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How to get Detroit Techno Sounds
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Head
 
aciiid's Avatar
 
How to get Detroit Techno Sounds

Im getting into Detroit Techno for the last few months.
Im really into those 90s influenced productions, as well as the the originals of course!

Beside this i was producing chicago house and later on detroit electro. Two genres i still really love!!!

After observing a lot of different tracks from the genre, its obvious to me that the 909 for the drums is the goto drummachine. especially rumbling kicks and the hihats are used nearly in every track, often combined with other vintage drummachines or drumloops.

But here is my problem:
Im really struggling how to get those authentic and typical detroit techno synth and bass sounds.
Especially when it comes to these minimalistic "bleep" sounds and those hard (chord memory?) stabs, i dont know how to recreate them with my synthesizers or romplers.

I already did my research and im pretty sure that those sounds mostly come from a sequential prophet or roland jupiter.
unfortunately i dont own these machines but i wonder if there is a way to recreate those sounds with the gear i already own.


The gear i already own is the Alpha Juno 1, Juno 6, xoxbox, behringer ms-101, yamaha tx81z,korg M1, Triton Rack, JV1080 and the behringer Pro 1.
SQ1 for sequencing my small modular setup i mostly use for bleep sounds i use in detroit electro combined with the RD-8.
For drums i use RD-8,tr 606, tr 626, TR 707 and a akai s1000 for 909 and other rare vintage drummachine sounds.
Everything synced to Ableton.

Examples:





It would be great if someone could give me some advice or tutorial how to get those sounds.

cheers!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Acid Mitch's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
You already have the gear you need.
Many Robert Hoods chords come from Alpha Juno, not Jupiter.
Both your Junos, the 101, the Pro 1, s1000 and tx81z can do the beeps and bass lines.
You can get Detroit strings and pads out all your poly synths all day long.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Head
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aciiid ➡️
Im getting into Detroit Techno for the last few months.
Im really into those 90s influenced productions, as well as the the originals of course!

Beside this i was producing chicago house and later on detroit electro. Two genres i still really love!!!

After observing a lot of different tracks from the genre, its obvious to me that the 909 for the drums is the goto drummachine. especially rumbling kicks and the hihats are used nearly in every track, often combined with other vintage drummachines or drumloops.

But here is my problem:
Im really struggling how to get those authentic and typical detroit techno synth and bass sounds.
Especially when it comes to these minimalistic "bleep" sounds and those hard (chord memory?) stabs, i dont know how to recreate them with my synthesizers or romplers.

I already did my research and im pretty sure that those sounds mostly come from a sequential prophet or roland jupiter.
unfortunately i dont own these machines but i wonder if there is a way to recreate those sounds with the gear i already own.


The gear i already own is the Alpha Juno 1, Juno 6, xoxbox, behringer ms-101, yamaha tx81z,korg M1, Triton Rack, JV1080 and the behringer Pro 1.
SQ1 for sequencing my small modular setup i mostly use for bleep sounds i use in detroit electro combined with the RD-8.
For drums i use RD-8,tr 606, tr 626, TR 707 and a akai s1000 for 909 and other rare vintage drummachine sounds.
Everything synced to Ableton.

Examples:





It would be great if someone could give me some advice or tutorial how to get those sounds.

cheers!
Alpha Juno in chord mode is THE early Rob Hood sound

throw that SQ 1 into the Alpha Juno in Chord Memory and try some different chords

try different length sequences, instead of 16 steps, see what 5 or 7 or 9 steps get you for example

You should be fine with the equipment you currently own for making some Detroit Techno.

There's a bunch of great resources out there now that were never there before:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4yGA8tIB5c

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq5RSCFSjo0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALsNbUINAUs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Fz1Yl05aXI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9RiXRZOzE8
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
You have more than enough gear and many of the exact pieces Hood and a lot of these guys used.

It’s about the funk and syncopation.

If you haven’t read it - check this: https://daily.redbullmusicacademy.co...track-by-track
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Guru
 
Jamie munro's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
more gear is not the answer and when i look at the list you have it is clear

more seat time, more seat time and more seat time is required to meet your goals

you may not like the truth but the truth is what it is, play more, create more, record more, don't buy more
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
The DX-100 is also an essential part of Detroit Techno, especially for Solid Bass and the Wood Piano patch (modified a little bit) will give you the classic early Derrick May vibe a la 'Nude Photo'.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Head
 
aciiid's Avatar
 
thanks a lot!


are there any special fx used?
i guess they dont use the synths raw.

im not sure if the fx where added in the mixdown or while they programmed the sound.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by aciiid ➡️
thanks a lot!


are there any special fx used?
i guess they dont use the synths raw.

im not sure if the fx where added in the mixdown or while they programmed the sound.
Read the article I posted

Robert Hood didn't use ANY external effects for Minimal Nation. z
In mastering, the engineer added a slight bit of reverb.

