In the EDM genre, it’s likely that you will strive to make the most important elements of your mix prominent and big. Typically, beginners tend to add many identical layers, as many as possible, of their leads in order to make them sound bigger. There are other ways. Instead of stacking layer after layer of identical material, in the following tutorial, we’ll show you how to get bigger leads, by adding rhythmical movement.

As usual, we have prepared a short sequence in our SoundBridge: DAW. It contains most of the elements of the full mix. Let’s take a listen to it.

This is a picture of SB sequencer taken before creating synth layers.
~Full Mix – Without Synth Lead

We will start by creating our synth lead and writing a simple melody for it. In this case, we’ve done it using Spire, by Reveal Sound.

This is a picture of synth layer 1 and its MIDI editor.
~Synth Lead Layer 1 – Solo

As stated previously, rather than stacking identical layers, let’s duplicate the main pattern and play the same notes, but with a faster rhythm. This will give our synth lead some movement and allow it to breathe. To accomplish this, we will add another instance of Spire and select a different sound. Additionally, instead of using eighth notes in the main pattern, we will use sixteenth notes in the new one. Let’s hear how that sounds.

This is a picture of synth layer 2 and its MIDI editor.
~Synth Lead Layer 2 – Solo

It’s important to emphasize that when layering and stacking leads, volume balance is crucial. Your leads will fight and cancel each other out if you don’t balance them well. Define the main layer and the supporting ones and set appropriate levels.

~Synth Lead Layers – Mix

Finally, let’s hear how our synth lead sounds in the context of the full mix.

~Full Mix – Synth Lead Layers

If you liked this article on synth layering and processing, here are some more on the same subject:

  • How to Make a Punchy Synth Lead
  • Make a Bigger Synths by Using Unison
  • Make Your synths Sound More Analog
  • How to Make a Talking Synth Sound