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#288678 - 03/20/15 08:47 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Drum Processing Tips needed
HearToLearn Offline
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Registered: 08/04/10
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I personally love all styles of music. Right now though, I am working at getting an industry processed type of sound. I am trying to focus on this and need help.

Here is an example of what I am reaching for...

Toms and Hihat

I like the fullness of the toms. I currently have slate drums to play with, and am curious what kinds of effects, eq, chain, (and rough settings), etc, do I need to be using to head in this direction?

Next would be the hi hat and ride. The hi hat has a nice slushy sound, not so mechanically tight sounding. Yet, it sits in the mix very nicely. The ride has a clear pretty sound to it (especially with the accents).

How? That is my question smile I really don't know where to start or what to change. If I put reverb on, I don't know what to roll off or enhance, as an example. I am at a total loss with all of this, but am excited to learn.

I would like to start by perfecting one type of sound that I can use. Then I can work from there.

I am really looking forward to the responses! I am also hoping to avoid the whole "I detest Luke Bryan / That's not country music" debate smile I'm just looking to try and better myself and my writing in a direction I would personally like to go.

Thanks! smile
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#288682 - 03/20/15 09:51 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Drum Processing Tips needed [Re: HearToLearn]
Guitarhacker Offline
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It all depends... on lots of things.

First, there's no easy, simple answer to this, such as ... do this and waaaa laaaa......and especially in a single post in a forum thread. But this is my 2 cents worth in the first post.....

I find it easier to work in Sonar on my final mixing. This lets me add and delete the compressors and EQ and reverbs that I need to use on tracks.

I find that some of the Real Drum tracks in BB/RB can be "seasoned" nicely using a few plugs that I have customized inside my DAW.

I don't have Slate... but I do have a few other drum synths and several of them allow multiple, assignable, track outputs. Having each part of the kit in it's own track or even being able to group things such as "toms" into one output channel and "cymbals" into another tend to make tweeking the kit to perfection much much easier than say using a Real Band real drum track where everything in the kit is on one stereo track.

I tend to be lazy and not really as nitpicking when it comes to drums so I opt for the easy path of whatever real band can deliver in most cases.

The best way to learn how to get that "BIG KIT" sound is to play around with the drums in SOLO mode and do that in a DAW that allows easy insert and removal of plugs. Be sure the speakers are capable of letting you hear what's going on with the mix. Then it's a matter of playing around with the compressors, EQ's that you have in your tool box. and the reverb. Since drums in a kit tend to span the entire frequency range from the low freq thump of the kick to the high end of the cymbals, using a multi-band compressor is real handy for the compression.... you don't necessarily want to compress the cymbals at the same rate as the kick.... multiband's let you control the freq bands separately. Same with EQ... if everything is ion one track, use a multi-band point EQ... similar to a graphic. Para-Q works fine on individual drums, but using them on the whole kit is a bit of a stretch IMHO.

Don't overcompress the drums. Perhaps the kick needs heavier compression than the rest, but avoid too much compression or you suck the life and dynamics out of the kit.

If you're new to mixing and need a good place to start, download this and keep it on your computer after you read it.

https://www.izotope.com/en/support/support-resources/guides/

Get the first 2 guides. Mixing & mastering

It's specific to the products they sell BUT.... great information that crosses the lines to ALL mixing and mastering.

Ask specific questions as you begin to understand more.
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#288728 - 03/20/15 04:07 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Drum Processing Tips needed [Re: HearToLearn]
Jim Fogle Offline
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Registered: 08/20/11
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A video link from another posting had an interesting idea that I've played with and like.

Start with a two channel (stereo) drum track such as a RealDrums track.

Duplicate the drum track three times. Each of the three tracks will emphasise one drum instrument such as kick, snare, high-hat or cymbal by concentrating on the sound of that one instrument. Then the original track and the three emphasised tracks can be mixed together to create the sound you want. You can also add an effect like reverb or delay to change the sound of one drum instrument if desired.

Mute all tracks but one. Play the unmuted track through a parametric equaliser. Set the parametric equaliser for high q (very narrow bandwidth) then raise the gain. Change the frequency around until you find the center frequency of one instrument such as the kick drum. Use high and low cut filters to get rid of the frequencies outside the range of the instrument. Add gain and effect to get that instrument (kick drum in my description) to sound like you want it.

Repeat with tracks two (snare perhaps) and three (cymbals maybe).

If the original drum track has more instruments like conga, toms or cowbell (gotta' have that cowbell) then you can add more duplicate tracks to concentrate on each instrument as desired.

You need to make sure unwanted frequencies are minimzed in each duplicate track or the sound quickly turns muddy or indistinct.

Duplicate tracks opens up a lot of mixing options. You can change the emphasis each verse by altering the sub mix. You can apply effects to one instument.
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#288790 - 03/21/15 08:19 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Drum Processing Tips needed [Re: HearToLearn]
HearToLearn Offline
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Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 1614
Loc: Midwest
Thanks for the responses. I do understand the need to separate out the tracks for processing (unless working with loops of course).

The problem I'm having is I really have NO idea what effects will get me closer to the sound I'm looking for. I don't know how to NOT muddy up a mix, or make something stand out.

