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curious about some tips for using compression on drums


RemyRAD Sat, 08/23/2008 - 22:24

I'll frequently compress bass drum & snare drum. When I do that, I'll generally also add gating or fast downward expansion to tighten things up. If I have a good room with good ambience, I'll frequently highly compress room mics/overheads. Frequently I will it gate all the toms as well. So this gives you a very zippy & tight sounding drum kit. You have to realize, all the drum microphones are off unless the drum is being played. I particularly like to do this with hardware devices as opposed to software. There are some better downward expander gating programs but I haven't been terribly impressed with what I've heard. So I still do the analog thing any old way I can.

Beyond the gate
Ms. Remy Ann David

RemyRAD Mon, 09/22/2008 - 01:55

" Downward-Expansion " is the same as gating. The difference being is that you can set the amount of downward-expansion. So I will generally downwardly expand by the same amount as the gain reductions in the compressors.

Gating, can sound simply horrendous since Gates are an on-again, off-again, proposition. Whereas, downward expansion, can be told to stop at -6, -10, -20, etc.. So, not designed to actually eliminate background audio issues, a moderately fast device can provide a tighter drum sound/mix.

Setting threshold can be the most challenging as is a fine line between the gate opening & closing.

Punching in. And punching out.
Ms. Remy Ann David

RemyRAD Mon, 09/22/2008 - 12:17

Hey Codemonkey! Those plug-ins look interesting. Can't tell if they are just trial demos, until I load them?? I don't read Mandarin Chinese. I'm particularly looking forward to the downward expander as I've not found anything that works as particularly well as my 30+ year old KEPEX 1's. I actually don't play on the Internet much and so don't generally search for this type of thing. I already waste too much time here which I don't really consider a waste when helping others.

Ms. Remy Ann David

Codemonkey Mon, 09/22/2008 - 14:36

Yeah I just remembered that after I saw the page :lol:
They're all (I think all) freeware, and I've just picked up a few new ones such as the side-chain compressor.

I found them while searching KVRaudio's pretty good [="link removed database[/]="link removed database[/]. Set the type to "effects" and choose some types further down, after the instruments. I always uncheck "Commercial" too because I'm that way.
But not THAT way.

[edit] I now have over 60MB of plugins mostly all of which were found listed in that database. Not all of which I like, or use, or can use, but still have.
My favourites include [[url=http://="…"]KarmaFX[/]="…"]KarmaFX[/] reverb (haven't found a more featured one although the sound is a bit mmm sometimes) and the compressor from Reaper's [[url=http://[/URL]="…"]plugin pack[/]="…"]plugin pack[/].
Not exactly rivals to high-end gear but 60MB or $6000?