This quick and easy tutorial shares how to make your own custom vocal risers for modern electronic and pop music genres in just a couple of minutes. 


Vocal risers have become a very popular element in modern music production. They have even crossed over into less electronically inclined types of music and the effect certainly adds a lot of interest and helps to build tension quickly. The process is actually quite easy and straightforward. If this is your first time doing this type of workflow, expect it to take upwards of five minutes. Once you feel comfortable with the steps involved, you should be able to bang out vocal risers in less than two minutes.

Simply making vocal risers on their own is often times not enough. So you may want to do some layering of some kind to help fill it out and gel with the rest of the mix. Adding a snare drum or kick drum layer to your sampler is a perfect way to make sure this extra step doesn’t take more than a few seconds. You may also want to experiment a bit with using a synth or noise riser as a subtle backing element to your vocal risers. It helps to keep things musical and certainly adds a measure of continuity, especially when used in major transitions, like a drop. Vocal risers can also be gated rhythmically, using some simple side chain routing, for a more unique effect.

Try using a short, one syllable vocal sample when making your own vocal risers, as they are more percussive in nature tend to work better than longer ones. You can also use part of a syllable and then stretch the sample to fit the timing of the music for added uniqueness. Try processing the vocals before you start the workflow. For instance, running your vocals through a vocoder first is a great way to shake things up! The only thing that should hold you back in discovering more new ways to use this technique is your own imagination. Leave us a comment below and let us know how you use vocal risers in your music!