Separating Sounds
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:11 AM   #1
RawkitMon
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Separating Sounds

So I've been listening to electronic music for a very short time. I've noticed that a lot of these producers are able to make their tracks very big but still keep each individual sound crisp. I was wondering if their were guidelines to doing this.

For example at the 2:00 mark of Axwell's 'Heart is King' the track seems to have a ton of sounds going off but each one still sounds like it is separated enough from the others to not interfere. When I layer sounds like this, I just get a headache. Does this come from good sound selection or the effects that is placed on each sound. Also Alesso's 'Nillionaire' at 2:02 doesn't seem to use that many sounds but still has this same full sound.

The best way I can describe it is that my entire headphone speaker seems to be outputting sound but only certain sounds are coming from certain areas, if that makes sense. When I layer sounds they each seem to take up the entire speaker and are competing for space.

Are there any rules I should follow like 'cut out freq x-y on [sound type here]'? I know this is something that takes practice I'd just like to make sure that I set off in the right direction.

Sorry for the lack of any technical terms, just starting computer production I came from an MPC2000 and floppy discs.

And because electro tracks seem to be released so many different ways, the Axwell track version I am talking about is the one that lasts 6:55 and the Alesso 5:54

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Old 03-14-2012, 11:48 AM   #2
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Re: Separating Sounds

EQ...

...filtering, different reverbation, spatialization, good mixing, good mastering, etc.

------------------
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OVE6VSgn8o
^ I made a tutorial in which I explained how I went about doing it:
http://idmforums.com/showthread.php?t=109498
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:02 PM   #3
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Re: Separating Sounds

You can seperate each sound by having different places in the frequency spectrum, or in the stereo image.

For seperating on frequency spectrum (most important, I'd say), have very few sounds in the bass and more sounds can be going on in the higher end without interfering too much. Each sound should really be an octave apart from eachother. Use EQ to cut areas off one sound if it's interfering with another.

For the stereo image, you can use reverb to place it in the mix, and also to push some sounds like pads further 'back' into the mix. Sounds that are particularly close to eachother in the frequency spectrum could benefit from panning to either side, to some amount. 'Widening' some sounds, while keeping others closer to mono can also help seperate them.
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:07 PM   #4
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Re: Separating Sounds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evelon View Post
EQ...

...filtering, different reverbation, spatialization, good mixing, good mastering, etc.
This plus panning and a great arrangement can give a sense of space. Don't have two instruments in the same frequency range playing at the same time or spread them out in the stereo field.

Pracitce on placing sounds in a "virtual space"...left to right, front to back, bottom to top.

In general...

Left to right = panning, widening, haas effects
Front = Higher volume, drier, bright
Back = Lower volume, wet, dark (roll off the highs)
bottom = bass, lower mid-range
top = highs, upper mids

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Old 03-14-2012, 09:11 PM   #5
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Re: Separating Sounds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evelon View Post
EQ...

...filtering, different reverbation, spatialization, good mixing, good mastering, etc.
And use overdrive moderately on everything !!

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Old 03-14-2012, 11:11 PM   #6
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Re: Separating Sounds

Quote:
Originally Posted by aeoR View Post
And use overdrive moderately on everything !!

------------------
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OVE6VSgn8o
^ I made a tutorial in which I explained how I went about doing it:
http://idmforums.com/showthread.php?t=109498
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Old 03-15-2012, 04:07 AM   #7
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Re: Separating Sounds

Thanks a bunch for all the responses.

Feral_P: It seems so obvious now but placing different sounds octaves apart made a big difference. Thanks man!

FatPucker: Thanks for that, exactly what I was looking for. Gonna go experiment on moving sounds around the mix. Wasn't sure what location each type of sound should take up.

aeoR: I haven't tried using overdrive on anything yet so I'm gonna go mess around with that. Probably would have remained an effect I overlooked without the without the heads up.

Evelon: When you say "spatialization" is that what FatPucker was talking about with top, bottom, left, right, back, and front?
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:03 AM   #8
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Re: Separating Sounds

Just remember to listen to you mix in mono when doing haas, wide and panning techniqes... It can easiliy ruin everything if you are not carefully treating you mix..

for me its actually much easier to mix freqs when I listen to it in mono ... also keep lows in mono and spread out the highs gives a whole lot to the individual sounds.

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