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Drum mix
Old 31st May 2006
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Drum mix

I am gonna do some work for a friends rock band.
They are tracking the drums in a studio in London through a neve and slutty gear.Then coming to me to do the rest.

I am wondering how you go around processing,panning and all the other tricks you guys have up your sleeves for getting a good rock drum sound.

I come from dance music and live drum processing is fairly new to me and I wanna do the best I can.Any suggestions would be really appreaciated.

J
Old 31st May 2006
  #2
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cebolao's Avatar
 

are you going to mix in analog or ITB? do you have some analog outboard, or want to use the plugins?

some good quality compression is necessary.

try to split the drum mix to two stereo groups, overcompress one, mix with the other. if you're doing it ITB remember about plugin delay compensation.

don't hesitate to eq the whole drummix, although remember to LPF individual tracks (almost all of them need it).

have fun

Old 31st May 2006
  #3
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by cebolao
don't hesitate to eq the whole drummix, although remember to LPF individual tracks (almost all of them need it).

have fun

Did you mean HPF? High pass filter? or am I missing out on something? Just bustin chops bro... I think I know what you meant...

Get the kick to sound good, Get the snare to sound good... throw in the guitars/bass/vocals, and turn up the overheads and toms till you can hear em.

It's kinda weird to make drums sound good without the guitars and stuff.
Old 31st May 2006
  #4
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cebolao's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumper
Did you mean HPF? High pass filter? or am I missing out on something? Just bustin chops bro... I think I know what you meant...
heh heh

of course you're right

i was thinking "filtering the low freqs" while typing "HPF", and the result was "LPF"

it's late night here...
Old 31st May 2006
  #5
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picksail's Avatar
 

Get the overheads right and everything will fall into place. Make sure you have a good L/R balance and center imaging.
Old 31st May 2006
  #6
Gear Addict
 

room mics

ya know, I used to do that until VERY recently... on the last few projects I mixed I started with bringing the room mics up[and MAYBE the Kick], then the guitar and bass.. I might just be me, but it just makes mixing go quicker for me that way..
I almost always gate the kick and the rack toms...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumper
Did you mean HPF? High pass filter? or am I missing out on something? Just bustin chops bro... I think I know what you meant...

Get the kick to sound good, Get the snare to sound good... throw in the guitars/bass/vocals, and turn up the overheads and toms till you can hear em.

It's kinda weird to make drums sound good without the guitars and stuff.
Old 31st May 2006
  #7
Gear Head
"Get the overheads right and everything will fall into place. Make sure you have a good L/R balance and center imaging".
__________________

What Picksail said is the TRUTH. Once the overheads sound good, proceed.
Mark Miller
Old 31st May 2006
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by harvestmark
"Get the overheads right and everything will fall into place. Make sure you have a good L/R balance and center imaging".
__________________

What Picksail said is the TRUTH. Once the overheads sound good, proceed.
Mark Miller
Absolute truth.
Old 31st May 2006
  #9
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norman_nomad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by junebughunter
Absolute truth.
Just to voice against popular opinion (because that's always fun to do), I tend more and more, in rock mixes, to make sure that kick and snare sound steller by themselves - then I mix the overheads to fit and add room for depth....

Just another approach!
Old 31st May 2006
  #10
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picksail's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by norman_nomad
Just to voice against popular opinion (because that's always fun to do), I tend more and more, in rock mixes, to make sure that kick and snare sound steller by themselves - then I mix the overheads to fit and add room for depth....

Just another approach!
Sure.

You can always back off the overheads at any point during the mix. heh

The direct mics are easy. Getting the drum kit to resemble a drum kit happens in the overheads.
Old 31st May 2006
  #11
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by picksail
Sure.

You can always back off the overheads at any point during the mix. heh

The direct mics are easy. Getting the drum kit to resemble a drum kit happens in the overheads.
I would agree, especially in rock music that kick and snare sounds are highly important, but the overall quality of the drums, imo and most would agree come from the overheads. If you got the best sounding kick and snare sounds, it's not going to sound good if, in the overheads, the snare sounds like your beating a piece of paper with a pencil and the cymbals are tinny.

I'd also suggest in rock music cutting quite a bit out between 400-500hz on the kick, you preserve the sub-frequencies of the kick and the attack frequencies and that is really a trick that you use to get rocking kick sounds. It's important, in most situations to have the right balance of attack and thump without polluting the entire frequency range.
Old 31st May 2006
  #12
Gear Addict
 

Listen to albums that the band says they like. If you don't have them, buy them. Get an idea for what they are wanting the drums to sound like.
Old 31st May 2006
  #13
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by picksail

The direct mics are easy. Getting the drum kit to resemble a drum kit happens in the overheads.
One of my new favorite albums is Coheed and Cambria's latest. I don't know who out of Bottrill and Wallace mixed the 4 'Willing Well' parts, but those drums are sultry in their lack of ambience. Thick, discreet and punchy. I would bet overheads weren't as important in the overall sound as many may think. I would love to be proved wrong.
Old 31st May 2006
  #14
Deleted User
Guest
The 'IN' thing right now on rock records... at least the rock records that I listen to... Motion City Soundtrack, Green Day, Franz, Incubus, Jet... Is to have so much guitar, that there is little room left for drums.

