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#795807 01/15/24 01:58 PM
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Lately as I write, arrange and record instrumentals I've been carrying around in my head an image of a "music pyramid" and so I sat down and put cursur to screen. I'm sure this can be improved and more detail added.

I know there are exceptions to most every rule but generally speaking is this chart how you think about modern Western music (rock, blues, country, jazz, etc)?

Also generally speaking, can anything useful be said about properly mixing the 4 levels other than "everyone needs to be heard"?

Can this chart (or one similar) be used to describe how the pros arrange, mix and master their songs?

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You've started rediscovering Limey's Pyramid <grin>
http://audiominds.com/pyramid.html

He uses more layers in his example, but you get the idea.

Last edited by rharv; 01/15/24 04:59 PM.

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Well, I agree starting at the bottom with drums and bass which is the standard approach, then up to the next level. However, I reverse those top two. I want to hear the melody work with the foundation and bed, and then lastly I add in the color.


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rharv #795937 01/16/24 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by rharv
You've started rediscovering Limey's Pyramid <grin>
http://audiominds.com/pyramid.html

He uses more layers in his example, but you get the idea.
Thanks for the website. There's a lot of good info there. This is a good one.
"Mix at low volumes - This makes subtle differences in instrument volumes more apparent. "

I saw reference to Limey's Pyramid but couldn't find an image of it, did I miss it?


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For me there’s no better place in the band than to have one leg in the harmony world and the other in the percussive. Thank you Paul Tutmarc and Leo Fender.
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Originally Posted by Matt Finley
Well, I agree starting at the bottom with drums and bass which is the standard approach, then up to the next level. However, I reverse those top two. I want to hear the melody work with the foundation and bed, and then lastly I add in the color.
The more I think about this the more I realize that the pyramid might not be such a good shape to describe this concept. There are some songs, for example by Santana that I've heard a hundred times and Carlos could be wailing away on some great guitar solo but I'm focused in on the bass and the congas. Other times, I'll focus on a "mid level" backing organ. How we define musical preference is a deeply personal and individual thing and yet we as humans in the West can agree over the centuries what is good music (think Mozart) . . . go figure. I'd guess that this is also true for folks in the East.

Nonetheless, a non-universal diagram is better than no diagram at all, at least for me.


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The pyramid diagram is fine AFTER we have all of the components, bass, leads, drums, etc. I believe it is a foundation for mixing. I believe a lot of unconsciously use use such a diagram when mixing. YMMV


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