Inconsistent Kick drum click/snap
deadringer971
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#1
7th January 2011
Old 7th January 2011
  #1
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Thread Starter
Inconsistent Kick drum click/snap

I'm mixing a hardcore band that I feel need a loud kick drum to make the songs intense enough. The drummer is pretty good but the variation of dynamic on the kick drum, because of fast playing (some hits are harder then the other), makes it hard to fit in the mix. When I compress it hard with a multiband compressor and use transient designer the click/snap in the kick is very inconsistent. Some really come through and some don't.

Any good tips on how to get this right?
#2
7th January 2011
Old 7th January 2011
  #2
Gear Head
 

Ride the fader, use automated volume changes instead of compression.
#3
7th January 2011
Old 7th January 2011
  #3
Riding the fader wont work. The problem is that the drummer isn't hitting the drum "right" consistently. Turning up the bad hits will just sound like a louder bad hit-- that's why sample replacement has become the norm in this genre. Check out programs like Trigger or Drumagog or if there's no budget for that you can zoom in close and manually paste the sexy hits over the bad ones.
#4
7th January 2011
Old 7th January 2011
  #4
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DaVogi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveE View Post
Rider fading wont work. The problem is that the drummer isn't hitting the drum "right" consistently. Turning up the bad hits will just sounds like a louder bad hit-- that's why sample replacement has become the norm in this genre. Check out programs like Trigger or Drumagog or if there's no budget for that you can zoom in close and manually paste the sexy hits over the bad ones.
+1!

comps/limiter help a little bit but don't solve the problem: its more about the general tone/smack of the weak hits then loudness...
#5
7th January 2011
Old 7th January 2011
  #5
Gear addict
 

While I dislike the notion of it, sometimes adding samples is just the only thing you can do. Especially for this kind of music where that snap is very very important.
#6
7th January 2011
Old 7th January 2011
  #6
You say the drummer isn't that bad, but if he's so inconsistent that compression wont help, I would say he's not too good. You can mult the bass drum and really stomp on the parallel channel and Transient designer it and blend it in. If that doesn't work try to find a few of his best hits and sample them and re- trigger
1
#7
7th January 2011
Old 7th January 2011
  #7
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ARIEL's Avatar
 

This is the reality of metal and hardcore When you go from a half time groove to a double kick part the natural kick will sound all over the place tone wise if the drummer plays too dynamically . I opted for sample replacement/retriggering years ago . Initially with a an Alesis D4 then jumped on Drumagog when it came out . your only option is to trigger it if you want it to consistant . It will sound so much better It just doesn't sound as polished with out resampling . Were all used to that sound now a days .
#8
7th January 2011
Old 7th January 2011
  #8
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DrewManchu's Avatar
 

Ariel is right. Any extreme rock/metal recording nowadays that isn't triggering AT LEAST the kick just sounds very demo-ish. Drumagog it, dude. Everyone will be happy with the results. If you still wanna be as purist as possible, sample his strongest kick strike and use that.

Last edited by DrewManchu; 7th January 2011 at 05:52 PM.. Reason: sic
#9
7th January 2011
Old 7th January 2011
  #9
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otobianki74's Avatar
 

trigger!!!
#10
7th January 2011
Old 7th January 2011
  #10
Gear addict
 

re

let's hear something, it's more easy then
#11
7th January 2011
Old 7th January 2011
  #11
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Jerrick's Avatar
 

If most of it already sounds good and works, dont bother with triggering and adding in another sample to replace or blend in, just cut a few of the good kicks, duplicate them, and use those in place of the bad kicks.

Just take your time (if you can) and really work the kick drum, snappy when it needs to be, and let it lay off during slower or more groove-like sections. I hate listening to a metal song, they go into a slower cleaner section, and the kick is still just the shortest clickiest sound. Really just sounds unrealistic that way.

