What is Techno 3?

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We’ve started from the most general article and ended up going through our childhood memories related to techno music and audio equipment. After reading Dave’s article response I’ve had another memory flash.

While living in Serbia as a refugee I was in close touch with the most diverse technology. I lived in my uncle’s workshop – and my uncle, well, he was a 50 year old mechanics/electronics nerd. The place was full of goodies and unused parts so I took a liberty to experiment with whatever was on hand.

One of the highlights would probably be a self-made electronic keyboard combined with a sound distortion module. Now, how could kid make something like this? The answer is simple – I didn’t. The thing was just an old toy rejected by my little cousin Milos. It used to be a compact version of a very primitive electric piano and it didn’t work anymore.

What is Techno?

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I’ve purposely let myself outdate when it comes to electronic music styles and trends. There really is no point in following such a dynamic phenomenon. And what is techno…? Does anyone know anymore? There is so much variety out there making it really hard to define and classify all the styles. Classification becomes a dull process of grouping authors who copy each-other’s work. In most cases it is impossible to tell who the true creator of a particular music style is.

Now we’ve got this dynamic pulp of inter-influenced electronic music in both commercial and bedroom production. Electronic music spans across a large variety of styles, domains and media types. We hear it on TV, video, film, computer games, mobile telephony… we hear the influence of electronic music in our every day life. It’s strange… The music we thought was unbearable and unacceptable to others, the music so special to us, now spins on every corner, being served to those who do not appreciate and understand it.

The Future of Electronic Music

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Electronic music celebrates human intellect, progress and unison with technology and science. If we reflect on past and present movements in the styles of electronic music, we see that it has always been about the future and futurism. Composers and producers have always strived towards the science fiction themes, futuristic sounds, electronic elements, analogue sounds and finally celebrating digital music expression as means of setting the background for what is about to come.

Inspiration for techno cover article

Winter 1998 – Belgrade, Serbia, I bought myself a lovely present. Pulse 6 double CD compilation which not only grabbed me by its sound but also for its curious design. Inspired by the cover I made a pencil drawing on a notebook paper. It looked quite futuristic and abstract:

Designing a techno album cover - Step 2

Tips on how to design a good techno album cover

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So you’ve tried the cool, funny, original, minimal, abstract, enigmatic, intriguing, techno – what not. If you are still not happy with the looks, try going back to the very origins of electronic music. You have to ask yourself how it all started and what did the pioneers of electronic music have in mind when writing their pieces.

The answer is quite simple – it’s all about technology. So why don’t we start with some research first. Check out the major university websites. In your research, look for image libraries, press and releases. Very often, universities will have large databases of high resolution imagery from diagrams, historical scans, lab photos, machinery, electronics, space exploration archive photos and many other wonderful resources.

The One Thing That Can Set You Out From the Rest to Make Better Techno!

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Listen. This is vitally important. If you do not listen then your track will be very poor indeed . Listening is what most musicians have forgot to do and that is why we do not hear from them again. They have lost their roots, what ultimately made them famous. Trying to move away from your group roots is very risky. The Prodigy made fantastic rave and deep techno, then starting to go into a rock phase. It didn’t work out too well, now they are trying to get back into their old territory but its hard. Their fan-base has shrunk as new groups have come up. The Prodigy are now releasing their classic hits to try and re-energise themselves to grab back their old fans, telling them “remember this, you liked it and now we are going to do the same”.

Alot of money spent, alot of marketing time used. With example 2, Elton John has constantly chirped out piano tunes for along time now, always variation on the same theme and he is still lasting the time.

How not to write electronic music

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None music way #1

Before you even start to make any music, make sure that the Internet is turned off. If it is a computer that everyone uses, make yourself a new user account without internet connection – this was my problem, so I turned off the Internet and saved myself 4 hours per day (surfing adds up)! If everyone is using that one computer, make sure that you have a secure section on it (passworded- so you can back up your section) as you can bet alot of money on something getting deleted. Even have a rota as who can have the computer at what times. You don’t want to be interupted in mid-fantastic-never-been-heard-before-number-one-hook making.  

How to write good electronic music

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What does it take to make a fine piece of electronic music?

How many times have you had that special inspirational moment and thought that that was it – you were going to write a piece that will leave its mark in the whole genre? If the answer is ‘never’ then perhaps, you should stop reading this article and start doing something else, as it probably will not make the right kind of connection with you.

For all of you out there, who are going to keep trying, read on. This will be so obviously familiar that it might actually surprise you that you will find it helpful with stimulating and reassuring your inner cacophony of impulses about what is right, and what is wrong.