How To Make - Dark Techno with Kirk Degiorgio / 1449

Dark Techno with Kirk Degiorgio

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This week, Sonic Academy proudly welcomes back Techno legend Kirk Degiorgio for an all-new ‘How To Make’ course where he revisits the Dark Techno genre and brings another massive tune to the table.

Over these eleven videos, we dissect this track into its individual elements, checking out how each part is created, and also look at alternative methods that can be used to get similar results, making this course accessible for everyone.

From the huge pounding kick and sub-layers to the high-end percussive elements along with the chaotic sequenced synth lead using complex oscillators in both hardware and software, this course has everything you need to help you create a track that will stand out in a club setting.

Check it out, learn from a true pro and level up!

They’ve emulated it so well, the meter’s died on the plugin as well :rofl: Great tut Kirk.

Nice Video :slight_smile:

Very informative course. Kirk is such a great tutor!
Even though I felt lost in last 2 lessons I definitely learn a lot here.

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Great tutorial! Thnx Kirk!

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Not a tutorial as much as it’s a bunch of adverts for plugins.

Example: CR8. Ableton is a giant sampler, yet we’re told all about CR8? Cos it can find samples in key? Really? What has CR8 got to do with Dark Techno? Nothing.

You should look up who Kirk is……
this has been one of our most popular courses ever.

He does not show us the Amp envelope in the Kick2 patch. There are no project files in resources.

I’m guessing it’s a sharp rise to 1.0 then a straight line to 0.0 at the end?

Yes the AMP envelope is probably set with a quite sharp attack, bit of sustain and a progressive decay, but it might not be straight at 1.0 for the 1st node. Play around with a similar envelope as in the example screenshot below, it’s commonly used for Techno Kicks ( this is just an example, not the actual AMP envelope from this course :wink: )

All your AMP envelope should end with the last node at 0.00 inside KICK2, otherwise you’ll get an unpleasant click sound in your Kicks.

About this course, it is really a Gold Mine, and 2h30 in the studio with no one else than Kirk Degiorgio is simply studio heaven time IMHO. OK, there’s no Project File or easy to copy/paste presets, but you’ve got all the stems to reference your final work at your disposal.

Showing multiple plugins is not about showcasing them here, the idea was to show possible alternative and other tools you can use, even alternative modular hardware gears :wink:

This course is actually covering a lot about Dark Techno if you think about it, from the evolution of the genre and what are the main components and what’s trending at the moment on this scene and then crafting the right sound for each of those ingredients to arrangement, mixing and even pre-master to end up with a ready to play in club track is invaluable, especially when your tutor is Kirk Degiorgio :sunglasses:

It’s not about copying/pasting settings on a screen and using already made presets, it’s more about how to craft that genre, going into details and dissecting its individual elements and honestly Kirk Degiorgio nails it with this track in my opinion :+1:

I looked him up. What should I be seeing?

I like the guy, he’s great. Does not explain the inclusion of a 3rd party sampler in an Ableton Live based course.

Does CR8 have some history or feature that make it a vital component of Dark Techno? An S950 emulator might be prescribed for early techno for example. That would be reasonable. CR8 being showcased here is entirely unnecessary.

If it’s doing anything that Simpler can’t do, I’m all ears. And “finding samples” is irrelevant in the context of the track being explained.

My straight line guess made the KICK2 waveform display look most like it is in the video. Your solution makes it look a bit off.

I do not wish to copy/paste anything. I complained about the lack of project files, because I wanted to see the K2 patch. He goes into great detail on the pitch envelope, clicks and sub-harmonics and I’m thinking, “This is great!”, then, instead of moving onto the amp envelope… He’s onto ANOTHER obscure VST that I don’t own (bass-mint) with zero alternatives offered. (A couple minutes on various “bass enhancers” would have helped.) So, at that point, my attempt to follow along is knackered.

I simply want to follow along EXACTLY in the first place. I’ll go my own way in my own time.

The AMP envelope screenshot was only a suggestion, not ‘my’ solution, I’m not that presumptuous :rofl:

If it can help ( which is the former reason I do take the time to reply on the forums :wink: ) there’s an overview video for Unfiltered Audio ‘Bass Mint’ plug-in here.

Often what I’m reading from many tutorials feedback unfortunately, and while I definitely understand this expectation in the 1st place, I believe we’re not always focusing on what really matters.

If you have time for it, there’s 2 interesting videos to watch about this :sunglasses:

Psychology of Making Music

Psychology of Learning

Cheers and wishing you a great weekend ! :wink:

I’m a little confused - in the Kick design video I thought that Kirk was merging the sub element with the Kick top, but in the play-through and arrangement video, it sound like the sub is doing an off beat pattern? Anyone else?

The KICK is actually made of three parts, there’s 2 layers used in NI Reaktor ( Layer B is a noise reverb that’s adding some groove and slight rumbling effect to the kick ) and layer A is the mid range kick. Then there’s the sub part layered on top of this during some parts of the song.

Those layers are also arranged with slight different attack in order not to conflict with the mid range kick transient and it helps creating groove and rumble affect specific to this genre :wink:


Yes I get that the Kick is made up of different elements, but in the playthrough and the arrangement video it very much sounds like the sub element is being used as an offbeat pattern to compliment the Kick, whereas in the Kick design video, it seems like he’s using the sub with the rest of the elements to make the Kick itself? (I.E. the sub is four to the floor alongside the rest of the elements, elsewhere it sounds like its doing offbeat)


Might just be on purpose to create some variation in the track, but would help to know a video number and time frame where the sub is playing offbeat to check this further.

Tutorial 09 - Arrangement and Breakdown around the 1:00 min mark - at first I thought it was the Tom, but that doesn’t come in until later.


Seems to me that would be the modular Buchla or the alternative track created with the Generate synth plugin. Check the audio stems in the resources downloads maybe. But yeah, the all idea here is to create this Dark Techno atmosphere feel and variations, so it’s common to have sub elements pumping and delayed to create the groove.