General Use of Software Compression on Drums (2 mic setup)

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Submitted by ThirdBird on Mon, 10/17/2011 - 05:57

Using a mic on the kick and an overhead, what are some general ways to use software compression?

It is going to be a typical modern rock/pop mix. I know everything is probably close mic'd and/or replaced with samples, but I only have access to this setup.

Mind you, I am not looking for exact knob settings. I want to learn what to listen for, and why certain settings may work. General starting settings are just that, somewhere to start. Here we go:

Use a compressor on the kick track?

What are some rough guidelines to kick compressor settings?
- ratio around 4:1 to 8:1 or more?
- How much gain reduction?
- What about the attack and release? (What is the theory of the sound I should be listening for?)

What about general guidelines for the overhead compression?
- Should I use serial or parallel compression?
- What ratio and gain reduction is alright?
- Again, what should I be looking for in the attack and release?

Thanks for any help!

at first you can get a great sounding drums recorded on 1 mic only,
and I mean it, I've heard drums recorded by good drummer on good setup in well sounding room..
1 mic,
with 2 just do as you plan - 1 oh and 1 kick - but move it away off kick around 1m, or maybe less - use your ears
if you gonna record it and (as it seems you don't have too much experience) just leave compressors and focus on recording
mic setup/preamp gain / conversion a/d

You could give the kick a bit more punch and make it feel more tight. Use a setting that lets the transient through.
You could use a compressor with a fast attack to control the transients on the whole kit. (fairchild style)
You should check this video out, there is good section on drums compression.
[[url=http://[/URL]=""]Compression Overview - PUREMIX[/]=""]Compression Overview - PUREMIX[/]

Yes that was a lovely link you provided. Good site, good information, well presented and all right IMHO. Nice old NEVE converted broadcast desk over at FLUX. Looks like a great place too. Hope I bump into one of them at the AES? Anybody else going? I mean like my birthday was last week and the AES is this weekend...So the party continues. I hangout at the Duplex over in the West Village after the show closes each day. Hope to see somebody there?

I think you need 2 more DB on that Budweiser?
Mx. Remy Ann David

chavernac, post: 377381 wrote: Yes. We are going to AES. We'll be around the Dangerous Music and Focal Booth. In front of Avid.
Glad you like the site.
Hope to see you there!

Everyone here really likes your tutorials. I sure wish you weren't selling something though. It borders on spamming our site. (we've had this conversation before havent we Guillaume?)

I'd really like it if you or Fab would really discuss things rather than a couple of lines of fluff and then the link to your site.

Also something we've talked about.

If you'd like banner space I'm sure Chris would seriously discuss that with you.

Again. Nice site. If Remy likes it and thinks the content is must be. (seriously I like it too) (I just dont like spam......unless its fried with some egg in it)

We really like Pro's and would like you to feel welcome.

Well Dave, I wouldn't completely refer to that as spam. The reasons for that is because it is presented with a valid audio and visual teaser. An honest desire and attempt at the dissemination of accurate and quality oriented music production recording techniques and demonstrations. It isn't just one big give me money advertisement as there is plenty of good free stuff. It's so well produced, sonically & visually I think it's a powerful association with They certainly have validated everything I've talked about here. It was a Site I spent more than 15 seconds on and that's rather remarkable for an ADD with major brain damage like me (That last comment is 100% true). Fab is delightfully entertaining with many of these demonstrations on massive sale tour shows. I know lots of fine engineers that cannot articulate as well as he does. I mean I don't even know this guy and would love to meet him. Unfortunately, at 56 I'm probably old enough to be his mother and/or father? I love how he starts everything with "Hello children...". I was hoping he would do a takeoff on Romper Room but maybe that's my job?

Remember..."Doobie a good B. Don't be a Dolby"? They even demonstrate how to get that tape saturation after digitally recording it. What they don't show is how to properly resynchronize that in your timeline which I'm sure you have to pay for to find those 11 secret herbs and spices. And while it is the spam portion of the program it's almost valid enough for me to see if great minds think alike. I was duly intrigued. We all know things are financially harder these days and excellent production technique went into the making of this. Sure, should probably be some long-distance handshaking along with some $ passed between them and Chris.Actually I felt slightly sorry for them because they had that Neve 55 since, even though it's a Neve it's also a piece of crap designed by Siemens Corporation. The one I used NBC when it was removed and decommissioned, it didn't go up for auction... It went directly into the trash dumpster. LOL, it's true. The older Neve's like mine at least went up for auction. Unfortunately the same was true for the radio consoles at NBC radio DC, dumpster.

I'm proud to be a dumpster diver. I didn't save those NEVE's but I did save all of the API stuff. It was like Christmas for me when NBC converted from analog to digital. Unfortunately I didn't come on board in time to save the box full of RCA 77 DX's they threw out... sniffle, sniff sniff.

I miss working for a network with a big dumpster
Mx. Remy Ann David