how to make hardstyle music

How To Make Hardstyle Music: A Beginner’s Guide

Estimated reading time: 11 minutes

Hardstyle music is a genre that combines elements of techno, trance, and hardcore. Known for its energetic and powerful sound, hardstyle has gained popularity in recent years. If you’re interested in making your own hardstyle tracks, this beginner’s guide will give you the essential knowledge and techniques to get started.

Understanding the Elements of a Hardstyle Track

Before diving into creating hardstyle music, it’s important to understand the key elements that make up a typical hardstyle track. The foundation of any hardstyle track is the kick drum, which is characterized by its powerful and punchy sound. In addition to the kick, hardstyle tracks often feature melodic elements, such as synth leads and atmospheric pads. Drum sounds, including hi-hats, snares, and claps, also play a crucial role in creating the driving rhythm of a hardstyle track.

Choosing the Right DAW for Making Hardstyle Music – FL Studio and Ableton Live

When it comes to producing hardstyle music, choosing the right Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is essential. Two popular choices among hardstyle producers are FL Studio and Ableton Live. FL Studio offers a user-friendly interface with a wide range of built-in effects and instruments, making it a great choice for beginners. Ableton Live, on the other hand, is known for its powerful audio manipulation capabilities and live performance features, making it a preferred choice for more advanced producers.

FL Studio

FL Studio, also known as Fruity Loops, is a versatile DAW that is widely used in the electronic music industry. It offers a wide range of features and tools that are specifically designed for electronic music production. With its intuitive interface, beginners can quickly learn the basics of music production and start creating their own hardstyle tracks. FL Studio also has a vast library of virtual instruments and effects, allowing you to experiment with different sounds and create unique and captivating tracks.

Ableton Live

Ableton Live is another popular DAW among hardstyle producers. It is known for its flexible workflow and powerful audio manipulation capabilities. Ableton Live’s unique session view allows you to create and arrange your tracks in a non-linear manner, making it ideal for live performances. The software also offers a wide range of built-in effects and instruments, giving you the tools you need to create professional-sounding hardstyle tracks.

FeatureFL StudioAbleton Live
User InterfaceIntuitive and user-friendly.Clean and organized with a focus on live performance.
WorkflowStep-based pattern sequencer.Session and Arrangement views for flexible workflow.
MIDI EditingPiano Roll for detailed MIDI editing.Advanced MIDI editing capabilities.
Audio EditingOffers comprehensive audio editing features.Features non-destructive audio editing.
Virtual InstrumentsExtensive library of virtual instruments.Comes with a variety of built-in instruments.
Effects and PluginsWide range of built-in effects and plugins.Powerful audio manipulation capabilities.
Live PerformanceSuitable for studio production, but lacks some live performance features.Ideal for live performances with its Session view.
AutomationRobust automation capabilities.Features flexible automation options.
Third-Party PluginsSupports third-party VST plugins.Supports third-party plugins and Max for Live.
Collaboration FeaturesCollaboration features available in FL Studio Collaboration.Live performance features can facilitate collaboration.
PricingVaries based on the edition (Fruity, Producer, Signature, etc.).Offers different editions, with a subscription-based model (Ableton Live Suite).
PopularityWidely used in electronic music production.Popular among electronic music producers, especially in live settings.
Learning CurveBeginner-friendly with a range of tutorials.Has a steeper learning curve, but extensive documentation and tutorials available.
Unique FeaturesAdvanced mixer routing and routing flexibility.Session View for non-linear music creation and performance.

The Importance of a Powerful and Punchy Hardstyle Kick

The kick drum is the backbone of any hardstyle track. It provides the driving rhythm and energy that defines the genre. To create a powerful and punchy hardstyle kick, it’s essential to pay attention to the sound design and processing techniques.

Finding the Perfect Kick Sample for Your Hardstyle Tracks

The first step in creating a powerful hardstyle kick is finding the right kick sample. There are various types of kick samples available, each with its own unique characteristics. Some common kick types in hardstyle music include the “fav kick,” which is a favorite among producers, the “gated kick,” which has a distinct pumping effect, and the “clap kick,” which combines the sound of a clap with a kick drum. Experiment with different kick samples to find the one that best suits your track.

