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Archer

By Anon_Buster on May 15, 2020 10:00 pm

A fill in song I made one day. I don't think my sounds are impactful or full. The abundance seems to cause a drop in the fullness and intensity of the sounds because of the quantity of overlapping frequencies and or lack of effects applied with skill. Also, my kicks are always small and hard to hear, though they spike the master channel hard. My next task is to make a song with 1 or two quality sounding instruments instead of 2-4 okayish ones.

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May 18, 2020 12:56 am

I feel like drums are going to be something of a challenge just based on the nature of the instruments you use. That's just based on my ears though, so take that comment with a grain of salt. Have you tried doubling the kicks, or looking for alternative sound packs to play with? Could make for a fun week of experimenting. smile

I enjoyed this track, though. I know what you mean about the abundance of sounds causing a drop in intensity, and I'm experimenting with that a lot myself. Keep at it though; even if you're not completely satisfied with them, the tunes are still cool. smile

May 18, 2020 6:59 pm

Sounds pretty full to me. I really like those rising arps and counter melodies that you may lose cutting back on instruments.  I struggle with similar issues and really respect the tracks with fewer instruments. It's a worthy exercise.  Nice comp, very much enjoyed!

May 19, 2020 9:54 pm

All in all, this is a track you got here!

If you're worried about things sounding full, maybe adding a bit more reverb could help.
I had the same issue with my kicks before, and I found that adding a limiter helped me make it loud but also still maintain good levels. More importantly though, cleaning out the low end of other sounds that don't need a lot of it also helps increase the presence of the kick.
I had to watch several videos on "gain staging" before I knew how to even properly mix thing.

May 19, 2020 9:55 pm

All in all, this is an awesome track you got here!*

May 22, 2020 12:49 pm

Excellent melodies as always and a nice build of tension and release with the sweep in the middle of the track.  I hear ya on the fullness factor.  That's always a difficult thing to deal with.  I always tell myself "ok gonna try just 1-2 instruments and then before I know it I'm adding and adding. I'm not sure if you had a side chain on some of the tracks but that might help the kicks punch through a bit more.  The overall feel is excellent!

May 22, 2020 6:32 pm

The kicks are fine though. As for the fullness, one thing you could try is shift an instrument up or down an octave, just to see how it feels.

May 24, 2020 4:33 pm
danju wrote:

All in all, this is a track you got here!

If you're worried about things sounding full, maybe adding a bit more reverb could help.
I had the same issue with my kicks before, and I found that adding a limiter helped me make it loud but also still maintain good levels. More importantly though, cleaning out the low end of other sounds that don't need a lot of it also helps increase the presence of the kick.
I had to watch several videos on "gain staging" before I knew how to even properly mix thing.


Thanks for the feedback. I went back to side-chaining the kick to the bass and found a wayto do it that makes a decrease, reduces my bass and kick's joined level 2 db, while allowing the kick to have 20-30ms of glory. The limiter and I used to hit the kick hard, but I realized that my kicks weren't producing dense frequencies where I wanted. I'm learning to layer kicks to get the sounds I want, then EQing out the unneeded frequencies to give space back to the other instruments.

Tone Matrix wrote:

Excellent melodies as always and a nice build of tension and release with the sweep in the middle of the track.  I hear ya on the fullness factor.  That's always a difficult thing to deal with.  I always tell myself "ok gonna try just 1-2 instruments and then before I know it I'm adding and adding. I'm not sure if you had a side chain on some of the tracks but that might help the kicks punch through a bit more.  The overall feel is excellent!


Thanks! I bought presets for serum from some artists I like and tried to figure out what they're doing. It seems an FX they like to use is Hyper-Dimension, which I think is a Phaser-Side/Reverb plugin. I started applying a phaser and chamber or hall reverb to instruments I want to be full, and it really helped on a couple of instruments from this coming week's track.


Devieus wrote:

The kicks are fine though. As for the fullness, one thing you could try is shift an instrument up or down an octave, just to see how it feels.


Pitching the instruments around helped. Thanks! On the coming week's track, I used that mentality when building instruments, having 4 voices with one or two pitched up or down with decreased level or, for one of the melodies, using an instrument 1 octave up the second time the melody comes around. Thanks for the advice. It's always pointed and helpful.

May 24, 2020 4:46 pm
hent03 wrote:

I feel like drums are going to be something of a challenge just based on the nature of the instruments you use. That's just based on my ears though, so take that comment with a grain of salt. Have you tried doubling the kicks, or looking for alternative sound packs to play with? Could make for a fun week of experimenting. smile

I enjoyed this track, though. I know what you mean about the abundance of sounds causing a drop in intensity, and I'm experimenting with that a lot myself. Keep at it though; even if you're not completely satisfied with them, the tunes are still cool. smile


I did just that, looking for presets from creators or artists I like. Shirobon is chiptune EDM artist who has the thickest smacking kicks that punch you like Captain Falcon, only their hit percentage is 100% with Shirobon. I saw his use of something called Hyper-Dimension as one of the FX he applies to his Serum instruments. This seems to be popular. When trying to recreate the sounds, I found Hyper is a phaser, or close to the phaser in Arturia's Jupiter 8V softsynth, and Dimension is a side-reverb. Applying a phaser and reverb helped me spread out the chord sound in the coming week's track.

The kick is still something I'm working on. I learned that layering kicks creates denser overtones, making it easier to boost a frequency range, since I'm using 2-4 kick samples, which thicken up specific frequencies. I think of layers like muscles. In a sense, the more muscle fibers you have, the thicker your muscle group will be. With more kick drums, there are more frequencies, or fibers, grouped in a specific frequency range. Now I learned of other problems with the attack and how long a kick lasts or how long it takes to start up can mess with he overall sound. I have to solve that issue, probably with ADSR on each kick drum.

I appreciate your comments. Great conversations!


NWSPR wrote:

Sounds pretty full to me. I really like those rising arps and counter melodies that you may lose cutting back on instruments.  I struggle with similar issues and really respect the tracks with fewer instruments. It's a worthy exercise.  Nice comp, very much enjoyed!


Something I heard from Andrew Huang talking about how he breaks up making songs and sometimes just makes sounds for fun, which can lead to tracks later: he talked about his perception of a movement in music towards more interesting sounds. Every generation changes the sounds they use, but we're now getting into a time where sound systems are being created to have a DJ decide in which corner of a room he wants a sound to appear and move throughout a designated area. I can't remember if they're trying to emulate a 360 environment, since we can't tell if something is above or below easily (we need sound reflections to tell us that). I practiced recreating some sounds this week and learned about phase and reverb helping with fullness. If I did it right, my next track should show a little of that with a couple of chords that appear on the sides, though they sit back in the middle channel.

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