Double tracked guitars (at least double... more in a lot of parts) panned hard left/right, with space in the middle for kick, snare, bass and vocals.

Then there's the 1176 raped room mics thrown in there. Overheads and toms panned.

I don't even record stereo overheads anymore on rock records. On the record I'm working on right now, I'm using a single aea 84 above the kit, and that's it for overheads.

CLA is going to mix it, but if it were me, I'd pan the toms, and the room mics, and that would be it... everything else up the middle.
Old 31st May 2006
  #15
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picksail's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by daryllh
One of my new favorite albums is Coheed and Cambria's latest. I don't know who out of Bottrill and Wallace mixed the 4 'Willing Well' parts, but those drums are sultry in their lack of ambience. Thick, discreet and punchy. I would bet overheads weren't as important in the overall sound as many may think. I would love to be proved wrong.
I understand, but I think that you are confusing the sound of a drum kit and the sound of a record.

The original poster was looking to us for starting points in mixing a drum kit.
Old 31st May 2006
  #16
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by picksail
I understand, but I think that you are confusing the sound of a drum kit and the sound of a record.

The original poster was looking to us for starting points in mixing a drum kit.
I am not confusing anything. The sound of a drumkit has nothing to do with the overhead mics...it's the drums, cymbals and player.

I was giving my opinion about what I thought was a great drum sound in modern rock. I then said that it was my guess that overheads weren't as important in that recording (mix) as what some people mentioned. The thread starter did ask about getting a 'good rock drum sound'.

Perhaps you and I are confusing each other as to where we stand on this interpretation of his post.

What I was getting at (and I didn't specify to protect from matters such as the above) was that overheads don't have to play a major part in a drum mix. If you find something in a record that you like (as I suggested in my first post) you should try to capture that in your drum mix.



rock on
Old 31st May 2006
  #17
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picksail's Avatar
 

No harm done.
Old 31st May 2006
  #18
Gear Nut
 

Thanks for the input guys.

I wil have a few bits of outboard comp (distressor and fatso) and run the drums through a Phoenix Nicerizer.

What kind of comp settings would normally go on everything?eq?other?

I guess the recording and circumstances determine this but I would love some suggestions as a rough guide.


j
Old 31st May 2006
  #19
That all depends

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayjay
Thanks for the input guys.

I wil have a few bits of outboard comp (distressor and fatso) and run the drums through a Phoenix Nicerizer.

What kind of comp settings would normally go on everything?eq?other?

I guess the recording and circumstances determine this but I would love some suggestions as a rough guide.


j
Is the slutty stuff going to end up your end. IE the Group outputs of the Neve post all that slutty stuff. Or is PT in the tape sends and all you have is fairly uncoloured
1st mic amp - comps eq any fx etc. You want to make sure you have a representation of what the drum mix is made of. So you need them to record stereo passes of KIK, Snare Toms, OH inc Hats FX in place at the very least. Plus all the dry stuff. If the studio is as slutty as they hope you will find them tracking with a hot DR sound. Catch that.
Regards.•:*¨¨*:•. ¸¸.•´¯`•.Mark Fairfax-Harwood, Engineer Springvale Studios
PS Your not the JJ from Niel Innes's band are yer?
Old 31st May 2006
  #20
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andychamp's Avatar
Try to be present during tracking and find out what sound/image the tracking engineer is going after.
Don't be a control freak and tell him what to do (unless he turns to you for your oppinion/wishes), but it's usefull to be able to pick up where he left off.
Who knows: you guys might end up being the perfect tracker/mixer tag team.

Nothing sucks more than mixing stuff when you don't know how it was recorded. And being kinda new to acoustic drums, you'll be glad for all the info you can get.
But nothing beats that feeling when you think your monitor speakers and CR walls have disappeared and you're sitting next to the drummer (doesn't happen to me nearly as often as I'd like it to, though )
Old 31st May 2006
  #21
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tomwehrle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by daryllh
Listen to albums that the band says they like. If you don't have them, buy them. Get an idea for what they are wanting the drums to sound like.
I concur, this is good advice, that and get the overheads to sound good
Old 31st May 2006
  #22
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nathanvacha's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumper
The 'IN' thing right now on rock records... at least the rock records that I listen to... Motion City Soundtrack, Green Day, Franz, Incubus, Jet... Is to have so much guitar, that there is little room left for drums.....

-A stark change to the fad a few years ago of drum & vox mixes w/ no guitars.
Old 31st May 2006
  #23
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmec
Is the slutty stuff going to end up your end. IE the Group outputs of the Neve post all that slutty stuff. Or is PT in the tape sends and all you have is fairly uncoloured
1st mic amp - comps eq any fx etc. You want to make sure you have a representation of what the drum mix is made of. So you need them to record stereo passes of KIK, Snare Toms, OH inc Hats FX in place at the very least. Plus all the dry stuff. If the studio is as slutty as they hope you will find them tracking with a hot DR sound. Catch that.
Regards.•:*¨¨*:•. ¸¸.•´¯`•.Mark Fairfax-Harwood, Engineer Springvale Studios
PS Your not the JJ from Niel Innes's band are yer?
Im not The jj you know..

