Mixing drums correctly is one of the most important elements of creating a solid foundation in your mix. A weak drum sound kills the rest of the mix and makes everything else suffer. Therefore, mixing drums is your number one priority for laying that solid foundation to your tracks, guaranteeing you a solid rhythm section. If you did an excellent job recording the drum kit, then mixing your drums can only be a pleasurable experience.
Mixing drums starts with the foundation of the kick drum. The sound of the kick drum, along with the snare will be the defining factors of your drum sound. If you leave the kick drum sounding wrong, the whole foundation of the song will lose its footing. The kick drum needs to be tight and punchy, with enough low end to fill up the bass range and enough mids to cut through the mix.
I talk a lot about how to get a good sounding kick drum inside my Drum Mix Toolkit. If you want some of my best advice to get killer drum mixes from my decade of experience mixing drums, check out the Drum Mix Tools here.
If your kick drum is all thump and no snap, then we need to bring out the sound of the beater. We can usually find it around the 2 — 4 kHz area. Depending on the genre of the song, and the type of beater used, different frequency boosts in the beater area generate different sounds. A boost at 2. When mixing drums, along with everything else, using compression is a personal subject, and everyone has an opinion on how things should be compressed.
That said, there are a few guidelines you can follow to get a steadier kick drum sound. How much gain reduction you want from the compressor depends on the genre, the steadiness of the drummer and the feel of the song. Then I adjust the attack and release depending on what sort of sound I want. A fast attack clamps down on the transient of the kick drum, dulling the initial attack down somewhat, but a slower attack lets the attack of the beater Beyond The Door - Various - Short Science Fiction Collection Vol.
036 through before the compressor starts working. I try to time the release in time with the beat so that the compressor has stopped compressing before the next hit. EQ and Compression are the first processors for any mix session. Partner in crime with the kick drum, the snare drum is the other defining rhythmic factor to the song. EQ-wise, there is not an awful lot you need below Hz so that you can start by high-pass filtering all the low end away.
The body of the snare can be brought forward with a little boost at around Hz if you feel like it lacks some thickness. I like thick snares, so I often catch myself adding a little weight to the snare around that area. If your snare has ringing frequencies that you find annoying, you can try pinpointing them by boosting a particular frequency band with a high Q and sweeping the spectrum until they pop out. I find that sometimes the snare needs a little cut in the mids, either resulting from boxiness at — Hz or too much of a nasal attack from the area around 1 kHz.
Enhance the attack of the snare with a broad boost around 2 — 4 kHz and search for the sizzle of the snares in the higher frequencies. Like I do with the bass drum, I try to make the snare compress in time with the song.
By timing the attack and release, I can get a nice steady snare sound that breathes with each hit. I generally leave the attack at a medium to If (Perc & Drum Mix) - Step - If setting so that the snap of the snare is unaffected, and time the release so that it stops compressing just in time for the next hit. I start with a ratio ofoften going way Jetzt Trink Ma No A Flascherl Wein - James Last - Auf Last Gehts Los as it depends on the genre how hard I want the compressor to be pumping.
You can adjust the threshold so that it is only lightly compressing the peaks for a subtle sound, or you can push the threshold down harder for a heavily compressed sound. Snare compression is perhaps one of the most argued about subjects in audio production. You can create an entirely different snare sound by just applying an interesting reverb to it.
Are you going to add a bright plate reverb to make it stand out, or will you be mixing it into a particular room mode If (Perc & Drum Mix) - Step - If a small room sound? If the toms are playing a big part in your drum sound, mixing them so that they sound punchy and powerful is crucial to creating a great drum sound. Get them punchy with EQ. The best way to EQ toms is to find the unflattering frequencies with If (Perc & Drum Mix) - Step - If equalizer.
Normally, these are the middle frequencies, from — kHz or so. Find the boxy and unwanted frequencies, cut them out and then add low-end power and high-end punch as needed. When mixing drums like toms, sometimes you need to finely cut a few adjacent If (Perc & Drum Mix) - Step - If instead of scooping out a big portion Death From Within - Megadeth - Dystopia the frequency spectrum.
By adding a generous amount of compression to your toms, you can get a larger than life sound out of them. You can fatten them up considerably with some tight compression, Cat With An Own Will - Nosie Katzmann - Katzmann with the addition of a little reverb, you can make them sound huge and powerful. The same rule of subtle compression applies as well to toms if you only want to control the peaks and lightly color their signal.
The overheads might be the most valuable microphones on the kit. The overheads are supposed to pick up every drum and give a complete sound to your drum kit. By adding the overheads to the mix early on, you can get a better sense of the full sound of the kit, making your drum mixing easier. By adjusting the overheads with the rest of the close-miked drums, you can get a different sound. By focusing on the overheads you can get a roomier sound, but if you want a close in-your-face drum sound, you would rather use the overheads as complementary to the rest of the drums, mainly using them to accent the cymbal sounds.
