!NOOBIES! Mixing Drums without samples (Simple Guideline)
#61
29th November 2010
Old 29th November 2010
  #61
Gear interested
 

Im so noob

So, of course James was right. Upon listening to more of the styles and paying more particular attention to specific kick frequencies, once i accentuated the punch of the kick, compressed on a 6:1, with med attack and release, set a good gate, and the kick is flying through the mix. not to mention i figured out some phase issues through the kit and guitars, now everything is back to the way i have been wanting to hear it. Thanks all! will continue to read through for all the knowldege you guys give!
#62
30th November 2010
Old 30th November 2010
  #62
Quote:
Originally Posted by team14 View Post
So, of course James was right. Upon listening to more of the styles and paying more particular attention to specific kick frequencies, once i accentuated the punch of the kick, compressed on a 6:1, with med attack and release, set a good gate, and the kick is flying through the mix. not to mention i figured out some phase issues through the kit and guitars, now everything is back to the way i have been wanting to hear it. Thanks all! will continue to read through for all the knowldege you guys give!
Glad that worked for you. Once you "see" how kick drums are EQ'd/mixed you'll never have that problem again. There is a TON of top for anything remotely modern... like the last almost 30 years. Depending on the style. For rock/metal it's pretty much a rule.
#63
30th November 2010
Old 30th November 2010
  #63
Gear interested
 

Loving this thread, and as a total noob, one my drumming and mixing is already benefitting from greatly.

Quote:
Strange how the most characterful players always have their own characteristic tuning.... in the midst of all these toys we've lost so much authenticity.
Finally, someone who feels this way. I'm far and away the least experienced opinion on this thread for sure, but I'll tell anybody who will listen to me why I think music production today stinks and how this is one of the biggest contributing factors to that decline.

I really miss it when a drummer is instantly recognizable on a record.

Could I be forgiven for thinking everything on a pop record now (that isn't programmed) all sounds like it could literally be one guy?

I love some of the slightly offbeat choices in this thread. Those Men at Work and Missing Persons records really did sound great. You guys have good taste

I tell people all the time that I think recorded drum sounds peaked from about 1977-1983. They all laugh and tell me I'm nuts.
#64
3rd December 2010
Old 3rd December 2010
  #64
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mynaemisjonas View Post

Here's mine.

No professional by any means. But tonight I tried a few new things with great success, and wanted to share them. This is to get you in the right place generally if you are starting out. This is for a natural sounding Pop Rock kinda thing. Somewhere in-between clean and dirty. If you don't like these ideas make your own tutorial! No flaming please. We all mix different. This is for beginner beginners.

Setting the General Mix

1. group all your drums into a group.
2. Send them all to a stereo bus
3. Set some generalized levels (hopefully you've got some room mics, if you don't, add a reverb bus in the mix and send it to your stereo bus as well, not a really long reverb either, keep it simple stupid, also 100% wet) and make sure things are in phase.
3. Add brightness to the stereo bus (compare to brightness of favorite mastered CD) Do not do any more EQing here.
4. Find the oomph of your snare and boost it. (if you have two snare top mics boost only one of them, probably the one that captured more low frequencies)
5. Cut the snares oomph frequency from all the other parts of the kit (assuming your rack tom's oomph is below that) including the room.
6. Cut out a low shelf in the overheads hats ride room mics rack and snare below 100
7. Duplicate your stereo bus and nuke it with compression/limiting and mix it under the volume level of your normal drum bus. Take off some of the high end eq. (depending on your plugins used this could add "plugin delay" which will make your drums sound terrible. See bottom.

Toms

1. Duplicate your tom tracks
Set a will be for the brightness and attack
Set b will be for the resonance and fullness

2. Solo your toms and boost the high mid frequencies to get the desired attack/punch. Remove the low end frequencies.

3. Add a gate, use the side chain frequencies to capture the high mid area. Set the fastest attack and a pretty short release with no hold.
Lets say 200-300ms If the kick and snare come through its fine... Maximum threshold, leave no bleed.

for set B eliminate all high frequencies above the resonate frequency, set a gate on these with a long release time. 3 - 4 seconds and make sure the attack isn't creating bad artifacts. use the side chain EQ and center in right on the resonate frequencies.
Also leave no bleed here either.

if you do this right you should have all the attack with no cymbal bleed
and all the resonance without having a bad pongy sound when the toms aren't being played.

