Trainer at DJP Edtech Media | Music Producer

User Activity

Ideating Chord Progressions - I

In this article, we'll be looking at some tips to make your chord progressions sound interesting.

Note:  If you’re new to music theory or feel the need to brush up on basics, I strongly suggest checking out this lesson on music theory by Dawn

#1 Number and order of chords

Try shuffling between 2, 3 and 4 chord progressions. each has its own unique flavour. All your chords need not be the same duration. Watch the below clip to see what I mean.

#2 Rhythm - pauses & repetition

Sometimes, silence can make things better. This idea is even in music and especially in chord progressions. Also, every chord needn’t always start on the beat. Try breaking and repeating your chords with pauses. Some of the most memorable riffs or chord progressions use this idea. This is illustrated in the clip below.

#3 Slowing chords and creating dynamics

Slowing down just chords can sound beautiful, the way it interacts with the rest of your music. Digital instruments can respond to velocity, altering it across the notes can affect the tonal balance. We can also affect dynamics by including inversions and voicings. Check the below clip for some examples.

#4 Different chord types for more flavors

Beyond these basic triads, we have seventh chords, suspended chords, augmented chords, and so on, which can add a twist to the sound. Chords like this, when placed adjacent to the original triad can sound flavourful. See how expressive your music can be in the below clip.

#5 building a library

Midi clips can be reused in a new project or even in a different DAW!  Having a library of MIDI chord progressions organized according to key & scale is a great way to get unstuck, find inspiration, or speed up your production process. Watch the below clip to see how you can save and export midi clips for later use.

Got more ideas?

The above techniques should help you kickstart writing good chord progressions. Sharing is caring, so if you got any interesting ideas I've missed here, do share them in the comments below! We’ll be doing a part-II of this soon.

Hey guys, here's an overview of my masterclass!


Course Outline:

  • Structuring your Song
  • Understanding Sound Choices & Instrument Articulations.
  • Understanding and Application of Song Structure
  • Layering Sounds - Use of Instrument Rack
  • Advanced Workflow Tools
  • Fine Tuning in Arrangement View, Recording, and Editing Workflow
  • Editing features for faster workflow
  • Optimising CPU usage
  • Workflow advantages - Session v/s Arrangement View
  • Advanced Clip properties & Resampling
  • Recording Techniques for Audio and MIDI - Comping, Punch Recording, Capture
  • Advantages of Double Track recording
  • MIDI Protocol & Effects processing
  • Understanding and Application of MIDI Effects
  • Serial and Parallel Processing
  • MIDI Controllers for Parameter Manipulation
  • Designing Sounds - Part 1
  • Deep dive into Synthesis Fundamentals
  • Breakdown of Synthesizer functions using Operator
  • Wavetable Synthesis - MPE & MIDI Features using Wavetable
  • Designing Melody, Harmony and Percussive Sounds
  • Designing Sounds - Part 2
  • Introduction to Sampling - One Shot and Loop Based
  • Manual Sampling Techniques
  • Breakdown of Sampling functions using Simpler
  • Slice Mode Sampling Applications
  • Mixing : Gain Based Effects
  • Working on Volume & Stereo Balance
  • Managing Dynamics - Compressor, Gate, Limiter
  • Parallel Compression and Group Processing
  • Side-chain Processing
  • Mixing :Time Based Effects
  • Spatial processing with Reverb and Delay
  • Creative Processing with Reverb and Delay
  • Send and Return chains
  • Finishing your Mix and Exporting project

Have a question? Leave a comment below or contact us:


Phone: +91 7795523530

Make your own drumkit 

Hello! In this post, we'll be looking at a fun process of recording sounds at home and turning them into a great-sounding drum kit in Ableton Live.

Sampling opens up a lot of cool ways to music-making. One such idea is building our own drum kits! A typical drum beat is made up of kick, snare, and hi-hats. A great way to start off is to use these sounds as inspiration and find sounds around you to build your own kit.

Check out this beat that I’ve made using sounds captured at home!

Download the samples used in this rack here!  Below are some simple steps to make a similar drum kit.

#1  find and capture cool sounds

Scout around your house, and make a list of things that sound percussive. Cardboard Boxes, crumbling paper, utensils, foodgrain jars, deodorant spray, leaky taps, squeaky drawers; Use your microphone, field recorder, or mobile phone to record those sounds. Watch the below clip to see what I did!

It helps to have a list and cross items off as you’re done recording them.

#2  assort the best takes

Bring these sounds to the DAW. Listen to the recordings, and Isolate the best takes as a separate clip. Label them for convenience.

#3  create a custom drum rack

Finally, drop these takes on to an empty drum rack!

Trim the start and end, Balance the volume, filter, or eq to shape the tone.

#4  glue them all together

Slap a compressor or drum buss on top of the drum rack, to glue the dynamics of different sounds together. Finally, we can save our drum rack as a preset and use them on future projects.

It’s a nice feeling to have your own sounds in your music. And don’t be disheartened if the drum kit doesn’t sound up to your expectations. You will only move forward as a producer, and your ear for recording and processing will only get better from here.  Believe it!

If you've made your own drum kit, or have some music you made with it, feel free to share it with us. Also, do reply to this post if you have any questions or thoughts!