Music Producer Tips & Tricks
Layering is pretty much the opposite of our recent subject Separation.
In this case, you are trying to combine sounds and make them feel like they all come from the one instrument (most of the time). However, just like separation, you also don’t want the sounds to fight with each other.
I generally use a combination of Instruments, Transposing, EQ, Overdrive, Compression, Stereo processing, and space. Here’s how.
Firstly, the choice of instrument is fundamental. It might even be the most crucial part of it.
When I’m about to layer, I’ll usually already have my core sound. e.g., a Synth. It probably sounds mostly the way I want, like 80% perfect, but is likely missing something.
I will rarely layer that synth, with another sound from the same synth. I try to use different ones or even better, use samplers.
The fact that the sounds are coming from different sources naturally helps them to sit well right from the start. Also, it’s a good excuse to remind...
I’ve been doing mixdowns (and masters) for myself and others since 2002, and I’m often asked for mixdown tips.
One of the most popular ones is dealing with layering and separation. These two things are opposites.
When layering you are trying to glue sounds together. When working on separation, you are trying to give them space from each other.
Layering can help make parts sound more full and robust. By contrast, separation can give your mix clarity, punch, depth, and power.
When I am going for separation, I try to achieve this through EQ, Space, Pan, and Colour.
EQ separation is the most important so I do that first.
If I want two sounds separated, I’ll make sure they don’t have a lot of frequency content in the same frequency. e.g., Kick & Bass.
If the kick has a lot of 100hz, I’ll cut the bass a bit at 100hz. Some EQs like DMG Equilibrium will even let you overlay the analyzer waveform from one track onto another. So you can see the two different...
I've just uploaded a collection of 14 of my favorite and most useful custom Ableton Live Macro plugins that make my life so much easier! They make common tasks faster, and some previously impossible tasks, now possible! There are video demos in there too. Check them out!