Finish it up

Add some EQ and compression here and there where it seems necessary on the kick and snare... very light stuff because your compressed drum buss is already doing the job. Your cymbals should all be bright but you can clean up your hats lower and mid frequencies.

Make sure the hihat is coming from one concentric point. IE gate the snare and outside kick if needed, but leave the bleed at somewhere like negative 10, adjust the ratio so you aren't losing the quieter hits. if you had two top snare mics... you need not worry about this because you don't need to gate your oomph boosted mic most likely.

THE IMPORTANT PART


Check your plugin delay.

If you are using protools you can buy a plugin called mellow muse which you insert as the last plugin on every track.

Or... Apple click the volume and you should get a new display which will tell you your plugin delay. You can use the time adjuster plugin (it comes with protools) at the end of each track to match the delays.

Match your drum bus's to eachother. (if stuff was sounding really bad inbetween the drum bus's this is where it gets fixed)


At this point you should be definitely in the ballpark. Make sure your tracks aren't peaking.


Sincerely and with much Narcissism.

I just re-mixed one of our new tracks using this method and man it worked so well. The only thing I had to do differently was add a bit of compression to the kick and snare as well as what was going on in the nuked buss, this brought them out so they were sitting perfectly in the mix.

My original mix had drums that were sounding lifeless and distant (as I'd mixed in too much room mics), but it's pretty hard to go wrong with this method. Now if I can only work out how to get rea-insert working without phase issues so I can use my outboard compression on the nuke buss...

Thanks again
mynaemisjonas
Thread Starter
#65
3rd December 2010
Old 3rd December 2010
  #65
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mynaemisjonas's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Glad you are digging that one.

I'll have to post up some of my other weird mixing techniques... Check out my other thread "loud toms without cymbal bleed"
mynaemisjonas
Thread Starter
#66
3rd December 2010
Old 3rd December 2010
  #66
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mynaemisjonas's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
You could send the output of the uneffected stereo drum bus to a new stereo aux as well as sending it to your outboard in the sends area and add the time adjuster plugin to the new aux to compensate and match the amount of delay added from your outboard.

a little complicated if you need to monitor it in real time like that... otherwise just record your outboard compressor and then nudge it back in time.


thumbsup
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#67
3rd December 2010
Old 3rd December 2010
  #67
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Great Thread, but the one tip I just can't seem to acknowledge is the 'noise gate' bit. I cannot stand Noise Gates on drum kits, I think it takes away the essence of the kit. I believe that with proper engineering, there should be no need to gate a kit. Afterall, as much as we mic up with 8 or more microphones, it is still one instrument, and as far as i'm aware, should be kept like that. Just my opinion though.

Parrallel compression all the way
#68
4th December 2010
Old 4th December 2010
  #68
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Beyersound's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jampottt View Post
Great Thread, but the one tip I just can't seem to acknowledge is the 'noise gate' bit. I cannot stand Noise Gates on drum kits, I think it takes away the essence of the kit. I believe that with proper engineering, there should be no need to gate a kit. Afterall, as much as we mic up with 8 or more microphones, it is still one instrument, and as far as i'm aware, should be kept like that. Just my opinion though.

Parrallel compression all the way
With proper use of a noise gate, it is a powerful and useful tool! Many times a mixer doesn't get to track what he mixes. Gates can be crucial in those situations. Do not speak from a place of ignorance and immediately dismiss a valuable tool or method without truly understanding its merits. tutt
#69
4th December 2010
Old 4th December 2010
  #69
Quote:
Originally Posted by jampottt View Post
Great Thread, but the one tip I just can't seem to acknowledge is the 'noise gate' bit. I cannot stand Noise Gates on drum kits, I think it takes away the essence of the kit.
Granted it's a matter of preference, but I can't imagine producing a drum kit "straight up" without using gates. I'm not saying it can't be done, or shouldn't be done, but that I guarantee that no matter what the gated drums will be better when properly set.