Is my best bet to just start with something, post it, and get advice on that?
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#288791 - 03/21/15 08:23 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Drum Processing Tips needed [Re: HearToLearn]
HearToLearn Offline
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Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 1614
Loc: Midwest
Quote:
Mute all tracks but one. Play the unmuted track through a parametric equaliser. Set the parametric equaliser for high q (very narrow bandwidth) then raise the gain. Change the frequency around until you find the center frequency of one instrument such as the kick drum. Use high and low cut filters to get rid of the frequencies outside the range of the instrument. Add gain and effect to get that instrument (kick drum in my description) to sound like you want it.

Repeat with tracks two (snare perhaps) and three (cymbals maybe).

If the original drum track has more instruments like conga, toms or cowbell (gotta' have that cowbell) then you can add more duplicate tracks to concentrate on each instrument as desired.

You need to make sure unwanted frequencies are minimzed in each duplicate track or the sound quickly turns muddy or indistinct.


This says A LOT. Thanks! So this is where muddy-ness happens?

This will sound stupid, but it's where I'm at, how do you do this with effects? I'm guessing that is also where the mud comes from?
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#288792 - 03/21/15 08:25 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Drum Processing Tips needed [Re: HearToLearn]
HearToLearn Offline
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Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 1614
Loc: Midwest
In the track I offered as an example, to me it sounds like there is a lot of compression going on. But here is the thing, I don't KNOW that. I think that's what it is, but really have no clue. I'm excited to find out though!
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#288801 - 03/21/15 10:57 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Drum Processing Tips needed [Re: HearToLearn]
MarioD Offline
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Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 11449
Loc: Hamlin NY
These sites should help:

http://www.deepscoperecords.com/deepscopeweb_022.htm

http://www.audio-issues.com/music-mixing/drum-eq-guide/

http://www.prosoundweb.com/article/eq_and_compression_techniques_pt2_drums/

There is a lot of information on EQing drums, just google/bing EQ for drums. The best way is to these is to put each drum and cymbal on separate tracks.

What DAW are you using? Many come with excellent tools that you can use.

As previously mentioned each song may be EQed differently so you have to use the old trial and error method to find the best sounding drums for each song.
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#288878 - 03/22/15 05:10 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Drum Processing Tips needed [Re: HearToLearn]
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5842
Quote:
The problem I'm having is I really have NO idea what effects will get me closer to the sound I'm looking for. I don't know how to NOT muddy up a mix, or make something stand out.



There are 3 main EQ's that are used for the majority of the music you hear.

1. Compression
2. EQ
3. Reverb

Those 3 are the primary ones that you should learn to use.

A fourth, the Limiter, can also be used to advantage in some places. However, if you learn the 3, you can do almost everything you need with them.

Personally, I go light on compression, use EQ judiciously, reverb as needed and rarely use a limiter. Your tracks, straight up raw, should be fairly close to the sound you want before you apply any FX to them. If they are not, you should re-examine what you're doing in the recording process, so that they are closer to the desired end result, up front.

The muddiness in a mix comes from having too many things in the same frequency range and that range tends to be the lower mids into the low range. EQ is your friend here. Using high pass filtering can solve lots of problems in this range.


Edited by Guitarhacker (03/22/15 05:18 AM)
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#288912 - 03/22/15 09:43 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Drum Processing Tips needed [Re: HearToLearn]
Sundance Offline
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Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 4249
Lots of great advice on here so far and here's a couple of links to help as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idVWobNeGtU Lots of great mixing tutorial videos from Recording Revolution on youtube or go to http://www.recordingrevolution.com You can see and hear what he's doing as he explains how to do it. Then try it in whatever DAW and effects you are using.

Also Coursera has a FREE music production course from Berklee which covers all the basics.

Hope that helps

Josie
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#288921 - 03/22/15 12:21 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Drum Processing Tips needed [Re: HearToLearn]
Janice & Bud Offline
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And, if it hasn't been mentioned, use a reference song for comparison as you work along, i.e., one that has the drum sound you wish to emulate.
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#288970 - 03/22/15 04:47 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Drum Processing Tips needed [Re: Janice & Bud]
HearToLearn Offline
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Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 1614
Loc: Midwest
Quote:
And, if it hasn't been mentioned, use a reference song for comparison as you work along, i.e., one that has the drum sound you wish to emulate.


Agreed. It's the only way to know that I am so far away from the sound I want...not close! Ha! J/k GREAT advice!
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#289332 - 03/24/15 06:35 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Drum Processing Tips needed [Re: HearToLearn]
jazzmammal Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 6592
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
This hasn't been mentioned so I'll ask. What's the source recording of the drum track you're working with? I'm mostly used to me doing a live recording of a live drummer so then the mic's and placement are critical and I can go on and on about that but if you're working with prerecorded drums of any sort including midi drums using a synth, then that's a whole other thing.

With a prerecorded track and that can be audio loops, Real Drums or samples in a synth, try something simple like plugging in a basic 10 band EQ as in PG Music's 10 band EQ and use that to isolate the different parts of the kit. Cymbals are hiding around 5-8K, the kick is around 100-500K or so, the snare is in the middle and so on. If it's muddy lower those low freq's a bit. How much is a bit? Who knows, just experiment until you find out. EQ alone can get you a long way.

Lots of folks here have expensive DAWS like Sonar or Pro Tools and use expensive third party plugins like OZONE, T-Racks etc but don't overlook the PGM audio plugs. They were written by some of the same software sound designers who worked on those expensive mixing suites. The PG plugs have a bland appearance, no cool Starship Enterprise lightshow but behind those visuals lies the exact same software and the PG stuff can produce very good results.

Bob
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