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Carrot Child
11-13-2013, 06:03 PM
Hey guys,

I'm looking for suggestions as to how I should compress my drums to get an authentic, acoustic sound because as of now, they have no character to them whatsoever. I recorded the kit with a total of nine microphones (2 overheads - spaced pair, 1 on the floor tom, 1 on the rack tom, 2 on the kick drum - front and back, 2 on the snare - top and bottom and 1 on the hi hat). How should I go about doing this, should I compress all of the drum tracks collectively through an auxiliary or compress them all individually, and what settings should I actually apply to the compressor(s). Also, is there any other effects or attributes I could apply that would help me achieve the sound I'm looking for? Thanks in advance.

albee1952
11-13-2013, 09:03 PM
There's likely at least a dozen ways to do this, so here's 1.

First thing I do is "clean" the tom tracks(as long as they are not too busy with tom hits). I try to always advance past the end of the song by 1 minute and record single hits for each tom(and flams if the song has them). I then trim/copy and paste a clean hit(with clean decay) over the corresponding tom hits in the track to cover any hit that does NOT have another immediate tom hit(the idea is the tom fills ring and decay naturally, but the tom tracks are cleaned of all bleed..almost all, anyway). That gives me the proper sound, and way more control over the mix.

Then, I leave all the drums hitting the stereo outs, but add a stereo send to all the "shell" tracks(kick, snare&toms) feeding a stereo AUX track. I add a compressor to the AUX and adjust to taste. Usually, I end up with the Waves SSL bus compressor, but different comps will give you different "flavors(try the BF76 with the ALL BUTTONS preset:o). Cytomic's The Glue comp is another nice option, but try whatever you have(if you find one you like, but want to hear others, just make it inactive and add another below the first).

Now I don't have a great room for my kit, so room mics are not really feasible. My solution is to AUX send all the kit(minus the bass drum) to another stereo AUX with a good room reverb(this is where a good convolution reverb rocks). But I usually end up using IK's Classik Room.

BTW, not sure about your experience level here, so 2 details to remember, try flipping polarity on the snare bottom mic, and experiment with that on the 2 bass drum tracks:D

That's my scenario, and I bet you get a dozen more that work as well or better. You'll have to try them all and see what works for you and your drum tracks(since mine may be a world different from yours, don't fall prey to the old "color by numbers" routine):D

musicman691
11-14-2013, 03:47 AM
I mainly use BFD2 for drums at the moment and I bring out on individual outputs as much as possible and not use BFD's internal mixer. Kick on 1 channel, snare on another, toms grouped on their own output, hihat on it's own cymbals on their own, and separates tracks for the ambient and room mics. 1176 emulation on the kick at a high ratio, LA2A emulation lightly on the snare to take some of the peaks off but not ruin any ghost notes. I buss all tracks together in PT to another aux and use a 670 emulation or a Manley Vari-mu emulation or PSP Vintage Warmer 2 as overall compression. I was using the Softube emulations they did for NI for the 1176, LA2A and Manley emulation until I got ikmultimedia's TRacks CS3.

What I'm looking for is an SSL Buss Compressor emulation that has a high pass filter in it so I don't lose the thump of the kick drum. Those I've used tend to (for me at least) lose too much of the bottom end for my taste when I want a chest thumping kick.

albee1952
11-14-2013, 01:25 PM
1 more tip for punching up drums; Waves JJP signature Drum plugin.:D Check Waves for a demo. I can't live without it:o

BohoProAudio
11-14-2013, 06:02 PM
I like to treat each piece separately(for the most part). I start with the kick, bussing it out to two auxes, one for high pass and one for low. Use the low aux and aim for the boom, but keep it in control, using EQ into heavier compression. I might put a pass filter at 50 hz on this, because most systems won't hear anything below, and it just uses up sonic energy and can set off the compressor and screw it up. Use the high pass and try to capture the head, brighter eq into lighter compression. This will let you balance the low end and the slap sound to taste.
Snare gets high passed and bussed into two auxes as well. I like to sidechain the compression(not too high a ratio) on the snare, and run a harmonic plug like Sansamp on the non-compressed aux, just to put a little hair on it. Keep any tone controls neutral(that's what eq is for later), but raise a little gain. This lets me emphasize the 'snare' sound without losing any punch.
I would put both toms into a stereo aux, and just run high and low pass filters on the aux to tame cymbals and kick. Get a wide stereo image on the toms by panning them all the way out.
Cymbals don't get any processing, other than a high pass filter to remove any drum thump. I put reverb sends on snare and toms, rarely on cymbals and kick.
Processing is done in this order: 1. Pass filters 2.Compression 3. EQ. The pass filters remove energy that the compression will react to. The post-compression eq is for final tone shaping, because most compressors will colour the tone one way or another. I would start by focusing on the shells, and get them right before mixing the cymbals in.
I keep my room mics and cymbals on a separate bus from the rest of the kit, because it's easier to make adjustments to the cymbals later that way.

