Dua Lipa - Houdini

Dec 2023

Dua Lipa is emerging as a pop star for all ages. With his album ‘Future Nostalgia’, originally released in March 2020, he pays tribute to the dancefloors of the past. Their album was packed with samples (INXS, White Town) and direct quotes (“Let's get Physical!” echoing Olivia Newton-John on 'Physical').

Beyond that album's ubiquitous singles, there were collaborations with Elton John, Megan Thee Stallion, Calvin Harris, Miley Cyrus, J Balvin, Angèle, Kylie Minogue and the late Pop Smoke, as well as a fashion collection with Donatella Versace.

Recently, Dua Lipa has released a single titled 'Houdini' as a preview of the new album she is going to publish. It's a more experimental song than Lipa's previous hits, co-produced by Tame Impala's Kevin Parker (I also did another Tame Impala remake which you can check out here!) and PC Music alum Danny L Harle. However, Houdini is neither a psychedelic dream nor an avant-garde fantasy, but a harsh and insistent renewal of Lipa's taste for disco music.

Stay to see my remake of Dua Lipa's Houdini and read below all the steps I followed to recreate it!

It has a tempo of 117 BPM. On the verses, the chords make small variations around the tonic of D.


The song is based on a brass that I have recreated with the Arturia Jup-8, a recreation of Roland's Jupiter 8. It is a sound in the vein of Tame Impala's latest albums such as Currents or The Slow Rush, since this song was produced by Kevin Parker. The brass has a slow attack and I have set it up as follows to get it as close as possible to the original sound, listen to it solo below.

dua lipa houdini brass

Brass Sound

In the calmer verses, an electric piano appears with a standard sound, which I always recreate with the Stage-73 with a Rhodes Piano sound.

dua lipa houdini electric piano

Rhodes Sound

Next to this piano in the verses another synthesizer also appears making constant notes, along with another one reinforcing a low note. I have recreated it with the TAL-U-NO that recreates the JUNO, another synthesizer widely used by Tame Impala in Innespeaker and Lonerism. Listen to it below along with the electric piano.

dua lipa houdini keys

Keys Sound

In the second half of the choruses a pad appears to which I have applied the Waves OneKnob Pumper to create that “wave” effect with the volume. Listen to it here alone and with the rest.

dua lipa houdini pad

Chorus pad

Chorus pad with all instruments

Finally, in the outro the harmony changes, and a lead appears that makes a looped melody. To recreate this lead/keys I used 4 layers of synthesizers, 2 from TAL-U-NO, 1 from Mini and another with the Synclavier. On my Patreon you can download all these presets and support my work! Listen to the sounds below alone and with everything else.

dua lipa houdini lead

Keys Outro

Keys Outro with all instruments

In this part I have also added a bass pad base to add power to the mix, with a basic sound with the TAL-U-NO, listen to it here.

Outro Pad Sound


The bass has always been a very important element in Kevin Parker's productions. In fact, I consider myself a fan of Tame Impala's bass lines and that's why I bought the same model of Höfner Viola Bass, which adds very percussive and melodic touches.

Dua Lipa's Houdini bass is kept in loop. I recorded it by line and ran it through the Waves Maserati B72 preamp and the Soundtoys Decapitator to give it some saturation. Listen to it alone here.

dua lipa houdini abss tone

Bass Tone


The guitar only appears at the end of the song, with a saturated and distorted sound very typical of some Kevin Parker songs such as the renowned 'Elephant'.

To recreate the sound of this guitar I have started from a Guitar Rig 5 preset with a lot of saturation and I have applied a wah-wah to give it that sharp and filtered bass touch. Listen to the guitar solo here.

dua lipa houdini guitar tone

Guitar Solo


For Houdini's drums, I used a Drum Kit with samples to recreate all the kick, snare, hi-hats and percussion hits. If you want to try them, you can download them on my Patreon and support my channel! Listen to what the solo drums sound like here.

dua lipa houdini drums kit

Drums Sound

That's all! Remember to watch the performance video of this remake that I posted on my YouTube channel and subscribe if you haven't already! Consider stopping by my Patreon to support my work and download exclusive content.

See you in the next one!

David Alonso patreonthanks for reading!

If you liked it, or if you want to download the Ableton Projects with the
plugins used and all the tracks & midi files by one click, check out my Patreon page!

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