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Old 11th November 2005
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Ed Cherney's Avatar

Hi Radiant......having a good sounding kit, and a drummer that knows how to hit....oohh, always the best and easiest way. But, that rarely being the case, maybe I can help. Transient Designer is an excellent box, especially if you need more (or less) harmonics and more (or less) attack. You need to get a good EQ curve on kick and snare, certainly. The kick usually requires a pretty good dip in the 120 to 400 or 500 Hz range, a peak at the fundamental, usually around 70 to 90 Hz, and some brader boost in the 2.5 to 6KHz range. The snare depends, but I usually have to add some shelving top, a dip in the 1Khz and some sharp boosting or cutting somewhere else (depending on the sound of the drum) to either boost or cut ringing, cymbal leakage, etc. I usually don't compress the kick, unless the dynamics are so wild that they need to be reigned in. I do like to compress the snare, though. 1176 works good, especially to get some gooooooosh. Usually 8:1, medium to slow attack and fairly quick release. The amount of compression depends on the track and how radical you want to get. I do take a mult of the kick and snare, though, and compress (or limit) and EQ and gate the bejesus out of them. Usually I peak the low end and upper midrange of the kick, and add it to the original kick.....I use the original to retain some of the natural dynamics that the drummer played, and use the heavily processed one to keep it present. I'll also use a Transient Designer on the multed snare and crank up the harmonics and then mix into the original snare to get some action on it. The truth is though, you can't always tell what the drums need until you actually try to put music around them. If it's a rocking guitar heavy track, you obviously need more snap to get them to cut. If it's a ballad, or jazz, etc. it's easier to let them just sound natural and not have to squeeze them as much. It's really out of desperation....that I just keep trying different things until it feels, more than sounds, but feels right. You just have to be a bulldog and not let go......and that usually means trial and error until you land on the elusive "thing" that makes it work.