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How to make my Drums hit harder!!
Old 11th April 2007
  #1
How to make my Drums hit harder!!

hello !!

many people tell me though they like my beats in general, they dont feel my drums. they want them to hit harder. they mostly like the arrangement and all that, but i guess its an engineering issue i deal with.

now, i got a bunch of samples, i believe thats not the problem, so its the way i edit and mix them. i dont know if i should EQ them very hardly or just minimalistic ( maybe 1-2 db...) compression works fine i think. i personally blame my equalizing for that problem.

please listen to my newest one ( more on myspace )
if u got some advices or feedback on it ( mix in general ) please post it up here!

http://www.koolfiles.com/files/cruisin_.mp3
Old 11th April 2007
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
Puma's Avatar
 

Turn up your kicks even more - meaning turning all your instruments down! Unless you wanna make really hard knocking stuff. heh

+ if you wanna make beats that really bangs, then forget about using a bass in the track. Kick should be the only bass-supplier.
Old 11th April 2007
  #3
yeah, i know what u mean.
i also thought about putting out a basslie in my tracks cause i feel it often dstubrs the sound and the mix of it. but it can also be my mixing of the bass track. dont know...
Old 11th April 2007
  #4
Gear Guru
 
rickrock305's Avatar
 

sorry for being off topic, but Puma, you should really change that avatar...its less than flattering. is it supposed to be funny?



if you want your drums to bang harder, turn them up.
Old 11th April 2007
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickrock305 View Post
sorry for being off topic, but Puma, you should really change that avatar...its less than flattering. is it supposed to be funny?
or keep the avatar and change your name into rabbit.
Old 11th April 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
 

one word....layering! The trick for me to getting my drums to stand out and really knock is layering the heck out of them. Its not uncommon for me to layer like 6 to 8 snares on top of each other and 4 to 6 kicks. To me this is the essential building blocks to making a beat that slaps really hard. Then Volume and eqing and compression. But keep in mind that if are using sampled drums from a collection then most likely they have a good amount of compression already done to them and in some case's compression will suck the life out of the drums! Also trying to go for texture and tone. What I mean by this is that when you are collecting random drum sounds for your beat.You are most likely gathering all your sounds from random places. So when I mix my stuff I like to send my drums to an efx bus and usually I will have for example uad1 preflex plugin hitting the bus. Yes the preflex plugin is a distortion box or what have you but the result for me is that I usually get some good texture added to my drums giving them a nice uniform sound. The point being is some good distortion helps add character to the drums. Anyway sorry for rambling on and on. Just a few things that work for me.
Old 11th April 2007
  #7
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6 to 8 layers?

i left the layering all behind, just a 808 drop underneath the actual kick at times.

being picky, tuning and eqing makes up my kickworkflow nowadays.
Old 11th April 2007
  #8
yeah, you got some good advices, thanks.

but i think layering just works with a specific type of beat. cause if u want to reach a "clean" sound ( like R&B stuff, or the modern rap - storch, soouth stuff ), layering is the wrong way i guess. it sounds great if u want a dirty groove, e.g. for a samplebased track. but let me find examples...yeah playas only by r. kelly /scott storch doesnt sound like layered drums. they are tooooo clean for that.
Old 11th April 2007
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beat you down View Post
6 to 8 layers?

i left the layering all behind, just a 808 drop underneath the actual kick at times.

being picky, tuning and eqing makes up my kickworkflow nowadays.
what? is that not enough???lol I do the 808 thing but sometimes it sucks up alot of the lowend for me. Depending on the actual kick sound.
Old 11th April 2007
  #10
Here for the gear
 

I use layering for "clean" styles, and if your hits (and their attacks) are programmed at the same place, you won't necessarily hear all the hits, they mesh together. a lot of dancehall is done this way, which usually has a sharp sound and doesn't fall into the "dirty" category. i think it would be right for a "storch-like" sound as well.
Old 11th April 2007
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepytime View Post
I use layering for "clean" styles, and if your hits (and their attacks) are programmed at the same place, you won't necessarily hear all the hits, they mesh together. a lot of dancehall is done this way, which usually has a sharp sound and doesn't fall into the "dirty" category. i think it would be right for a "storch-like" sound as well.
Yeah what he said! it all depends on your drum sounds. Scott storch is known for stacking the heck out of his drums. I use to intern at a studio awhile back where he had a session and I remember he stacked the living hell out of his drums. I mean tuning is another handy dandy trick. there are endless combos to tuning your drums.
Old 11th April 2007
  #12
Gear Nut
 

