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  #1  
Old 12-16-2011, 09:15 AM
firsty33 firsty33 is offline
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Default Drums Buried In The Mix

The title of this thread says it all. I'll try to describe in detail as best I can what's going on with this issue.

In a PT session, I'm adding drum tracks to a song. The guitars and bass are already tracked. These were recorded with Eleven, and "printed" to audio tracks, at about -3 db, they sound great and have plenty of headroom to work with... no clipping either.

I'm now ready to track drums. I'm using a 003 rack, and the following mics setup:

Stereo Track: Overheads
Mono Track: Kick
Mono Track: Snare
Mono Track: 10 Tom
Mono Track: 12 Tom
Mono Track: Floor Tom
Stereo Aux Track: Drum Reverb
Stereo Aux Track: Drum Submix

I've been following your advice and guidelines on tracking drums for a while now, and even came up with a template for this setup.

The drums are recorded at about -3 db. I add EQ to each individual track, and compression to the snare and overheads. They sound great, but have no "ooomph" or power. They completely get buried in the mix! I have to bring all the levels down in order to barely hear the drums.

Any help out there? I'm getting extremely frustrated.

Lastly, I'm contemplating purchasing "Analog Channel" from McDsp, is that a good idea, or not worth it?

Thank you for reading!

Justin
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  #2  
Old 12-16-2011, 05:29 PM
GregV GregV is offline
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Default Re: Drums Buried In The Mix

It's really tough to offer feedback on something like this without hearing what's going on, but I'll offer this...
1 - Reverb can make something sound "farther away" in the mix. Even though you're "adding" reverb to a sound, the sum total effect is that it sounds farther away.
Check out how you're using your reverb. Are you applying it to the whole Kit? Are you sending the Kit through the reverb or are you using a bus to send the tracks to the reverb (preferred method).
I generally only add reverb to the snare. The Overheads should provide enough ambience for the rest of the Kit.

2 - Most mixes START with the drums. Get the Kit sounding great and then add guitar and bass. If they're recorded at good levels, I wouldn't be surprised at all if the fader is way down to achieve a decent blend. I don't know about anyone else, but typically my mix will have the drum bus at "0", and the vocals somewhere around "0", but everything else is well into the negative to achieve a good balance.

I hope that helps!
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:21 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Drums Buried In The Mix

Another idea to try; Put an AUX send on all your drum tracks(all these sends to -0) to feed another stereo AUX track. On that track, insert a compressor and set it for some moderate to extreme GR. Bring the compressed track fader up and see if it doesn't punch up the drums. I use Waves SSL buss compressor, but even the old BF76 can add a lot of girth
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Old 12-16-2011, 11:33 PM
firsty33 firsty33 is offline
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Default Re: Drums Buried In The Mix

Quote:
Originally Posted by GregV View Post
It's really tough to offer feedback on something like this without hearing what's going on, but I'll offer this...
1 - Reverb can make something sound "farther away" in the mix. Even though you're "adding" reverb to a sound, the sum total effect is that it sounds farther away.
Check out how you're using your reverb. Are you applying it to the whole Kit? Are you sending the Kit through the reverb or are you using a bus to send the tracks to the reverb (preferred method).
I generally only add reverb to the snare. The Overheads should provide enough ambience for the rest of the Kit.

2 - Most mixes START with the drums. Get the Kit sounding great and then add guitar and bass. If they're recorded at good levels, I wouldn't be surprised at all if the fader is way down to achieve a decent blend. I don't know about anyone else, but typically my mix will have the drum bus at "0", and the vocals somewhere around "0", but everything else is well into the negative to achieve a good balance.

I hope that helps!
I'm using a bus to send the tracks to the reverb aux, and send every track, overheads and all. I understand how that could make them "farther away". However, I bypassed the reverb aux, and it sounded just as "weak" or even worse. I've been told that recording at higher levels, just before clipping can be worse, but honestly, I try and get as much "bit depth" as possible, leaving me more headroom. So I'm stumped.
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Old 12-16-2011, 11:35 PM
firsty33 firsty33 is offline
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Default Re: Drums Buried In The Mix

Quote:
Originally Posted by albee1952 View Post
Another idea to try; Put an AUX send on all your drum tracks(all these sends to -0) to feed another stereo AUX track. On that track, insert a compressor and set it for some moderate to extreme GR. Bring the compressed track fader up and see if it doesn't punch up the drums. I use Waves SSL buss compressor, but even the old BF76 can add a lot of girth
Great, I will try that.

What are your thoughts on Analog Channel Plugin?
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  #6  
Old 12-16-2011, 11:44 PM
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Emcha_audio Emcha_audio is offline
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Default Re: Drums Buried In The Mix

Quote:
Originally Posted by albee1952 View Post
Another idea to try; Put an AUX send on all your drum tracks(all these sends to -0) to feed another stereo AUX track. On that track, insert a compressor and set it for some moderate to extreme GR. Bring the compressed track fader up and see if it doesn't punch up the drums. I use Waves SSL buss compressor, but even the old BF76 can add a lot of girth
+1 this method will give you a lot of bang without suffering a loss of the dynamic range, as opposed to over compressing each part of the kit or the whole kit by itself without having the uncompressed (or mellow compressed) tracks feeding the main bus. The technique Albee describes is called parallel bus compression, here's a video that explains it for the drum specifically. Although you can pretty much use it on anything.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cd7tbwK5ECo


There's also side chain compression, or ducking that can help with your problem here's a video that explains how to do it not only for drums but can be applied on other things too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCaPftIbpaQ
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Old 12-16-2011, 11:46 PM
bashville bashville is offline
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Default Re: Drums Buried In The Mix

Quote:
Originally Posted by firsty33 View Post
Great, I will try that.

What are your thoughts on Analog Channel Plugin?
I love Analog Channel, although I generally have more use for the tape sim than the console input sim.

For the drums, have you played around with parallel compression on various elements in the kit? Sorry i don't know where you're at with all this stuff. Google "parallel compression drums" and dive into that.

good luck
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Old 12-17-2011, 02:24 AM
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chrisdee chrisdee is offline
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Default Re: Drums Buried In The Mix

Quote:
Originally Posted by firsty33 View Post
The guitars and bass are already tracked. These were recorded with Eleven, and "printed" to audio tracks, at about -3 db, they sound great and have plenty of headroom to work with... no clipping either.
Isn't -3db very high ? Would -3db really be considered as having plenty of headroom ?
I usually try to keep all my tracks within the green range wich I think is around -12dB.

Cant you try to just turn down everything but the drums and hear what happens ?
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Old 12-17-2011, 03:12 AM
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Emcha_audio Emcha_audio is offline
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Default Re: Drums Buried In The Mix

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisdee View Post
Isn't -3db very high ? Would -3db really be considered as having plenty of headroom ?
I usually try to keep all my tracks within the green range wich I think is around -12dB.

Cant you try to just turn down everything but the drums and hear what happens ?
well that depends if he's talking rms or peak. If it's peak I'd agree with you, that doesn't leave lots of head room. If it's rms that gives him 15 db before he peaks. So one might think he has still lots of head room.
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:38 AM
archtop archtop is offline
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Default Re: Drums Buried In The Mix

You can't hear your drums, but your compressing them, and E. Q. ing them.

Shouldn't you be turning them up?
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