You *can* set the gates to be invisible. It doesn't have to sound like the "80's drum sound." (Although personally I think there's nothing wrong with the gated 80's drums in and of itself... of course, that's my era of growing up.)

Properly set you shouldn't even hear the gates on a solo'd track. When I use a gate you could pull up the kick or snare by itself and never know there was one there. But it's giving me an extra 3-4 db of bleed reduction which is going to clean up the kit, reduce phase anomaly, and add more definition and separation to the whole affair.

I suggest revisiting them. And using the best gates you can get ahold of. They are not all created equal.
#70
7th December 2010
Old 7th December 2010
  #70
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decocco's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jampottt View Post
Great Thread, but the one tip I just can't seem to acknowledge is the 'noise gate' bit. I cannot stand Noise Gates on drum kits...
Don't hate on gates! Gates are good and just misunderstood. You shouldn't need to use gates to get a decent drum sound but they can be very useful!
#71
7th December 2010
Old 7th December 2010
  #71
Quote:
Originally Posted by mynaemisjonas View Post
Edit: First I'm going to post up James Meeker's advice and then put my own after it!

"My two cents about producing drums "straight up" without samples:
...

At this point you should be definitely in the ballpark. Make sure your tracks aren't peaking.
Sincerely and with much Narcissism.
Thanks for sharing, great post. Here is a link to another post on EQing technique and overall music produciton:

Work in progress - Workflow Procedures

Brian
#72
8th December 2010
Old 8th December 2010
  #72
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jeremyglover's Avatar
great thread, thanks james and co.
#73
9th December 2010
Old 9th December 2010
  #73
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Meeker View Post
I think that digital tools are great, very useful, but....

It's almost a moral crisis we are in. Too much faith in technology has eroded our belief in human ability. It's not just the music industry, but every endeavor that's been touched by rationalization. It reminds me what Erich Fromm wrote about the death instinct inherent in late stage capitalism as we shift orientation towards technology and uniformity.

I'm rebelling against all of that. I can't make a living making records how I think they should be made, so I'd rather just not make records. Besides, for the first time in years I'm actually enjoying music again not being surrounded by it.

Although dwarfed by today's technology and options, it's incredible what engineers and musicians accomplished using a fraction of tools we have now. There used to be such a breadth and character to music. I just don't hear it anymore. Music is a commodity, a product, something to be marketed to teens and sold with a price tag attached. It's a lifestyle option now. The art just seems drained out of it.

I tried, but I couldn't come up with one truly inspiring drum sound from the last decade. There's stuff that sounds good (most modern Green Day stuff done with Jerry Finn) and all, but it just seems like a "me too" production. Not standout. Not unique. Not taking risks.
Check out a band called Thrice. The album to listen to is called "The Alchemy Index." The drum sounds on that album are just amazing. If you want creative, that's it.
YouTube - Thrice - Broken Lungs

Here's one of the songs from it with a notably amazing drum sound.

I tend to go off the beaten path for modern music...there's still great music being made, it's just not on Top 40.
#74
9th December 2010
Old 9th December 2010
  #74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Draw the Moral View Post
Check out a band called Thrice. The album to listen to is called "The Alchemy Index." The drum sounds on that album are just amazing. If you want creative, that's it.
Call me a cynic, but I think Steven Slate should probably be getting the credit here, because it sounds exactly like his custom kit samples.
#75
9th December 2010
Old 9th December 2010
  #75
Toronto Maple Leafs fan
 
jordanvoth's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Meeker View Post
Call me a cynic, but I think Steven Slate should probably be getting the credit here, because it sounds exactly like his custom kit samples.
that's the sound of the genre. I get the impression this genres not your thing. Slates Samples will not make or break a record or the drum sound. The best way to do this sort of thing is taking samples from your own kit imo.
#76
12th December 2010
Old 12th December 2010
  #76
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Aaron Miller's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Meeker View Post
Granted it's a matter of preference, but I can't imagine producing a drum kit "straight up" without using gates. I'm not saying it can't be done, or shouldn't be done, but that I guarantee that no matter what the gated drums will be better when properly set.

You *can* set the gates to be invisible. It doesn't have to sound like the "80's drum sound." (Although personally I think there's nothing wrong with the gated 80's drums in and of itself... of course, that's my era of growing up.)

