Passing Notes

Dance Music Melody & Composition Techniques – Volume 1

In this new Passing Notes we look at different approaches to writing various types of melodies. 

Creating Choirs In The Style Of Forest Swords Or Kelly Lee Owens

In this new Passing Notes, we craft a lush vocal bass, pad and layered stab with Spitfire Audio’s brand…

Further Chords

Dance music theory expert Oliver Curry demonstrates how to break away from basic chords and create more complex harmonic structures…

DAW & Drum Machine Swing

Swing functions were first introduced to drum machines 34 years ago, but the concept still causes confusion. In this extended…

5 Tips To Improve Your Synth Basslines

In this new Passing Notes we look at look at techniques you can apply to transform your synth bass lines from basic loops into one of the catchiest aspects of your track.

Cinematic String-Synth Hybrid Chords With Spitfire Audio Polaris

In this new Passing Notes we run wide chord voicings through Spitfire Audio’s new hybrid instrument to compose cinematic pad textures and melodies.

Lessons From Disco

Dance music theory expert Oliver Curry examines how classic disco uses chord inversions and careful placement of instruments to great…


Polyrhythms in dance music are an amazingly simple way of adding complexity to your tracks. Dance music theory expert Oliver…

Four Tet-Style Guitar Arpeggios With Spitfire Audio’s New Fink Signatures

In this new Passing Notes we use Spitfire Audio’s new Fink Signatures acoustic guitar library to program live-sounding guitar arpeggios, melodies and percussion.

Levelling Up Your Chord Stabs

In this new Passing Notes, we look at four ways to make chord stabs more melodic and dynamic. …

Ostinatos and Acid Riffs

In the latest instalment of our dance music theory column, we take a look at how repeating melodies can be…

Contrary Motion

In this week’s Passing Notes we look at a simple but powerful technique that can inject emotion and movement…

Ambient Breakbeats with Spitfire Audio’s Aperture: The Stack

In this tutorial we use drum, synth and guitar patches from Spitfire Audio’s most ambitious instrument to date to make an ambient breakbeat groove.

Massive Chords With Chord Voicings Across Synths and Ensemble Strings

In this new Passing Notes we spread chord voicings across multiple synths and instruments to create a powerful progression.

Disco House Basslines

Disco house basslines are unashamedly retro, harking back to the 70s heyday of white suits and platform boots. Oliver Curry…

Applying String Articulations To Synthesizers

In this new Passing Notes we break down five orchestral string techniques and look at how they can be used for inspiration while composing electronic music.

Add Drama To Beats With Yasuke Inspired Cinematic Percussion

In this latest Passing Notes we take inspiration from the Yasuke soundtrack and explore ways to incorporate traditional percussive elements into modern productions.

Choosing The Right Key For Bass Weight

In this installment of Passing Notes we look at how you can use simple key selection to give your low end a boost.

Daft Punk Basslines: The Ultimate Guide – Part 2

In part two of this installment of Passing Notes, we break down three more Daft Punk basslines while noting composition and arrangement tricks that the iconic duo applied regularly in their productions.

Daft Punk Basslines: The Ultimate Guide

In part one of this new two-part Passing Notes series, we break down the French duo’s bassline composition techniques to draw lessons from some of their greatest hits.

Using Unconventional Scales

In this installment of Passing Notes, we break down a universal workflow for analyzing unconventional scales and incorporating them into productions.

Generating Chords and Melodies with Random MIDI

In this sequel to our Passing Notes article about auto-generated parts, we use Live’s Random MIDI device to generate a long chord progression and two melodic leads.

Auto-Generated Parts With Follow Actions

In this new Passing Notes, we use Ableton’s Follow Action and Random MIDI features to produce a Leftfield-style drum pattern, a complex bass line and an endless chord progression.

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