To me: it's hard to find an excuse making music after reading that interview with Robert Hood and seeing what he used. It ain't the gear it's the ear.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aciiid ➡️
thanks a lot!


are there any special fx used?
i guess they dont use the synths raw.

im not sure if the fx where added in the mixdown or while they programmed the sound.
get a Boss BX mixer also
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #10
Gear Guru
 
Derp's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean Luc Cougar ➡️
You have more than enough gear and many of the exact pieces Hood and a lot of these guys used.

It’s about the funk and syncopation.

If you haven’t read it - check this: https://daily.redbullmusicacademy.co...track-by-track
Fantastic article. I learned a lot from that. Thanks for sharing it!
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp ➡️
Fantastic article. I learned a lot from that. Thanks for sharing it!
As a massive fan of that album (and Hood in general) I totally agree.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
NawwwwwSun's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syn303 ➡️
The DX-100 is also an essential part of Detroit Techno, especially for Solid Bass and the Wood Piano patch (modified a little bit) will give you the classic early Derrick May vibe a la 'Nude Photo'.
Lately Bass on the TX he already has is really close enuff for getting that old techno sound.

As stated earlier you already have literally the exact gear used to make a lot of this kind of stuff. TBH throw out ableton and get an mmt8 and call it a day and just play until u figure it out.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Like everyone said, the gear is not the issue. None of those sounds are terribly complex, you just need to spend time with what you have learning how to make the sounds in you head.

I would however 2nd the notion that perhaps you'd do better with a sequencer that forces you to act with intention rather than just waffle about with a mouse or tweaking a knob. Something with patterns and a song mode, nothing fancy, but that forces you to put together an arrangement / song sequence from the beginning. Most techno is structured quite simply, but having that simple structure laid out makes fitting all the sounds so much easier and you won't get stuck in the loop zone.

I might tend to slag ableton, but so long as you don't get lost in it, tweaking audio and DAWifying your production with lots of automation it'd work just fine to plot your sequences.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Those bass sounds are all FM synthesis, any basic FM synth will achieve this.

For the bleeps, hell you can even record the DPD van reversing whilst it delivers your new FM synth.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Analogue Mastering's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Don’t overthink it, get https://www.abebooks.com/97801356892...0135689244/plp
This book is now nearly 30 years old and covers all the secrets.
Long story short, focus on midi, midi, midi some low end processing /saturation and just KISS
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 
jm2c's Avatar
 
When I think of Detroit Techno, I always think of Korg. Something about Korg synths and their presets feels very much at home for D-Tech in my mind. Not saying the synths people actually used were Korgs tho!

I think that a lot of 90's minimal techno sound revolves around crude sequencers and FM synths. People generally experimented their way into it, not sure they had deep knowledge of sound design & music theory. So you need to unlearn in order to get into that mindset.

It's the same thing I love about UK dance music of the early 90's - people had no clue nor respect for music theory and just discovered cool sounding stuff, made tracks. Some of that stuff has horrible key clashes etc but it still sounds awesome!

PS: Keep it as simple as possible, but not any simpler. Sparse arrangements are much easier to get to sound "big"

EDIT: That Rob Hood interview confirms some of my suspicions: "I didn’t know what I was doing, to be honest with you. I just knew I wanted to make beats."



EDIT2: Here's the track they talk about in the video, the first which he considers having found his "sound".. Alpha Juno chords

Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
Lives for gear
 
rasseru's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I just stick a poly in unison or chord mode and paint a load of midi notes down, I find a lot of nice syncopation in the glitches as the midi tries to keep up
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Looneytune's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Hey OP I appreciate you want to sound like something however here is my advice:

You do you!
No amount of gear someone might have used decades ago is going to really impact your sound. You could have all the exact same gear Hood might have used but still you are going to sound like you.

I experienced something quite similar, I wanted all the gear particular artists where using in their tracks/but one day I had a type of ah ha moment….screw trying to sound like someone else, I realised my gear choices and my talent will give me my own sound, plus I always felt I had better gear choices then many of the artists I was trying to copy anyway so I was going to sound like me!

It’s cool to get gear that drove a particular genre but don’t let the gear be your driving force brother!

Anyway … best of luck.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #19
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by aciiid ➡️
thanks a lot!


are there any special fx used?
i guess they dont use the synths raw.

im not sure if the fx where added in the mixdown or while they programmed the sound.
I hear a ton of people doing" techno" today with the same gear. Most of it doesn't sound like DETROIT Techno. That should tell you it's not really in the gear. It might sound like a cliche, but Detroit Techno is really a vibe, feeling, and soul they... "WE" put into the music.

Over my career, I used many pieces of gear that wasn't mentioned here to make "techno" music. Does that mean it's not "real" Detroit Techno? Of course not. It also doesn't mean the people who DO use the gear mentioned makes Detroit Techno.