Make it sound good, but dont turn it into the overused 'Superior Drummer, every velocity at 127' sound.
#12
7th January 2011
Old 7th January 2011
  #12
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otobianki74's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerrick View Post
If most of it already sounds good and works, dont bother with triggering and adding in another sample to replace or blend in, just cut a few of the good kicks, duplicate them, and use those in place of the bad kicks.
good advice too...
#13
7th January 2011
Old 7th January 2011
  #13
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Retinal's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deadringer971 View Post
I'm mixing a hardcore band that I feel need a loud kick drum to make the songs intense enough. The drummer is pretty good but the variation of dynamic on the kick drum, because of fast playing (some hits are harder then the other), makes it hard to fit in the mix. When I compress it hard with a multiband compressor and use transient designer the click/snap in the kick is very inconsistent. Some really come through and some don't.

Any good tips on how to get this right?
CL1B compressor, a saturator of your choice (URS is good for this, Decap maybe be even better, but there are others as well) and just put a brick wall limiter, both Sonnox limiter, Inflator and the new Pro-L will work well, use the enhance in the first, and the clipping for the last, also Waves 2500, PIE (sat trick, no compression), HLS (depending on the sound) and SSL can all be good for it.
But you need to set the first compressor well, CL1B is my fav but an LA2A type will do, Opto anyway..

Or just use samples
#14
7th January 2011
Old 7th January 2011
  #14
Gear addict
 
nikodemos's Avatar
 

Drum replacement is probably the safest way to go with metal kicks.....however you could do a few tricks in order to make the best out of it regarding retaining the human feel...

The first you could is to use your own kick samples from the actual drummer through drumagog or something like it....you can choose a really nice punchy hit and use this blended with the original part.

Also if you want to add the pumchy beater edge one great trick is to use a fast and smashing vca comp (or vca style if we're talking plugs) like any ssl style comp feeding it parralel from the kick track.....IMO if we're talking plugs the best one for the job is by far the Sonalksis TBK 3.

Good luck and don't feel sorry or bad for having to trigger or replace the kick drum.....that's the story for 99.9999999999% of metal drum recordings....and it couldn't be different, most of the time it's just against the laws of physics
#15
8th January 2011
Old 8th January 2011
  #15
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crypticglobe's Avatar
Yeah... I say Drumagog for triggering. However, if for purity sake (which I think is most honorable!) you are feeling a little squeamish about samples... what I like to do is use the best hit of the song/session and make THAT my trigger. As a matter of fact, when tracking Drummers that are pretty inconsistent like that... I always get them to actually make me some samples before or after the session. I just get a clean sample of the kick, snare and each tom at a few different velocities through all the mics. Takes about 15 minutes tops usually.

This way, you are using the actual drummers hits, on the actual drummers kit, on the actual day of session... you are just using the "best of the best" so to speak.

Drumagog makes this CRAZY easy. You just trim up the sample so it starts right at the transient and ends quickly after the decay and then save it somewhere. Then you just direct drumagog to the location of the sample and you are off an running.

If the drummer is really bad to the point where his kit doesn't even sound good because of the way he plays it... one night, after he leaves, you can make your own samples of his kit.... or bring in someone with great technique if you aren't a drummer. Then use those samples via drumagog.

They will all be amazed at how great you got the drums to sound in the final mix. I have found this technique to be nearly impossible to notice even in a solo-ed drum track. Has definitely saved me a few times.

Rock on!
#16
8th January 2011
Old 8th January 2011
  #16
Lives for gear
 

sample replace. you will get more intensity at a lower volume level and this is not a genre where any sort of organic dynamics are required.
#17
8th January 2011
Old 8th January 2011
  #17
Hey, you could just hire another band, take pictures of the original band, cut out their faces, and paste them onto the faces of the new band. That wouldn't be much more fake :-)

If anything that doesn't use drum replacement is considered a demo these days, I'd pick another freaking genre where actual humans play the instruments. If more people refused to do this stuff then actual humans wouldn't sound like a demo anymore. It's getting pretty stupid, in my grumpy opinion.
#18
8th January 2011
Old 8th January 2011
  #18
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jordanvoth's Avatar
Samples.
Some people will say its BS, or lame but whatever. Not their thing, imagine this band with three mics on the kit, doesn't do it so much. Take a sample of the kick, snare from the tracks (this will make it sound a lot better than using whoevers samples are the best these days) and replace with that.
#19
10th January 2011
Old 10th January 2011
  #19
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InjuredEar's Avatar
 

I realize you're already multiband compressing to try and even it out.

