My drums need punch ! - But !...

Discussion in 'Drums' started by marsvolta, Jun 2, 2005.

  1. marsvolta

    marsvolta Guest

    ... when adding more volume they become unpleasant to listen to, they nearly hurt tin my ears, but when i lower them, they are in some way disappearing in the overall mix. It's like i need to get the drums away from the speakers, so that they are more distant but with more power...

    Maybe removing some edgy frequencies would do the trick ?

    I really hope i make sense !

    awaiting your replies! :)

  2. jamiey

    jamiey Guest

    "unpleasant to listen to" and "edgy frequencies" are sure signs that you are either using cheap gear or the drums themselves just sound bad. Or, arguably more important, the player could just suck. It's probably obvious, but that is really the place to fix it, if you can.

    By all means try removing those frequencies, you don't need our assurence there, and we really would have no idea because we have no idea what it sounds like, other then, I would assume, crap. You can also try short delays or reverbs to add power and/or smooth out the edgyness. Most cheap devices will surely add harshness so beware! Some people have bounced drums down to tape and recapture it, a more natural effect when done properly. Anything you do though will more then likely make the drums sound worse, so it may be a matter of keeping them lower and just dealing with it.

    Somethine else you could try which may work better is keep the drums low so the cymbals aren't annoying, if you have snare/kick/tom tracks, set a compressor on them, or send them to an aux channel with a compressor, and make it so they 'pop' only on the initial transients. You'll want to play around with the attack/release settings of course, but you should be able to make them sound more dynamic. If they become harsh, throw a EQ on it. If you have this as a aux channel that may be nice, because you can blend it in with the mix better without having to change the overal drum level.

    Hope that helps, there really is alot other suggestions, but they are all 'band-aids' and should try to be avoided next time.
  3. jamiey

    jamiey Guest

    Oh, I should probably add another obvious technique used alot in popular music: samples. Some guys will layer in triggered sounds to support and add power to the drums. It takes some effort to make them blend and not sound like a completely different drum sound playing along, but you can use samples made from another kit/session/player - it may actually support the style of your music, who knows! Some guys here will say stay away from samples, but to get a certain sound that seems to be popular these days, no matter how good the player/drums/recording/mixing, it may be the only way - because that's how THEY did it! Something to think about.
  4. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    Use a decent compressor with moderate attack (50-100ms) and very quick release (ie: .5ms or less) to get punchy drums, bass, anything with a decent transient. Make sure you're not crowding the low midrange with guitars, etc....that occupy the same frequency range. Try to carve out unique EQ settings for all the drums and other tracks competing for low-mid territory.
  5. KyroJoe

    KyroJoe Guest


    jamiey is absolutely correct. Samples are used on most country/rock/pop/punk/metal label releases.
    Check out Drumagog at
    or KT Drum Trigger at http://www.(Dead Link Removed) or APTrigga at [url]

    Create or get samples of the drum sound you want, trigger, and mix
    them with your drum recording (or replace yours entirely with the samples).

    Kyro Studios
  6. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Hey KyroJoe,
    What's up? Hey man, I have a Korg Triton and I want to use it for my drums with a real kit and a trigger (or 2 or 3) on the kick drum and whatever else. I tried the links you provided, but they were for computers. And I don't use a computer with my setup, I use a Mackie SDR.
    Or how about this.... if I have a Triton and if I've already recorded the drum tracks how do I connect the drums on playback so that I can use the Triton as the sample drum hits.

    NASA must have the weekend off huh? :lol: When's the next launch anyhow? :lol:
  7. KyroJoe

    KyroJoe Guest

    No Computer, huh?!
    Whaduhhell are you typing your messages on?!?!
    Ahh, that new smoke signal to Internet converter!
    LOL... :D

    I'm not familiar with the Triton. However, you'll likely need
    a Trigger to Midi Converter like a Roland TMC-6. The TMC
    provides midi from the acoustic drum triggers that your
    Triton can use to fire its sounds. You can get triggers cheap
    from Pulse Percussion for about $10 ea.

    Kyro Studios
  8. bmf

    bmf Guest

    sounds like some experience i made in the past as well - but i found a great solution for me. recordings even with crappy drums and crappy mics can work in a good way, given the fact you use a good compressor and a good room simulator! just use your ears - and good monitors! that's all...
  9. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    May 25, 2005
    Home Page:

    Are you mixing "in the box"? Or are you mixing in analog on tape? If you're using a computer, what multitrack software are you using? I may have some tips for you that will definitely help you out.
  10. idiophone

    idiophone Guest

    Hi all....been a while.

    Man, drum punch is ALL in the tuning and the room. Tuning can be fixed: but the room is a whole other can of worms for somebody other than me.

    Try the tuning first. Want punch? Tune the snare drum lower than you think so you start to feel the shell interact. Most snares that guys bring in are tweaked way high, around the frequency of the hihat, so the hats eat the snare for breakfast because the snare doesnt' have any 150-250 in it. Of course, if you're replacing it with a sample, you can do whatever you want.

    As for me, since the snare drum is between my legs, I tune it so I can feel my pants move when I hit the snare. That's when I know I've hit the sweet spot. Try it.


    PS: coated ambassadors rule
  11. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    Good points from idiophone. Another consideration is the actual performance by the drummer. Light touches don't translate into punchy tracks.
  12. marsvolta

    marsvolta Guest


    Sorry for being so long, thanks for all the advices, definately some I can use !

    Idophone, I think some of it is caused by my very high pitched/tuned snare, and I've been wondering myself if I should tune it lower, I'll try that !

    CoyoteTrax, I'm using computers, Mac and PC, with respectively Logic 7 Express and Cubase SX1 and 2.

    My interface is a Presonus Firepod 8ch. preamp A/D

    Any mixing tricks appreciated!
  13. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    Take the recorded drums, compress them. Combine the sound of the compressed drums with the sound of the uncompressed drums.

    I haven't done it, but I've read that it's a relatively common trick to give drums more umph.
  14. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    Program's idea works well.

    I usually try to get the compressor to 'breathe' with the beat. start off with the slowest attack and fastest release, and start adjusting until the attack lets the kick and snare through, then holds just long enough to the next kick or snare. Tweak it a bit, then bring that up under the uncompressed drums, try it both in stereo, and in mono, but I find the mono usually works out better.

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