drum dynamics

Discussion in 'Drums' started by BigBangTheory, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. what would help even the dynamics of a drum track? In other words, what keep the track sounding even volume-wise.. The problem is, my drummer sort has a tendancy to get extremely loud on some parts of songs we play and really quite on others and I want it to sound more uniform.
  2. RAIN0707

    RAIN0707 Guest

    Three approaches on this one...

    1. Compressor, hardware or software that supresses louder notes, allowing you to raise the soft ones up in volume. Be careful though as this can sound very artificial, breathy, and annoying if used improperly.

    2. Creating an automated volume envelope inside your software platform (my personal choice for this situation)

    3. Retracking, encouraging drummer to play less dynamically if that is what the track calls for.
  3. RAIN0707

    RAIN0707 Guest


    4. Sound replacement/sampling software like Drumagog or something to replace every hit with a hit of the same or near same velocity.
  4. frob

    frob Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2004
    tell you drummer to hit with the intensity of dansig.
  5. idiophone

    idiophone Guest

    No compressor will make your drummer hit things properly. I know that's not what you wanted to hear, but it's the truth. You need a better drummer.

    Other than that, you can sample replace him and hope for the best, but you won't fix the problem, and it will sound pretty fake.

    Don't shoot the messenger,
  6. RAIN0707

    RAIN0707 Guest

    I would have to disagree with that since it depends on the level of inconsistency. If he is sloppy and all over the place then yes, of course no compressor is gonna make it sound usable or genuine but if there are a few places here or there where the velocity is a bit lower than normal it can and has been most certainly used to improve drum tracks.

    Again I would have to disagree. It will only sound fake if you don't have a good enough program or don't want to take the time to modify anything. When done right, its very hard to tell the difference between the samples and the actual drums. Almost 80% of all hard rock and metal albums these days utilize some sort of drum samples.

    Not trying to shoot the messenger. Just agreeing to disagree on this one. Sat in on some major label/major artist album sessions when I was interning and saw all of those methods applied throughout those sessions.
  7. thats interesting. I'll have to look into that sampling software. However, a limiter for the cymbols would probably be a good idea because those things ring out really bad some times. then maybe a compressor for the overall sound. Any suggestions for either?
  8. RAIN0707

    RAIN0707 Guest

    Compressors on overheads is used a lot. They can suppress the cymbals when struck and bring up and level out the hats and ride when the crashes are not being struck. You have to play with it to get the desired result but I have never had to mic a hi-hat again really - or if I do I hardly have to use the mic in the mix.

    Of course you must have properly placed overheads to get the desired result or else the cymbals will pump and breathe and you dont want that.
  9. I keep signs up for the drummer that say "Hit the WHITE things HARD and the SHINY things SOFT!!!". Seems to work well for me about cymbals.

    Anyway, as RAIN0707 said, a compressor can help if he is not all over the place. I usually have drummers play at a consistent volume and then ride the faders in mixdown unless its something like a ballad or one of those songs that's a whisper in the verses but a scream in the choruses (think over-exageratted Nirvana, basically). I ask them to play a consistent level because I'd much rather ride faders WITH the music than AGAINST the music.
  10. I guess I should just do some more experimenting, then I'll try adding gear, like compressors-limiters and such...maybe a preamp for those overheads? Thanks a lot for all your help
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