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Making House: Arrangement and Vocals

ableton live arrangement audio effect rack automation fx house vocals May 26, 2020

In his first lesson for Mixmasters, international House icon Eddie Amador gives a masterclass on arrangement and using vocals when making House. 


Eddie Amador is a stalwart of the House scene. With his 1997 track, ‘House Music’ becoming a seminal part of the genre, releases on Defected, his own label: Mochicoprimo and more under his belt, he certainly has the credentials for this lesson. That’s before we even talk about remixes for Madonna, Seal, and a Grammy nomination for “Remixer of the Year” in 2015.


Here are some of his insights. Eddie uses Ableton Live but most techniques can be applied to any DAW:


Making House: Arrangement and Vocals: Producer Insights

  • Using a vocal in your track, no matter how small can help to make it recognisable. 

  • There are two ways of working with a vocalist. Give them lots of guidance and try to get them to materialise your vision, or Eddie’s way which is to give them the lyrics, let them do their thing and see where that goes. 

  • When creating catchy vocal hooks, less is more. 

  • Arrangement tip: 

        • Build your track for at least a minute before it drops. 

        • Let the song do its thing for around 2 mins after this. 

        • Roughly 3 mins in, add a breakdown. Take out the bottom end out of your mix so the focus is on the mids and the highs.

        • Give the listener back the main parts of the song. 

        • Around 6 mins begin to wind down the track.

Full Tutorial Description

  • Using vocals to make your track identifiable.

  • Arranging a track as a DJ tool.

  • How to develop a track to rock the dancefloor.

  • Using volume and EQ automation in build-ups.

  • Processing vocals with only FX in Ableton Live Intro. 

  • Working with vocalists.

  • How to create catchy vocal hooks. 

  • Automating delay on vocals. 

  • Using Ableton Live’s Audio Effect Rack presets to add depth and space to your track.


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