levels of drums in the mix

Discussion in 'Drums' started by jerryroy, Nov 6, 2005.

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  1. jerryroy

    jerryroy Guest

    should the volume of my drums be higher than the melody or should the drums balance of with everything? and how do u know when u put too much low end into ur mix?
  2. annannienann

    annannienann Guest

    I don't clam to be an expert but it really depends on the song, If you want to send me a sample you can to annannienann@yahoo.co.uk and I will have a listen and tell you want I think. If I am making a song in classical/NIN style, which I usually do then I like the bass drum to punch through the mix for a very short period of time and then get the hell out of there and basically the same for the snare. But crash cymbals I love stereo samples of them, so I often just use my drum track as a guide and use stereo crash samples I have made; I love them to have long decays, attack loud and the fade into the mix. Hi-Hat I have always had a problem with, I never know wherther to have it at the front or back of the mix. Toms I have them at the front but pan them left to right with the highest tom on the left and the lowest on the right so tom rolls really go across the stero image. Well that's my input.

    You know when you have put too much low end in when it sounds too bassy, simple as that.
  3. dwoz

    dwoz Guest

    Hopefully, you realize this is a "should I get a vanilla or chocolate ice cream " kind of question.

    In other words, there isn't really an answer.

    You can think of a mix in a number of ways. First (not "first", but just first in this list!) is the "moment of focus/thread of focus". At any point in the tune, a particular component of the composition is "most important". Perhaps the lead vocal, perhaps the guitar playing a countermelody, perhaps the cowbell. This "mix philosopy" states that you should be able to hear that there's a primary focal point in the song, which is carried through by different instruments. You've heard many, many times where a lead vocal trails off with a lead guitar picking up the note, and continuing the melodic line. This would be a good example of this kind of thing happening...although it doesn't HAVE to be the main melody that's getting focus....its whatever you decide (vanilla/chocolate)

    next, there's the "every component can be discerned" philosophy. This philosophy kindof states that each part is an interesting line in and of itself, and you allow the listener to find/follow each individual part, to their delight. This is not inconsistent with the "moment of focus/thread of focus" philosophy.

    next, consider the "blend as one" philosophy. Just as it sounds, this says to mould the parts around each other so they become one single part. Horn sections come to mind here, where you want to hear the effect of the section, not as individual horns.

    next, consider the "flow of energy/level of energy" philosophy. Mix so that the energy level is following the desired pattern...and the level of the drums would be the single most obvious way to affect the overall energy level of the composition. Is the energy "constant build to end" or "build to crescendo" or "build to climax then fall back"...again, we're at vanilla/chocolate.

    next, consider the "sits congruously with composition XYZ" philosophy, where you're concerned about whether your mix will sound like it "belongs" with the mix of the tune before it, and the mix of the tune after it. The perennial radio-ready conundrum. Sometimes its a very valid mix philosophy and sometimes its the ONLY mix philosophy.

    No rights, no wrongs, only intentions.

  4. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:
    Everything is subjective. It depends on the song, if you are the engineer, you can always ask the band's opinion. If it's your music, then you would decide. I think the key is to listen to many kinds of music and pick up on things you like and don't like, and then go from there.

    There is nothing "wrong" with having a lot of bass. If you are not sure, and even when you are, you should compare your mix on different speakers before you decide. It's a normal part mixing process. Monitoring is just as important as your ears, but I won't go into the whole monitoring issues involved, that's another topic.
  5. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2004

    Actually there is one blanket rule you can use regarding percussion: If there is a cowbell in the mix, you can never have too much of it.

  6. This is the ^#$%ing bomb. I'm gettin this engraved on a plaque.

  7. annannienann

    annannienann Guest

    If you do just remember to get the web site address in on the bottom. lol.

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