Your best drum mixing advise ( rock, heavy rock, metal, etc )

Discussion in 'Mixing and Mastering' started by Mister Grimm, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. Mister Grimm

    Mister Grimm Newbie

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    What the title says ! Feel free to share some drum mixing advise and/or tips if you'd like to ! Cheers !
     
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  3. Riot7

    Riot7 Producer

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    Endlessly tinkering with soloed drum tracks is not just a waste of time but seriously counterproductive. What sounds great within the full track often sounds kinda weird and lame soloed and vice versa.
     
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  4. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    The most important tip I know of, use the first compressor on all shell pieces to shape the sound!

    Don't be afraid of heavy eqing, especially the bass drum.
    Don't underestimate the snare's reverb to shape its sound. Predaly its reverb until almost a gap is heard. Don't make it too wide and compress it (almost the same applies for bd, even if to way less extend, and toms).
    Use mono reverb only for sn and bd, if at all. On the other pieces it will ruin the pan.

    As Riot7 already said, what matters is the sound in the track, not soloed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
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  5. mauin1x

    mauin1x Newbie

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    A good rule of thumb is have the snare and lead vocal around the same volume (dB).
    The main thing I would stress about is get the overheads (solo'd) sounding as best as possible first then add the other elements of the kit. Let me know if you would like any more pointers!

    -maui
     
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  6. famouslut

    famouslut Audiosexual

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    Is there a reason for using mono verb, seems like I've always used stereo verb (lazy =) and I'm doing it wrong? Doesn't it just get hard panned? Do you just dupe L R and duck? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Aren't tigers afraid of any / all shell pieces? >_____>

    [​IMG]

    Also, wtf is a shell piece?! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
  7. rhythmatist

    rhythmatist Audiosexual

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. tzzsmk

    tzzsmk Rock Star

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    delicate transient shaping does 90% of modern drum sound
     
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  9. M-Art

    M-Art Noisemaker

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    severe parallel compression on the entire drum buss
     
  10. PopstarKiller

    PopstarKiller Platinum Record

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    Take any advice you see here with a grain of salt.

    Check phase of different kick and snare mics. Sometimes if you put a high-pass on one mic and then flip the phase, you get interesting results.
    Don't just gate everything. Bleed can glue the entire track together, don't be afraid to compress the kick/snare even if it raises the bleed.
    Don't work in solo mode.
    ~3db of compression on the entire drum buss can help bring the whole thing together. Same with heavy parallel compression.
    It's best to high-pass the overheads, rooms, and cymbal mics around 100hz.
    And yeah, reverb on the snare (or even entire drum buss) can add a lot.
    Also: if the snare/kick just aren't consistent or powerful enough, don't try to heavily process them in weird ways, it would just sound like shit, better to add in samples.
     
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  11. Baxter

    Baxter Audiosexual

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    Fixing phase alignment (and correct mic placement and measuring distance when tracking)! Offsetting and flipping phase on each mic to get the most mics in phase. This is huge.
    Subtractive EQing and mixing.
    Stunt mic.
    Parallel drum bus compression.
    Transient designer where needed.
    Saturation/distortion.

    Oh! Good drummer. Good drums. Good room. Good mics and preamps.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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  12. tzzsmk

    tzzsmk Rock Star

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    one thing to note is, phase can get off during mixing with plugins, so it can often help (or at least produce different results) if you keep individual tracks in phase in the end of the FX chains
     
  13. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    :woot: Since when do we need a reason... [​IMG]

    Seriously, it helps to focus the sound. Just narrow an full wide rev on bd and sn and at ~ 20% you will hear it.
    Additionally, if you shape the sn's release ('sustain') phase with a rev, it sounds separated. IAW, if you use a rev to built the sn's sustain phase (like in gated rev) the attack is centered and the sustain spread, you know what I mean?

    Sorry, I don't understand this, can you rephrase, please?

    We are only afraid of one thing - and only when we're small
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    A shell piece? A drum kit piece with a shell, like bass drum, snare drum, tom drum. :winker:
    Other than a brass piece which is a drum kit piece made of brass, like hi hats and cymbals. :yes:
     
  14. digitaldragon

    digitaldragon Audiosexual

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    All of these tips are good.

    One thing I use for getting close mid'd in phase with the overheads is Melda Auto Align. It really seems to bring the kit together.

