Trance has a long and illustrious history that dates back to the early 90s with labels such as EYE-Q
and Bonzai leading the way.
Trance reached its peak in the early 2000s with DJs such as Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren, and Paul Oakenfold hitting the top spots of the DJ Mag best DJ poll each year.
Some of the biggest early tracks include M.I.K.E. Push’s huge anthem ‘Universal Nation’, Aurora Borealis with ‘The Milky Way’, and Armin’s classic ‘Blue Fear’, and this is just scratching the surface.
With the emergence of minimal and other genres taking the spotlight, Trance went back underground where it has morphed into various sub-genres including Trance 2.0, Uplifting Trance, 138 Trance, and a resurgence of classical vibes know simply as Pure Trance.
There are many other classifications too, such as deep, tech, and pys (which is one of the godfather genres of trance made popular in Goa).
Currently some of the most well known trance labels would be Anjunabeats, Armada, and Black Hole Recordings.
While Trance might not be center stage in the charts with today's commercial sector, it still enjoys a faithful following that support both old and new producers from all ends of the musical spectrum.
Getting Trance to Sound Great
Although trance has changed from year to year some constants have always stayed in place.
Namely, synths are one of the defining elements of trance. A good mix and master will ensure they they are clean with lots of depth, both front and back and side to side.
Next is the drums which make up the all important driving groove. Usually trance drums are there to carry the synths and not take up too much space.
Again, they need to be clean and cut through the mix while not interfering with the presence of the synths.
Underneath the synths and above the kick you’ll usually find a couple of bass layers that gel together to form a tight anchor to the groove.
Finally, large spacious atmospheres and effects help fill out the mix and add impact and emotion at key points in the song.
Trance mixing doesn’t afford one too much leeway for mistakes, so it’s vital to not only balance the individual elements together correctly but to tighten the overall master so it’s well balanced and sounds clean when pumped up loud.
In order to achieve all of the above a selection of both outboard EQs, compressors, effects is used along with the very best digital plugins such as UAD.
Two of the most popular DAWs for creating trance would probably have to be Logic and Cubase. At Medway Studios we own both and are happy to take project in these formats natively, saving you the trouble of having to bounce everything down.
Trance Mixing & Mastering Examples
Mix & Master
Mix & Master
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If you have any questions about how I can help you achieve the sound you’re looking for don’t hesitate to ask.
A more thorough look at some of the equipment and processes used can be found here on the main EDM mastering page