Thanks for the advise
Could you explain why its necessery to get stereo passes of kik n snr and fx oh n hat and the dry signals aswell..

j
Old 31st May 2006
  #24
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cebolao's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumper
I don't even record stereo overheads anymore on rock records. On the record I'm working on right now, I'm using a single aea 84 above the kit, and that's it for overheads.

CLA is going to mix it, but if it were me, I'd pan the toms, and the room mics, and that would be it... everything else up the middle.

funny, i do exactly opoisite

stereo overheards and MONO ambience mike

manley ambience mic rocks in mono

Old 31st May 2006
  #25
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cebolao's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayjay
Thanks for the input guys.

I wil have a few bits of outboard comp (distressor and fatso) and run the drums through a Phoenix Nicerizer.

What kind of comp settings would normally go on everything?eq?other?

I guess the recording and circumstances determine this but I would love some suggestions as a rough guide.


j
overcompress one drum mult with distressor - make it really bite you, fast attack to get a ultra-transient sound, release adjust to taste, don't be afraid of huge gain reduction even like -20 dB. not zero attacj although, it will kill the transients and leave only the room sound (another cool sound to use, if that's what you need).

try the NUKE setting and the british mode.

they sound strange when you listen to them, but when you mix them with unprocessed mult your drums will have PUNCH and POWER

and you can always add another drum mult for FAT sound, if you have a manley vari-mu for example
Old 31st May 2006
  #26
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max cooper's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by knerd
ya know, I used to do that until VERY recently... on the last few projects I mixed I started with bringing the room mics up[and MAYBE the Kick], then the guitar and bass..

Me too. Sometimes it works, depending on what you're going for.

Also, to me, one of the best ways to affect the overall feeling of the drum mix is to tweak the width that the overheads are panned.

And then sometimes they can be wider in the choruses, etc.
Old 31st May 2006
  #27
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by daryllh
One of my new favorite albums is Coheed and Cambria's latest. I don't know who out of Bottrill and Wallace mixed the 4 'Willing Well' parts, but those drums are sultry in their lack of ambience. Thick, discreet and punchy. I would bet overheads weren't as important in the overall sound as many may think. I would love to be proved wrong.
I'm a big coheed fan, I've seen them live from the front row own their albums and dvd but I can't figure out if I've ever liked the drum sounds. I can never tell if they are triggered or live...my bet is triggered or they recorded cymbals seperately from kick snare and fills.

There really is no live drum sounds going on.

As for me, my favorite drum sounds are on The Flaming Lips album The Soft Bulletin. They are HUGE, raw compressed and sound completely unique. I think it's a David Friedmann (SP?) thing. My band opened for a band that was produced by David Friedman (Saxon Shore) a while back and their drums sound the same on their record.
Old 31st May 2006
  #28
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by junebughunter
I'm a big coheed fan, I've seen them live from the front row own their albums and dvd but I can't figure out if I've ever liked the drum sounds. I can never tell if they are triggered or live...my bet is triggered or they recorded cymbals seperately from kick snare and fills.

There really is no live drum sounds going on.
There earlier albums have some ambience. IV is vastly different in drum sounds.

About stereo imaging...

I was listening to some Peppers albums. Worked with a 3 piece who loved them and was trying to hear what they were going for.

There is hardly ANY stereo imagine on the drums. Listen to Californication. Drums are pretty much right up the middle.
Old 1st June 2006
  #29
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

Forgive me for saying this, as its meant to be purely helpful. But DO ask the band to also print the completed drum mix of their dreams on two tracks. You want something to start with (or at least a reference of what they monitored while they tracked drums!) so you KNOW what they were going for. If they have all the slutty gear, GREAT! Bring you a drum mix, plus full isolated tracks. You get everything, and choose what you want: You can use it, or lose it and do your own.

My $0.02.
Old 1st June 2006
  #30
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DirkB's Avatar
Since somebody else is doing the recording, you have to deal with the tracks that you are getting.

Let's assume it is a well engineered recording.

I agree that to get a cohesive drumsound, the overheads are important.
However, with overheads IMO there's not much you can do to change them with processing after the recording.
If it's a modern type of rockmix, I would start with the getting the kick and snare sounding great and focus on a strong center channel. In a dense mix getting a "real" sounding drumsound might not necessarily be what the band wants.

Best to check some cd's what the band likes to listen to and build your idea on how the drums need to sound from there.

Personally, although I agree compression is a heavily used tool in drummixing, you should be able to get the drumtracks sounding good by themselves with just some careful balancing, little panning and perhaps some small eq-chances.
If not, the recording sucks.

Good luck,
Dirk
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