• Layering sounds

    A common technique to create sounds is layering. This can be done with drums, synthesizers, real instruments, basically with everything you can think of. There are different methods how it can be done. One of them is to create multiple channels with the same midi data, but different sounds and route those channels to a bus.


    Attachment 172

    You could have 3 different kickdrum samples, each in its own channel, while you put a hipass filter on the first channel, a bell eq on the second channel to filter out the low- and highend and put a lowpass on the third channel.
    Now you already have a pretty unique kickdrum, mixed together with frequencies from different kickdrums. Of course you can also just use 2 different kicks or even more than 3.

    This works pretty well with synthesizer sounds. If you have a synth sound which sounds pretty cool to you, but too thin somehow, just layer it with a fat sound and filter out, what you don't need. Putting different fx on each of the layer channels and/or slightly altering the midi data in one or more channels, can also produce great results. It will probably also be necessary to adjust the volume of the channels and not have them all at the same volume. Picking one channel as the main sound and adding the other layers with a lower volume will help you to add what was missing before. If you created automations, you will want to copy them to your layer channels as well, although it can also give unexpected and nice results, if you forget to do so.

    Transposing a channel up or down an octave is also something worth to give a try. Panning the channels differently might also be something you want to try, unless you are going for a mono sound.
    If you still have to edit your midi data a lot, you may prefer a technique, where you send the midi data to your layer channels instead of copying them, so you avoid the need to copy the changed midi data from your main channel to your layer channels after every change, saving you some time. This will not work, if you are planning to have small differences in your channels, so it is up to you to choose what will work best for you.

    Have fun experimenting and hopefully you'll be able now to give your sounds a new touch, they didn't have before.


    Comments 3 Comments
    1. theBadger's Avatar
      theBadger -
      A helpful tip Alphatonez.

      I would add that the layered sounds do not need to play all the way through;

      You can add really short sound to help with the attack portion like in LA Synthesis.

      You can play a sound with a slow envelope to add some motion to sustained sounds.

      It can even be effective to add some delay to one or more layers so that the sounds are not perfectly lined up.
    1. dope's Avatar
      dope -
      i do this all the time. especially with the kick drum.
      i find i like the top and bottom of the kick drums to be independent.
      it's way easier to make that sit in the mix (at least for me)
      i dont do this very often with other things though... if i do it too much.. things start to get messy.
    1. eXzez's Avatar
      eXzez -
      On Reason (7.x) that is super simply, Reason have this already integrated with the new bus channels and make it easy to group your tracks, and even group your mixer groups to process them together.
      Create parallel channels with a single click for separate processing.
      Very easy to play with them arround and best only a ghost channel iss created, that take all changes you made on the audio or midi datas of the source channel you have create the parallel channel from.

      The Song stays Clean and you have no more voices in the Sequencer as realy need.

      Great new feature in Reason.. love it