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Arts & Entertainment

Creating A Groove, Part 1

Armin van Buuren

Lesson time 11:54 min

Dance music should make people dance, but it takes skill to give your tracks the sonic impact they need to rock a crowd. Here’s how to dial in your kick drum and bass sounds.

Armin van Buuren
Teaches Dance Music
Learn how to make dance music from the platinum-selling producer voted No. 1 DJ in the world five times by DJ Magazine.

About the Instructor

Every week, Armin van Buuren puts 41 million listeners into A State of Trance on his radio show. In his first-ever online class, the platinum-selling DJ breaks down his hits and builds a track from scratch to show you how he produces, performs, and promotes dance music. You’ll learn his technical process for using samples and plug-ins, mixing, recording vocals, and how to DJ a set. Your crowd is waiting.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

It inspired me allot, and makes me want to make music now.

You’re one of my heros, hope to meet one day. Thanks for your time and knowledge! Thanks to Benno as well! ;)

Specifically, this class helped me understand acquiring and processing vocals better. This knowledge, in addition to general helpful reminders about music (e.g. always have fun) and several technical tips, will help push my music further, achieve the sounds I want, and most importantly, make listeners (and myself) happy. Thanks Armin!

Great instructor, learned writing, producing, mixing electronic music. And also a few quick performance tips


A fellow student

I love this lesson but I'm confused. Will re-watch it to try to understand my confusions

Matthew C.

Hi there everyone! Fairly new to this. When he says AB tracking, does that mean routing two tracks to the same channel? Bit confused, appreciate your help!

Todd H.

I think the big take away here is that, even someone as far along and as big as Armin Van Buuren still uses reference tracks.

Chris K.

So I discovered that I actually own LFOTool when I watched this lesson (duh! Maybe I own too many tools???) and I've started playing with it. Can you recommend any resources on how to effectively use it though? I'm using FL Studio and have some of the basics of the tools use down (i.e. driving it through the MIDI out tool), but I'm not 100% sure that it's doing anything when I'm trying to use it to enhance the groove I'm trying to set up.

Tracy H.

Very clear, concise and stream lined... the pace is fantastic for people like my son and myself that are relatively new to the music production world. Reinforced and strengthened our foundation of what we already know, fine tuned our work flow, gave us amazing new ideas for layering, plug ins and engineering aspects. Bravo! MasterClass has done it again! And thank you Armin for articulating your knowledge so beautifully! We are excited to implement our new knowledge to our music!


I am definitely gonna put LFO Tool on my list of Plugins to get. Great lesson.

Next G.

You can create something similar to the ESX 24 sample library. The way I did it in Ableton was to pull the drum rack into the instrument area, and then go into all the kick samples and assign each key a specific drum sound/sample within the drum rack instrument area, and then saved my drum rack as "Kick drums" etc. I did the same for Bass, Toms, Key, Pad, etc. Even though each sound is only one note for each instrument, it helps you to quickly sort through all your choices by sound on the keyboard rather than have to click with mouse on each sample in the drop down menu. I've even created an 8 bar drum beat with a simple kick stacked with a unique transient for each kick to shorten or lengthen, then as each beat happens, I get an idea of how each sound might work with a track idea I have.

James T.

Bass and kick are my nemisis. This has been really helpful. Creating a transient for from another sample is really cool and cuts through the mix. Using the LFO tool seems a lot like side chaining but with more control. I’ll definitely invest in that and the fab filter.


Armin, Question: I see that you are drawing your drum samples using Midi, do you advise drums be mixed in mono? If so, is there a way to make the midi output as mono?


Awesome! Please list any free plugins other than Bark of Dog? If there aren't any, thats okay!