I think what the heatmaker mentioned about layering and then bouncing, summing or whatever all the kicks together to make one super kick while emulating an analog distortion is where it's at....then you are gaurenteed to have a kick or snare that is 100% original....I like to use colortone, or AC to emulate that nice kinda distortion that you dont really hear (unless you want it really apparant) to add "that" character...then basically turn em up, cut out what you dont need, enhance what is nice about em, and make ROOM FOR THEM! By that I mean pan pan pan all your other sounds. My rule is keep the kick, snare, and bass DEAD CENTER. The rest is just going with the flow and taking it where you wanna go...

But for having "Bangin drums" and a thick bassline or hits is another thread which I'm about to start....
Old 11th April 2007
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
Puma's Avatar
 

Hah, you guys (rickrock+beatyoudown) should rather give this dude some help with his questions, instead of giving me styling tips. But allright. I apreciate it...
Old 11th April 2007
  #14
Gear Nut
 
Ash Holmz's Avatar
 

listening to that sample it sounds like u have weak drumz to begin with .. meaning the samples themselves .. i would start there .. quality drum hits + layering gets u a loooong way. BTW u can still layer and have clean drumz
Old 11th April 2007
  #15
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Distortion helps a lot if you need drums to hit harder too.
Old 11th April 2007
  #16
Gear Guru
 
rickrock305's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mils View Post
I like to use colortone, or AC to emulate that nice kinda distortion that you dont really hear



absolutely, I LOVE Colortone, and at the price it can't be beat. plus they have the forum on their site where people upload their own IRs
Old 11th April 2007
  #17
Gear Addict
 
Ravian's Avatar
 

antares tube. simple but it works.
put it in the devil mode and your drums pop out of your speakers
Old 11th April 2007
  #18
Lives for gear
There ya go. Antares Tube is what I use.
Old 12th April 2007
  #19
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From what I've experienced, getting drums to knock is about:

0) Choice of drums- I didn't have this here, but I'm adding it as a #0 because this is the practically the most important part, and at some level this seperates big producers from the low-budget guys. Choosing drums that *complement each other* and complement the song, and tuning them so that everything works in harmony is a major, major part of having drums that bang and get that industry *sound*.

1) Starting with quality samples in th first place. You can't put quality in if it's not there to begin with.

2) Drum EQ - The way you eq has a lot to do with fooling the ear into having a certain impression of the sound. Fletcher/Munson etc. Knowing which freq ranges you need more of, which you can leave alone, and which you can dispose of to make the sound more clear.

3) Arrangement and Relative Volume - In a lot of tracks with really huge kicks/snares, such as Dre tracks, the kick and snare are louder than almost anything else, and they are given space in the arrangement to breathe This goes hand and hand with #4:

4) *Relative* EQ - This is a biggie. If you notice, in a lot of the Dre style tracks, the drums and vocal take up a lot more of the critical parts of the frequency spectrum than almost any other instrument. They aren't only louder, they are *bigger* in terms of frequency bandwidth.

This relative sizing gives the *impression* of big drums, because the brain tends to set things up in relation to each other. Also, once the track hits the mixbuss comp/limiter, it further intensifies this effect and allows the drums to be more dominant in their control of the dynamics of the mix.

5) Attack and Release curves, transients - This is another bgigie. "Smack" and "Point" helps drums to really stick out in a mix and punch. Certain compressors have a way of giving drums a "round" sound or adding "knock", like the SSL comp, and the dbx 160. Transient Designer and plugins like TransX can help give your drums that extra edge.

6) Compression - Not necessarily in terms of dynamics, but more in terms of sound. Giving drums a "full" sound helps them to bang, and so some amount of compression on the indiviual one-shots, be it natural compression from old recording processes/tape or your own processing, helps them to be *perceived* as louder even if aren't peaking any higher. Compression alters the frequency spectrum, and this goes hand in hand with #4.

7) Knowing how far to go with mixbuss comp/limiting - When you process the 2buss there's a line where the mix starts to go from filling up and solidifying to just sounding flat and killing the dynamics. If you want your drums to punch, then you have to know how far to go and when to stop when it comes to squashing your 2bus, or you quickly turn even the punchiest drums to mush.

