How to be punchy in 2018? (Dynamic Range)

Discussion in 'Mixing and Mastering' started by metaller, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. metaller

    metaller Platinum Record

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    I came across with this website: http://dynamicrangeday.co.uk/award/
    Which selects the best sounding albums in terms of dynamics and punch, and this brings me a question:

    How to get the drums, mix, and master punchy in 2018? How do you do that?

    Let's share some practical experience.

    A great example:
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
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  3. The Mazeman

    The Mazeman Member

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    It's all about the production, performance and the recording process. There is very little mixing and mastering involved.
     
  4. Baxter

    Baxter Audiosexual

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    Good drummer, good drums, new heads, well tuned, good room, good mics, good pres, mic placement, EQ, transient designers, compression, parallel compression, NY compression, saturation and sample layering goes a long way. :)

    Thanks to loudness normalization, "punch" is making a welcomed return.
     
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  5. metaller

    metaller Platinum Record

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    I accept that performance affects the punch, but saying "very little" for mixing and mastering is just nonsense. :dunno: You can simply ruin the punch in the mix and master process, or you can enhance that easily.
     
  6. metaller

    metaller Platinum Record

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    What if we use drums library? (Something which everybody is doing nowadays. Even my drummer friends are buying MIDI drums for track recording!)

    I know all the aspects you mention, but I wanted us to share some practical experiences. For example, using this particular chain on the snare enhances that!
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  7. The Mazeman

    The Mazeman Member

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    You clearly didn't understand my comment but it's ok !
     
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  8. devilorcracker

    devilorcracker Producer

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    Any type of compressor will do the job.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  9. Baxter

    Baxter Audiosexual

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    Being a drummer and buying drum MIDI patterns is a bit embarassing, imo. But that's because I'm originally a drummer myself and know how to play and improvise and apply my own drumming on songs.
    Where the hell is the fun in buying MIDI drums? Ah, Nevermind.

    Well, hopefully the companies making the drum libraries did a good job on the first mentioned processes (capturing the drum sounds), if you decide to play/program the drums yourself(!).

    All chains can differ wildly. Snares can be lowcut to remove low-end from the kick and letting other instruments fill in that space. A snare can be boosted in the "body" (usually around 150-200Hz depending on funamental pitch) for weight, cut (usually) boxiness around 400Hz, nasality around 1k, presence at 3k and clarity at 5k (which is the crack, snap, attack, transient, etc), brightness above that (which can also boost/overlap with cymbals).

    There usually is both an over-mic and a under-mic (for snare-bed rattle/noise). The under mic can be replicated with a noise synth. Basically a snare can be a tom drum (over mic) and a noise layer (bottom mic). Together they make the snare sound. The ringing (overtones of the batterhead) and noise can be colored, sustained, saturated, etc to give the illusion of the snare's quality.

    Compressor can be used with some attack time to let the initial transient to get through. This will let the crack/snap through and psychoacoustically soundlike you hit the snare harder. Saturation can be used to enhance the following harmonics (both ringing and noise). Hence why a distressor is a way to go by many engineers.

    A reverb or a plate can be used to further create the illusion that it's loud, as the psychoacoustic effect of hearing a reverberating room signals to the brain that the sound source is farther back in the room yet still loud in the mix. A mono plate can be useful, as mono also tells that the sound is coming from afar, rather than stereo when a sound source is closer to the listener.

    I can go on and on, but I guess you got the idea.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
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  10. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    Well, I think one point is not to compress/limit the hell out of the whole track and aim for a ridiculous high LUFS value of -8 or above.

    Another one is to be aware that punch is a fragile balance between a short, pretty loud (compressed/limited) signal and the necessary gap afterwards. Without a 'low' there is no 'loud'. The stronger you compress the single drum kit pieces and the reverb/room/ambience, the shorter these sounds need to be and vice versa. These times depend a lot on the track's speed.
    So, a general advice for release times, reverb lenghts and stuff isn't just possible.

    In general, I use the first compressors on anything just for sound and after that I go for punch in the channels, parallel compression and subgroups.

    And of course there are special compressors for special tasks/sounds. An 1176 is good for snares, can be good for bd and toms, but I'd never use it's special characteristics for cyms (apart from special fx sounds).
     
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  11. metaller

    metaller Platinum Record

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    By midi drums, I meant electronic midi drums controller( V drums)! Instead of recording real drums, using the controller to record the midi.



    Thanks for your detaild answer, I tested those and they work!
    Reverb is something we overlook its effect on big sound.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
  12. metaller

    metaller Platinum Record

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    Thanks for your answer! I decided to not use the compressor on my busses, and my track sound much bigger. I think I got the sound I wanted since I posted this thread. :wink:
     
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