Making Progressive with Darin Epsilon

Lauren Krieger

Go inside Darin Epsilon’s Progressive tutorial and discover his remix winner.

With many online tutorials on how to use create electronic music these days, it’s still difficult to find one that actually covers a real progressive sound. This was the motivation behind Darin Epsilon creating his own tutorial for Sonic Academy, featuring his popular track One Thousand and One Nights. By offering an inside look into his production process, Darin gives beginners and seasoned producers alike a chance to get insight into the fundamental techniques and methods he’s discovered while he has been instilling his name in the Progressive House scene.

In addition to the tutorial, Perspectives Digital joined with Sonic Academy to organize a Remix Competition, a chance for producers to create their own sound through the inspiration and techniques provided in the lessons. With the opportunity to be released on the wide reaching Perspectives Digital, and perhaps even a play on his popular Perspectives show, the stakes were high for this contest.

Darin tells us more:

How did you get involved with Sonic Academy?

Back in January, the content director Chris Agnelli approached me asking if I’d be interested to create a tutorial on How To Make Progressive House.  We’ve been in contact for a while and he’s enjoyed my productions throughout the years.

Have you ever created a tutorial before?  Did it feel natural or difficult to you?

I had never done a tutorial up until this point.  Honestly I didn’t feel comfortable at first, and even asked Chris a few times to consider giving the responsibility to someone else.  Eventually I did the demo video that he requested, and afterwards he insisted that I complete the course.

The tutorials took me approximately 8 weeks to complete in between all the touring I was doing.  I had to create the lesson plan, record everything I said and did on camera, and finally edit the videos myself.  I now have way more respect for teachers after going through this intense ordeal.

What was the most challenging part?

Some people are naturally great at public speaking and giving presentations.  I’m a bit of a perfectionist though, so if I wasn’t satisfied with something I said or if there were any awkward pauses, I would record take after take after take until I got it right.  The most challenging part was knowing what to say and when to say it.

Do you think you will do another one?

Maybe ask me again in another year, haha.  If there’s a topic that I feel I can expand upon or contribute to, then of course I would.

What is your favorite part of producing music?

Writing music is like an escape from reality.  It sort of has a calming effect and reduces stress that I pick up throughout the week.  It’s almost like therapeutic for me.

It’s a lot of hard work, but really there’s no better feeling for a DJ than seeing people dancing to and losing their minds to something you created!

What were you looking for in the remix contest entries?

I wanted to find a remix that had an original sound and introduced a lot of new ideas, not just rehash the sounds from the original mix. Paul Kardos was really thinking outside the box for his entry. There’s so much going on in the background if you listen carefully. Not only that, he added new vocal samples and switched the key of the track, which completely changed the song’s mood in my opinion.

Grand Prize Winner:  Paul Kardos
2nd Place:  Ejaz Ahamed
3rd Place:  Magnetic Brothers

Honorable mentions (in alphabetical order): blaktone, Gibbon, Juliane Wolf, Michael Gin & Golan Zocher, Mindmusik & Stasik T, Mønje, PRIMAL

Listen to the Winners on Sonic Academy

Tune into Perspectives: