The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Snare mixing question
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
Snare mixing question

Hi,

I've been struggling with mixing kick & clap/snare problem for years... Im not able to make a such sounding mix in any way like examples below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZlQUAVJzcg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rxeRV9UzIM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xTPAwxqGFQ

I know that for a lot of you probably this will be as easy as just put the right snare on top of everything.... but it's not exactly that easy. The first thing is the fact that these drums are like on top of everything, especially that snare - and when I'm trying to make it as heavy audible as in examples above, I usually end with too loud snare or with a snare that absorbs too much of the kick's frequiencies (especially the bass which takes away the punch). So it might be some kind of saturation/distortion that makes these drums stand out - but I'm not sure, hopefully someone will know. I ended up with a few techniques of mixing these drums, using compressor, limiter or soft clipper. But, tbh, none of it makes them such great sounding, punchy and with so much presence on the snare.

I left some examples in the attachment. The first one in just kick and snare compressed altogether. The second one - mixed with limiter, and the third one - with soft clipper. I've choosen the best settings for achieving quite balanced dynamics and not so great distortion (clipper gives them quite a bit, so its not the spot on definitely). Both of the samples tweaked a little bit with transient shaper and saturator before mixing. As you will notice, I know that snare which sounds "normal" before mixing is getting too thin after processing, especially after compression with parallel compressed signal... but when I'm trying to get this snare more wide-sounding, it usually ends with too loud snare or unnaturally boxy-sounding drums, or as I mentioned before - kick is being absorbed because of the peak difference that nothing can handle it properly. I can clearly hear that there is a little volume drop on the snare in these tracks when the kick hits, in contrast to the snare only when it appears. So it must be some overall compression there, not multiband for sure, but can't say that parallel or some else.

My questions would be:

1 - how's the best way to achieve such sounding mix like in these examples? (sample selection it's not the key here, because these tracks are edits, with drums on top of old tracks ripped from vinyl - and they still sound good and punchy and with so much presence). I'm mainly talking about the preserved snare presence and quite controllable way of mixing these.
2 - when we talk about parallel compression, what settings will be the best for drums only on some bussing channel (I've got an Pro-C2 from FF)? When I'm blending dry signal with the wet one, on the compressed signal I need to have transients preserved with drums like equalled in levels, or transients muted but with the rest of the elements - between the transients - expanded? Or adding the parallel compression its not the best idea here?
3 - many tracks goes throughout the mastering process. Maybe its OK when these elements doesn't sound as in these examples on the mixing stage and such a punch and a presence will appear after good mastering? (but I bet that I'm wrong, just asking that maybe there is no sense in such sharp mixing using limiters and others devices that destroy the dynamics)
4 - maybe the key is in preparing individual samples before mixing? however still no idea how to get such a sharp snare.
4 - I left two samples in the attachment. Any volunteer to mix them in the same/very similar way and show the process?

Peace,
-Doc
Attached Files

example.wav (1.20 MB, 458 views)

samples.wav (1.20 MB, 441 views)

Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
Quote:
I usually end with too loud snare or with a snare that absorbs too much of the kick's frequiencies
The snare and the kick are in different frequency ranges. with a kick, the bass is what you need to think about and with snare, its the guitar, piano, keys, and vox most of the time. Its taken care of by employing 'Complimentary EQ Techniques' so maybe that is what you need to do.
Or maybe its your arrangement or your room or both or all the above.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
Here for the gear


Talking about the complementary EQing has nothing to do with this. Nor mixing drums with the rest of the song as well. I'm talking about mixing drums only, more precisely - how to achieve such thick-sounding snare over a kick drum which will be as well good audible, without any/small volume loss on the kick's bass especially and with no so highly-peaking result nor distortion (these are the requirements). Of course we're talking about mixing samples, not mixing or recording live drums.

There's however a method where you can slightly increase the snare's apparent loudness by combining different types of saturation, but its not effective especially when you want to mix short kicks, with small amount of bass as they will be totally absorbed. There's even quite big volume loss in the bass, so that's not the point, example of which you can find in the attachment. Btw the snare has no impact, just flat sounding, boring stuff. I can mess with itd decay, but this shortens the snare (as a result of more pointy sound).

I was trying to compensate such effect by sidechaining snare to some triggering sound (very short) which was hitting when the tranient of the kick was, I was able to go a little bit higher with the snare but definitely due to its transient loss it has also lost the punch.

Still dont know what to do.

- Doc
Attached Thumbnails
Snare mixing question-loss.jpg  
Attached Files

example-1.wav (584.3 KB, 416 views)

Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Quetz's Avatar
You seem to think that the key to getting it right is a boatload of processing, and you dismiss straight away the idea that sample selection is key.

With respect, you're wrong on both counts!

The samples you posted are not good at all to begin with, and that's the problem.
It IS about making sure you have the right sounds in place from the get-go.

Mixing IS then about getting them to fit with the other instrumentation, not about crowbarring them to sit right with each other in the first instance.

It took me years to really appreciate that when things are proving too hard to mix, it's your source sounds that need looking at first, not piling on additional processing.

The penny dropped for me when I opened a demo project supplied with Studio One to see all the processing they did to get the drums sounding so good, and there was **** all processing on them, they just used the right sounds to begin with.

Don't try and make it more complicated than it needs to be..
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quetz View Post
The samples you posted are not good at all to begin with, and that's the problem.
Im currently under development of some kind of analog multiband frequency processor with integrated soft clipper and you will see that is possible to do such operation in analog way to have peaks equaled, with almost any volume or frequency loss on any of combined samples (0.3dB max by around 7-9dB peak difference at input, relatively), with preserved dynamics and no audible distortions. Therefore I will be able to mix almost any samples together, doesn’t matter that they audibly fit or not. I’ll do a sample recording for you of this kick being mixed with a different snares, randomly chosen, and with all the respect you’ll see that all these theories about proper sound selection are not spot on. Of course if these mixed samples differs significantly, it’s crystal clear that they’ll give an badly sounding result at output, especially when they are occupying the same frequency ranges. But I’m talking only about coarse eq and that’s all, they should just fit, at least very good, maybe not perfectly all the time.

But this is only when we have a full control over both samples. And in the analog way. Still it’s quite unclear to me how it’s done in the digital way and especially when we do not have the full control over mixed sounds, like in these edits, using whole drum loops with kicks and snares occurring in them invariably.

Best
-Doc
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Gear Head
 

Late one night a few years ago i heard an interview with some great guitarist. He was talking about when he was young, learning how to play some complicated song that some other guy had written. He spent a long long time working it out; the fingering was very difficult and really complicated but the kid never gave up.

So one day he turns up at this guy's small concert and this kid shows the guy how he plays this complex song, says 'it's taken me months to learn how to play it!'

And the guy who wrote the song says, why didn't you just use a capo, it would be much easier?
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Quote:
Talking about the complementary EQing has nothing to do with this. Nor mixing drums with the rest of the song as well. I'm talking about mixing drums only, more precisely - how to achieve such thick-sounding snare over a kick drum which will be as well good audible,
If this is your thinking, you will never learn. Complimentary EQ has everything to do with it. It what makes a good clean mic where you can hear all instrument including DRUMS sound clear and have their own frequency range. It doesn't matter if its only drums.

As other pointed out, starting with sounds that are close and that sound good are imperative. A pig will squeal and a cat will meow. If your trying to maker the pig meow, you will not succeed!
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Quetz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post

As other pointed out, starting with sounds that are close and that sound good are imperative. A pig will squeal and a cat will meow. If your trying to maker the pig meow, you will not succeed!


I don't think anyone has ever put it better or more succinctly than that!
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Here for the gear
Talking with you is a waste of time. Please dont make a garbage can from my thread, because outside of general theories that dont always work, I must admit that you have nothing sensible to say here, and the things are going here on a higher level than youve probably ever been while making music.

