Avicii – Wake Me Up (Track Analysis)

Wake Me Up” is a song by Swedish DJ and music producer Avicii and features vocals by Aloe Blacc and acoustic guitar by Incubus’ Mike Einziger. It was released on 17 June 2013 and reached number one in 22 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. The song is a cross genre between Country/Folk style and incorporates EDM elements to it.

Track Analysis

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Intro

The introduction starts with 4 bars of acoustic guitar which uses extensive use of hard panning to widen and differentiate the two guitar parts that play an exclusive patterns from each other.  There is also an the EQ sweep at the end of the 4th bar to transition into the first verse

Verse 1

The first verse is incorporates vocals. The vocals are panned centre and features very light reverb plate reverb which is very popular in the use of country. This verse musically starts in a very country oriented direction, but there is another filter sweep which opens towards the first part of the verse.

Chorus (Acoustic)

The chorus begins incorporates 4 to the floor rhythm tropes that is typical in many dance tracks. there is also a clap on every off beat which is panned heavily towards the left and right and the kick which is primarily towards the centre.

The kick itself follows a very fast attack and fast release envelope and is inherently very punchy. There is not much sub bass frequency, however it is dominant in the mid frequencies which could emulate something like the sound of a kick drum skin.

The instrumentation stays the same as before and the nature of the acoustic guitars and the lead vocal keep the Country/Folk vibe that was established during the previous sections.

Build (Instrumental Break)

White noise is used as a sweep to introduce the synth orientated section of the second chorus. A lead guitar is introduced which is used as a build up and there is post processing such as distortion and delay to recreate the sound of a plucky synth. There is also an introduction of a low passed saw wave pad to indicate that the next section will be more electronically orientated.

There is EQ filter sweep and cymbal at bar 43 which ends in a and an addition of another synth pad. In bar 45 the bass and kick There is another EQ filter sweep at bar 52 and bar 60.

Chorus (Electronic)

The chorus for this section is more electronic orientated and features an addition of a lead saw synth and an electronic pad to replace the acoustic guitars. To provide the whole energy for this track there is a bright heavily side-chained white noise as well as the tails of crash cymbals to provide variety. The previous pad synth from the build up is also heavily side-chained to provide dynamic changes to accentuate the kick that is being played.

As for the lead synth, it replaces the previous lead guitar line from the previous section and a saw pluck is being played instead. The synth it self is also a monophonic synth since there is an audible pitch bend to different pitches. The thickness of the synth probably comes from the use of a chorus modulator and a dimension expander to widen it.

Verse 2

The synths are faded out in bar 61. The verse begins with vocals and guitar and the same processing is used from the previous verse. However, the only difference is the incorporation of hi-hats 8 bars into this section.

Bridge

This following section is basically a re-iteration of the previous half of the section with a short 8 bar verse, an 8 bar acoustic chorus and an 8 bar build up.

Verse

The verse part is a direct copy of the acoustic chorus from the previous part but there is a the use of a white noise sweep to introduce the next 8 bars.

Chorus

This section is also the same as the previous section however there is an addition of a heavily side-chained white noise to create more energy in the track.

Build-Up

The build up starts with a heavily delayed crash as well as the overall section is mostly made up of the a wet reverb and has no dry signal whatsoever. This section is low passed and more higher frequencies are slowly introduced for the instrumentations. However, the vocals are mostly dry and is the only track that plays its full frequencies so that it sticks out in the mix.

Chorus

For the first 8 bars of the chorus, there is a lack of higher frequencies from the lead and white noise. However most of the higher frequencies are provided by crowd noise foley which is heavily reverbed so that it sits in the background. As the 8 bars progresses, more of the lead synth frequencies are provided and in the end there is a high pass filter sweep to indicate the build up.

There is no noticable difference from the first electronic orientated chorus section. However, There is audibly a more distorted sounding noise from this section which could suggest a bit-crush is being used in the synths or the percussions.

Outro

The outro is comprised of the reverb tail of the chorus section and is mostly the lead and the pad.

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