How to make drum sounds more tonal?

Discussion in 'Mixing and Mastering' started by MaXe, Sep 27, 2019.

  1. MaXe

    MaXe Kapellmeister

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2016
    Messages:
    318
    Likes Received:
    69
    How do you guys make your drum sounds more tonal? One way is layering the low-end but I am talking about making high-end frequency range tonal somehow. In professional tracks drums sound more tonal and melodic to my ears.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
    • List
  2.  
  3. ZUK

    ZUK Platinum Record

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    388
    Likes Received:
    177
    Adjust the pitch. Look at the frequency, look at what scale it is, and use the notes to adjust.
    Sometimes I use voxengo span, to visualize the note in which some sound is playing.

    you can play in that the hihats close, open and others, the toms, are those of the main chord.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Useful Useful x 1
    • List
  4. ZUK

    ZUK Platinum Record

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    388
    Likes Received:
    177
    take a look.
    One Thing: Hannes Bieger – Tuning drum sounds


    but not only related to kick.
    adjunt, toms, hihats, percussion, others.
     
  5. flguy

    flguy Ultrasonic

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2019
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    23
    Agreed. You most definitely want to tune your drums to the key of your track. I always do this, and it makes a night and day difference. If you use FL studio, you can find the key of the drum samples using Edison, and tune them using the wrench section of the sample. Then using the piano roll, you can choose note of the key you are in. You can also use zplane's retune plugin, or anything of the sort.

    Depending on the key, sometimes the drum samples can sound too high or low pitched after being tuned. For example, if the key of your song is C, but your drums are tuned to F, the samples might end up sounding to high or low pitched depending on which direction you decided to tune them. To get around this, you can layer sounds, and not only will it sound better, it will help the sounds cut through the mix better. You can also layer another sound an octave up or down, depending on the sound you're going for.

    I would get in the habit of tuning your drums, and thus your drums will "flow" better and sound like they are a part of the track as a whole. Remember that drums are tuned in real life recording situations, so they should be tuned in your projects as well.

    After tuning, I would recommend taming and or bringing out fundamental frequency's by using additive / subtractive EQ. You can also add some slight compression to help bring out the "smack" if you don't want to over do it with the EQ.
    Good luck :wink:!
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
    • List
  6. rhythmatist

    rhythmatist Audiosexual

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1,206
    Likes Received:
    731
    Location:
    Chillicothe, Ohio, USA
    If you are working with software Superior Drums or real Noble & Cooley's, once you have the pitch you want, try backing off the muffling, particularly the snare, to let it ring a little. For real drums I suggest you move your SlapKlatz.:rofl::drummer::drummer::drummer:http://slapklatz.com/products/slapklatz-pro-pink-damper-gels/
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2019
    • Like Like x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
    • List
  7. thejohndoe

    thejohndoe Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2015
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    10
    No you do not "definitely need to tune your drums"it can ruin the groove in some instances.i got some stems to mix the other week for a Techno track that took this paint by numbers approach to drum tuning and it actually ruined the tune.there was zero tension in the low end because things where harmonically perfect.dissonance can be your friend sometimes.those little phase differences can sometimes reinforce a rhythm rather than hinder it.i never tune snares for instance because snares put out a fundamental based on the tuning and size of the drum head.the more important thing to pay attention to with acoustic drums,found sound percussion and most real world recordings of percussion at least are the sidebands,not the fundamental note.in an electronic context i'd never tune a 909 cause its just,well its just retarded to be frank.a 909 is a a rectified saw wave through envelope followers and filters it doesn't have a fundamental when you engage most of the pitch envelope.clean tones like 808's you cannot get away with not tuning,but not everybody uses clean sine tones or things close to being as pure as a sine (because the 808 is not a sinewave despite the amount of youtube tutorials that say otherwise).the more thumpy the kick and the less of a clear fundamental upon release,the less you should give a shit about tuning
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
    • List
  8. 23322332

    23322332 Platinum Record

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    Messages:
    387
    Likes Received:
    187
    Drums are inharmonic.
    Or they wouldn't really be drums.
    While you can change their pitch, don't confuse this with anything having to do with your song's tonality etc. I have seen idiotic discussions about "tuning drums" by guys that completely don't know what they are talking about.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vibrations_of_a_circular_membrane

    You can use short tonal synth blips as rhythmical percussion- does it sound like a drum, of course - not, but that's the tonal equivalent of a drum.
     
