Chapter 12 of 33 from Armin van Buuren

In the Studio, Part 5: The Big Payoff


When inspiration strikes, Armin follows it. Here, he works on a new musical idea: a set of big leads to carry the breakdown of his track.

Topics include: A Big Breakdown Riff • Layering the Big Leads

When inspiration strikes, Armin follows it. Here, he works on a new musical idea: a set of big leads to carry the breakdown of his track.

Topics include: A Big Breakdown Riff • Layering the Big Leads

Armin van Buuren

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.

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Log in to Armin’s studio

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 building a DJ set. Your crowd is waiting.

Join Armin in his studio to learn how he layers sounds, produces tracks, and prepares for his live sets.

A downloadable workbook accompanies the class, along with exclusive audio stems from Armin's projects.

Upload videos to get feedback from the class. Armin and his label will also give feedback on select student work.


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

I like this masterclass, and finally I complete it, and more & more knowledge that I understand it, I hope to add more classes about music & making EDM from scratch like this class steps, and I thankful all people who made this class. Thank you,

Armin is the nicest dude ever. Never listened to trance, but I could listen to Armin talk for days. He's great.

It helped me better understand how to arrange my tracks and inspired me so much to go on. I felt so good listening to this masterclass and inspired and eager to do it.

Great Master Class! I watched all in just two days. I liked the hands-on approach Armin did with his friend to build up a track.


A fellow student

Oh my god - these guys are confused by simple 9 chords and chord qualities. Guys, take a 1st year theory class. Ladies and Gents: there is MASSIVE room for improvement in the dance genre.

Matthijs R.

I enjoyed the lessons up to this point but I am starting to feel disappointed in the lack of musical sophistication at play.

Jeff T.

Does Armin Van Buuren not know that the "Init" mode is the Initial Preset? Lol

Kenneth S.

I really enjoy watching them work through the process, but, it get's a bit mono for a while... not much to learn or digest and you have to sit back and think about the working-process. Although the chord changes and structure building is actually really interesting.

Bogdan I.

I wish it was that easy for me to. I am curious what is in his head when he is creating these sounds. What is his philosophy of doing music.

Morgan G.

I'd like to understand more about how to use risers to build things in the breakdown. My problem is creating the kinds of intense transitions that I love in trance music. Just don't know how to do it.

Daniel S.

Folks, I am just seeing that Armin doesn't change the note velocities. Normally, I record the Midi's and then I set all the velocities 100% higher, then I work with the filters such as cutoff and others. I do that to maintain the leads and plucks uniform. Is it a mistake to do that? Actually their chords and leads sounds uniform, even having the velocities not completely on higher levels uniformly.

Lachlan I.

Definitely agree that having a quiet moment right after a chorus in an emotionally atmospheric song, really helps to pull you into the moment.

Andrew Stephen L. Made this on LogicX couple of days ago #HBDMADREX


What's the name of that classical piano piece that Armin is inspired by? That really beautiful piece