The RIGHT way to layer sounds!

The tip “layer your sounds: often gets thrown about in production tutorials nowadays but it is rarely expanded upon in a useful way.

Luckily, the technique of layering your sounds in a way that adds to your music can be summed up in one tip:

”Jusitfy your layer”

If you can say why you are layering up this melody, you’re probably on the right track. If you can’t, it could be taking away from your music.

This is where things get a little more complicated though, because you can justify the decision however you like.

With that being said, here are a few situations where I like to add layers:

1) Filling out the frequency spectrum. Maybe your melody is more lofi and filtered and you want to bring some top end sparkle to it.

2) Adding transients/sustain to a sound. Maybe your melody is on a softer instrument and you want to add some punch to the attack. Or conversly, maybe you’ve got a pluck that you want to add some more sustained vibes to.

3) Adding texture. This one’s a big gem. You know those “soundscape arps” you sometimes find in my kits? Drop your melody onto one of those and listen to how much extra vibe, and natural texture it adds. This is really dope when combined with the tips from my vintage melodies email a while back

One you know why you’re layering, you gotta pick the right sound. So here’s a couple things to consider:

1) Do the sounds compliment each other? (Duh)

2) Different timbres/feels

3) Different spaces in the stereo field

4) Different effects

I could go on, but I don’t wanna keep waffling (there’s already 2 different lists in this email)

It’s important to remeber there are no hard rules in music, or anything creative, but its good to have foundations to build upon. Be sure to experiment and expand on these tips. And if you have some gems you think I missed, let me know for the next one!

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