Come up with your own sound. The Detroit sound has been done before.

-Kenny
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
Moderator
 
Reptil's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Oh yeah! Kenny Larkin in da house <3 Love this thread. Good tips.

Last edited by Reptil; 3 weeks ago at 06:38 AM..
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
rasseru's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by lark830 ➡️
I hear a ton of people doing" techno" today with the same gear. Most of it doesn't sound like DETROIT Techno. That should tell you it's not really in the gear. It might sound like a cliche, but Detroit Techno is really a vibe, feeling, and soul they... "WE" put into the music.

Over my career, I used many pieces of gear that wasn't mentioned here to make "techno" music. Does that mean it's not "real" Detroit Techno? Of course not. It also doesn't mean the people who DO use the gear mentioned makes Detroit Techno.

Come up with your own sound. The Detroit sound has been done before.

-Kenny
Nice to see you post here, big fan of the old plus 8 stuff

it's refreshing to hear about techno made with stripped back setups vs over-abundance & (I would say) a bit too much homogeneity in modern music

Sold half my studio earlier this year and really happy for it
Old 3 weeks ago
  #22
Gear Guru
 
Bignatius's Avatar
Old 3 weeks ago
  #23
Lives for gear
 
gentleclockdivid's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
**** Yeah !
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
rasseru's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gentleclockdivid ➡️
**** Yeah !
petition to turn this thread into old techno tips & tricks and good tunes thread - I've needed one of these for a while
Old 3 weeks ago
  #25
Lives for gear
 
rasseru's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years


posted this the other day asking about any other synths that do the bleepy/euphonic Roland pulse thing well apart from the obvious juno/jupiter/101 and got like 0 replies

the irony hasnt escaped me talking about what synth does what in a thread where we should be championing 'use what you got and hit record'

Last edited by rasseru; 3 weeks ago at 03:23 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #26
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
The gear list is not the problem. The only thing I don't see is how it's mixed and the FX. Cheap FX, slightly overdriven mixer channels and boosted analog EQ can give your music a sort of industrial, hard edge. Like sugar is sweeter by Jeff mills.

I think what's important is also the sequencer. I went back to computer based sequencing using Bespoke and I could get into Detroit territory using a DX11 and a TD3 using Bespoke's built in step sequencer and the "chord" effect on the DX11 with the Bass2 preset and some cheap reverb. Key was to simply play with note length, velocity and note height until I got a nice groove going. Once I started entering the drums I noticed the one was "off", so not x---x---x---x--- but -x---x---x---x--.

Before I worked a lot with gear with built in sequencers but I ended up doing really predictable stuff. I guess the nice thing about Bespoke is that it's actually somewhat artistic to look at compared to the "Excel sheet for note data" style of Cubase. I don't think it does anything that you cannot do with Cubase, but the interface pulses as audio and control data flows through it and you can use two sequencers in different times on the same MIDI output very easily. But you still have the control over every note that is played.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #27
Here for the gear
 
One thing I can recommend for that classic Detroit Techno vibe is the Future Retro Zillion sequencer. It triggers these kind of short midi attacks that go very well with stabs. I recorded some of these patterns and used and re-arranged them in a DAW. But also in a live environment you can come up with unexpected interesting results. Its quite a sequencer like non other.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
MixedSignals's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean Luc Cougar ➡️
You have more than enough gear
Been away from the asylum for a minute.
I see the lunatics have taken over.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MixedSignals ➡️
Been away from the asylum for a minute.
I see the lunatics have taken over.
More energy spent on making music and less gear-hoarding is a madness I can certainly live with.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Breaks Dude's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Looneytune ➡️
Hey OP I appreciate you want to sound like something however here is my advice:

You do you!
No amount of gear someone might have used decades ago is going to really impact your sound. You could have all the exact same gear Hood might have used but still you are going to sound like you.

I experienced something quite similar, I wanted all the gear particular artists where using in their tracks/but one day I had a type of ah ha moment….screw trying to sound like someone else, I realised my gear choices and my talent will give me my own sound, plus I always felt I had better gear choices then many of the artists I was trying to copy anyway so I was going to sound like me!

It’s cool to get gear that drove a particular genre but don’t let the gear be your driving force brother!

Anyway … best of luck.
This is so damn true. After nearly 24 years of producing, no matter how hard I try, I still sound like me albeit a little (a lot?) more adept at production. Now sometimes I see these videos where some random dude can nail Deadmau5's biggest tracks, or completely recreate "Smack My Bitch Up" perfectly and I'm in awe. Those guys are uber nerds and I wonder if they could make an original banger on their own.

Occasionally I'll take a track I like, import it to Ableton and then try and follow along and replicate. It ALWAYS comes out sounding different, but it ALWAYS comes out sounding like me.
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