Phat Drums & Leads Tutorial


Just wanted to say, I love Sonic Academy and the tutorials here have taught me a lot and shaped me into the producer I am today.

The musical quality, sound design & arrangement wise all the tutorials are impeccable. However, majority of the tutorial tracks still lack the mixing edge and loudness we hear in the dance music and club tracks of today.

In the upcoming tutorials, can we PLEASE have a course on designing and mixing big, phat percussion sounds (and possibly leads) that live up to the standard of todays dance music. I am talking about the sonics and loudness you hear in the tracks by let’s say:

  • Thomas Gold - Shake It (Terrace Mix) - Intro Drums
  • TV Rock feat. Rudy - Feel it In the Air (Axwell Remix) - Drums Section
  • Dezza - Hefty - Drums, Leads, Sonics, Loudness

    not going to waste time posting YouTube links, because the quality is awful.

    I would like to see the drum mix done along with some mastering that comes close to at least one of these track. The mixing tutorial was great, but it doesn’t really do it for more advanced producers who already know the basics.

    Thanks so much!

I like that idea of yours as well. Very interesting to see what the different approaches are :smiley:

I believe it is an essential step for this site, because everything else is on here.

To this day there is yet to be a tutorial on dance music which demonstrates a track produced to standards of today’s big and powerful mixes and masters. Stuff you trully hear from the pros.

I understand it is a hard thing to do, but Phil has already produced world class tracks, so we only need 1 or 2 of these productions.

Many thanks guys, I really hope this happens.

I agree I think also SA need to stop catering to people who want free softwarr and cheap alternatives. If you wanna br a pro you need the high end gear. Leeis Hamilton drives a million pound F1 car when he races, not a suzuki swift…

Trust me its not this plugin or that plugin that gets a BIG sound… Its getting the right samples and balance them well.

Any of my mates that have a big sound have build up a great collection of drum samples… Unfortunatly we are a bit limited with what samples we use in projects as we have to make sure the are all copyright free so we can give them away.

The simple fact of the matter is this: Unless you are a professional audio engineer with the proper equipment and training, you are not going to get a professional sounding track like the ones you mentioned. Period.

Check out the mixing/mastering credits on your CD inserts and tell me how many producers are mixing AND mastering their own tracks. If you found any I’d be very surprised. The people that master audio for a living have a COMPLETELY different approach to your tracks than you do. They are listening with an ear and with equipment that would blow your mind. You might be able to get a passable version for a demo or whatever, but if you were serious about releasing a tune or two, do yourself a favor and save up some cash to let the professionals handle it.

With all due respect to Phil and everyone else on this board, there isn’t one person here (that I know of at least) who is qualified to master a track to industry standard. I know this because I studied it for a short while with a reputable engineer in Boston, and the concepts and processes were beyond belief in complexity. I took the training ONLY so I could communicate better with an engineer when the time came, NOT so I could master my own tracks. So how about we give Phil and Bryan a break, huh?

You want to see how crazy mastering audio is? Buy a copy of Bob Katz’s “Mastering Audio” text, read it once, and come back and say you understood everything and can apply it to your own track with industry-standard quality. You simply won’t be able to, but this is pretty much what you are asking the guys to provide with a tutorial.

Just save the cash and give it and your track to the pros when you’re done. Your tracks will simply sound better.


I see people working in bedrooms in Fl Studio doing mixes and masters that I think are top notch. Check out:

Dezza - Hefty

all done in a bedroom studio using FL Studio.

same with Arty, bedroom studio, PC only, FL Studio…no pros. All mixed and mastered by Arty himself.

I mean even if you watch the “In The Studio” tutorial with Thomas Gold, he shows you exactly what plug-ins he is using to master “Shake It” Terrace mix, but it doesn’t really do you any good since we don’t know too much about the mix and the audio is recorded via cam, but the guy is doing his own mastering, same thing with Sebastian Leger, does his own mastering too.

We are not necessarily looking for industry standard but at least something close, because what we get now is mediocre at best.

Big Room House tutorial is great as an idea track, but it doesn’t stand a chance when it comes to comparing it against any decent big room house track. Same with Peak Hour trance.

You don’t have to give the tutorial files out. At least we can purchase the sample libraries you are using and follow along or possibly negotiate a royalty free SA only release of 10 drum sounds from Vengeance or something. I mean you don’t expect everyone to own Sylenth1 right?

Just saying