The small sounds you don’t notice
The percussion in my tracks tends to be quite elaborate. In some of my larger tracks, I’ve counted 20 drum samples playing simultaneously, in various self-made loops. Surely I could narrow it down a bit?
The lead synth in the last part of «Dududududu» consists of 4 layers; surely removing one of them wouldn’t have much effect?
Some times, I could indeed remove a few sounds, easen the mixing job, save some processing power, and no one would notice. I will usually not do this though.
Citizens in a city
I remember seeing Julien Mier commenting that he views the sounds in his music as citizens in a city (or something along those lines; maybe he was also talking about buildings, things, processes, etc., which only makes it cooler). I also like to view it kind of like an ecosystem, although not fully as co-dependent.
I think this is a very exciting way to view electronic music creation. A city needs a whole variety of people to keep it going; everyone serves someone through their role in society. It also makes the mixing process of music creation more interesting.
The absence of details
Have you ever heard a rock song without the bass guitar? I always heard people say the bass is important, which is definitely true in electronic music, but I never heard any rock songs without the bass until now:
I think this is comparable to the importance of plumbers, electricians and others we’d be lost without, but who we don’t necessarily think about normally.
Then you have the ones who upon inspection don’t appear to be important, when they in fact have a small effect on the lives of a few people, who again have a small effect on others. In terms of music, this would be the easter eggs/hidden sounds I like having in tracks. They’re totally overshadowed by everything else, but let’s say I have 10 of those sounds – people would notice their absence.
This is somehow about school and education
A current trend in education seems to be to prioritise subjects like maths, physics, chemistry, etc, with art and philosophy subjects are being cut back. Art and philosophy seem to be regarded like the tiny hidden sounds I put in my tracks, when they’re really much more like the absence of a bass guitar in rock music (see Metallica video above).
We could have a school system without P.E., music, philosophy and such, but then we would just be robots. Society isn’t a pyramid, it’s an ecosystem. In my view, science and art are just reflections of each other – they both exist because of each other.
Fun things to do with hidden sounds
Once you start incorporating hidden sounds in your tracks, I believe you will achive greater depth and realism. Also, it sets the stage for fun things, secrets that only you know, such as:
- Using the same lawnmower sample in 10 tracks.
- That one time I layered a fart sample with the bassline and it sounded amazing.
- Sampling Friday by Rebecca Black.
- Making really annoying synth loops, and being surprised at how good they sound at very low volumes.
- Adding something like 10 effects to a drum loop, hide it so it sounds like a natural part of the main drums.
So instead of making everything heard, you’re deliberately doing the opposite – mixing just got easier; or at least more fun!