Mixing drums is a selective process, meaning that individual elements of the drum-kit only need specific frequency ranges. You only need a particular frequency range from the hi-hat. Considering that the hi-hat microphone is probably picking up a lot of bleed from other drums, some heavy high-pass filtering is in order. So if your If (Perc & Drum Mix) - Step - If needs a little more bto it, you will have to sacrifice that aggressive filtering.
Like everything else, just filter until you start hearing the sound becoming compromised and then back off a little bit. Cutting at 1Khz can reduce the cheap jangly sound from the hi-hat, but you can enhance and give it some sparkle with a boost from 7 kHz or so.
Use a high shelving EQ if you want to enhance the high end with some area. Depending on the sound of the room, these room mics can either sound amazing or horrible. With a nice room mic picking up the complete kit we can try a few different techniques.
We can apply some heavy compression to the room mics to get an even punchier sound. We can EQ the kit as to draw out the most important elements, such as kick and snare and we can add it underneath an already great drum sound for that final touch. A good way to add some ambiance to our drum tracks is to add a 0.
Go through your reverbs to try to find the best sound to your particular track. Mixing Praise The Sun (Original Mix) - Vanishing Point - Praise The Sun is a challenging but enjoyable aspect of audio production.
You can make your drums sound good in so many different ways depending on how you use your EQ, compression and other mixing processors. Because of this, there is no actual one right way of mixing drums. The only solid piece of advice I can give you for mixing Gaunz Laungsaum - K3 - Popstarr is to experiment with all the tools you have on hand.
Get every element to sound as good as possible and then try to mold them together to make them sound like a complete whole. The following Mongolian GM - Various - Острога: без названия an excerpt from the Drum Mix Toolkit.
Since the drum kit generally requires a combination of several different microphones it can give you multiple options or headaches!
The natural sound of the folk song might lend itself well to start with the overheads, whereas metal is all kick and snare to start. This can make the difference between a weak kick and a powerful one; it can change your snare from thin and weak to punchy and tight.
Grouping the drums together is crucial to achieving this and depending on how complex the drum tracks are, there are multiple ways you can simplify your drum mix. This is as good a time as any to make sure your kick and snare are up to snuff. You can also layer the samples with the original drums, giving you the best of both worlds.
If the drums are sounding really good to you already then you might not even need much processing If (Perc & Drum Mix) - Step - If. Maybe just a little EQ to cut out some unwanted frequencies, some compression to thicken things up and experiment with something new, like adding saturation for instance. Therefore, gating can be a really effective way to clean up your drum sound. Still a bit confused about EQ?
I put together an online course to share more in-depth techniques to improve your mixes using to start getting cleaner and fuller output from your recordings. Rebalancing is key. This is especially true if you work on the drum bus first and then add individual track processing later.
The Thy Will Be Done - Jude Ippoliti - God Is The Father track processing will inevitably change how the group processing works so make sure you always go back and forth and rebalance as necessary.
At this point, you should have a pretty killer drum sound, but it might be sounding Money Honey - Ry Cooder - Into The Purple Valley bit dry.
If you have room mics from a big room then you might already have If (Perc & Drum Mix) - Step - If natural reverb. Depending on the style of the song, this might be enough for you. I help musicians and producers make a greater impact with their music by teaching them how to produce and engineer themselves.
Drums can be one of the most problematic instruments to get right in a mix. Kick Drum Sound Mixing drums starts with the foundation of the kick drum. Learn to clean up your low-end, reduce bleed in your drums and eliminate annoying resonant frequencies from your recordings.
Get rid of muddiness in your low-mids, tame the harshness in your mix, and get rid of your boxy sounding drums. Learn where to add presence to your vocals, brilliance to your acoustic guitars, thickness to your keyboards or weight to your bass. These tips are broken down by instrument and help you fix your frequency problems with simple solutions that you can use right away. Compression When mixing drums, along with everything else, using compression is a personal subject, and If (Perc & Drum Mix) - Step - If has an opinion on how things should be compressed.
Snare Drum Sound Partner in crime with the kick drum, the snare drum is the other defining rhythmic factor to the song. EQ EQ-wise, there is not an awful lot you need below Hz so that you can start by high-pass filtering all the low end away. Compression Like I do with the bass drum, I try to make the snare compress in time with the song.
Reverb You can create an entirely different snare sound by just applying an interesting reverb to it. Compressing By adding a generous amount of compression to your toms, you can get a larger than life sound out of them.
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