Multi-tracking Tip: Be considerate of Dynamics

Energy and compositional dynamics in multi track recordings can sometimes be difficult to capture, especially when one track is being laid down at a time. If there is no lead to follow for compositional dynamics (Pianissimo to Fortissimo), then everything risks coming out rather flat. When this begins to happen in a project, some may think that it’s a matter of adjusting levels and possibly automating up and down throughout a song. This only works to a point because our ears take different cues beyond decibels to determine perceived loudness. The timbre of most instruments change when played at different volumes and our ears sense the changes as louder or softer, even when the output levels are squashed to the same level. Think about it: consider the difference between hearing a compressed whisper and a scream; we think the scream is much louder even when it is technically the same level. So, always be aware of dynamics when you record your music.

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