- Low bassy synths On the other end of the spectrum, if you can bring in a low bassy effect along with the high strings in a breakout, for instance, the contrast between the two frequencies can bring goosebumps to anyone’s arms!
- Harmonising in thirds A staple of emo bands everywhere, why not use this in your lead lines? Build up with a single note, then after a few refrains, add on the third and presto! – you have a more intense buildup!
- Delay…delay…delay… Adding a bit of delay to your lead synth effect makes the difference between listening to a kids keyboard and an epic “hands in the air” moment. Experiment with different levels, and for a really powerful buildup try adding in the delay as you play a synthline (or increasing the “release” on the amp envelope) and watch as the synth riff meshes into a beautiful noise with all the notes of the riff. Epic.
- Arpeggios I used to think of arpeggios as the domain of people who had just learned to use an automatic sequencer or Matt Bellamy’s playtime, but a speedy arpeggio can make a track pump with the frequency of the notes it plays, with the epic highest note it touches cutting through the sound – truly an epic addition to any powerful section of your music!
Do you have any more tips to share that have made your tracks ridiculously epic? Share your ideas and your music with us in a comment below!