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How to Mix Claps

Hey everyone!

I wanted to share an article I wrote on how to mix claps:

https://dynadrums.com/modern-mixing-claps-techniques-mix-claps/

(animated gif removed)

I know there are many many approaches to this, but I just wanted to share some tips that I found to be very useful.

Let me know your thoughts.

-

Matias Rengel
www.matiasrengel.com

Comments

audiokid Sat, 12/16/2017 - 17:52

Hi Matias, we'd much rather discuss content posted on our forum over being redirected to a blog etc.

Being said, mixing hand claps isn't rocket science to me. I've been mixing claps since the 80's and I usually mix them based on the sonic content of a track. Its no different to mixing a side stick, snare etc.
Your (A/B) examples sounded like A was more normal (useful) and B had a lot of low mid curve boost or HP filtering (less useful or lets say, specific).
The examples really don't matter to anyone because they are once again, not in any content so they are what they are and nothing more.

Welcome to our community and thank you for the engaging discussion on mixing hand claps. What are your thoughts to my response?

Matias Rengel Sat, 12/16/2017 - 22:00

audiokid, post: 454513, member: 1 wrote: Hi Matias, we'd much rather discuss content posted on our forum over being redirected to a blog etc.

Being said, mixing hand claps isn't rocket science to me. I've been mixing claps since the 80's and I usually mix them based on the sonic content of a track. Its no different to mixing a side stick, snare etc.
Your (A/B) examples sounded like A was more normal (useful) and B had a lot of low mid curve boost or HP filtering (less useful or lets say, specific).
The examples really don't matter to anyone because they are once again, not in any content so they are what they are and nothing more.

Welcome to our community and thank you for the engaging discussion on mixing hand claps. What are your thoughts to my response?

Hey! thanks for the reply. Yes I guess I should include the original file. There is a link in the article but it's somewhere there not very well highlighted I guess but here's a link to the exact time where the claps I showed appear (minute 1:27):


Indeed I was mixing these claps in a more percussive way, wanted them to be very well underneath the vocals and to feel more percussive and to add more movement rather than let's say an 808 clap which would be more upfront prob and less in the back.

What sort of processing do you usually go for when mixing claps?

audiokid Sat, 12/16/2017 - 22:27

nice

Matias Rengel, post: 454515, member: 51047 wrote: What sort of processing do you usually go for when mixing claps?

I suppose standard reverb, EQing, compression, filters and layering. I actually like claps to sound like claps. If I wanted something more I would likely look in my library or reconstruct a sound using samplers.

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DonnyThompson Sun, 12/17/2017 - 08:19

Matias Rengel, post: 454515, member: 51047 wrote: What sort of processing do you usually go for when mixing claps?

It really depends on the context of the song. Just like any sound source, there are different ways to capture, and different ways to process. I'm not trying to be evasive with your question, it's just that it's difficult to say without hearing the song you want to add the claps to.
You can put 3 people in a room, and have them close mic'd, or, you can back them off the mic so that you're getting more of the "room" sound. You can record 3 people clapping on 20 different tracks, overdubbing each time, and you'll get more of a "gospel choir" sound...

I will say that, ( from experience), you don't want to record claps in a "typical" home room without some kind of acoustic treatment in place; you'll find out that there will likely be lots of "pinging" and flutter-echo.
So, if you are doing this at home, consider temporarily treating your space with things like packing blankets hung over mic stands, or facing them into a closet filled with clothes.

For the sound of most typical home rooms, I think you'll be better off to record them as "dry" as possible, as close to the mic(s) as possible, and then use a digital reverb to add your ambience; whether it's a "tight room" sound, or perhaps a larger space, like a chamber or hall.
Also, when you mic-up for recording clap tracks, use an HPF ( hi pass filter), ( sometimes located on the mic, sometimes on the preamp, and always on your actual DAW track) so that you're not capturing a lot of low-end energy that won't benefit the sonics but that could actually become problematic for you when it comes time to mix.
What mics are you planning on using? Some mics have built in hi-pass switches, than can range anywhere from 75Hz up to 150Hz...

For example, if you leave your mic or preamp at full range ( no filtering), you could be picking up other sounds besides the clapping - things like heating or cooling, furnace blowers, clothes washers or dryers, traffic driving by, etc.
There's not much point in recording 150Hz or below on a clap track, because claps won't reproduce anything in that frequency range anyway; but other sound sources might. ;)

~donny

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DonnyThompson Mon, 12/18/2017 - 02:00

dvdhawk, post: 454536, member: 36047 wrote: I know there's a joke in there somewhere.

I'm hip. I just didn't wanna be the first to say it. ;)

pcrecord Mon, 12/18/2017 - 12:44

Matias Rengel, post: 454515, member: 51047 wrote: Hey! thanks for the reply. Yes I guess I should include the original file. There is a link in the article but it's somewhere there not very well highlighted I guess but here's a link to the exact time where the claps I showed appear (minute 1:27):


Indeed I was mixing these claps in a more percussive way, wanted them to be very well underneath the vocals and to feel more percussive and to add more movement rather than let's say an 808 clap which would be more upfront prob and less in the back.

What sort of processing do you usually go for when mixing claps?

I had to look for the posting date to be sure it's not a april's fool post.
I listen to the video at 1:27 and could barely hear the claps that actually didn't sounded like claps but more a hybrid snare sound.
Samples manipulations can go in any direction. Recording actual claps is way more fun to me ;)

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Kurt Foster Mon, 12/18/2017 - 13:23

pcrecord, post: 454572, member: 46460 wrote: Recording actual claps is way more fun to me ;)

it sounds better too. The Beatles recorded claps while they sang," I Wanna Hold Your Hand ....."

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