Instruments overlapping

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Instruments overlapping

Post by apaclin »

Hey guys, quick question, how much do you let your harmonic instruments overlap in notes? Sometimes I find it hard to make an arrangement sound full and not awkward when instruments play in different registers and don't overlap (like piano at the bottom and guitar at the top).

Also, any courses/material/channels to improve arrangement skills? Or will have to listen to songs and try to copy?
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Re: Instruments overlapping

Post by BWC »

I don't really think about "overlap". It's more, compliment or conflict? Sometimes there's overlap, sometimes not.
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Re: Instruments overlapping

Post by BJG145 »

Overlapping notes? Not a problem. Folkies play all their tunes on at least two instruments at once in the same register, preferably more. Orchestral players have been known to play the same notes too.
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Re: Instruments overlapping

Post by The Elf »

Not sure what problem you're trying to solve. If it sounds good then no problem, if not try a different tack.
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Re: Instruments overlapping.

Post by RichardT »

It’s fine to have instruments overlapping in range as long as they are not fighting with each other. You can reduce the chances of that by giving them different timbres, pan positions, and rhythms to play (or alternatively have them play in unison). You can also use EQ and compression to help keep them clear and separate.

I’m not sure about books. I think it’s quite hard to learn arrangement that way. I would look for a hands-on arrangement course at a college with real exercises that get reviewed by a tutor. Feedback is essential to learning quickly.
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Re: Instruments overlapping

Post by SilverFace »

Try to find a used university Harmony text book. They can be had for about 5 to 10 USD.
Elementary Harmony by Robert Ottman is a good one.
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Re: Instruments overlapping

Post by GilesAnt »

It sounds like you might be better off with a book on orchestration rather than harmony. Walter Piston has a good one
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Re: Instruments overlapping

Post by Terrible.dee »

apaclin wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 11:26 pm Hey guys, quick question, how much do you let your harmonic instruments overlap in notes? Sometimes I find it hard to make an arrangement sound full and not awkward when instruments play in different registers and don't overlap (like piano at the bottom and guitar at the top).

Also, any courses/material/channels to improve arrangement skills? Or will have to listen to songs and try to copy?

Hmm,

I've found "Less is more" to be far more effective.

If the instrumental core of a song comes from its piano riff. Then I find getting a good piano sound and pushing that to the front to be most effective.

I've come to think layering. (Unless you are doing orchestral stuff) is largely B.S.

I recall being at a (At that time) major producers studio when he received the deliverables for a record he had been hired to mix.

He called up the first session, scrolled through the tracks and shook his head.

He looked at me and said: "You wanna know what my first move is, when I'm mixing a project I didn't produce?"

I said: "No, what?"

He looked back at the screen and proceeded to audition tracks, while listening to all of them at once then.........delete, delate, delete, ect.

"I do this every time" he said.

"These people think they are "producing" by layering 500 different guitars for one simple part, it's awful....I let them think all that crap is in there in the final mix....the truth is, I either have someone replay a single part properly, or just chop it down to one.....by the way....do you want to play that guitar riff?"

So I realized why he had invited me over that night.

Little experiences like that led me closer to the conclusion that digital D.A.W era recording is utter B.S.

It's no coincidence the record business fell on its a$$ the moment digital recording become the industry standard.
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Re: Instruments overlapping

Post by Aled Hughes »

Terrible.dee wrote: Sun Oct 10, 2021 10:37 amIt’s no coincidence the record business fell on its a$$ the moment digital recording become the industry standard.

That is almost entirely down to the possibilities offered by digital distribution technology.

Nothing to really with digital recording technology.

Digital recording has of course enabled an oversaturation of music being made, and a lot of it I have no time for, but that’s just how people have chosen to use the technology, not a weakness of the technology itself.
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