Creating and Layering Drum Sounds in Hardstyle Music

In addition to the kick drum, hardstyle tracks often feature other drum sounds, such as hi-hats, snares, and claps. Layering these sounds can add depth and complexity to your track. Experiment with different drum samples and layer them together to create unique and interesting drum patterns.

Using Mixer Tracks to Enhance Your Hardstyle Sounds

Mixer tracks play a crucial role in shaping the sound of your hardstyle tracks. By using EQ, compression, and other effects on mixer tracks, you can enhance the individual elements of your track and create a more polished and professional sound. Experiment with different effects and settings to achieve the desired sound.

Incorporating Melodic Elements into Your Hardstyle Tracks

While the kick drum is the driving force of a hardstyle track, melodic elements are what give it character and emotion. Synth leads, atmospheric pads, and other melodic elements can add depth and energy to your track. Experiment with different sounds and melodies to create a unique and captivating hardstyle track.

Melodic ElementDescription
Synth LeadsMain melody carriers; often characterized by sharp, energetic sounds.
Atmospheric PadsCreate a background ambiance, adding depth and emotion to the track.
Chords and StabsProvide harmonic support; can be used for impactful transitions.
ArpeggiosAdd rhythmic movement to the melody, enhancing energy and drive.
Vocal SamplesIntegrate vocal snippets or chants for a human and dynamic touch.
Counter-MelodiesSecondary melodies that complement the main theme, adding complexity.
Pitched KicksExperiment with pitch variations in kick drums for melodic diversity.
Harmony ChangesShift in chord progressions to introduce variation and emotional impact.
Modulation and AutomationUse modulation and automation to evolve melodic elements throughout the track.
Layering TechniquesLayer different melodic elements to create a rich and textured sound.

Utilizing Sample Packs for Unique and Captivating Sounds

Sample packs are a great resource for finding unique and captivating sounds for your hardstyle tracks. These packs often include a variety of samples, including kicks, snares, synths, and effects, that are specifically designed for hardstyle music. Browse through different sample packs and experiment with different sounds to find the ones that best fit your track.

Unleash Your Sound with Hardstyle Sample Packs!

Are you ready to crank up the volume and kick your tracks into high gear? Look no further – we’ve got the secret sauce to take your beats from “good” to “mind-blowing.” Say hello to our treasure trove: hardstyle sample packs.

Ever feel like your kicks are missing that extra oomph? Or perhaps your synths lack that spine-tingling edge? It’s like trying to whip up a gourmet dish without the right spices – it just falls flat. That’s where our hardstyle sample packs come to the rescue, turning your musical kitchen into a sonic feast!

Why Dive into Hardstyle Sample Packs?

Let’s face it – crafting each sound from scratch is like building a spaceship with cardboard. Sure, you can do it, but why not hop on a rocket and zoom straight into the universe of hardstyle awesomeness?

These packs are your musical sidekicks, armed with kicks that punch harder than a heavyweight boxer. Wondering about snares that snap like a chef’s kiss? Check! Synths that soar higher than your dream vacation? Double-check!

Curious? Dive In

Imagine this: you’re in a music kitchen, and instead of searching for ingredients, everything is neatly organized, ready for your creative concoctions. No more digging through dusty crates for that perfect kick – it’s all right here, just a click away.

So, are you ready to unleash a sonic storm? Grab your hardstyle sample packs, and let’s turn your beats into a raging musical hurricane!

The Role of Sidechain Compression in Hardstyle Music

Sidechain compression is a technique commonly used in hardstyle music to create the signature pumping effect. By sidechaining certain elements, such as the kick drum, to other elements, such as the bass or synths, you can create a rhythmic pulsing effect that adds energy and drive to your track. Experiment with different sidechain settings to achieve the desired effect.

Exploring Stock Plugins for Creating Hardstyle Sounds

Stock plugins, which are included with your DAW, can be a powerful tool for creating hardstyle sounds. These plugins often include a variety of effects and instruments that can be used to shape and manipulate your sounds. Experiment with different stock plugins and settings to create unique and interesting hardstyle sounds.

