Sounds Clashing and When to Adjust Volumes in Beats

  • #89729

    Evening Riley, I’m really enjoying the making a beat from scratch course and the new camera angle is great to see how you navigate your setup.

    I’m trying to follow along with some sounds and melodies of my own, but kind of running into trouble with the volumes, my sounds clash together and sound muddy.. and although I’ve seen your techniques to adjust things I’m wondering is it maybe my selection of sounds?

    Also if I didn’t adjust the volumes early on like you did, could I tackle those issues later on when the mixing and mastering takes place?

    Thanks for the amazing lessons and all your help appreciate it.

    GratuiTous Join Platform!

    Hey Alberto!  Thanks for watching my How to Make a Beat from Scratch Vol. 1! – I was so happy to finally put together a create a beat from beginning to end FL Studio course..

    Maybe I make the sound selection stuff seem too easy, but you can tell when I explain about sound selection for beats that it comes from LOTS of experience, as most of my sounds generally fit because of training my ear over the years to think in terms of OCTAVES (low and high pitch), as well as the timbre of a sound (how aggressive or soft the sound is).

    For others reading, my Sound Selection in Beats Course is meant to tackle a lot of this knowledge, explaining sound selection has a couple parts, like:

    • Volume (how loud a sound is)
    • How long a sound is (short / long can take up more/less space)
    • How aggressive a sound is (how many frequencies a sound has… think sine wave vs square wave)
    • And.. your melodies (the timing of your melodies is important to reduce clashing)

    For the sound selection, it really just comes down to time and experience making beats.. it’s all about selecting sounds that are unique from each other BEFORE mixing, then the mixing just enhances clarity, etc.

    Again, the Sound Selection in Beats Course teaches all these tricks!


    For your next question about adjusting volumes before or after beatmaking, you can definitely adjust volumes any time you want!

    But here’s what I try to explain to students..

    When you make a beat and adjust volumes quickly as you go along, you’re creating a “balance of the song”.

    In other words, if you have different instruments and your drum loop going, you’ve adjusted the volumes to sit in a sweet spot so nothing sounds out of place.

    If you go to re-adjust the volumes drastically later on, you risk changing this balance you’ve made the beat to..

    When it comes to mixing, I’d try to keep this balance as much as possible, but just try to enhance things be doing slight boosts/cuts (but this is a “perfect scenario”.. a perfect beat/mix..)

    This is really true for the drum loop, as in my courses you’ll see I often have a lot of various percussion in my drum loop.  This is the balance I’m talking about, as I’ve made the drum loop.

    But.. this is not to say I don’t boost things drastically, or add effects on to totally change up a sound.

    This balance I’m talking about is just a really good starting point.. then you can start being creative from there!

    I talk about this volume balance in this podcast episode.

    I hope that answers your questions..

    Sound selection is not easy in beatmaking.. so if I make it look easy, remember, it’s just from years of experience.. but listen very close to the words I say through that Sound Selection Course and How to Make Beats From Scratch Vol. 1, as I explain my exact mindset in regards to the sounds I’m picking to make the beat step-by-step!

    Thank-you so much for your membership, and your engagement with questions.

    Keep at it, and you will see the results you’re after!  Don’t give up!  🙂


    This answer definitely helped I really appreciate it, it also lets me know maybe I should take more time and pick better sounds before I try to move on.

    You showed nexus in one of your lessons, and I’m pretty familiar with it watching you and other friends use it, however, it’s pretty pricey, I know it’s worth it but recently as I was updating FL I noticed they advertised something like nexus by UVI I have several things from them that came with the all plug in edition of FL.. that said, it’s called synth 4 and right now it’s at a very reasonable $79 introductory price.. do you think this is as good as nexus ? Thanks for your help as always

    GratuiTous Join Platform!

    Yeah how to choose sounds for beats is one of the trickiest things to learn..

    Another things you’ll hear me talk about in that Beat from Scratch Course is sounds (presets) designed for beatmakers.

    The benefit of Nexus is that many of the sounds were designed by Manuel Schleis.. I’ve used a lot of sound design over my years, but his sound design (and many of the Nexus sound designers) create very useable presets for beatmakers.

    That means:

    • Don’t mess with pitch too much to the point of being unusable
    • Powerful for chords / melodies
    • Lots of versatility like leads, pads, strings, orchestra (if you get some add-ons)

    Keep in mind, every sound designer will always make their presets sound really good because of the amount of effects they add on when played by itself.. so you’ll typically always back off on the effects a little bit (as you see in the FL Studio Course there).

    I cannot give my recommendation on what Virtual Instrument to Buy..

    But from my experience, I’ve really enjoyed Nexus, and now that the eLicensor is no longer required to use Nexus, it’s such a powerful tool (and lightweight), with sounds that are great for beatmakers.

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