Layering and sound design. Pitch matters


Some of the most sonically sexy tracks…have a bunch of layers…these layers are often a combination of sounds mixed together with eq…and glued together compression…

I organize my layers according to where it sits on the frequency spectrum…when i do my granular percussion elements and synth lines for my idm tracks.

Bass i usually cut out the middle frequencys and notch the high frequencies…

The middle frequencies i usually leave for the pads and leads and other synth elements…

For the drums i tune according to the available room in the frequency spectrum…ill sometimes create notches to create room…

But i didnt realize how much tuning and pitch matters when it comes to sound design and mixing.

Finding the right pitch and tuning for a sound helps prevent frequency overlap and it also prevents mixes that sound like mud.

I am kicking myself because of the amount of time it has taken me to realize this. Lol


This is honestly the beauty of making electronic music. Synths and samples (to a lesser degree) can be whatever we want. Any pitch or texture.

I try to do all my mixing while making and arranging sounds. If I can avoid having to EQ and compress, that’s my style. Let the the whole thing breath.


Yea it’s huge! Also, moving a layer forward or backwards in the time domain by 0-40 milliseconds can have a huge effect. I always try to get my layers sounding as good as possible before touching the eq. That’s after many years of over eqing :weary:


I was seriously late on this too, that kind of thing happens a lot.

It wasn’t until I was dicking around in modular, mapping X/Y pads to the pitch of 4 samplers and the volumes to another set of X/Y pads that I realized the beauty of just using pitch and volume to create new sounds out of old ones. It seems almost too basic to work so well, but it’s literally like re-imagining your old designs entirely.

(And, of course, rinse and repeat that processes until you get sleepy)

I could go on and on about using oscillators this way when putting a synth setup together (like chords with 3 + saparate oscillators or sources) but I wouldn’t want to bore anyone with dumb nerd talk. Either way, when discoveries like this happen late it’s pretty awesome because you can apply everything you currently know to it and really supercharge your workflow!