FANTASTiC 22 December 2015 | 1.17 GB
One of the most common questions I get asked as a music producer and educator is "How do I layer instruments?"
The answer to this question is not easy. It's certainly not short either. Yes, some might say that it's simply a process of adding two or more instruments together and using EQ to make them fit, but the fact of the matter is that it's a lot more involved.
So involved in fact, that it requires in-depth explanation, especially for the newer producer.
Here at Freshly Squeezed Samples, we were discussing what's urgently needed in terms of educational content. A free course on layering instantly came to mind, and so we made one.
What's Covered in the Course?
With just over 2 hours of content spread across 19 videos, Layering in Electronic Music covers a wide range of layering applications, the theory behind processes such as EQ, and also some philosophical advice on how to approach layering.
The course outline video below provides an overview of exactly what's covered in the course.
Module 1 - What is Layering?
To kick off our free Layering in Electronic Music course, we look at what layering is, and a few reasons why so many producers around the world use the technique.
Module 2 - Course Outline
A quick overview of what we're going to look at in this free layering course.
Module 3 - Two Ways to Think About Layering
In this video we look at the two main ways to think about layering: as an enhancement, and as a creation. Both are important, and there is a bit of crossover that you should be wary of.
Module 4 - The Importance of EQ
Aside from using the best source material possible, the most important tool you have at your disposal when layering is EQ. In this video we look at its two applications: corrective and creative, as well as looking at frequency masking, and chemistry (coherence).
Module 5A - Drums (The Time Domain)
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of drum layering, we look at the time domain and how important it is to layering as a whole.
Module 5B - Drums (Layering Kicks)
Layering kicks can be the one of the most enjoyable applications of layering, as well as the most frustrating. In this video I share two techniques for kick layering, as well how to layer a clap over the top on every beat.
Module 5C - Drums (Layering Claps)
You've learned a lot from layering kicks, now it's time to move on to the next major category in drum layering - claps. In this video, I show you how to layer claps in a few different ways.
Module 5D - Drums (5 Tips for Drum Layering)
To conclude our drum layering module, I share 5 quick and easy tips that you can apply to your own layering experiments.
Module 6A - Synths (Similar vs. Different Sounds)
Not to be confused with the enhancement and creation applications of layering, similar and different sounds are both used when layering synths, and can be a great way to create new sounds or add a unique touch to existing ones.
Module 6B - Synths (Progressive Pluck)
In this video I show you how to layer two sounds together to get a nice progressive/trance sounding pluck. This sound incorporates two similar sounds (or layers).
Module 6C - Synths (Pad Pluck)
We take a different approach this time. Instead of layering a pluck with another pluck layer, we use a pad instead. Here's how to do it.
Module 6D - Synths (Supersaw Punch)
Using the enhancement layering technique, we add a bit more of an attack to our already existing supersaw.
Module 6E - Synths (Trance Lead)
In this video, I show you how to create a new sound from scratch with two different presets from one of our popular sound sets.
Module 6F - Synths (Supersaw Piano)
It's become increasingly more popular over recent years. In this video, we learn how to layer a supersaw and piano.
Module 6G - Synths (5 Tips for Layering Synths)
To conclude our synth layering module, I share 5 quick and easy tips that you can go away with and apply to your own layering experiments.
Module 7A - Bass (What's the Difference?)
Is there a difference between layering basses and layering synths? I believe there is, and explain why.
Module 7B - Bass (Modern Dance Bass)
Looking to get a little more technical? In this video I show you how to create a modern dance bass with 4 different layers, including a percussion sound.
Module 7C - Bass (Uplifting Trance Bass)
The sound that everyone loves, that's right, uplifting trance. In this video I show you how to make an intricate uplifting trance bassline using Spire and Massive.
Module 7D - Bass (5 Tips for Layering Basses)
To conclude our relatively concise bass layering section, I share 5 quick and easy tips for you to go away with.
Module 8 - Accent Layering
We've looked at layering pretty in-depth, but here's one more technique you can use to add complexity and interest to your arrangement.
Module 9 - Two Approaches to MIDI
In this concluding video, I share two methods for the use of MIDI in layering which are both beneficial to workflow depending on your needs.
Will this help me if I produce genre x?
Yes. While the course is loosely based around trance sounds, the techniques shown can be applied across the board. It's not a genre-specific course, and was never intended to be.
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