8) Gating - This isn't talked about a lot... But it's not just the transient on the drum that makes it sound "punchy". How quickly the sound ends also has an effect on how snappily (for lack of a better word) it is perceived by your ear. So knowing how to cut the tails of drums appropriately, especially when you are applying additional reverb of your own anyway in the mix, is a key to getting the crisp sound you hear on a lot of records.

9) Saturation/color/tonal balance - This kind of goes along with eq, but it's a more subtle thing... Besides the major areas of eq boost and cut, the *overall* subtle curve of the spectrum of the drum(s) tricks your ear into hearing warm vs. sterile. So things that make small changes over large areas and affect the overall tonal balance, can help give you the sound you're looking for. Pre's, plugins, etc. Colortone is good for this. Tube devices and tube sims that add harmonics can help "thicken" a sound.


All of this can be done without layering a single drum. Layering is essential to know, but your intuition is correct: You should be able to make a single, good quality drum bang (some of the tracks on The Blueprint are good examples) if you apply the above techniques.

I got better at a lot of these things recently, and it made a huge differece... Sooner or later I'll be stripping the tracks off my myspace/soundclick to replace them with the new batches as proof.
Old 12th April 2007
  #20
Gear Addict
 
Barznbeats1's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ash Holmz View Post
listening to that sample it sounds like u have weak drumz to begin with .. meaning the samples themselves .. i would start there .. quality drum hits + layering gets u a loooong way. BTW u can still layer and have clean drumz
Old 12th April 2007
  #21
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Barznbeats1's Avatar
 

nice beats khameln
Old 12th April 2007
  #22
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by khameln View Post
From what I've experienced, getting drums to knock is about:................
Thanks for dropping some gems man...this is why I always come back to the gearslutz!

p,

M
Old 12th April 2007
  #23
Gear Nut
 

I layer mine with 808's add some reverb and other stuff, till it sound right and knocks hard,
Old 12th April 2007
  #24
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fn86's Avatar
 

khameln that post of yours should be a sticky or something, that pretty much sums up everything you ever would need to knowa bout mixing drums, thanks for the wisdom
Old 12th April 2007
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fn86 View Post
khameln that post of yours should be a sticky or something, that pretty much sums up everything you ever would need to knowa bout mixing drums, thanks for the wisdom
Yes! I second that notion! Great tips! I
Old 12th April 2007
  #26
thanks to all of you for your statements and good advices!!!
Old 12th April 2007
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puma View Post
Turn up your kicks even more - meaning turning all your instruments down! Unless you wanna make really hard knocking stuff. heh

+ if you wanna make beats that really bangs, then forget about using a bass in the track. Kick should be the only bass-supplier.
How about learn how to make a real bass part that grooves with the drums. R&B and hip hop used to be the only genre of music that a groove was ALWAYS happening.
Then follow Khamein's advice and don't be afraid of compression on drums. Setting a compressor with a slow attack and quick release will make your drums hit harder
Old 12th April 2007
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
How about learn how to make a real bass part that grooves with the drums. R&B and hip hop used to be the only genre of music that a groove was ALWAYS happening.
oh, those were the times. when people knew how to programm a cool groove and didn't mash everything up with 10 layers of un-eq'ed and distorted crap.
programming grooves doesn't make any sense these days. why? because it ends up being compressed to death anyway.
Old 12th April 2007
  #29
Lives for gear
I agree about the Buss compression. I know that a lot of guys use the SSL compressor on their mixes, and so do I for rock..but for Beats I can't get that **** right. It just kills my kick drum every time, no matter how I set the attack.

Each sample dictates a different way of mixing..the beat I just did required me to use sucessive Eqs on the kick to get it how I wanted it..I also used TransX, and Antares Tube, but all those things combined got the kick sound I wanted when I started on the beat.

Also, I threw in a Lil Wayne song just to see the spectrum on it, and there is a ****load of kickdrum in these mixes...just TONS of bass from 20 to 100hz. Basically, what I do to retain that is not use buss compression and mix so it peaks close to the red..then when I master to get it loud, I make an audio channel for the 2 channel mix..I then send that to a group with Gclip (gain up a few db) and then a limiter set to -0.01. I don't pull the limiter down at all...I then crank the audio channel as high up as it will go and it goes into the Gclip and then the limiter.

There is a squash, but not that much because im not really compressing that much.

Main thing is to make the snare or clap a bit louder then you think it should be in the mix, because once you master this way, it will lose a little volume.
Old 13th April 2007
  #30
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worm's Avatar
 

Methlab, i gotta ask

WHO is that chick in your avatar???

she's pure fiya
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