Tech House Mastering, Mixing, and Its History

Tech house is currently one of the most popular dance music styles in clubland today due to its wide appeal.

By incorporating the best parts of house, deep house, acid house, and techno, it not only makes the perfect start of a set but can still carry a crowd all night long when programmed by the right DJ.

Quality tech house mastering and mixing is critical to making sure your track’s beats and bassline punch through on any system you throw it at.

Having been involved with tech house production since the mid 90s, Medway Studios is poised to give your productions the polish they need to get noticed by top labels and DJs.

The History of Tech House

The emergence of tech house can be traced back to the early 90s. Pioneers of the genre include Terry Francis and Mr C (and his club The End).
tech house master Mr. C
A few years later artists such as Terry Lee Brown and Swayzak would carry the baton into the noughties.

At this point, however, some of the founding fathers of tech house felt that the style had stagnated into a predictable formula of 130 bpm bongo loops that lacked creativity.

This inspired Mr C, for instance, to start his own label in 2003, Superfreq, with an emphasis of uncovering the more daring artists on the scene who didn’t hold back on the experimentation that is vital to tech house’s appeal.

Not long after the formation of Superfreq a wave of minimal began to take over, and soon after it was shelved before finally reappearing years later.

The huge effect that minimal had on the scene eventually seeped into tech house which began to consist of a more stripped down approach.

Fast forward to the present, 2016, and tech house has once again taken a more varied form as the resurgence of classic techno and acid house has given new producers a spring well of inspiration to draw from.

Classic Tech House Releases

While this list is by no means exhaustive, those looking to delve into the past might find some yet unheard of material to study:

Terry Lee Brown Junior - Brother for Real (1996)

Norman Feller, otherwise known as Terry Lee Brown Jr. had a string of releases including two excellent EPs on the German tech house label Plastic City. Utilizing a combination of rich stabs, shuffling drums and well place vocal samples, he set the tone for many records of that time including my own.

Housey Doingz - Doing It (1997)

The tech house super group Housey Doingz included the likes of Terry Francis, Nathan Coles, and a more who released the seminal Doing It album. Standout tracks included Curly Wurly which featured on Sasha and Digweed’s live Independance Night mix CD in 1996.

Funk D'Void - Technoir (1997)

Funk D’Void aka Lars Sandberg’s Technoir album on Soma Quality takes a slightly more atmospheric approach to the tech house sound while still retaining all the punch and drive the genre is known for.

Tracks like Fewshun feature gorgeous soaring pads and crisp 808 beats.

Terry Francis - Architecture 1+2 (1997)

While this next release isn’t an artist album it does contain and superb collection of the best tech house tracks at the time from artists such as Ame Strong (Tout Est Bleu Francois K Remix) mixed by one of the first tech house DJs, Terry Francis.

Swayzak - Snowboarding in Argentina (1998)

London duo Swayzak set the bar for high end production in this scene with their Snowboarding in Argentina album.

Full of crisp glitchy percussion juxtaposed against the dark brooding pads that often populated these types of tracks, they showed what was yet to come in the soon to be developing era of DAW production before it even existed.

Layo & Bushwacka! - Low Life (1999)

Although somewhat straying from the tech house formula that most of the albums above adhere to, Layo and Bushwacka!’s Low Life still deserves a mention in this list.

It’s full of chunky housey beats and soulful vocals while even managing to effortlessly venture into drum and bass territory, showing how talented these two producers really are.

While it included the massive hit Deep South, the album as a whole is non-stop delight as it twists and turns from one style to the next with ease.

Current Day Tech House Artists

What constitutes a real tech house track is probably more up to debate today than it ever has be here’s a collection of some of the more notable artists and labels from the past decade to present:

Artists:

Dennis Ferrer

With a sizeable catalog of both hard hitting techno and soulful house records, Dennis is also one of the top selling tech house artists of the last decade.

Detlef

One of the newer artists in the past few years to gain widespread attention, Detlef has a gift for creating eminently danceable grooves that cover a wide spectrum of house and tech influences.

Funkagenda

Adam Walder’s guise as Funkagenda established him as one of the driving forces of the newer school of tech engineers in the mid noughties releasing on Toolroom records and more with his clean and precise productions.

Gorge

One of the featured producers on his label 8Bit Recordings but also appearing on the likes such as Plastic City, Gorge is known for his smooth, clean, and warm production skills.

Hot Since 82

Gaining huge popularity from his now classic remix of Green Velvet’s ‘Bigger Than Prince’, Daley Padley has been at the top of the house and tech scene with a string of tight club friendly dance floor weapons including releases on his own Knee Deep imprint.

Joris Voorn

Coming initially from a more techno background, Joris hit it big around 2012 with a collection of old school meets modern day production house and tech jams such Goodbye Fly and The Secret.

Matthias Tanzmann

Owner of the successful deep tech label Moon Harbour, Matthias is a highly regarded producer and DJ focussing more on the deeper and percussion fueled side of the scene.

Mihai Popoviciu

Romania based Mihai is a prolific producer who excels at hypnotic house and tech grooves sprinkled with creative samples that both satisfy the dance floor and home listeners alike.

Sasha

Although mostly known for his progressive house output, Sasha has recently been championing the modern day tech house sound which has also been influencing his last few productions.

Labels:

Moon Harbour - Matthias Tanzmann’s deep tech house label based out of Leipzig, Germany.

Noir - Danish tech label started by René Kristensen home to many artists pushing a darker sound.

Poker Flat - Steve Bug’s Poker Flat has released music from such luminaries such as Timo Maas, Ian Pooley, and Doc Martin.

Snatch! - Started by Riva Starr to give freedom to release his unique blend of house and techno, currently producing many Beaport hits.

Suara - Although veering more on the house side of things, Coyu’s Suara flirts with acid house and techno elements.

Tool Room - Run by Mark Knight featuring many top talents including Funkagenda that have climbed the tech house charts.

What Medway Studios Can Do to Help

Medway Studios has been involved with creating, mixing and mastering tech house music for over 20 years.

Whether you need a tight clear master or help balancing your mix, by using a mixture of high end analogue hardware chain and digital software, we have you covered.

A full range of services from stereo and stem mastering, mixing, and even production using analogue synths are available to take your production to a higher level.

Which Service Do You Need?

You might be wondering:

What does my track need to stand up to other commercial songs available through sites like Beatport and Traxsource?

Here’s a list of the three common services we provide.

Stereo Mastering

Have a solid mix that just needs some balancing, tightening, and warmth? Then a stereo master is probably right for you.

Stem Mastering

Getting the kick and bass is critical, as is mixing tech house drums in order to keep the percussion crisp and groovy.

By supplying up to 8 stereo stems of your song a more refined balance can be achieved while problems in key areas can be dealt with individually, producing better results than a stereo master.

Mixing / Production

If the track needs more attention than the two prior services can achieve a full mixdown might be the way to go.

Not only does each sound get eq’d and compressed individually but we can even supply new kick sounds or record basslines and keyboard parts from our range of analogue hardware synths.