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Snaredrum and bassdrum eq'ing

Discussion in 'Drums' started by ouzo77, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    hello there

    i have a problem with my drum mix. my snare drum sounds a bit thin. i tried to raise the bass on the eq, but still it wouldn't sound fatter. the other problem is, that when the snare and the bassdrum are played together the bassdrum disappears in the mix.

    so which frequencies (in general) do i have to raise (or lower) to get a fat snare without interfering with the bassdrum too much.

  2. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Are you mixing on a console or in the box? In other words, what quality and type of EQ are you using? Hopefully you have paramteric EQ to work with. Use a narrow bandwidth setting for both. Look for a fundamental on the kick anywhere between 55-110Hz depending on how the drum is tuned, style of music, other instruments in the arrangement. Fat snares usually live around 225-275Hz, but again it will depend on the tuning, snare design, mic choice & placement. If the energy in the frequency range for a fat snare sound wasn't captured in the first place, then short of using MIDI triggered samples, you're SOL. Are you panning the snare at all? Are you compressing them? Most importantly, are you dialing in sounds one track at a time, or with multiple tracks at once? If you're doing it individually, try the other way. Hope this helps some.
  3. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    i'm mixing software only. so parametric isn't a problem. the snare itself wasn't really fat, but no piccolo either. just need some more bottom to it.
    i'm also triggering a sample snare in addition, which is fatter, but did't help as much as i hoped.

    i'm not panning the snare and i've put a light compressor on it. i'm eq'ing each track individually (if it's that what you mean). i'll try with those frequencies.

    thanks a lot!
  4. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Try panning the snare like 10-15%. What I was getting at regarding EQing tracks is are you listening to solo tracks and adjusting EQ, then combining to check, or Eqing in place with tracks playing simultaneously? The latter is more effecient. How light is your compression? Try a ratio of 7-10:1 , hard knee, attack no less than 8 or 10 ms and a short release. BTW, was the drummer hitting softly or smacking hard? Soft hits are always problematic.
  5. HansAm

    HansAm Active Member

    I have a few regulars with both bassdrum and snare.
    With bassdrum i almost ALWAYS remove the "bucket" at 190-220HZ, just berry, -15dB no problem. and then i give it a bost at 3000-5000, or where ever the CLICK is. The click is VERY important. It kind a tells your brain when to listen for the base!.

    About the snare, i usualy search for the ugly tone around 900Hz they usualy have some sheit around there. Then i usualy also boost som crisp around 4000-5000Hz. If its not FAT anough i considre adding som reverb and/or distortion. (i usualy mic both under and over, then invert fase on one of them (whatever sounds best))
  6. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    i guess the panning helps with the bassdrum issue, does it?
    usually i check in solo mode, what different frequencies do to the signal, and then adjust it with all tracks playing.

    can't tell you right now, how my comp settings are. i think it's something like 2 or 3:1. the drummer was hitting quite hard, so that should be no problem.

    right now i think i even have too much click on the bassdrum. it's not a metal production. more pop and rock. still it almost disappears when played with the snare ("four on the floor"-groove)

    thanks anyway.

    can tell you more when i get to work on it again in 2 days. but now i have some ideas. so i'll try your suggestions and let you know!
  7. Vaylence

    Vaylence Guest

    for the bass drum.

    this has been touched upon, but not really explained. There is going to be a center of power at where the natural pitch of the bass head is, this is the tonic. Set your Q to as high as you can boost the carp out of it, turn that sucker all the way up. Now go fishing for the bass drum. Like jonyoung said it will be around 55-110Hz. Sweep that mofo back and forth until you hear the kick go WOMP lets pretend you get good womp out of 70Hz, center that band on the 70, widen your Q and pull back on the gain until you get a good fat tone with out really changing the sound of the original kick. Now, do it agian only this time look at 140Hz (70x2=140 aka the super tonic) cut this for now say 6-9 db, but remember that you did so incase you need to fatten your low end later.

    Now go looking for that click. its gonna be up high 2-4k ish find it, boost it. everything above it, cut. You dont need that crap. Now turn on the bass and marry those. Kick and bass come alive when they feed off eachother. Each needs room for themselves (I am not afraid to hipass the bass or suck out the 150 -500 on the kick).

    Hopefully your kick is sounding sh*t hot.

    Now for the Snare. Same basic principle. There is going to be a center of power where the natural pitch of the snare head is. boost that guy, then start chippig away at everything above it untill you loose the crack and get the thunk. Personally I like crack.
  8. alimoniack

    alimoniack Guest

    I usually find all snares cause problems around 400 Hz. This is often roughly where the fundamental note is and yet it's hardly ever what I or my clients are after. The "ring" of the snare often clouds up the vital low midrange area of a mix and masks other sounds in this region of the spectrum. I usually end up tracking with a cut at this frequency, a boost of overall treble and and some 3-5 KHz for stick attack and to pick up the actual snare wires themselves. I also boost a lotta lows in case I need oomph later on. I can always lose it if we need a lighter sound.

    Kick needs to be treated as suggested above but if the two signals cannot be differentiated by eq then your mic choice/placement and drum tuning need attention.

    Sometimes trying to eq things differently from one another isn't the answer - to pick these two signals out of a crowded mix individually may require matching the frequency response of each to an extent till you hear them both cut through equally.

    Finally, compress!
  9. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Could be some phase issues going on. Try flipping the phase on the snare and see what happens. May have to flip the phase on the overheads too. Or not. You should also try a pretty steep high pass filter on the snare track to make sure you get rid of some loose phasey stuff from your snare mic picking up a bit of kick. Maybe gate the snare; maybe the kick too ( I don't usually like it). If there are still problems, you might have to put a high pass on the overheads too. And remember, these are all just tricks to pull from. Not rules that must be followed for every drum you will ever record. You have to find the tricks that work for your particular situation.
  10. davidinoz

    davidinoz Guest

    Another trick for weak sounding drums is to use multiband compression instead of EQ. Aim for the same frequencies as mentioned above. You can radically alter the sound of drums with this method (sometimes they even sound better!)
  11. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Here's another handy trick.......pan the electric bass about 6-10% off center, as small an amount as needed to seperate it from the kick, yet still be preceived as centered. Vaylence is right on the money with the tight Q, boost & sweep technique. Do it slowly, in the low end a 1Hz change can make all the difference. Also worth checking phase on the kick.
  12. tranqs

    tranqs Guest

    to bring the "sound" of the snare, it's very important the use of compressor and reverb.....
    I always work with this two effects and a Q10...
    the compression it's very important... try to use an attack about the 10m/s and a fast release too, with a gain make up!!!!!
    The reverb it's very usefull... try to use a room tight reverb with 1.6s and a pre delay time about 50 m/s.. Use the reverb's EQ to control the high frequences...
  13. saemskin

    saemskin Active Member

    When I EQ tom-toms I almost always end up cutting pretty hard in that range to take the boomy-ness out of it. If I dont it really ducks out alot of elements.
    Has anyone in the history of music ever recorded a Tom drum where this isnt the case? All my samples are like this and I have to EQ them all this way.

    Why is this?
  14. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    first of all, thanks for the replies.

    i've tried your suggestions, and i think i got a pretty good result now. though i didn't change much, just some eq boost around 200hz and a little more compression on the snare and a different eq on the bassdrum (boost around 60-70hz and at around 2k). and panning the bassdrum (-1) and snare (+1) helped, too.
    couldn't listen to it in the car (reference) yet. but i think it's pretty much what i was looking for!

    so thanks again!

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