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Addictive drums help?

Discussion in 'Drums' started by kamlanie, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. kamlanie

    kamlanie Active Member


    I am trying to get a better drum sound for my song i am currently recording with my friend.
    i am not satisfied with the sound of the drums, i feel like i cant quite get it to punch through the song enough without causing clipping problems. especially the snare and kick.

    any suggestions would be awesome!

  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    It's a nice production. It's a good recording. I, like you, love it when the drums are punching me in the face. You have provided no information as to your workflow i.e. in the box, out-of-the-box, hybridized, monitoring situation and types, etc.. Your question is one of Dr. it hurts when I do this. When I first push-up a mix, I get my drums and a snappin' & punchin'. Are you working for real drums or drum samples? I don't work from samples. I only work from real drums and with that, I have all sorts of other options that you don't get with samples. There is an entire acoustic signature from an actual set of traps. Samples are, well, just samples that sound great. And that can still work for you but you might have to jump through some hoops? Frequently I invert the phase of the bass drum to start with. Then some compression and noise gating along with equalization before and/or after the dynamics processing. But this is also done not just by soloing just the bass drum. It's done while listening to the entire overall set all at once. Sometimes, small phase anomalies in timing errors can cloud the sound. If I detect that, I start meeting microphones (or the tracks of those microphones) to see if I can't narrow that down and find the culprit. Then sometime just a millisecond or two of delay will shift that comb filter phase anomaly to a less audible part of the sound. But that's a little trickier.

    By the sound of your drum mix, you must be a guitarist? Equalization and dynamics processing on the drums will get you where you want to be. You have to turn up your studio monitors louder and start your mixes lower to prevent over driving the summing bus which is an easy mistake to make. When you've hit headroom limit, the sound has nowhere else to go. It has nothing to do with making things sound loud. That's done in the absolute final step of the process called, Mastering. When I was a young engineer, we would start with the Master fader on the console where it was supposed to be. But with all the build up, we would end up over driving the stereo bus. So you just have to rethink your gain staging in order to prevent that from happening while still allowing enough headroom for the mix to breathe. Otherwise it sounds all bunched up like what you have already. So turn the control room speakers up higher than normal. This will force you into beginning your mix at a lower level whether on an analog console or inside a computer. And that's the way it's done.

    You're almost there
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  3. kamlanie

    kamlanie Active Member

    Ahh Sorry for not posing my setup hehe. I basically have an I/O box with microphone + phantom and a line level in. Not %100 sure what you mean by in the box or out of the box. I used skullcandy earbuds for the "monitoring" (i have gotten used to how bass heavy they sound, and know how to make my mix sound similar to how it is supposed to on that kind of headphone) im just a self taught home recorder. for the drums it is a VST called Addictive drums. i guess the main problem i have is, i have never worked with a real drum recording thus never had the chance to play with all the methods to get the best drum sounds that way.

    Would having everything but the drums in one channel to do a master EQ to lower the levels near where the kick / snare generally are (50hz - 250hz) be a good way to let the drums mesh better? or am i just viewing the situation wrong?

    Excellent post by the way! thank you so much for taking the time to listen to my song and write such an awesome reply! +kudos
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Okay then, you're not using any speakers? Just headphones earBuds. That does make life a little more difficult. Good you understand how much more low end they deliver.

    Since you are using sampled drums, they have already been recorded and generally processed in some manner shape or form. Adding extra stuff may be counterproductive on those. Though it might not hurt? If I were you (and I know I'm not) I would just first create the kind of drum mix that you want to hear. Then start bringing everything else up. This is why in Great Britain they refer to us as balance engineers not just mixers. A mixer is something a bartender utilizes. And I don't think they mean us? I know it leaves a sour taste in my mouth which I like. But that's neither here nor there. You may find when you start bringing up the other instrumentation, you will start clipping again? If you do, take out the other instrumentation and bring down the drums altogether. Turn up the feed to your headphones. Then start bringing the other instrumentation and again. Then bring in the lead vocal. You might find, you're going to want to use a lot more compression and/or limiting the lead vocal to make it sit properly in the mix. It should sit up there with the drums and you should almost be able to see the vocalist in your head. Put your arms and hands out in front of you to see where you have positioned everything. Don't just listen to it look and see where you have placed everything in your head. I tell everybody that I can see sound. I don't see colors I just see this sound. I see where it is, where it's placed, where it's going, where it's positioned, whether it's in front or behind me. Intimately speaking into my ear or across the room. Visualize what you want to hear and you too will see sound. Then you just play with the controls, just like driving your car to get to where you want to go. As I said, you're almost there. You don't even have to stop for gas LOL. The pizza will provide enough of that. And you want your engine to have water cooling a.k.a. beer. And it will be a lovely world.

    Now I'm hungry! Chinese buffet tonight!
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  5. JohnRick

    JohnRick Active Member

    RemyRad already said most of it. I take it that you programmed those drums? That's not how I do it. And samples can and will work, but it depends largely on who is playing these samples - not programming them.
    Apart from that, mixing, mastering, listening...

    Online Drum Tracking Service by Session Drummer Rickard Langnesund

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