Is my track too full of instruments?

guys! :slight_smile: lately I’m wondering whether I should make my tracks ‘easier’ with less instruments and give more space to the sounds. As I just started less than a year ago producing music, I feel like I don’t have yet the ear to get perfectly when there’s the need for more sounds and when not. Help from you guys would be extremely appreciated :smiley: do you think I should make the following track less dense?

Thanks a lot guys!
PS: the track is still unmastered and unmixed, is just a composition idea

Hi there @returnnull

I don’t find that track too much “dense” in terms of sounds, I could hear every instruments & they sit quite well together, it’s more about the overall flow of the track & the arrangement IMO. It’s a nice track but since you’re bringing a lot of elements during the first bars it gets more difficult to keep it interesting & to surprise the listener. I know that you haven’t mixed the track yet, but right now I find the drums taking over those nice synths sounds & some elements like that shakers loop at the beginning are very linear & since they are very synced on the beat & without variation, it’s taking out some “live” & interest. We are very sensitive to anything hats, shakers and those higher frequencies when listening to music, so if those elements are quite prominent & very linear & repetitive it could make a track boring.

In general when asking yourself if you should add another element to the track the questions to ask are " is this really adding something to the track ? Does it make a real difference, is it an enhancement ? Does it create an interest ? ". That’s for adding any “new” element, it’s of course different when you’re layering sounds together to enhance one instrument.

So nice sounds in there, they complement each other well but arrangement, progression, bringing variations to drums & melodies could really be beneficial to make it more interesting for the listener.

Hope this helps, cheers !

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Hey @Tekalight! As always, your feedback is extremely valuable and appreciated :slight_smile: I was thinking as well the track could benefit some change in the melody. Also super interesting what you mentioned about the hats and shakers! What would you do in this case? change the pattern of them?

Also in the beginning, would you suggest to present less instruments and keep some for later in order to give some surprise to the listener?

One last question: do you think the bass is too low volume?

Thank you again! :slight_smile:

it’s already giving a pretty good impression of what the finished song could be. you have something supernice here. in my opinion the instrument selection is really good, but the song lacks variation and movement from start to end. sounds too much like a loop in a sense that start and end of the basic loop are way too obvious and that the movement inside of each loop has always the same shape: a little hill, up, down, down… there should be more melodic content that’s moving freely in different directions.

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Hey @kuchenchef! First of all thank you for taking the time to listen to my track :slight_smile: and thanks a lot for the feedback! Extremely valuable

I started already to apply some changes you guys suggested, I’ll post again the track when I’ll be done

Thank you a lot for the help! Super appreciated :slight_smile:

  • For the Hats & Shakers : first try to lower their playback levels, it should already make a difference. To add “live” & variation you could use pattern variation yes, that’s one option but sometimes you want to keep those elements on the grid, so in this case you can play with velocity ( if using Midi ), panning ( like the “Around The Head” effect in Ableton Live ), position on the grid ( slightly moving them forward or backward the standard “quantize” position and the samples themselves : for anything drums like Hats, Shakers , Claps, Rides… it’s really interesting to use several samples to construct one loop. They can be different Samples that still retain homogeneity, or even the same duplicated sample but altered in level, attack transient, tail lengh, slight pitch… those kind of things → Thing about it that way, even the best drummer in the world won’t play the exact same sound each time he uses the stick, it’s a question of giving a human touch. That said in some genre like Techno, you’re after the opposite feel : everything is quantize, less human feel & variation, but for melodic house, techno or chilled music, humanizing the drums is great.

Suggest you to check this great course from Dj/Producer & Sonic Academy Tutor @enamour as well as his “Ruby” track tutorial.

  • For the intro & beginning of the track : yes, it’s a matter of introducing only a few elements but ones that can still start to create interest ( that’s the difficulty, LOL ) and then it will create expectation for the listener, allowing you to gradually bring more elements into the track, based on a progression around creating tension & release for the listener.

Bringing too many elements right from the start have 2 major inconvenient IMO: first, it’s difficult to bring more interest & too keep with those listeners expectations and 2nd, it could really be confusing for the mind since we’re used to some progression by listening habits. It’s a win when you’re able to break those listening habits & surprise the listener in a positive way but it falls down if not, so better following simple rules then. Electronic Music can also follow logical arrangement like Intro, Pre-Chorus, Chorus I, Break, Chorus II…etc.

  • For the Bass : Level down your Drums IMO and the Bass Level should be OK, as mentioned in my first post, I really think that in the actual version of the track, your Kick & Drums are taking over the other elements.

Cheers :wink:

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Thanks a ton @Tekalight! Always on point and extremely useful :slight_smile: I will for sure check out the drum course, I was looking for something like that! And I’ll work on everything else you said

Thanks again! :slight_smile:

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Hey all again! I did some changes on the intro, and in the second half of the track as well as adding some bell sounds following the main lead and one additional snare. What do you think of it?

Thanks in advance again! :slight_smile:

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Hey again @returnnull

Definitely a great improvement in the track arrangement & progression, the different parts with the sounds you added & the enhancement in the drums are making the all mix a lot more interesting now, good work with this :wink:

Now, funny thing & you’ll understand why I think :smile:

WHERE is the Intro ?? LOL

I explain : for me your intro is 0:15 sec long, after that you’re bringing the main melodic theme in. It now works because of the variations & ear candies you’re bringing after but it will really create more surprise & interest to make a longer intro & drop this melody later on IMO.

But again, really nice improvement comparing to the previous version :thumbsup:

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Dear @Tekalight!

Your feedback is, as always, extremely valuable! thank you so much for taking the time to listen to my track again :slight_smile:

Regarding the intro, very interesting point! Correct me if I’m wrong: what you suggest is to create a different melody before presenting the main melodic theme as I do after 0:15? :slight_smile: if so, should I do this by using different instruments or just by creating a different melody with different notes? I feel like the intro should be somehow related with the main theme playing later, right?

Sorry for the noob questions! You’re really helping me pushing my music forward :slight_smile:

Thanks again!

Hi there @returnnull

Sorry for the delayed reply :wink:

In fact what I was thinking about the intro was pretty simple : just making it longer and without any melody, you could use one chord or even just one note with a synth or pad sound to set the tonality of the melody if you wish, but not revealing the all melody so early in the track.

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Dear @Tekalight

No worries and thanks for taking the time to help me :slight_smile: I see what you mean, very interesting point :slight_smile: I will try some changes and then pass to the mixing and mastering stage

Thank you again for your help! And happy new year :smiley:

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Thanks & Happy New Year to you too, all the best with Music making :wink:
Keep the joy & fun of doing it and learning, it takes time to get there, it’s sometime quite frustrating but in the end it might be a rewarding journey.

Cheers !

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Thanks for your words! Learning is always fun and this alone is rewarding :slight_smile: keep up the work you do! is super valuable! all the best to you too :smiley:

Ps: sorry for the late answer!

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