    I start working on the overheads getting them to sound good. Primarily focusing on the hats and cymbals, but keeping the overall kit tonality in mind. Then I work through the close mic'd stuff (shaping the sound) adding it to the overheads so that it supports them well.

    I'll use triggered samples to layer in with the mic'd tracks as well.

    I need to try doing a mix without all the gating on the close mic'd stuff.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  15. Mister Grimm

    Mister Grimm Newbie

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    Guys i usually start with kick snare and Overheads together, sometimes i solo snare top or bot mic , same thing goes with kick mics and then i go back full kit , full kit with bass , full tracks etc ... I recently experiment with exciters and to my surprise my mixes got better
     
  16. M-Art

    M-Art Noisemaker

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    Also - don't use sample replacement if you don't want to sound like everybody else out there... and for the love of god - don't time align hits. Keep the human performance in there, push the musician and try to get the sound just right before it hits your converters.
     
  17. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    As long as you use raw samples I see no problem. You can shape it in a different way then everyone else.
     
  18. M-Art

    M-Art Noisemaker

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    But it is kind of lazy I think.. Better to have an entire soulful performance pushed out of a drummer with some inconsistencies here and there than every single tiny detail edited to "perfection". That's what I dislike about most modern productions - everything tends to sound way too sanitized :/
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  19. Cav Emp

    Cav Emp Audiosexual

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    I'm not an expert on mixing by any means. I mess with things until they sound good to me. Most people I've sent my recent music say that the mixing is good, some say very good, which is a little surprising to me because though my ears have gotten a lot better, a lot of it is trial and error. In fact in a recent thread Baxter pointed out that I'd recommended something almost completely fucking pointless lol.

    That said, a couple things I like to do. I almost always let a little bit of dry signal through as long as the compressor I'm using has a mix knob. Unless a particular drum transient is so aggressive that it's getting ugly, I back off the mix knob on literally everything by at least 10 or 15 percent. I like my drums punchy and I find a lot of the time it saves me the trouble of transient shaping unless i really need multiband shaping.

    Learning about different types of compressors is something I was indifferent to for a long time, and gaining an understanding of it really helped me to be more deliberate about what kind of shaping I want on drums. FET/1176 style, opto/LA2A, bus/vca, vari-mu, etc. etc. Most good emulations do subtle things with not just saturation but also the shape of the attack and release stages, and most one-size-fits-all digital compressors do not go deep enough to let you change these things (only one I can think of off the top of my head is sonible smart comp lets you change att and rel curves). Also many hardware comps/emulations that don't have specified ms release times may have release stages WAY longer than you expect. Some bus comps have program dependent release that can go up to like 20 seconds.

    You'd be surprised how much better a kick can sound just by cutting out some shitty frequencies. Between 200-600Hz is a good place to start looking if things don't sound right.

    Boz Digital Bark of Dog is a nice free plug for beefing up kicks or bass. It's a re-imagining of Little Labs Voice of God if I'm not mistaken, a hardware unit that's some sort of bass harmonic generator or resonator. UAD has an expensive emulation of this which is IMO not necessarily any better than the free Boz plug. Boz also makes a kick-specific version of this called Little foot (currently $10 on sale), and a bells-and-whistles kick enhancer called Sasquatch (currently $30 on sale). Really good tools to have if you want to keep your kick drum sample (or have a recording that you can't conveniently replace) but you have suddenly decided that it sounds like shit.


    For drum design - a convex pitch envelope will give you a more zappy kick sound. A steep concave pitch envelope will give you a quick HF attack and longer sub, like an 808. White noise plus a filter (and/or amp) envelope that looks like this |\|\|\|\ will get you the beginning of a clap. A synth snare is basically a kick 2 octaves up plus a white noise envelope. Hihats are mostly just white noise plus filter/amp envelope. Add foley sounds to taste. Super easy to make your own drums and it saves a lot of hassle once you get the hang of it.

    idk what else.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  20. Baxter

    Baxter Audiosexual

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    Doesn't your DAW have latency compensation?
     
  21. Banz

    Banz Ultrasonic

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    My mixing advice would be that things need to fit together, doesn't matter how good is your kick drum if your entire track doesnt sound cohesive.

    If you know how to make things sounding cohesive, mixing a drum wouldn't be a problem at all!
     
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