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how to mix rock drums

''"wet, naturally, means with reverb/ambience, while dry means with little or no room tone. Not even close. Or if you’re working with samples. This will help fatten up tracks and increase the perceived loudness. Seriously, use the highest ratio possible and the fastest attack and release times and just peg the needle. Look, let’s just get this out of the way up-front. The next step to a rocking drum mix is to simply start balancing all of your drum tracks. In an audience perspective, the panning is reversed—as if you were watching a drum perform from the audience. Over the years, as a small studio operator and freelance engineer, he's made recordings of all types from music & album production to v/o & post. That's about all there's space for here. Out of the usual collection of individual drums tracks'"kick, snare, toms, hi-hat, and the overhead mics that bring in the cymbals as well as a more ambient version of the entire kit'"the kick and snare, as the primary conveyers of the beat, probably get the most care lavished on them. In a typical multitrack recording, the sound coming off the close mics on the individual drums will probably be a lot more boxy and midrangey than the deep, polished tone we're all used to on modern drum recordings. Increase the threshold on the gate until the tom becomes muted. Finally, depending on your particular sub-genre, you may choose to accentuate or attenuate the clickiness of the kick. Then, slowly decrease the threshold until only the tom opens the gate (and none of the other drum hits from the noise bleed). Universal Audio Releases UAD Neve Dynamics Collection & API Summing LUNA Exte... Tracktion’s Essential Collection Offers DSP Effects Separately, Saturator: Ableton Live’s Secret Sound Design Weapon. Start with a slow attack and fast release for a natural sound. Depending on your particular sub-genre, it’s pretty common to enhance the sound of kicks, snares and even tom with sampled drums. Most tom mics need noise gates. The specific frequency will depend on the drum. you may have to route ever drum channel to the reverb bus to create your own atmosphere. Mixing is not a linear process. Visualizing the kit is a good guideline for this, but there is one aspect where the positioning of drums in a recording usually deviates from the way they're actually arranged. Depending on what room mics you have available, you may only need to add a little reverb to the snare. Drum Compression as Effect: L->R: No Comp; Slower Attack & Release (tight drum sound); Fast Attack & Release (looser, ringy sound). The cymbals also occupy this range, so be careful not to overdo it. It may sound aggressive, but those are the keys to a killer drum mix. That’s where noise gates come in. Joe is a musician, engineer, and producer in NYC. Especially on kick and snare, it’s common to see as much as 6 dB of compression on a single channel. With a drum part that uses samples, you may find that the samples are already pre-EQ'd, and only minor adjustments are required, to make them sit well in the overall mix. If there are any issues, use the steps above to tweak each channel as needed. Personally, I try to retain as much of the sound of the original recording as I can. To correct phase issues with drum tracks, simply zoom in on the audio track in your DAW. However, that kind of ultra-wide stereo panning is perceived by many as dated, and it's more common for the drums to occupy a stereo field that extends from the center to about half-way left and right, preserving some natural width, but still leaving room for other elements of the mix. Reverb decays of 1 second or less are often best, and will add more than enough ambience, while maintaining the overall clarity of the mix. In a hip-hop or R&B arrangement, a drier, tighter drum sound would probably be most appropriate, while in a big pop or rock mix, a lot of ambience on the drums would often be the way to go. Figure 4B Drum Compression for Effect on Kick (L) & Snare (R): Top: Slower Attack & Release; Bottom: Fast Attack & Release. The answer, of course, is yes. Parallel compression is a great way to add grit, aggression, and energy to any drum mix. If there are any errors in timing, be sure to quantize them before you start mixing. He currently owns and operates Punchy Kick, a professional mixing and mastering studio that specializes in pop-punk, emo, punk, grunge, and alternative music. Try boosting for more attack. You want the kick drum to hit you in the chest and the snare drum the smack you in the face! Drums with & without EQ: No EQ; then with EQ; No EQ again; then with EQ. Close-mic’d cymbals like the hi-hat should come next. Make sure the meter on the left side hovers near +1 at the top for a well-balanced mix. And listen to a lot a recordings for the specific aspects of drum sounds that catch your ear'"no matter how long you've been mixing drums, there's always something new and interesting to be heard! Applying compression with a fast attack & release can accentuate the boominess, and the ring, of a drum, to the degree that it sounds like you removed all damping from the drum, regardless of how it was originally recorded. You can also adjust the release time to fit with the tempo of the track so the gate “closes” just before the next beat of the song. Simply slide the out-of-phase track over to manually line up the transient of the first downbeat with the other mics. I usually end up cutting some of the boxy midrange and bringing out a little bit of sparkle in the high end with a high shelf. There are three basic approaches to panning drums: the drummer’s perspective, audience perspective, or freestyle. It's not uncommon for a single drum kit to have multiple compressors'"a typical drum mix might feature individual compressors on the kick and snare, stereo compression on the overheads, and then all the drum tracks running through another unit strapped across a stereo drum master aux (compression can even be added in parallel'"see below). And nothing sucks the life out of a rock song faster than a weak drum mix. Boost the lows with a shelf around 80 to 120 Hz to add power. Reverb is the effect that varies the most from subgenre to subgenre. Cut liberally around 200, 500, and 800 Hz as needed. Of all the processing done to drums, compression can be key. There’s an old saying in the music business; “Crap in, crap out.” There’s no magic spell for turning a bad drum performance into a radio-ready recording. Try to retain as much of the original recording as possible. To check the phase of your tracks, load LEVELS on your drum bus and jump to the Stereo Field tab. Start by adjusting volume levels. The drumkit is where many mixers start out a mix'"using the rhythm section to anchor the rest of the parts of a busy arrangement.

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