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Kick drum in mastering

Discussion in 'Drums' started by tommyd, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. tommyd

    tommyd Guest

    I've done some mixes in our studio and just to get a general idea of a 'mastered' sound, i've run them through a bunch of TRacks presets. Now I know most aren't fond of TRacks around here. But, I just wanted to get a general idea.

    One thing I noticed is that every preset seemed to make the kick just a little to buried. Just a little less point to it. So I did a mix where the kick drum had a little more to it, ran it through TRacks and it came out great.

    Can I expect this with most forms of mastering? I guess I'm just wondering if most people err on the side of having just a little more point to their kick drum in what they send to the mastering house.
  2. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't over compensate for something you don't know how it's going to be mastered. It's best to send the original and see what the ME thinks. I know that when I master, the kick and snare don't get burried.
  3. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    I personally would rather have a good overall mix brought to me instead of one where someone was compensating for something they "thought"would get buried in the mastering. I can always bring out instruments it is hard to push them back in the mix if they are too prominent.

  4. tommyd

    tommyd Guest

    Great info..thanks.
  5. Falken

    Falken Active Member

    the effect of the kick being buried is likely from a compressor with too fast of an attack. it also might be due phase cancellation from widening effect. but I would bet on the former. the trick to using compression on the mix is that you have to tweak the attack and release times to the tempo of the song.
  6. headchem

    headchem Guest

    I recently discovered setting the attack and release to the song's tempo has greatly reduced a compressor's negative effect on the signal. It's effect is much less noticable, but still allows for great increases in volume.
  7. saemskin

    saemskin Active Member

    I dont understand how you would do this? How does an attack setting in milliseconds relate to a bpm? I presume it occurs in multiples, but where is the start point.

    where's the "extraordinarily curious" emoticon?
  8. headchem

    headchem Guest

    To keep things simple, we'll assume our song is 120 BPM, but this works for any BPM rate. For 120 BPM there are 2 beats per second. 2 beats per second multiplied by 60 seconds = 120 beats per minute.

    1 second has 1000 milliseconds. So 2 beats per second is the same as saying there are 2 beats per 1000 milliseconds... 1 beat per 500 milliseconds... 1/2 beat per 250 ms... etc...

    If you continue dividing down to appropriate millisecond settings for a compressor, you would arrive at 31.25ms or 62.5ms for attack, and either 250ms or 125ms as a release. You can choose between these multiples as suits the particular song.

    I'm not a pro ME, but this "multiples method" feels right when I'm mastering. The pros will say "just use your ears," but I'd guess that they arrive at the same kinds of numbers without being conscious of the math behind it.
  9. saemskin

    saemskin Active Member

    can we differentiate between mastering compression and mixing/tracking compression with this method?
    I'm assuming you are referring to mastering compression, because those attacks are pretty slow for, say an electro bassline. Unless I'm wrong (?) , which is usually the case. But then again my two favorite compressors dont even have an attack setting. UAD's Fairchild and LA2A, and the 1176 doesnt even have ms. demarcations.

    More please.....[/b]
  10. headchem

    headchem Guest

    I have the same question of myself... I've been using this method only in mastering, but I guess it would work the same in the tracking. You'd probably want to find a reasonable compression setting for your bass line, and then bump it to the nearest BPM multiple. I am very new to this BPM-based compression, and I feel a bit out of my league giving any more advice.

    A friend of mine attended a recording school and said one of his professors was BPM-multiple crazy. According to him, you can use this for everything, including attack and release settings on synthesizers, compressors, reverb decays, etc...

    Are there any pro MEs reading this who have any experience / advice about this BPM multiple business? Perhaps we should start a thread in a mixing and tracking forum to see if anyone does the same with compression during mixing.
  11. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    I can't say i've ever seen anyone break out a calculator in a mastering session to figure out the bmp attack and release times. Maybe that is useful for a dance mix, but it's best to use your ears and see how it's effecting the whole picture. What might be nice for the drums, might not be nice for the vocal. What I do is close my eyes and turn the knobs until I get what i'm looking for. Most times I try and enhance what drives the song. sometimes it's the drums, sometimes it's the vocals, sometimes it's the bass, etc... Each one benifits from different attack and release times.
  12. saemskin

    saemskin Active Member

    Of course. I hope it doesnt seem like I want to be a robot about this :) It's interesting to hear about new techniques is all.

    I most certaily dont want to hear anyones "compressor presets/settings" :shock: :D but that's another long dead thread.
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