video Compression and Tube Emulation for Drums

Compression and Tube Emulation for Drums

Applying compression and tube emulation to drums should be done strategically. Compression makes the drum sound punchier and more cohesive. Additionally, tube emulation adds harmonic distortion and saturation to the drums. This simulates the warmth and character of analog gear. The goal is to improve the drum’s tone and to replace traditional compression. This is done by using saturation to control the dynamic range. Key Points: In the case of this video, Trey is using tube emulation on a DiGiCo Quantum 338. He uses the tube emulator to add saturation and harmonic distortion to the drum sounds. This emulation can recreate the warmth of analog gear in a digital setting. Applying compression to the kick drum, snare, hi-hats, overheads, and toms should be focused on making a balanced, punchy sound. Pay special attention to the unique characteristics of each drum, such as the kick drum in this instance which is mic’d from the outside without a resonant head hole. Frequency-specific compression introduced filters in compression that target specific frequency ranges. You can use this to compress only the low end of the kick drum, for example. This maintains the drum’s attack while controlling its dynamic range. Adjusting attack, hold, and release is key. This should mimic the natural decay of the drums to ensure that the compression helps, not hurts, the drum’s sound. Compression can be a creative tool to help you glue the drum kit together. Use compression to make drums sound more unified and impactful in the mix. When using compression, be sure to balance it with the natural tone of the drums to avoid over-processing.

video Corrective EQ for Drums

Corrective EQ for Drums

Delve into the art of EQ’ing drums with Trey Smith. He guides you through his approach to building a mix, emphasizing the importance of EQ in crafting the ideal drum sound. From kick to snare, and hi-hat to toms, each part is carefully adjusted to fit in the mix. Your first EQ adjustments serve as the base for further improvements with compression and gating. Key Points: Starting the mix with EQ adjustments on drums lays a solid foundation. It begins with the kick and moves through snare, hi-hat, and toms. The starting EQ setting for each drum part is critical. It focuses on removing bad frequencies while keeping the drum's character. Using high-pass and low-pass filters on the kick drum helps clean up the low end. It also narrows the frequency range to emphasize in the mix. You must find and cut low-mid frequencies. They make the kick drum sound muddy. This is key for clarity and for it to blend with the bass and other instruments. You balance the top and bottom mic inputs to EQ the snare drum. This gets the crack and body you want, without spoiling the drum's natural sound. Overheads capture cymbals. They also show the whole drum kit. They make the mix lively and deep. Managing the EQ for toms requires careful thought. You must consider their role in the mix. You should ensure they help without overpowering. Challenges, like non-standard drum setups, involve unique features. For example, a kick drum without a kick hole and unusual tom sounds. They need specific EQ and processing techniques. These make them fit well into the mix. You may need to revisit the EQ settings when new mix elements are added. This shows that mixing is dynamic and iterative.

video Precision Gating Techniques for Drums

Precision Gating Techniques for Drums

Using gates for drums in a live mix enhances clarity and impact of kick, snare, and toms. Tailor gating to each drum’s uniqueness. This includes proper kick setup to achieve a natural, controlled sound that blends well in the band mix. Key Points: Handling a kick drum with no hole in the resonant head requires some special gating techniques. By using frequency-specific gating, you can ensure the gate responds accurately to the kick drum’s sound. This approach lets you capture both powerful hits and delicate nuances effectively. Make your decisions on gating the snare top and bottom based on the finesse of the drummer’s playing style. The aim is to preserve the natural dynamics of the snare while controlling bleed and resonance. Each tom should be gated alone, paying special attention to the filter settings. Focus on the gate and the tom’s frequencies. This approach lets the tom’s natural tone shine and minimizes interference from other drum parts. Adjust the attack, hold, and release of the gates to match the drums’ natural decay. This avoids a compressed or ‘robotic’ sound. Carefully manage the range setting to ensure the gate reduces volume without muting the drum’s resonance. Flexibility in gating is key. This is especially true in subtle song sections where a softer touch on the drums needs a different gating approach. Sometimes, you’ll have to bypass the gates for full musical expression. Blending with the rest of the band is the final step. After tuning the drum gates, blend the gated drum kit with the rest of the band. Gate Settings for Natural Sound: Adjust the attack, hold, and release of the gates to match the drums' natural decay. This avoids a compressed or 'robotic' sound. We carefully manage the range setting. It ensures the gate reduces volume without muting the drum's resonance. Adapting Gating in Different Song Sections: Flexibility in gating is key. This is especially true in subtle song sections. There, a softer touch on the drums needs a different gating approach. Sometimes, the gates must be bypassed for full musical expression. After tuning the drum gates, the last step is blending the gated drum kit with the rest of the band. This integration is used to judge the gating’s effectiveness in the whole mix. Make any adjustments needed for a cohesive sound.

video Drum Processing With Onboard Effects

Drum Processing With Onboard Effects

Getting impactful drums with onboard processing is entirely possible! Phil Bledsoe talks through his process to using what’s available on your console, and how to push the boundaries of what you have in terms of effects. Wether you have an older desk, or the latest and greatest, these ideas will apply to any console you’re using.

video Mixing Drums With the Tools You Have

Mixing Drums With the Tools You Have

You don’t need all of the fanciest gear and outboard processing to get good drum sounds! Phil Bledsoe walks through his approach to mixing drums with the tools you have, and introduces some new ideas you can implement into your mixes.

video A Conversation on Drum Tuning

A Conversation on Drum Tuning

Drum tuning is a topic full of preference and hardly any hard and fast rules. The way a drum is tuned has more to do with the sound of a drum than anything you can do at FOH. Learning to talk with your drummer about how they tune their drums will only help to strengthen your relationship with them, while also helping to achieve a better sound. Rhett Harken and Phil Bledsoe have a conversation on how to talk about drum tuning, and how to make compromises while still honoring and respecting one another in the process.