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Month: October 2018

What We Are Doing – Women in Electronic Music

Posted on October 26, 2018 in Uncategorized

As a woman operating in the spheres of electronic music, it is rightly pointed out that we are in a minority – electronic music charts and magazines are dominated by male producers. And although I appreciate this being discussed and acknowledged in order to redress the balance of power, I also feel it just as interesting and vital to acknowledge and increase the visibility of what women are doing in these fields.

There are an increasing number of resources online that champion the achievements and careers of women in music technology. First that springs to mind to me is international networks and databases Female Pressure and Pink Noises. Female Pressure has a comprehensive list of female DJs, VJs, electronic female musicians and also producers and recording engineers throughout the world. So this is a great first port of call if you are female and active in these fields or if you are a journalist or promoter/booking agent looking for female talent. The mailing list has been a very valuable resource for my own music career as I have made friends, collaborations and come across opportunities that have increased my profile and audience internationally. So, respect to Suzanne aka Electric Indigo and Tara Rodgers aka Analog Tara for setting up Female Pressure and Pink Noises respectively.

There is also the pro-active efforts of Women in Electronic Music – a popular Facebook page whose followers are male also, an ever increasing Last FM playlist and also a blog called Her Beats. Here instigator Dana Dramowicz showcases new releases, interviews and other interesting activities and initiatives by contemporary female musicians in the electronic scenes. This is important for increasing the visibility and profiles of these often independent artists. Another is by the very competent electronic producer Sci Fi sol called best electronic music blog who is also keen to showcase women’s independent releases alongside the male produced music.

I have been encouraged by recent increase of interest and attention into the careers and achievement of pioneering electronic women, who have produced both technically innovative and creative music. Delia Derbyshire seems to receiving more acknowledgement for her work at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. And founder of the Radiophonic Workshop, Daphne Oram’s amazing Oramics machine is currently the centre of an exhibition at the Science Museum in London.

So we are doing a lot and there are many more women active in these fields than most of us would be aware of. But it is also is clear to me that there are not enough high profile women in electronic music event programming and press and in an electronic music blog. So I can only hope we who work hard and develop our electronic craft will become more visible and heard. I firmly believe that the more we hear of and see women surviving and thriving in the electronic music spheres the more women, especially young women, will think of these fields as a career option or at least a very fulfilling and rewarding passion and form of expression and participation in the world.

How to Make Electronic Music

Posted on October 10, 2018 in Uncategorized

The 4 basic elements of how to make electronic music

Lets get straight into it shall we?

The 4 basic elements of electronic music are much the same as any other type of music.

You have your;

1. Drums or The Beat

2. The Bass line

3. The Melody

4. The Vocals

Now just to get one thing straight, A LOT of DJs/producers don’t sing in their songs, (probably because they can’t sing, like I can’t hehehe). Some get guest singers to sing but most just don’t do any vocals at all so don’t give up straight away because you can’t sing! In this article, I won’t discuss the vocal aspect of electronic music. If anyone would like me to though, please feel free to put in a request 🙂

Lets start with the Beat.

Almost every electronic song has a beat in it of some sort. Whether it be house music with a straight beat, or a breakbeat with different combination’s of different drums and cymbals, sequenced together to create a beat. A great beat can turn a mediocre song into a great song, but a mediocre beat could turn a great song into something not so great. I personally spend just about most of my producing time making sure that I’m happy with the beat.

Depending on what style of electronic music your making, generally the 2 main drums to consider are the bass drum, also known as the kick, and the snare drum. These 2 drums are the driving force behind a beat and they are then filled and polished around the edges with things such as percussion sounds and cymbals.

Electronic music usually runs in counts of 4, with the kick drum falling on the 1 and 3 and the snare falling on the 2 and 4. Some electronic music like house, trance, tech, and numerous others which use a straight 4 beat, have the kick drum fall on all 4 counts. Other styles like hip hop and break beats have different combinations of the kicks and snares and other sounds falling on different varieties of counts, but always counting in 4’s.