Still will be good to hear someone who was struggling with the same problem in digital way and to hear some relevant info

Doc
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocSlow View Post
Talking with you is a waste of time. Please dont make a garbage can from my thread, because outside of general theories that dont always work, I must admit that you have nothing sensible to say here, and the things are going here on a higher level than youve probably ever been while making music.

Still will be good to hear someone who was struggling with the same problem in digital way and to hear some relevant info

Doc
I'm sure many will chime in with their views on the matter given how nicely you responded above... You didn't even make it personal...
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Quote:
I'm sure many will chime in with their views on the matter given how nicely you responded above...
For sure, it shows his ignorance (For the OP, That means stupidity), which this poster has an abundance of. (To the OP, abundance means a lot)
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
If this is your thinking, you will never learn. Complimentary EQ has everything to do with it. It what makes a good clean mic where you can hear all instrument including DRUMS sound clear and have their own frequency range. It doesn't matter if its only drums.

As other pointed out, starting with sounds that are close and that sound good are imperative. A pig will squeal and a cat will meow. If your trying to maker the pig meow, you will not succeed!



Very true, but i bet you could make a cat squeel
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Papanate's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
A pig will squeal and a cat will meow. If your trying to maker the pig meow, you will not succeed!
What if I am trying to make a pig fly?
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Gear Addict
What if you’re trying to eat pig and pig flies away?
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Quetz's Avatar
Where do these rude pricks come from, honestly?
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quetz View Post
Where do these rude pricks come from, honestly?
I apologise for offending your delicate sensibilities, honestly.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quetz View Post
Where do these rude pricks come from, honestly?
Prickville ?
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Quetz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pquinn View Post
I apologise for offending your delicate sensibilities, honestly.
Not you...
Old 1 week ago
  #19
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quetz View Post
Not you...
Sorry bout that, i retract
Old 1 week ago
  #20
Gear Addict
Well my comment was aimed at the OP who even after getting relevant advice was completely dismissive. I was going to provide some positive feedback until this post by the OP.

“Talking with you is a waste of time. Please dont make a garbage can from my thread, because outside of general theories that dont always work, I must admit that you have nothing sensible to say here, and the things are going here on a higher level than youve probably ever been while making music.

Still will be good to hear someone who was struggling with the same problem in digital way and to hear some relevant info ”

So best of luck to ya
Old 1 week ago
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Papanate's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowend Bump View Post
Still will be good to hear someone who was struggling with the same problem in digital way and to hear some relevant info ”
You refuse to answer my Pig Flying question - I need to know why you are avoiding that? And where is Prickville anyway?
Old 1 week ago
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Quetz's Avatar
Just to be clear, my comment (which was deliberately ironically rude!) was aimed solely at the OP, and nobody else!
Old 1 week ago
  #23
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Papanate View Post
You refuse to answer my Pig Flying question - I need to know why you are avoiding that? And where is Prickville anyway?
Are you quoting me or the OP?
Old 1 week ago
  #24
Gear Guru
 

Yes.
Old 1 week ago
  #25
Quote:
And where is Prickville anyway?
Its close to Intercourse PA
Quote:
Yes.
No.
Old 1 week ago
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Papanate's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Papanate View Post
You refuse to answer my Pig Flying question - I need to know why you are avoiding that? And where is Prickville anyway?

I'm not sure - I was just riffing along the piggies theme this thread took after the OP derailed his own thread with his piggy bile - you seem experienced - have you ever flown a pig in the studio?
Old 1 week ago
  #27
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
If this is your thinking, you will never learn. Complimentary EQ has everything to do with it. It what makes a good clean mic where you can hear all instrument including DRUMS sound clear and have their own frequency range. It doesn't matter if its only drums.

As other pointed out, starting with sounds that are close and that sound good are imperative. A pig will squeal and a cat will meow. If your trying to maker the pig meow, you will not succeed!
That's the best post f!cking ever!!!!!!!
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump