This is my entry for the 541st weekly Disquiet Junto project: 10BPM Techno. (“The Assignment: Make some snail-paced beats.”)

License: CC BY 4.0


For this challenge, I spent the first day thinking about questions like “Where would 10 BPM techno naturally occur?” and “How would I dance to this?” I imagined a thriving music scene among small creatures, like snails, who heard human techno, perceived it to be at a slower tempo, and decided to make their own.

I picked out two features of techno as my baseline: a kick on every beat, and a ‘rumble’ between beats. To get a feel for the tempo, I made a simple techno loop at 130 BPM and slowed it down to 10 BPM. Then I started over.

I used Ableton Live with mostly stock effects, and two reverb plugins (Valhalla Room and Valhalla SuperMassive). Since Live doesn’t go any lower than 20 BPM, I set the tempo to 40 BPM so I could treat one bar as one beat. I spent some time getting a nice kick sound with DS Kick from Max for Live, then rendered the sample and stretched it out.

I spent a long time working on the rumble effect. After struggling with uninspiring sixteenth-note patterns, I watched a video called Techno Rumble Mastery and worked through the techniques. I used little rumble in the end (whenever it worked, it sounded like 40 BPM), but I learned a lot about making good techno through that process.