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fitting drums into a mix

Discussion in 'Drums' started by Smashh, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. Smashh

    Smashh Active Member

    Hey guys ,

    been working on a mix for one of our songs and am having a bit of trouble fitting the drum track
    into the mix .
    My wife's brother played the drums( except the kick ) and dropboxed it to me .
    Then after me realizing I gave him a dodgey guide track ,I cut the drum track and looped a
    few sections to make the tempo consistent.

    so this is the drums on a mono track as in the session with no EQ


    View: https://soundcloud.com/musicmanash/drum


    I;ve tried EQ ing it and also sending a pre fader to an aux with a gate to open on the snare, then eq ing the harsh out a little and adding a reverb .
    I added the kick and also another simple hi hat to sit on top .

    This is how it is at the mo ( theres lead vocals / harmonies and a rhythm guitar to go yet )


    View: https://soundcloud.com/musicmanash/drum-in-mix


    Any better ideas out there to get the track to work , without having it re drummed ?
     
  2. Matt

    Matt Active Member

    I think the sound got a bit sloppier sounding with the second hats. I am also questioning the kick. To me, the kick would sound great solo'd but does not come through enough in the overall mix making it all sound a bit thin. I would try to get a bit more of the attack in the kick (eq) and I would compress it with a slow attack time to make sure the punch is still there but it make the kick a bit more noticeable by increasing the reasonance volume after the attack. If it's already a compressed sample, then maybe look at another sample that would penetrate the mix a bit more. That's my 2 cents.
     
    Smashh likes this.
  3. Smashh

    Smashh Active Member

    Thanks for your reply Matt , I agree with your take on the kick .and I have decided to loose the drum , and just have the congo or redo a simpler drum track here at home .
    I cant get it to sit in the mix and was waisting energy trying to mask it so it wasnt so noticeably out of place . Another lesson learnt ....lol
     
  4. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I should say that, it's better to mix the drums in context. You could have a killer drum sound by its own becoming weak in the mix of the song.
    I usually don't like much of my drum sound when soloed but with the whole song, it works. There is a lot of work to do, just to make the bass and bassdrum fit together.

    Just my two cents ;)
     
  5. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    It's a cool song, Ash... nice groove, cool pocket.

    I'm not hearing anything glaringly wrong with the drums in your mix, other than maybe some "thick" low mids - which isn't really a deal breaker, and, some weird kinda "phasey" thing happening - that could be as a result from converting to MP3 - I'd have to hear the original .wav file to know for sure.

    The cowbell is a little bit distracting - I'm not saying that I would lose it entirely, because it adds to the "drive" of the track, but, I'd pull it back some.

    One thing to consider is that this is a fairly busy track rhythmically - there's quite a bit going on here, and you have some "ghost" beats happening on the snare ( also sometimes referred to as "phantom/ghost sticking") and it's a great thing to have that can really add a cool feel to the overall groove...

    But... these can also present some issues when you use gain reduction - depending on your settings, you could end up sending "false triggers" to a compressor (or gate), which can potentially throw-off both the attack and release times for when reduction really is needed on the more dominant strikes.

    So in this case, you might be better off - or at least want to try - using some form of upward compression, perhaps by assigning GR to an Auggie, as opposed to being inserted directly into the kick/snare/toms track(s) or submix - as you would normally do with "standard" downward compression. This would not only allow the softer passages to "lift" without compressing the dominant transients, but would also allow you to control an overall "mix" of the compression within the Aux, ( and within the whole mix) and would perhaps give you a bit more control over how much compression is audibly evident, as opposed to being there and working - but not necessarily being audible.

    This might be of interest to you:

    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb13/articles/latest-squeeze.htm

    Just a thought. ;)
     
  6. Smashh

    Smashh Active Member

    That was a cool read Donny , I tried that upward compression and it gets the ghost notes up there . (y)

    I think what puts me off the drum track is the fact it was tracked with compression
    on an electronic kit ,and it gets fatiguing after a while .
    But with the aux and upward comp I think it will sound better after riding the aux track
    between verses -chorus to get some dynamics back .

    Thanks for the help
     
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    someone who has mixed hundreds of hit records once told me the secret to a great mix, record the vocals where you record the drums. That would be nice if I had the studio's he works out of.

    Same studio or a great mix emulating a common space?
    What I got out of that is make your vocals sound like they are part of a common sonic experience. Or in other words, its good if the music sounds like it was performed acoustically, reflectively in time. I use at least one common reverb for everything. A little goes a long way.
     
    Smashh likes this.
  8. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I also like to work with tempo'd reverbs, as far as pre-delays go.

    An easy but effective trick I use often:

    Choose a reverb you like, and that you feel is appropriate for the project (or instrument), and notate the tempo of the project (BPM)

    Now, get out your calculator

    Take the number 60,000, ( the number of milliseconds in 1 minute) and divide that figure by the project's BPM.

    (so, if your project tempo is 100 BPM, 60,000/100 = 600)

    That 600 is the figure that reflects a 1/4 note value of your project in milliseconds.

    Open your Reverb's settings menu

    Set your Pre-delay for 600ms. This means that at a project BPM of 100, the reverb will start, in tempo, exactly one-quarter note - in tempo - after the initial source note.

    If you wanted it to start in tempo by an 8th note, set your pre delay for 300. If you want it to start a 16th note after, set the pre delay for 150ms. A 32nd note delay in tempo would be 75ms.

    This can really help to create a cool space, and, in tempo to the project. Often, drums, vocals and other tracks don't always sound as good if the reverb impulse starts immediately with the direct source track you are adding reverb to.

    You have to determine if the project benefits from this, but I suggest that you at least try it a few times. It can be a handy trick to know.

    FWIW

    d.
     
    Smashh and pcrecord like this.
  9. Smashh

    Smashh Active Member

    Thanks guys , Ill give that a go with the pre delay (y)
     

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