Carrot Child
11-17-2013, 06:35 AM
Thanks for the help bruddas :D I'll take all of these suggestions into account when editing my drums later on tonight, however I don't have some of the compressor plug-ins you guys mentioned but the information you've given me has been very helpful nonetheless. Thanks again, much appreciated.

albee1952
11-17-2013, 11:21 AM
ANY compressor plugin can help(even the old BF76 works).

musicman691
11-17-2013, 11:41 AM
ANY compressor plugin can help(even the old BF76 works).
It just takes a bit of dialing in of the controls and not relying on the presets, although they may be a starting point. I often start with a preset and then change it so much it is nothing like the original!:cool:

JFreak
11-17-2013, 12:46 PM
IMO,

Tweak the EQ and overall balance of the kit tracks until it sounds "about right". Only once you've achieved that, go for dynamics processing.

Just IMO.

wehttamllim
11-26-2013, 02:10 AM
Hey guys,

I'm looking for suggestions as to how I should compress my drums to get an authentic, acoustic sound because as of now, they have no character to them whatsoever. I recorded the kit with a total of nine microphones (2 overheads - spaced pair, 1 on the floor tom, 1 on the rack tom, 2 on the kick drum - front and back, 2 on the snare - top and bottom and 1 on the hi hat). How should I go about doing this, should I compress all of the drum tracks collectively through an auxiliary or compress them all individually, and what settings should I actually apply to the compressor(s). Also, is there any other effects or attributes I could apply that would help me achieve the sound I'm looking for? Thanks in advance.


Would love to hear a bounce of your progress sometime!

Greg M
11-26-2013, 12:20 PM
Here is a screen shot of my typical drum tracks. I compress each track individually then some bussed to an Aux. I don't compress cymbal (overheads) or high hat tracks because compression seems to mess with the tail in a way that I don't like. The Blue Cat Patchwork plugins are hosting PSP OldTimer compressors (had to use that since I just opened this session in PTHD 11).

I can send you mp3 files of just the drums and the whole song so you see how they sound and fit in the mix. I don't have a way to post them right now.

I should also mention the mics and placement: Royer 121's about 3" above the crash and ride, Rode NT5 on HH, SM57's on snare top and bottom, Audix D6 way inside the Kick drum, Bets 57's on the rack toms and a MD421 on the floor tom.

I recorded this with a Digi002rack, GR MP2NV, Focusrite ISA 430 MKII, and a first generation Focusrite Octopre.


Greg

boneboy
11-26-2013, 03:55 PM
It's good that you are seeking opinions on your work but I think its much better to A/B with drums sounds that you like on certain records and try to make your drums stand up to those. Advice can be fine except everybody has their own idea of what something should sound like. If you get to many conflicting opinions it could confuse you.

Good luck

Carrot Child
11-29-2013, 07:47 AM
Here is a screen shot of my typical drum tracks. I compress each track individually then some bussed to an Aux. I don't compress cymbal (overheads) or high hat tracks because compression seems to mess with the tail in a way that I don't like. The Blue Cat Patchwork plugins are hosting PSP OldTimer compressors (had to use that since I just opened this session in PTHD 11).

I can send you mp3 files of just the drums and the whole song so you see how they sound and fit in the mix. I don't have a way to post them right now.

I should also mention the mics and placement: Royer 121's about 3" above the crash and ride, Rode NT5 on HH, SM57's on snare top and bottom, Audix D6 way inside the Kick drum, Bets 57's on the rack toms and a MD421 on the floor tom.

I recorded this with a Digi002rack, GR MP2NV, Focusrite ISA 430 MKII, and a first generation Focusrite Octopre.


Greg

Yeah man, I'd like to hear it. I'll give you my email so you can send the mp3s.

Carrot Child
11-29-2013, 07:54 AM
It's good that you are seeking opinions on your work but I think its much better to A/B with drums sounds that you like on certain records and try to make your drums stand up to those. Advice can be fine except everybody has their own idea of what something should sound like. If you get to many conflicting opinions it could confuse you.

Good luck

I know what you're saying, It's just I hit a brick wall and was looking for some ideas on what to do. Thanks man :D

Carrot Child
11-29-2013, 07:58 AM
Would love to hear a bounce of your progress sometime!

No problem mate, I'll stick it on soundcloud later on and post a link for you and anyone else who wishes to hear.