Sounds like: Create a Dominic Fike inspired beat in your DAW
Use this tutorial to create a Fike-inspired beat in your DAW.

At the end of my career as a recording artist, I made music at the intersection of hip-hop and alternative rock in the vein of Dominic Fike, Bakar, and ODIE. By that time, after such a tumultuous few years in the music industry, I was struggling to get excited by music. Discovering the boundary-pushing genre-bending these artists were trailblazing engaged me again — it felt like I had finally found a new sound pushing popular music forward.

At the time, I was grappling with questions like what has the world never heard before, and what do I have to say that is valuable and worth saying? Finding this lane felt like the answer, at least to the first question, and I ran with it. I worked hard to find my voice at that intersection. The key was that I didn't want to imitate but rather put my spin on it, such that, in the end, I could feel as though I contributed to a sound I felt was important and valuable.

Today, I will take you through a few tricks I learned about producing at the intersection of hip-hop and alternative rock in this tutorial on creating a Dominic Fike-inspired beat in your DAW of choice, including SoundTrap, Ableton, FL Studio, or Logic Pro X.

Keep it simple

First and foremost, making music in the style of Dominic Fike is about keeping things simple. It's that easy. Fike, and others like him, have a knack for creating pop songs without pop-producer tricks like risers, synth pads, and vocal doubles.

To sound like Dom, simplify your production style and forego your bag of tricks. Simplicity, especially in music production, is scary. It exposes everything, including a bad song. So, to produce something in the style of Dominic Fike, you must ensure that every element is just right because there won't be anything to hide behind. Here are a few tips to keep things simple in your production:

Use fewer tracks

One of the engineers who taught me the most about mixing and music production, Paul Kronk (a close personal friend and incredible producer, engineer, and person), explained the benefits of using fewer elements in a production to me like this: realize the speaker is finite, not infinite, physical space, and that only so much can be communicated by it at once. The fewer elements that coexist at a given time, the clearer each element will be. Dominic Fike and his producers embody this principle by including very little in each production, which gives each track room to shine. When producing at the intersection of hip-hop and alternative rock, deploy this technique. Remove tracks and get down to the bones of what you're doing - likely guitar, drums, bass, and vocals. You can hear Dominic Fike do so here:

Be truthful

Another key to keeping things simple in a production is to be truthful. Production tricks and filler tracks help obfuscate bad songwriting, which is generally songwriting that isn't truthful. Committing to radical honesty in your music, both lyrically and in your instrumentation, will make simple production a strength rather than a weakness.

Real instruments

As often as possible, utilize real instruments played specifically for your song. Be liberal in your application of the metronome and grid. Focus on feel and groove rather than on by-the-book perfection.

No filler

Avoid pop tricks and fillers like risers and synth pads. Create drama without those tricks to create that Dominic Fike sound.

Single vocal

Utilize a single vocal throughout the song, deploying vocal doubles sparingly and thoughtfully.

It's about the song

Artists like Dominic Fike, with sparse production, realize what all great artists and producers do: it's about the song. Focus on writing a great song and letting that song shine through a disciplined simplicity in your production to get that Dominic Fike sound in SoundTrap, Ableton, FL Studio, or Logic Pro X.

Focus on the fundamentals

The building blocks of a production are as follows: low-end, mid-range, and high-end. Producing simple music that sounds complete is about honing in on each of these building block frequency ranges and filling them with the fewest elements possible.

Low-end

For your low-end, especially at the intersection of hip-hop and alternative rock, you might want to deploy an 808 and a kick drum. Side-chain your 808 with your kick drum so the two don't compete. Alternatively, and perhaps interchangeably in the same song, you can deploy a live bass in the low end to add to your Dominic-Fike-inspired production's alternative rock, live feel. In some cases, you can use your live bass as the upper end of your low-end by EQ-ing the low-end out of your live bass such that the low-end can be populated by your 808 and kick.

Mid-range and high-end

Your mid-range and high-end will go hand-in-hand for a Dominic-Fike-inspired production, as these productions are about simplicity. It is common to fill the frequency range in pop production. At the intersection of alternative and hip-hop, keep your mid-range and high-end simple, filling it with a few key instruments and vocals.

Use Crate to stay organized

As you work through your Dominic-Fike-inspired production, you will likely create multiple versions of your track. They'll look like this: "Demo 1.mp3," "Demo 2.mp3," "Demo 3 AWESOME.mp3." Keeping each file organized and understanding what changed from file to file is difficult, so I recommend using Crate.

What is Crate?

Crate is an audio file library in the cloud built specifically for the needs of musicians. Crate is informed by my four years signed to a major label and the over 2,500 bounces I exported, organized and shared. With Crate, every one of your bounces, every demo, mix, and master, is on each of your devices, ready to stream and share. We've built a fast, easy-to-use iOS app that feels like "Spotify with an upload button" and made version management, artwork management, song info, and note-taking simple and easy. Sign up for Crate to get started for free and experience my dream for musicians everywhere: all your music in your pocket, everywhere you go, ready to stream and share.

What you should do now
Store your music with cloud storage for music creators, Crate.fm, and spend more time making music than moving music.

If you’re already with us, here are more production tips to give you the edge:
What is Crate?
Crate is the easiest way to store, organize, and share unreleased music. With Crate, your unreleased music syncs across your devices. Available for iOS and desktop.
Rylan Talerico
July 4, 2023
Before founding Crate, Rylan Talerico was signed to Warner Records as a recording artist, producer, and songwriter. These days, Rylan enjoys spending time with his family and working on Crate building tools to empower musicians to be more creative and connected.
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Ella B.

Songwriter, producer, artist

I keep finding songs in my library I forgot about with

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