Should you volume balance your songs?
You’ve made the beat, and you love how it sounds nice and full, but you’ve seen tutorials tell you that you should now bring each instrument to the mixer, and try to re-mix the song.
But.. think clearly for a second.. if you like the balance, should you try to “re-balance” your volumes and hope for that same balance?
Getting the same balance is VERY HARD..
Adjust Instruments Where Needed..
With virtual instruments, like a ROMpler, we beatmakers ALREADY HAVE HIGH-QUALITY SOUNDS.
The thing you must understand as a beatmaker is a lot of information is jumbled together with the recording world to us beatmakers, who just use MIDI and one-shot drum samples.
When a recording engineer would record a musician, their recording levels would not ALWAYS be the same for each different instrument. This is where VOLUME BALANCING is important to bring up a BALANCE in the song.
But for us beatmakers, if we play our melodies, we can quickly lower volume by one or two dB, and that’s technically OUR volume balancing.. make sense?
What about EQ and Compression?
Well, the same idea applies.
When you record an instrument or singer, the microphone is susceptible to many negative things like..
- The Room Sound (if it’s not acoustically treated).
- Distortion if Recorded TOO LOUD
- Inconsistency in Loudness (the singer or musician said some loud or quiet words)..
As a beatmaker, all of these are easily remedied through MIDI.
The room sound.. we can control this through adding/removing REVERB or DELAY!
Distortion.. we can easily just turn down our Virtual Instrument!
And inconsistency.. we can just adjust VELOCITY on an individual MIDI Note (learn more in my SAFE SPOTS Book).
So when we are applying Equalization and Compression, the same concept doesn’t fully apply for a recording to a virtual instrument melody.
Yes, we want things to be clear, but we may not be EQing to FIX a bad recording.. we may just be EQing to MAKE an instrument sound better or more clear.
How to Best Get Started Using MIDI?
I suggest taking my How to Use a MIDI Keyboard as a Beatmaker course, or learning from my what to look for in a MIDI Keyboard article.
Additionally, you can see my recommended MIDI Keyboards for FL Studio!
As always, reach out any time by contacting me directly.
2 thoughts on “S2E26 – Does Volume Balancing Wreck Your Song”
S2E26 was very interesting. I have tried both methods. Both were OK. The moral of my story being, starting from scratch with the volume again is giving yourself more work.
I think key learnings here is that your kick, or Melody are most likely your loudest or the anchor parts to judge the rest of the volumes from. When finished walk away for a few hours, or a day. When you replay your draft beat you are going to know what’s to low or too high and the little tweaks that follow are sufficient, rather than starting from scratch, right?
Thanks for the reassurance Riley.
Yeah, just a different perspective to maybe save you some work of “re-doing” what you already did when you made the beat and adjusted volumes as you went 🙂