How intentional are you when you're adding layers to your songs?
What's The Purpose Of Each Layer?
It's tempting to add layers just because you can. DAWs are powerful. And, as we know, with great power comes great responsibility.
Ideally, you would just go with the flow when you're creating, add whatever you feel like adding and then magically end up with something awesome when you're done.
It can be done, but this requires a lot of experience, skill and talent and most people who can pull it off have made the following thought process a habit and an intuitive routine they follow without even realizing.
Until you're at that level of mastery, I suggest that you go through it intentionally.
Each time you're adding stuff to your arrangement (or at least after it to double check), ask yourself questions like:
- How exactly does the song benefit from this?
- Does the part feel better with or without it? Why exactly? (Be honest when you compare!)
- Is this masking or competing with anything else that's more important? If so, can I make them both work? How?
- What do I have to sacrifice in order to make this new layer audible? Is it worth it?
- Is this a lead element or is it supporting something else? How exactly?
- Did I add this out of insecurity or a "more is more" mindset without a real reason?
- Did I add this because someone said you should do it or because someone did something similar? Why did they say or do this? Are they right? Does it apply to my song, vision and goal for the project?
You get the idea.
You don't need to overthink over overcomplicate the creative process. And you don't have to be a minimalist. But you also don't want to hurt your song by making rookie arrangement mistakes and just adding noise.
Keep it simple, focus on the essentials first and if you want to create a really big, dense multi-layer arrangement, do it intentionally.
You can absolutely go big. If done right, it's incredibly awesome.
PS: If you're looking for an amazing community to get feedback from and provide your own expertise for, check out The Self-Recording Band Community. It's 100% free and can be the growth accelerator you've been missing all the time.
PPS: Downloading one of our free guides and joining our email list is also a great way to connect with your peers, as we will invite you to events and keep you in the loop about what's going on in our community. For example, we host amazing video meetups and help people improve their recordings, arrangements and mixes by listening and giving collective feedback live on the call. Join us now!
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