Criteria of professional production. Part 2

Fills and transitions

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What are criteria of professionally-made tracks?


Previously we talked about the most crucial aspect of professionally-made tracks, sound design. In this second part, I’d like to highlight one of the most underrated ingredients of production, the things I call fills and transitions.

Part 1. Sound design
Part 2. Fills and transitions
Part 3. DJ-friendly arrangement

Let’s assume you’ve made an amazing sound design, each and every element sounds perfect. What’s next? You go out to the level above and start building up a track as a whole. You making some loop, then another loop, that’s how your track is getting progression.

The things I call “fills” is made to build a connection between those loops and parts of a track to ensure smooth transitions. I’m not good at writing, so let’s just compare these two:

It’s not about sweeps and “woosh” effects, but about those couple of extra sounds in the middle at 4~5 second. Have you noticed it? Or here:

You see, these are very tiny tweaks, but it makes a huge difference, never underestimate it. It’s a sort of finishing touch that turns your track from “work in progress” feel to the finished product. Here are some more examples:

Some longer transitions between major parts of the tracks:

As more nicely you work on and polish these parts, the stronger connection your tracks gets, it literally tightens things up together like glue.

There is no hidden secrets or shortcuts, behind every professionally-made track is hours and hours of hard work. just make sure to work on these transitions too — they really make a tremendous difference. Listen to how other producers do this job. Experiment and be creative.

 228   2016   Advice   Production   Sound design

Since 2015, I’ve run an advice section giving my experience and answering readers’ questions on music production, DJing, performing, marketing, management, and other aspects of the music industry. The purpose of the series is to spread knowledge and cultivate professionalism in the music industry. The advice series works simply: you send me your questions, and I answer them with a blog post when I have something relevant to say. Send me your questions via the form.

1 comment
Luis Emmanuel Mejia Lopez 2019

Daniel Hello, good day.

I followed your blog every week, and I read where quite useful things for my productions.

My question is, why not throw a course of production psychedeli trance, so you could answer people questions in a visual way (which is always the best way to learn).

I’m sure I’m not the first to make you a proposal ... I hope you take into account.

I leave my Soundcloud for you to listen to my music, it’s not your style, but hopefully I can give a view on it, best regards from Mexico.

Daniel Sokolovskiy 2019

Thanks for your feedback Luis. Making a full course is definitely something that I consider, probably I’ll do it in the future. For now I found this blog the best solution/platform for my will to share the knowledge, and I’m happy to see that you’re following it every week. Cheers!

© Daniel Sokolovskiy, 2023
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