Tips for Creating a Distinctive Hardstyle Kick

Creating a distinctive hardstyle kick is essential for standing out in the genre. Here are some tips to help you achieve a unique and powerful kick sound:

  1. Experiment with different synthesis techniques, such as subtractive synthesis or frequency modulation, to create unique and interesting kick sounds.
  2. Layer multiple kick samples together to create a more complex and powerful kick sound.
  3. Use distortion and saturation plugins to add grit and character to your kick sound.
  4. Apply EQ and compression to shape and enhance the characteristics of your kick sound.
  5. Experiment with different processing techniques, such as parallel compression or transient shaping, to further refine your kick sound.

Distorted Kick Drums for a Heavy and Energetic Sound

Distorted kick drums are a popular choice in hardstyle music for their heavy and energetic sound. By adding distortion plugins to your kick drum, you can create a more aggressive and powerful sound. Experiment with different distortion plugins and settings to find the right amount of distortion for your track.

producer at the mixer makes hardstyle music

Finding and Using Distorted Kick Samples Effectively

If you’re not confident in your sound design skills, using distorted kick samples can be a great alternative. There are various sample packs available that include pre-distorted hardstyle kick samples specifically designed for hardstyle music. Experiment with different distorted kick samples and find the ones that best fit your track.

Techniques for Achieving a “Lazy” Sound in Hardstyle Music

A unique characteristic of hardstyle music is the “lazy” sound, which refers to the rhythmical pattern of the kick drum. Achieving this sound requires careful manipulation of the kick drum’s attack and release settings.

Creating a Captivating Sound through Mixing and Mastering

Once you’ve finished producing your hardstyle track, it’s important to spend time on the mixing and mastering process. Mixing involves balancing the levels of individual elements and applying EQ, compression, and other effects to achieve a well-balanced and polished sound. Mastering, on the other hand, focuses on finalizing the overall sound of the track and preparing it for distribution. Consider investing in professional mastering services or mastering plugins to achieve a professional sound.

Dive Deeper into the Hardstyle Universe!

To all fellow hardstyle enthusiasts! Ready to take your passion to the next level? We’ve got more gems waiting for you in the hardstyle galaxy – it’s like finding hidden treasures in your favorite game!

Ever Wondered: What Is Hardstyle Music? Curious about the heartbeat of hardstyle? Wondering how it all began? Uncover the mysteries of hardstyle music in our article What Is Hardstyle Music. It’s like peeling back the layers of an onion – each layer revealing a new dimension of the hardstyle universe.

Meet the Maestros: Hardstyle DJs Unveiled! Have you ever found yourself lost in the beats of your favorite hardstyle DJ? Get to know the wizards behind the decks in Hardstyle DJs. It’s like having a backstage pass to the concert of your dreams – meet the artists who make your heart race!

Party Like Never Before: Hardstyle Festivals Unleashed! Can’t get enough of the hardstyle vibes? Dive into the world of Hardstyle Festivals and experience the ultimate celebration. It’s like being at the front row of a fireworks show – the energy, the colors, and the music creating an explosion of joy!

Keep exploring, keep grooving, and keep the hardstyle spirit alive!

Conclusion: Taking Your Hardstyle Music to the Next Level

Making hardstyle music can be an exciting and rewarding experience. By understanding the key elements and techniques discussed in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to creating your own unique and captivating hardstyle tracks. Remember to experiment, be creative, and most importantly, have fun!


What is the best DAW for making hardstyle music?

FL Studio and Ableton Live are popular choices among hardstyle producers.

How can I create a powerful hardstyle kick?

Experiment with different kick samples, layering techniques, and sound processing to achieve a powerful and punchy kick sound.

Where can I find sample packs for hardstyle music?

There are various websites and online marketplaces that offer hardstyle sample packs. Consider exploring different options to find the packs that suit your style.

What is sidechain compression and how is it used in hardstyle music?

Sidechain compression is a technique that creates a rhythmic pulsing effect by ducking certain elements in response to a trigger, often the kick drum.

How can I achieve a professional sound in my hardstyle tracks?

Pay attention to the mixing and mastering process. Balancing levels, applying EQ and compression, and using professional mastering services or plugins can help achieve a polished and professional sound.