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The Importance of Sound Layering in Music Production

11:19 June 17, 2020
By: Staff

Some people may fall into the classic mistake of believing that producing music is a technical-oriented process. The importance of music production started making itself more obvious in the era of electronic music. Seeking the help of a music producer and expecting a standard job isn't simply going to happen. While music production is an intricate, laborious process that requires studying different techniques, the process still boils down to creativity. This intuitive, creative process relies on using different mastering and producing techniques that differ from one producer to another. Sound layering is one of the most important and critical skills in producing music. Here, we will further explore the gravity of sound layering and how it can change the final recordings of your music.

Sound Layering in Music Production

The same way any creative process starts, music production likewise begins with simple outlines of the vision you would like to bring to life. After putting together the basic structure and shape of your track, you will have to go through different stages, until you reach the final product that you are trying to achieve. Some people just go recklessly through these stages without meticulously focusing on every decision they make, in the hopes of fixing everything in the mixing and production phases. This approach to making music couldn't be further from the right way to do it. To understand the importance of sound layering, we first need to go over the important role of music production in the music-making process.

Sound Layering Importance

Music production is the last phase of making high-quality tracks. But, without it, the concept of making quality recordings simply isn't possible. Producers usually supervise the entire process of making music, which puts them in a critical position of ensuring that every stage has been done correctly. Sound layering is an important technique in producing music, to give life and some groove to your tracks. To understand the layering technique fully, you need to read more about the two major considerations that go into the process. The first is frequency layering, which is the only way possible to bring a sense of proficiency and quality to your tracks, by managing the makeup of frequency throughout your mix. The second is understanding the sound's amplitude throughout.

The Art of Frequency Layering

The concept of layering can be summed up simply as copying and pasting any given part that has been taken out of your mix into different and multiple music tracks. After mastering this technique, you will begin to understand the exact parts you need to highlight and how to achieve the desired effect by tweaking different layers. This technique, when done correctly, has the power to give your tracks more dimensions and richer sound. Any musician who studies music theory understands the limitations of every instrument and how hard it is to produce a track with different instruments. The harmonization of different instruments to achieve smooth transitions is done by sound layering through the adjustment of frequencies.

[Zulian Yuliansyah / Pexels]

Synergizing Your Track

Some musicians adopt the mantra of "less is more," while others tend to root more for busy mixes. This field of producing music is kind of risky. While busy mixes can be exquisite and magically captivating, there is a fine line between a well-produced, high-quality mixed track and an overloaded track that just sounds like noise. Without understanding sound layering, being aware of this line will be nearly impossible. Your track can easily turn out to be overwhelming and just plain annoying to listeners. To understand how layering can be done correctly, you will need to spend your time experimenting with different sounds, layers, and techniques until you reach your ideal sound, which can easily become your musical signature.

Hans Zimmer, for instance, is one of the musicians who appreciate busy mixes and their full potential. In return, fans have learned to love his music easily, without suffering headaches. The art of layering lies in learning how to manipulate each layer to add something extra to your track. This technique eventually results in tracks with richer sounds and more groove.

Artists who deal with different stages of making music, such as mixing, mastering, and producing, often do all the work behind the scenes without enough recognition. However, these musicians are the real heroes behind any quality tracks we listen to and enjoy. This is why the art of mastering sound layering and using it correctly to accent different parts of tracks is extremely critical to the process of making music, and it cannot be neglected.

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