layering

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AK
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Re: layering

Post by AK » Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:24 am

Mono-xID wrote:i sometimes layer drumsounds...but when u choose the right samples at first there's no need for layering imo....
See this is definitely a point I would disagree on. I think if you are using static samples, there's always things you can do to make new samples out of a combination of samples. Not just because you might want unique sounds that other people don't have access to but also because there's always the possibility for improvement. When I have used drum samples exclusively for my drum parts in a tune, I have never come across and entire collection whereby everything falls into place and works from the word go. Apart from EQ/filtering because that's a diff subject, I have always had to work by layering stuff to get the required sounds I'm after. The source sounds themselves might be fine and of good quality but that doesn't necessarily mean they are useful for me in context. Rather than browse through a pile of sample cd's hoping to find a soud I'm after, I'd rather think, "well, layer 'X' with 'Y' and come up with 'Z'".

A lot of sample cd's already have layered sounds in them and if something miraculously fits, I would have used it but rarely did I find that though, I always found myself having to make new samples from existing samples.

To be honest, I really don't like that way of working now, I find the whole process a bit hit and miss, not so much the aspect of layering but the idea of using samples exclusively for an entire drum track. It's one of the reasons I got into synthesizing my own drum sounds and bought stuff that is suited to that.

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Re: layering

Post by steevio » Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:31 am

AK wrote: How though, do you differentiate between any type of layering. Once you use more than a single oscillator, aren't you effectively layering already? I guess for me, I'd consider layering ( in the form I think we mean ) as static sample stacking.
yes i suppose that was where i was coming from in the original post. i started out in techno as a sample based producer and i would layer samples all the time, but now i see layering as the combination of any two sounds / oscillators etc.. at the same point in time. so i was using the term 'layering' in what i see as the traditional sense.

i suppose now i think purely in terms of oscillators. i like to reduce everything in my music now to individual waveforms. for instance start with 4 waves and see howmany ways you can combine them in to create a piece of music, by modulating the frequency, cross-modulation, and shaping. if you statically stack oscillators you get a chord, if you dynamically stack them on a time line you get a tune.

OT but waveforms are amazing, i love looking at them on my oscilloscope, its suprising howmany times a waveform which looks good sounds good too..
Last edited by steevio on Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Mono-xID
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Re: layering

Post by Mono-xID » Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:39 am

AK wrote:See this is definitely a point I would disagree on. I think if you are using static samples, there's always things you can do to make new samples out of a combination of samples. Not just because you might want unique sounds that other people don't have access to but also because there's always the possibility for improvement. When I have used drum samples exclusively for my drum parts in a tune, I have never come across and entire collection whereby everything falls into place and works from the word go. Apart from EQ/filtering because that's a diff subject, I have always had to work by layering stuff to get the required sounds I'm after. The source sounds themselves might be fine and of good quality but that doesn't necessarily mean they are useful for me in context. Rather than browse through a pile of sample cd's hoping to find a soud I'm after, I'd rather think, "well, layer 'X' with 'Y' and come up with 'Z'".

A lot of sample cd's already have layered sounds in them and if something miraculously fits, I would have used it but rarely did I find that though, I always found myself having to make new samples from existing samples.

To be honest, I really don't like that way of working now, I find the whole process a bit hit and miss, not so much the aspect of layering but the idea of using samples exclusively for an entire drum track. It's one of the reasons I got into synthesizing my own drum sounds and bought stuff that is suited to that.
i know what you mean...but if i got a kickdrum that sounds right from the beginning and it's EQed and compressed in the right kontext of the whole mix then i really don't see a reason to layer another sound underneath it...like i said,sometimes i layer sounds for the same reason you mentioned but sometimes i get away with eq,fx,pitching the samples...

i hate to layering sounds for hours,twiddling and tweaking and then the idea is lost....

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Re: layering

Post by simonb » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:40 am

AK wrote:It's a technique like anything else
That's pretty much my view.

I kinda shunned layering for a while - partly because I'd briefly tried it and didn't get much out of it, and part of it might've even been the nonconformist in me thinking everyone's doing it as an easy way out from having weak sounds... but now I'm more open to it and have spent a bit more time carefully layering and using EQ, effects and so on. Mostly just with drum samples but I'm sure doing it with synths could make some interesting or bigger sounds too.

It's just another tool in the arsenal. It's not a magic way of making drums fat or making your chords sound 10 feet tall but it has its uses like anything else in electronic music.

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Re: layering

Post by AK » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:55 am

That's pretty much it for me too but like Mono-xID was saying, when I was using one shot samples as my main source of sounds ( usually drum & percussion samples ) you could literally end up getting so anal that you almost forget what the hell you were doing in regard to the track, like you could come in with a bit of a musical idea that you could get down pretty quickly but then, ( at least for me ) I found trying to write a drum track around it with one shot samples very awkward simply because I had such an extensive library that finding the right tones and type of drums was enourmously time consuming. I can't settle into a track and develop it if the underlying drums are doing my head in, I just need to try and get it sounding good or the whole inspiration quickly disappears. And for me, that involved things like layering/sample editing and other time consuming tasks which, to be honest, bordered on the ridiculous.

I've never been one who could just chuck in a few drum samples and off I go, I crave the control for each sound and apart from enveloping and pitch adjustments, there's not a huge amount you can do with one-shot samples. So in respect to that, it's definitely a way of expanding or partially creating new sounds as is re-sampling through various things. It depends what gear you have access to as well to some degree, when I first dabbled in Techno, I had sample libraries and gear specifically aimed at creating Breakbeat music. Tons of old sampled breaks, REX files and heaps of other stuff that wasn't really aimed at creating pure electronic music. I ended up pretty much shoving all that stuff onto a portable HD and letting go of the samples.

I still have some, don't get me wrong. I haven't the gear to completely do everything from scratch but with drum sounds of the percussive variety, I got a Machinedrum. I'm really happy with the percussion I get from that and having the amount of control I wanted saves me hours of making samples or altering samples etc. It's certainly a vital technique to a fair few genres, I'm not entirely sure how useful it is for Techno though to be honest. I'll leave that one open to individual opinion but I kinda get a Tech-House feel to my drums from layering samples and I'm not currently chasing that sound at all because it can sound over-produced - at least to my ears. I'm more into the 'under-produced' sound, I don't mean lazy, crappy sounding stuff, a sound that is obviously well crafted but remains a little more raw and honest.

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