Here's another approach:
You may want to also try splitting up the kick to a pair of tracks, high-passing one channel for the "click" and low passing the other for the "boom"
expand/gate and compress them as best as you can. On the hi-passed channel use a peak limiter with an extremely fast attack time (I use an L1 or the Massey L2007 limiter). You can follow that limiter with a de-esser tuned to grab the extreme top end that jumps out on the harder hits (that always seem to occur on the first downbeat after that lousy fill)

It also couldn't hurt to have a brief chat with the drummer and tactfully explain what's going on when he plays with macrodynamics like that, and perhaps play him some audio examples of consistent vs inconsistent hits and let it give him something to think about if he wants to improve.

Another option is to just ignore it and let it be and see what the band thinks about it. After all it is punk.. there are no rules.
deadringer971
Thread Starter
#20
12th January 2011
Old 12th January 2011
  #20
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deadringer971's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Thanks for all the replies! I took some advices from you guys and ended up using a trigger (Steven Slate Trigger) on a duplicate of the kick. I only used the HF of the trigged drum and some heavy compression and Transient Designer. On the original kick drum I used a multiband compressor and SSL G-series channel-strip plugin. Then I automated both tracks to make them fit better with the most quiet parts of the song

But still, I think the hardest part of doing a mix is getting that kick drum to fit

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrea19837 View Post
let's hear something, it's more easy then
I have attached the latest version of the song I was mixing, not final though.
Attached Files
File Type: mp3 The Eggplant Curse Mix 10.mp3 (9.33 MB, 108 views)
#21
3rd October 2013
Old 3rd October 2013
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Plant View Post
I think the kick could still be a bit more forward, present and clicky.
Hopefully he's finished (or abandoned!) the mix in the last 2 years!
1
#22
3rd October 2013
Old 3rd October 2013
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by deadringer971 View Post
Thanks for all the replies! I took some advices from you guys and ended up using a trigger (Steven Slate Trigger) on a duplicate of the kick. I only used the HF of the trigged drum and some heavy compression and Transient Designer. On the original kick drum I used a multiband compressor and SSL G-series channel-strip plugin. Then I automated both tracks to make them fit better with the most quiet parts of the song
With or without triggering... a great song, brilliant guitars, a singer with balls, really good mix, all in all... a cool band.

In spite of that sound question, the drummer is quite good !!
I'm happy, the bass drum has not that silly, non-natural, stupid mainstream clicky.

R.
#23
3rd October 2013
Old 3rd October 2013
  #23
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herecomesyourman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by deadringer971 View Post
I'm mixing a hardcore band that I feel need a loud kick drum to make the songs intense enough. The drummer is pretty good but the variation of dynamic on the kick drum, because of fast playing (some hits are harder then the other), makes it hard to fit in the mix. When I compress it hard with a multiband compressor and use transient designer the click/snap in the kick is very inconsistent. Some really come through and some don't.

Any good tips on how to get this right?
If you're using sound replacer software I wouldn't bother with multi-band compression at all, I would use a limiter on the original to tuck it all while blending an uncompressed sample together for the EQing of it all. Then just balance it with the original signal to taste after hard limiting it.

If it's all natural copy the basic kick wave form and EQ both copies differently. One should spike at 5K a bit and be essentially mid-range meat, and the other should be more about sub low frequencies. (Think like speakers and subwolfers with a crossover point, they should cross but not too much.)

That way without compression at all you've found the tone. Then limit them both just enough to keep it all feeling framed without losing the swing and groove. Multi-band compression would be better on a bus or a stereo stem.
#24
3rd October 2013
Old 3rd October 2013
  #24
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balanceman's Avatar
 

Slate trigger.
It amazes me how easy it is to augment drum sounds nowadays.
If you have a decent library already, the sky's the limit!
You can later several samples to make your ideal tone.
#25
4th October 2013
Old 4th October 2013
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Hopefully he's finished (or abandoned!) the mix in the last 2 years!
Guys...all good advice but see the date...I really hope he's done by now!
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