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A little trouble with toms

Discussion in 'Drums' started by MisterBlue, Mar 24, 2003.

  1. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Guest

    I believe I have managed to get a pretty decent drum sound/mix for my current project. It's sampled sounds, played by a real drummer. I'm quite happy with Kick, Snare, Hats and the Cymbals. My only trouble exists with the toms.

    I got them coming in as a stereo sum (panning is OK IMO) but I have so far failed to get them to cut through the mix without cranking them to a level where they are totally overpowering. I have compressed them, added some gated reverb, put them into different "drum rooms" (reverb) and so on but so far nothing seems to have cut the mustard. This seems to be the only things that is really left between me and a realistic, great sounding kit ...

    Any advice that you senior cats can share ?
    Thanks in advance,

  2. GT40sc

    GT40sc Active Member

    Jan 14, 2001
    Seattle WA, USA
    When you say that the toms are not "cutting through" the mix, this makes me think of two possibilities:

    1. Is there a problem with the arrangement of the song itself? (Overcrowded, dense, no room for the toms to "speak" as they should?)

    2. An EQ problem? This could be a problem with the tone of the toms themselves, or just that other instruments are "covering" the frequencies that the toms want.

    If it is the toms themselves, which part of the tone is giving you trouble? Is it the "stick" or the "boom?" Obviously the "stick tone" is a much more cutting sound. Sweep around between 1-4k (depending on the tom) to find and bring out the tone you want.

    If you are having trouble hearing the "depth" of the tom...that is, the low-frequency "boom," try sweeping your EQ around 100-400 Hz (again, depending on the tom.)

    In this case you may find it necessary to cut some of these frequencies away from other instruments in order to make room for the low end of the toms. See if you can pull some 300 Hz and below away from guitars, keys, backing vocals, whatever. I know you can make it work...

    best of luck,

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