Properly set you shouldn't even hear the gates on a solo'd track. When I use a gate you could pull up the kick or snare by itself and never know there was one there. But it's giving me an extra 3-4 db of bleed reduction which is going to clean up the kit, reduce phase anomaly, and add more definition and separation to the whole affair.

I suggest revisiting them. And using the best gates you can get ahold of. They are not all created equal.
Hey this was a very helpful post! It inspired me to go back and remix some gated tracks to make the gate even less noticeable. I usually end up not using one or setting it too aggressively. This is something I need to work on.
#77
12th December 2010
Old 12th December 2010
  #77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
Hey this was a very helpful post! It inspired me to go back and remix some gated tracks to make the gate even less noticeable. I usually end up not using one or setting it too aggressively. This is something I need to work on.
It's amazing how much a drum track will clean up with an additional 5db or so of "distance" between the bleed and the drums.
#78
14th December 2010
Old 14th December 2010
  #78
Lives for gear
On my last few recordings, I've managed to achieve the tom sound that I want - but I'm really struggling with gating them, and keeping the OHs out of them.

Do I just edit around the tom hits (or automate)?
Or do I try and work with the bleed?

Thanks!
#79
14th December 2010
Old 14th December 2010
  #79
Quote:
Originally Posted by -Noodles- View Post
On my last few recordings, I've managed to achieve the tom sound that I want - but I'm really struggling with gating them, and keeping the OHs out of them.

Do I just edit around the tom hits (or automate)?
Or do I try and work with the bleed?
Personally I edit the tracks leaving only the tom hits and then sometimes gate that as well for the feel. If you've got a little time, like 5 minutes, you can edit an entire song with fade up/down.
#80
24th January 2011
Old 24th January 2011
  #80
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
 

For guys interested in "what mic to use" where, "how the cheap alternatives compare to the classics", "where to put those mics", etc., this thread may be useful to you. We shot out a ton of vintage classics and inexpensive mics over several days on a great sounding kit. Lots of comparison sound clips. Here you go. Hope it helps out.

Drum Mic Madness!!!!

b|p
#81
7th February 2011
Old 7th February 2011
  #81
Gear nut
 
RedHouse's Avatar
 

awesome thread!!!

i think my new favourite expression is

"Until you draw wood, you're not ready for mics."

this will be printed out elegantly, framed, and hung up above the studio door.

thanks for this!!!
#82
9th February 2011
Old 9th February 2011
  #82
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Thank you very much for posting this article. Its a very useful article. We will be acquire lot of things from this site.So i want some information about this post.
#83
15th February 2011
Old 15th February 2011
  #83
Gear interested
 

wow, I haven't been on this forum for a while, and the day I sign back in, I find just the thing I need I've been experimenting recently with live drum recording (just upgraded from a 2-channel to 8-channel interface) so this stuff is invaluable - thanks a million, guys!
#84
17th February 2011
Old 17th February 2011
  #84
Gear nut
 

Quote:

3. Add a gate, use the side chain frequencies to capture the high mid area. Set the fastest attack and a pretty short release with no hold.
Lets say 200-300ms If the kick and snare come through its fine... Maximum threshold, leave no bleed.

for set B eliminate all high frequencies above the resonate frequency, set a gate on these with a long release time. 3 - 4 seconds and make sure the attack isn't creating bad artifacts. use the side chain EQ and center in right on the resonate frequencies.
Also leave no bleed here either.

what does the sidechain to capture high mid area mean? I know what sidechaining is, but i have no idea what that even means. Can someone explain that to me?

Thanks slutz!
jrp
#85
17th February 2011
Old 17th February 2011
  #85
jrp
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Could someone give some hints on how to take care of the phase relations?
Someone pointed out erlier that you should not time allign the tracks.
I always thought this was what should be done...
Anyway, you record some playing, and check in your sequencer for phase relations. Now you see that the snare is out of phase with the snare in the oh.
WHat do you do?
move the mics in tiny bits till everything is right?

