Practical EDM Analysis 3: Fedde Le Grand – Put Your Hands Up For Detroit (Original Mix)
Like the previous AO, Calvin Harris – I’m Not Alone, this track begun with a vocal riff. This vocal was repeated between section 1 and 3 (bar 1 to bar 33). A pad was implemented between bar 25 to 31 and 89 to 109, this is commonly heard in EDM and is known as a riser. The sections are not visually as clearly defined as the other AO, however by listening to the track the chorus breaks were identified as bars 97 to 113 (section 7) and unlike the other AOs this track only had one chorus.
Timbre: Synthesizer Bassline
This synthesizer was produced using two oscillators; sawtooth and square (see highlighted above). The sawtooth was pitched an octave down from the square to allow the more hollow sound of the square to push through and the full buzz sound of the sawtooth to provide the low-end of the synthesizer. The amplitude envelope of both wave shapes had an instant attack, long sustain and quick release which produced a short and snappy but solid sound.
A hard 7:1 compression setting was used with a gain reduction of approximately three to four decibels. The attack and release were tweaked to find the punch (see more: Owsinski 2006). This compression produced a solid and steady amplitude level and helped make the bass punch through the mix.
Ableton’s in-built Overdrive unit (similar to the Saturator) was inserted to add a harsher edge to the high-end of the synth. The overdrive was set to 12% wet which enhanced the high-end of the sound without drastically changing the waveshape.
Timbre: Plucked Synthesizer
The plucked synthesizer was produced with two sawtooth oscillators detuned slightly apart. The amplitude envelope (highlighted in figure 8) was fast attack with short sustain and a medium release. This envelope shape produced a plucked type of sound.
Like the other AOs, this track implements the same generic 4/4 house style beat.
A second high-hat is added between bars 65 to 96 and 113 to 161.
This drum pattern is implemented between bars 65 to 97 and 113 to 145. The addition of the lower velocity open high-hats gives the track a groove. The development of the drum patterns helps maintain energy as the actual bassline is repetitive and there are very few other changes throughout the track.
Rhythm: Synthesizer Bassline
The bassline of this track has a strong rhythmic groove providing a solid foundation as well as a distinctive, catchy memorable hook. The image above displays how the riff repeats with minor adaptations in bars of 4; the bassline is acting as the melody but with the repetitive nature of a bassline.
[Figure 16. Close in screenshot of the first bar of the bassline].
By examining at this close up image it is possible to see that there is a note from the previous bar which leads into the main riff, a technique that has not been found on the other AO. As figure 16 demonstrates, the bassline plays on every beat and off-beat of the bar. Such a complex and busy bassline is unusual for house music which tends usually to employ a sustained note either on the beat or off-the beat (as in the previous AO examples), allowing the melodic sequences to take precedence. However, unlike AO 1 and AO 2, there is not a melodic bassline, thus the bassline also acts as the melodic content.
Rhythm: Synthesizer Plucked
The plucked synthesizer plays the same three note pattern throughout the duration of the track. The notes are all off the beat.
V) Melodic / Motif Content
Melodic / Motif Content: Synthesizer Bassline
As the bars are repetitive with very minor adaptations, only the first two bars were analyzed.
[Steps = Semitones]
1.0 A > A = 0 steps
2.0 A > C = 3 steps up
3.0 C > C = 0 steps up
4.0 C > G# = 4 steps down
5.0 G# > G# = 0 steps
6.0 G# > G# = 0 steps
7.0 G# > G = 1 steps down
8.0 G > G = 0 steps
9.0 G > A = 2 steps up
10.0 A > C = 3 steps up
11.0 C > A = 3 steps down
12.0 A > G# = 1 step down
13.0 G# > G = 1 step down
14.0 G > G = 0 steps
Full Four Bar Melody (Interval Size)
Full Four Bar Melody (Up / Downs)
Melodic / Motif Content: Plucked Synthesizer
[Steps = Semitones]
1.0 D > D = 0 steps
2.0 D > D = 0 steps
3.0 D > D = 0 steps
Summary of Analysis Object
Like the other AO, the recreation did not convey the same level of energy as the original which rekindled the initial concern that this investigation could be hampered by lack of resources. The technological production aspects are clearly of strong importance in EDM, however this project may provide the foundation for further research.