Does Hexagon really need an introduction? It’s not a band, it’s not a duo, and it’s not just a person, though a shout out to the owner, Don Diablo is warranted. It’s an independent Dutch music label. It has signed quite a few diverse artists, and its sound spans genres, but it’s mostly future house, electro house, and pop house.
Who knows? You could be the next one to be signed by the label. Best you get started then.
Do You Need Samples, Presets or Soundbanks?
Ideally, yes. There is even a Hexagon Serum Soundbank to help you out. It contains 80 high-quality Serum presets and is inspired by the future house sound of Hexagon. Leads, pads, the works. This article is based on a tutorial that uses this soundbank, you see, and the reason why it is a solid buy is because what you get will make the whole ‘producing Hexagon type tracks’ much easier.
Producing decent music isn’t just about your ear and experimentation, you do actually need top-notch gear to produce the best quality music that you can. So then, keen to make music like Hexagon? Read on for the details on how to do so.
Making Music Like Hexagon
First set the BPM to 126. Then make a Hexagon style chord progression. For the drop melody, we will make an arp kind of melody. Now that you have the melody and chords, you can make the drop, but first you must make the leads.
Choose your main lead, then add 3 more layers, which make make the sound fuller
Use a lot of mixing to make the leads powerful!
- Dimension Expander
- Sausage Fattener
- After EQ
- Filter for Build Up
Also add a variation of the leads for the 2nd part of the drop and the variation is the same as the original but 1 octave higher. It works to keep the drop interesting.
Now to move on to the bass. The bassline roughly follows the same rhythm as the melody.
Use these layers:
- Bass layers
- Drop bassline
- A fat sub bass
Also add some pianos which come in during the 2nd part of the drop. They add a lot of extra harmonics to the track.
Next up, add stabs to fill up the drop even more. Use three kinds of stabs. First, use chord stabs, then we have some bass stabs and finally, some regular stabs. Combined, you have your Drop Stabs.
Now, the drums and FX, which are pretty straight to the point. They consist of these sounds:
- Drop Kick
- Fills and Small FX
- Pre-shifted clap 1
- Pre-shifted clap 2
- Pre-shifted clap 3
- Drum Loop
- Drum Loop 2
- Drop Ride
- Drop FX
The Drop is Done!
Now, for the break: First of all, you need 3 plucks playing the main melody. This way, listeners can get a taste of the melody. Then, some pianos. These pianos really add that Hexagon vibe to the track. We’ll also add some synths, which add a lot of width and dimension to the break. And don’t forget the bass! Use a break bass then add some ambiance etc. Adding a lot of small FX and ambiance can make your break a lot fuller and original.
Now, for the build up: Introduce the drop leads with a filter automation. This way, the drop leads slowly get introduced in the track. Then add a lot of build up drums, FX and automations, and then when you play it all back, you’ll have a Hexagon Type Track.
A Summary of Hexagon’s Sound Design
As you can see, having gone through making a Hexagon-worthy track, there are a few elements to keep in mind when you’re producing:
Hexagon’s melodies are often arpeggiated, which means they’re played note by note. It’s a good way to create a sense of movement.
Hexagon’s leads are powerful and synth based, with lots of layers.
Hexagon’s drums are tight and punchy. There’s a lot of kicks and snares, and lots of effects.
And some extra tips:
- Use a variety of synths and plugins (or buy the soundbank)
- Experiment with filters and effects
- Use automation to create extra movement
Final Note on Making Future House like Hexagon
Ultimately, if the music you are producing is future house oriented, with the right BPM, the layers, the effects and the chord progression, the chances are you are getting close to Hexagon’s style. Keep working at it, and make sure you have all the necessary equipment and software to get it right.