And Above all:
thank you, great experiance and thoughts you are sharing!!!
#86
20th February 2011
Old 20th February 2011
  #86
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrp View Post
Could someone give some hints on how to take care of the phase relations?
My personal trick:

Draw out a simple table on a piece of scrap paper. Make the rows instruments (kick, snare, high hat, tom 1, 16" fast crash, 18" crash, etc...). The columns should be the microphone/channels (kick inside, kick out, snare top, tom 1, etc...)

Start with the kick. Arm all the drum tracks. Hit record. Have them hit about 3-4 kicks. Stop record. Now zoom into your waves and make sure the kick is going "up" in each channel/mic. If not TOUCH NOTHING but mark it out of phase on your table for that channel.

Continue with the rest of the kit until you see what instruments are out of phase with what microphone.

Now make judgement calls for which microphones need adjusting. Usually you don't need to make more than a 1/2" change to bring things in line.

Then retest. Sometimes an adjustment to fix one thing puts 3-4 out of phase. Those are the breaks.

Eventually you'll find the happy compromise where the most important things are in phase for which mics. Obviously something like tom mics, which are probably going to be edited and gated, are less important than insuring your kick/snare are in phase for your overheads.

Fiddly, but its the best way to be sure. Rarely will you have the time to get this precise on anything less than a healthy budget.
#87
20th February 2011
Old 20th February 2011
  #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Meeker View Post
Start with the kick. Arm all the drum tracks. Hit record. Have them hit about 3-4 kicks. Stop record. Now zoom into your waves and make sure the kick is going "up" in each channel/mic. If not TOUCH NOTHING but mark it out of phase on your table for that channel.
That's a super tip James! Thanks for that.

Can you confirm that your kickdrum microphone should (always?) be phase inverted. i.e. the microphone which sits inside the kick (like you would phase invert the bottom microphone on a snare?)

Thanks
#88
22nd February 2011
Old 22nd February 2011
  #88
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundReplay View Post
Can you confirm that your kickdrum microphone should (always?) be phase inverted. i.e. the microphone which sits inside the kick (like you would phase invert the bottom microphone on a snare?)
With proper placement it doesn't need to be inverted.
#89
25th February 2011
Old 25th February 2011
  #89
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Re; Modern drum sounds

I can think of a few real stand out drum sounds that have been recorded in the last 10 years...

Autolux-

Turnstyle blues
YouTube - Autolux - Turnstile Blues

Radiohead- countless tunes but a few stand out...

There There
YouTube - Radiohead - There There

Weird fishes/arp
YouTube - Radiohead - In Rainbows - Weird Fishes_Arpeggi

Where I end and you begin
YouTube - 6. Where I End and You Begin (The Sky Is Falling In)


Tool

Aenima
YouTube - ├ćnima Lyrics - Tool - ├ćnima

Queens of the Stone Age-

Go with the Flow
YouTube - Queens of the stone age - Go with the flow

STP

Big Empty
YouTube - Stone Temple Pilots-Big Empty (album version)

The Strokes

Alone Together
YouTube - The Strokes-Alone Together.

Sublime

Get Ready
YouTube - Get Ready

Not sure if they are all true recodings.. (no triggers or samples)
but I think so. maybe just the sublime...
#90
28th February 2011
Old 28th February 2011
  #90
Gear maniac
 
taherbert's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barendse View Post
What about Grace by Jeff Buckley? The drumsound on that one still amazes me.
One of my all time favs as well. So lively.

We usually track drums to 2"tape, so sample triggers and computer tricks don't factor in. We don't always need gates, but they can be a lifesaver if tastefully applied to help clean up a mix, especially if you have a drummer who's weak on snare and overzealous on hi-hat or ride, or you have really ringy toms and you want a drier tom sound.

I can't emphasize the phase checking enough. Knowing your room can help out tremendously, but there's no substitute for having an intern move those overheads around until the sound comes together. If you are having trouble figuring out if you have phase issues, here's a clue: If you are listening to two mics on the same source and the two tracks together sounds worse than either alone or you can't get a decent sound after fiddling with your outboard gear for 10 minutes, you've got phase problems. Also flipping back and forth between mono and stereo playback will tell you a whole lot about your phase issues.

Also, fight the temptation to use your outboard gear (EQs, compressors) before you try repositioning your microphones. It's like putting makeup on an ugly girl instead of asking out the pretty one.
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