As more and more commercial tracks are released by home studio owners and semi-professional studios the role of the producer has been updated to include a number of skill sets. Recording, mixing, producing and mastering are just some of the many skills producers are expected to have and that is on top of the skills required to run a business, market content and so on. We can now add sound design to the ever growing list of skills that producers need to have to provide a complete all in one service. The ability to create custom sound-sets to be used in productions is a huge plus as most commercial tracks benefit greatly from having unique sounds and signature production techniques.
Drums feature heavily in all music but when it comes to dance based music they become even more important as the drive element of a track is defined by the bass and drums. Creating unique drum sounds and drum sequences always grabs the listener's attention as anything that is different to the norm stands out. We have got used to hearing the same drum sounds over and over again and at some point the ears/brain starts to ignore what the drums sound like and concentrates on other factors in a mix. So, it pays to spend some time creating unique drum textures.
Layering is a tried and tested technique that involves layering a drum sound with another sound either to reinforce the sound or to provide a different bed for the sound to lie in. What is used as a layer is down to what the producer feels the sound needs and there literally are no rules when it comes to deciding what to use as a layer. I have used all manner of sounds in my layering projects and the rule of thumb is very simple 'if it works use it'.
Snares are not constrained by a specified range of frequencies like kick drums are. A snare can be an acoustic snare or a simple cowbell/stick layer, it can be a glitch static noise burst or a whip with acres of reverb....in fact most modern snares are a combination of multiple layers with each layer having a specific task to perform.
One extremely potent method of layering snare sounds is to use noise as a layer and then to shape that noise using a noise gate.
In the video I show you how to use a test generator to generate the different colours of noise we need for layering with snares. I show you how to use a noise gate to shape the generated noise waveform. I explain, in detail, how to set up the noise gates side-chain to be used externally. I explain how to route the snare sound to the gate's side-chain and explain how to use the side-chain's filter to further shape the trigger's response. I end by showing you what settings to use on both the noise gate to achieve various textures for layering with the snare sound.
Topics covered in this video are:
Setting up the Signal Path
Why we use Noise in Layering
The different Colours of noise
Gates and S/C Triggering
Concepts and Practices of Layering
Filtering Frequencies for S/C the Body
Changing Order of Processing