Things could not be going any better during Hyperbits’ 2016 Summer Masterclass. Throughout the initial weeks, we covered concepts such as how to process sounds to make them widely unique and jaw dropping. We took these concepts one step further during the fourth week to cover the nitty gritty concepts of sonic space.
Every producer wants to take their listener out of the listeners environment and into the world of the song they have made. They want sweeping soundscapes and soaring leads that seem much much larger than the headphones that are playing them. These specialization approaches can seem tricky, and often are a sum of a thousand smaller tweaks throughout the entire song. The main tools that Hyperbits employs throughout this week’s material, as well as his own songs, come down to these five elements:
1) Sample Delay – The subtle differences in milliseconds between what your left and right speakers are playing has a psycho-acoustic effect making us think those individual sounds are much larger than they appear.
2) Reverb – Mimicking the artificial space of different listening environments, reverb is a great way to put dry-recorded sounds into a lifelike room or concert hall!
3) Panning – Hyperbits continued to refer to the popular analogy of an orchestra hall stage. By seeing where the violin is placed versus the oboes versus the percussions versus the singer can really help you understand the concept of each element in the mix requiring their own space.
4) Equalization – By removing the higher frequencies from a sound, it often appears to dampen the synths which makes them appear farther way from us. This, coupled with other spacial techniques, can really do subtle wonders to a track.
5) Compression – Compression by itself is a tough subject to tackle, but after learning the basics, you will start hearing how more compressed signals start to appear farther away. Distant sounds lack those subtle nuances and slight transients that a compressor has the tendency to remove. While on the same note, sounds that are close seem to pop much more to where we are able to hear every slight dip and ebbe in the conversation.
This was by far the most thorough week thus far. Learning that stereo imaging is essentially far more than JUST width, but also a specific practice to dictate depth in a production, was an absolute game changer. Methodologies like this are the ones that the professionals use on a day to day basis, but the subtle art is often lost on the amateur. By applying these techniques, your stagnant and computer generated sound bites soon have new life breathed into them.
Stay tuned for next week where we start learning how to make your music move, and how to layer synths together to achieve that iconic wall of sound.
For more information on Hyperbits’ Masterclass, head over to his website where you will find information on classes, mixing services, webinars, and more. Until next week, happy producing!