For the purposes of this question, I'm using definitions commonly used in electronic music production:
- Sound design: The creation of single sounds, that can be used in a composition. For example, synthesizer patch design, sample selection, voice parameter selection and modulation, and effects. This might include mono synthesizer leads, stabs, drum/percussion sounds, pads, or chord sounds, etc.
- Composition: The creation of musical phrases, or song sections, as opposed to arrangement, which might consist of the sequencing of various composed sections.
Obviously both of these words have varying meanings in different fields, but these are the concepts that I'm trying to get at. Let me know if they aren't clear.
Question: How does sound design impact musical composition?
In other words, how does the length, shape, timbre, volume, pitch/frequency, etc. of a voice affect the ways that it can be used in a musical phrase?
I think this question has a lot of overlap with the concept of instrumentation in classical/orchestral composition, and so perhaps an alternative way to phrase the question would be "what are the sonic attributes of instruments that make them more or less suitable to different roles in a composition?"
For example, a with a long, heavy tail, like a timpani, might not be suited to fast 16th-note sequences (a roll on a timpani might be considered a separate type of sound, compositionally). Likewise, a fast, stabby lead synth sound is probably not suitable for creating space and atmosphere.
An alternative framing of the question might be: What musical parameters are useful for sound design/selection for a voice within a broader composition?
I'm also aware that this question might be a better fit for the Sound Design stackexchange site. If so, feel free to migrate.