This question may sound weird, but how does music sound to you? Does the lead steal all your attention, or do you experience it as an amalgam of various sounds? As a musician, this question has always made me curious. I have posed this question to a lot of people, many of whom have confessed that the lead grabs all their attention. It is not necessarily evil, to concentrate only on the lead while forgetting all about the other tracks. But this has robbed you of the real experience you must be enjoying while listening to music. I call this phenomenon, the lead sickness. If you are suffering from this sickness, here is a blog to cure you.

Let’s start by listening to the track below. This track was inspired by the moment I met my son after a very long break. The feelings I felt back then helped me come up with this track.

Predestined – Track arranged by Amogha

Can you guess how many tracks were in this piece? There were 14 tracks. But mostly, only some tracks grab our attention. Which track(s) took prominence when you were listening? Generally, it always is the loudest ones. But you do agree that each and every track is important to this music, even though you might have spared a minute fraction of your attention to it.

This screenshot is from LogicPro (music production software). On the extreme left you can see 14 tracks numbered. These are various instruments and vocal audio tracks and are triggered on various points of the timeline.

Below, I have placed those tracks individually. This is so that you get a clear idea behind each track. Each track adds its own flavor to the piece. For instance, the ‘calm beach’ track gives the music an atmosphere of calmness. Tracks may also have effects added to them. Some echo, while others move from one ear to the other. All these ingredients produce the final result. Some compositions may have over hundreds of tracks.

Drum Track
Calm Beach Wave
Intro Bells
Trance Lead
Vocal Track
Base Progression
Base Synth Pad
Synth Harmonic Wave
Synth Pad (Alchemy)
Guitar Plucks

Each of the above track combines to form one music piece. In order to enjoy a piece better, we need to focus more on the tracks (individual instrument/audio strip). In order for this to work, the right kind of hardware is important too. Some of the earphones and speakers are unable to produce all the effects of the track. I usually use Bose QC35 headphones to listen to music.

The more we focus on a piece, the better we get at appreciating the piece and are able to spot nuances in the tracks. Also, I consider this a way to respect musicians’ work, which they very well consider as a part of their soul.

This article is in collaboration with Navaneeth Shetty.

The ‘Ape listening to music’ was painted by my wife Namratha Kotekani.


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