How do I make Euro Disco?
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Taking its influence from Italian and French pop songs from the 50s and 60s, Euro Disco began making a mark in the 70s – the decade of disco. Initially, Euro Disco referred to music made by artists residing in North America. Which makes sense, right? But the sound of Euro Disco had a more Latin feel and flavor.
Often interchangeable with the term “Italo-Disco,” the music genre had an international champion in ABBA. The Pet Shop Boys, Rick Astley, and Kylie Minogue continued the sound in the mid-’80s. Euro Disco popularity waned in the early 90s and all but disappeared in the United States at that time.
At some point, purveyors of the sound took on new branding, calling it “Eurodance” and the genre gained popularity in Europe throughout the 90s. In the last decade, in the UK, US, and Europe, Euro Disco is again enjoying a resurgence, as musicians like Irene Cara, Laura Branigan, and Berlin, who recorded in the genre music decades earlier, become rediscovered by a new wave of listeners, producers, and artists.
How to make Euro Disco
Just like any other music, practice makes perfect. But instead of practicing on a midi keyboard, synthesizer, or drum kit, first train your ear. How do the Bee Gees sound different that Giorgio Moroder? Do they have the same beats per minute? Are lyrics important, or are vocals used as another instrument?
It doesn’t hurt to know your ABCs as well. And sharps, flats, and other musical notations and how they work together to create sounds that get people dancing. Do you need to know how to play an instrument? Not at all, but having a solid foundation of music theory will give you a head start on your creative journey.
What Will I Need to Make Euro Music?
If you’ve made it this far, you already have a passion – or at least an interest – in creating this specific kind of music. Luckily, that’s free. Gladly, you won’t have to spend a lot of money to get started in this genre. In fact, you probably already have the biggest piece of equipment you need.
If you have a computer or laptop with enough processing power, you’re just about all the way there. There are plenty of free and low-cost digital audio workstations online for both PC and Mac environments. Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Garage Band, and Fruity Loops are popular choices.
You can get your hands on Garage Band and Fruity Loops for free, although they are limited in what they offer as far as sounds, loops, samples, and saving capabilities. But these are good places to start if you want to learn the basics. Learning the dashboards, track views, and how all the features work together is a must. If you can master the simple stuff, you can move on to more powerful daws.
Ableton Live and Pro Tools offer scaled-down versions for easy to digest prices while Logic Pro (MAC only) will cost a bit more. However, these are industry standards for making electronic dance music. Even without the bells and whistles, there is still more to learn after graduating from the free software.
As you begin to master fades, you can start incorporating samples. After getting the hang of beats, turn your attention to harmonies. Then upgrade your software, consider getting a good set of headphones, microphone, and other pieces to fill out your studio. By spacing your purchases out, you won’t get over-extended.
I’ve Got The Gear. Now What?
Go back to the first step and listen to the greats. Or at least the performers you enjoy. Are you able to mimic their beats, drops, and tempos? They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so imitate away! If you’re able to recreate “Dancing Queen,” can you alter a measure here, or play with the chorus there?
Chances are, your first few attempts will be… not that great. But you learn more from your mistakes than you do your successes. And at this point, it’s all about learning how to craft a song. Because this is a relatively niche sound, you may not be able to get the guidance you need from YouTube or online tutorials to help smooth out the rough spots.
However, Recording Connection offers just the alternative you may be looking for. With our Logic Pro Electronic Music Production and Ableton Live Electronic Music Production programs, you’ll be able to take what you’ve already learned and streamline your way to making Euro Disco that’s evocative of the ‘70s and the sounds of today, and most importantly, gets them up and moving.
And you won’t have to move to Ibiza to do it. With more than 120 locations around the United States and Canada, we’ll be able to place you with a professional artist for one-on-one mentoring. Even if you haven’t built your own studio, our mentors are here to help you understand the ins and outs of making music, the business side of things, and how to get the most out of yourself.
Our most successful students give it everything they have when they’re in the studio and even a little bit more out of the studio. How far are you willing to go for your sound? Apply today.