The “drop” is one of the most exciting and anticipated moments in electronic dance music (EDM) and is a defining characteristic of the genre. It’s the moment in a song when the energy, tension, and excitement reach a peak before suddenly falling away, only to build back up again even stronger.
The drop is what gives EDM its electrifying and exhilarating energy, making it one of the most popular forms of music for dancing and raving.
Whether you’re a seasoned raver or just discovering the genre, the drop is an essential aspect of EDM that you won’t want to miss. In this blog post, we’ll explore the history and evolution of the drop, what makes it so powerful, and how it has influenced the development of EDM.
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What is a Drop in EDM?
The drop is the portion of the song after the build-up. After a very tense build-up, usually, there will be a pause with no sound for a second, and then a heavy bass or drum kicks in. That’s the drop.
The term drop is used due to the nature of the part that appears after a build-up.
The build-up is designed specifically to guide the listeners toward the drop that sounds exciting and also satisfying.
The build-up in the EDM songs is the section where the tension increases and makes the listeners wait for the drop.
After the beat drops, they feel some kind of release. EDM lovers will understand why listening to EDM songs can be both satisfying and addicting.
Usually, a drop is followed by a dynamic piece with a fun flow that can make the crowd go crazy. The drop is usually also created in a unique pattern and recognizable features such as repetitive vocals, fast-paced hi-hat patterns, and melody as the main identity of the song.
Some EDM creators even use the same element in every song to create a unique characteristic of their work. And there is no better part to use that personality element other than the drop.
After the beat drops and the music continues for a while, the artist will repeat the cycle and create another build-up leading to another drop.
And the whole design continues till the end of the song.
Why Is It Called a Drop?
It is called a drop because of the dropping sense of dynamic.
As an analogy, you can think of a slide. Before we go sliding, we need to go up the stairs.
That’s the build-up. When you reach the top, you will take pause for a moment and get ready for the drop, which is the exciting part of sliding all the way down.
It is almost identical to EDM music. The DJ will create a build-up that will make the listeners go on intense anticipation, and after they touch the climax, they will give a second of pause or silence and then drop the beat that will release all the tension before repeating the whole cycle all over again.
In short, it is called a drop because there’s an actual drop of tension, beat, and heavier bass, and the listener will also feel some kind of release as if they just drop the tension and that will make them feel some kind of trance or happy feeling.
How to Make a Drop in EDM?
If you want to make EDM songs, you need to understand the anatomy of EDM songs which is an intro, build-up, climax, and then beat drop.
With this digital workstation, you can create sound kits and custom sounds as well as create beats, build ups, and drops.
After that, you need to understand the construction of the songs including the composition of the drop. A drop can be achieved by creating a transition into an interlude of repeating sounds with increasing drum speed and volume.
This can be done by increasing the tempo and volume towards the climax. When the climax is achieved, you can create a pause by adding a bar of silence. That’s when you can create the drop.
The drop of the song may consist of heavier bass with a slower tempo along with an atmospheric synthesizer and hard-hitting drum.
The drop is usually slower and deeper than the build-up but more powerful in volume and has a unique, recognizable pattern.
The build-up is an important part of the song because it is the part that draws attention to the drop by creating tightness and anticipation.
While the drop is something recognizable usually with repetitive lyrics that can be memorized easily.
The sequence continues and is repeated numerous times throughout the song. For a short song, the drop can occur two to three times, but it can appear more in longer songs.
In longer songs, you can use a different variety of drops so it’s not always the same every time.
You can also create a drop followed by build-ups and repeat the cycle to build suspense toward the final drop.
Example Beat Drops
Looking for some examples of beat drops?
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is a drop in EDM?
The length of a drop in electronic dance music (EDM) can vary greatly, but it typically lasts anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. The length of the drop is determined by the producer or DJ and can be adjusted based on the desired effect and the overall structure of the song.
What is an off drop in EDM?
An “off drop” in electronic dance music (EDM) refers to a type of drop that deviates from the typical formula of building up energy and tension before suddenly falling away. Instead of a sudden and intense drop, an off drop might be characterized by a more gradual or unexpected shift in the energy and rhythm of the song. The idea behind an off drop is to surprise and engage the listener, creating a unique and memorable moment in the music.
A drop is an essential element in music, especially in EDM genres. The drop is what makes the entire music interesting. An EDM drop helps create the identity of a song.
It is usually repetitive and enjoyable. The EDM drop is usually the main characteristic of EDM songs.
Aside from making the song easily recognizable, it is also the most important part to be played at parties to make sure the crowd having a pleasant time.
Starting with my first EDM event in 2010 at Nocturnal Wonderland and hearing One by Swedish House Mafia and Benny Bennassi’s “Satisfaction” I have been hooked on EDM. While Above&Beyond and Anjunabeats captured my heart in 2012, the genre I love the most is Hardstyle and I feel the most alive when listening to it. My favorite part about the EDM world is the energy that is packed into each genre fan base and event. Writing for Deep In The Mix gives me the opportunity to contribute back to the EDM world I love so much.