    • Interesting Interesting x 1
    • List
  9. studio5599

    studio5599 Kapellmeister

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Messages:
    901
    Likes Received:
    71
    drums are layered, just like vocals most mixes are doubled on each drum, example. toms 2tracks. bass 2tracks cymbals 2tracks and so on this makes your kit sound huge compression and eq are your best friend Superior Drums is excellent program to achieve killer drums in any track....
     
  10. Blue

    Blue Audiosexual

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Messages:
    1,301
    Likes Received:
    628
    Location:
    France
    Try to Tune your drums with a frequency shifter instead of adjusting the pitch in semitones (with timestretch or not).It's way more musical in mostly cases.

    Tune your kick to the key of your song and the snare one fifth higher.

    But I rarely tune the hihats and the rides/cymbals.
     
  11. 23322332

    23322332 Platinum Record

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    Messages:
    387
    Likes Received:
    187
    You can "tune" stuff, if it is harmonic.
    Drums are not, so you are not really tuning them. They will never be in tune. That's why frequency shifters sounds better.
    Use a frequency shifter on harmonic timbre and it will sound like a garbage that can only be used in a dubstep song or as a sci-fi sound effect.
     
  12. Blue

    Blue Audiosexual

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Messages:
    1,301
    Likes Received:
    628
    Location:
    France
    If your song plays in A,and your kick's lowest frequency is 55 Hz,it's "in tune".Of course when your bass will play the note E for instance,the kick won't be in tune.

    Everybody does like he wants but personnally I find it better to have the kick in key.
     
  13. Baxter

    Baxter Audiosexual

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Messages:
    2,809
    Likes Received:
    1,660
    Location:
    Sweden
    Drums can have fundamental and odd harmonics. Certain drums also have pitch envelope (pitch falls from higher tension to resting tension). Some percussion are tonal while others are atonal (no clear fundamental). Sometimes the mishmash and variation is what makes a mix sound good. In short, you don't have to tune atonal sounds. Maybe filter out what isn't needed and what is causing overlapping/masking.

    Just tune drums fundamentals to tonic/3rd/4th/5th, etc. But be aware that excessive transposition/detuning/pitch shift will degrade the sound (lower Nyquist, smeared transients, granular artifacts, etc).

    If you want additional tonality you can just boost fundamental frequency (or harmonics) with narrow Q. Or layer tonality and attenuate these in the original sample to avoid overlap and phase problems. Same goes for notching/eliminating harmonics and layering for adding harmonic content to tonal sample that lack harmonics.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
  14. Kwissbeats

    Kwissbeats Audiosexual

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2014
    Messages:
    1,243
    Likes Received:
    501
    I know you specificly asked for high frequency tonal content.
    But I like khs disperser for toms kicks and other low freq percussive content, and it does work on the full range.
    It could mimic a fundamental frequency, which wasn't there in the first place.
    [​IMG]
     
Loading...
Similar Threads - drum sounds more Forum Date
Summer Sounds - Vocals, Drums, Melodic Loops, MIDI files, One-Shots, Presets and more Software News Jul 8, 2015
Where can I find drum sounds like these? how to make "that" sound May 29, 2018
Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto drum sounds how to make "that" sound Dec 21, 2016
Creating my own drum sounds. Working with Sound Dec 12, 2016
Best Drum Sounds Ever Music May 19, 2016
Loading...