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  #1  
Old 2008-08-27, 13:01
Exodus666 Exodus666 is offline
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Mixing drums (also for live playback)

So... we plan on using a drumcomputer for the time being. Both for recordings and gigging.

Programming them is no problem, but I'm not completely happy with the mix.

Are there any "guidelines" as to obtaining a balanced drum mix (also in relation to guitars/vocals when it comes to studio work)? And is there any special treatment required for use on stage (like: louder snare, different EQ, don't know)?
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Old 2008-08-27, 13:17
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Drum machines sound too perfect and loud, so you'll probably need to put them farther back in the mix and add individually edited reverb to each piece of the kit to make sure that it doesn't sound out of place in the mix, which is the biggest problem I find when recording with programmed drums.

I've never performed live with a drum machine so I can't say much for that - you'll have to experiment. Play live in front of a couple friends while recording and listen to what they have to say, then go back and listen to the live recording and adjust properly. Your main concern, I would think, is to not have the drums too loud as that can ruin a performance.
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  #3  
Old 2008-08-27, 16:53
Exodus666 Exodus666 is offline
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Allright, thanks. I'm using DFH though, so the samples themselves are "real" and it sounds fairly realistic as a whole (apart from the perfect timing, ofcourse).

The thing I also meant was, that it (the mix) sometimes sounds too flat, lacking in depth. On the fast parts the overhead loses clarity and definition.

We'll probably do some homerecordings for our Myspace, I'll post it when they get online.
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Old 2008-08-27, 18:02
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Are you using the first DFH or DFH2? I use the second one - love it!

The mix sounding flat would have to do with how you mix it - the samples are not EQd at all. You'll need to (as if they were real drums being recorded) EQ them into the mix. The fast parts may different EQing than other parts which is perfectly fine to do in order to clear things up.
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  #5  
Old 2008-08-28, 08:08
Exodus666 Exodus666 is offline
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The first one (as the vsti plugin)... I had DFH2 but couldn't get it to work, it was like a stand-alone application and I couldn't get much out of it.

And yes, that was partially my question in the first place (albeit not so clearly put) - are there (step-by-step?) tutorials or guides on how to mix a drum, including EQing (which type of EQ on which drum element, ...), compressors, and what not.

I don't have any theoretical background on this, unfortunately.
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Old 2008-08-28, 12:13
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DFH2 is a VSTi pulgin, too.

There are no definitive guides on how to EQ drums because different songs call for different mixing. However, there are lots of articles on the web that give hints on how to best mix EQ your drums to your mix. I don't know of any off hand, but I'm sure a google search will result in plenty. With some knowledge on tips and experimentation you'll find the sweet spot.
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Old 2008-08-28, 13:08
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Just to add to what Darko was saying.
Don't ever treat the entire kit itself as one instrument - alot of people make this mistake and the drums will always sound lifeless, especially if they are coming from a virtual source. Different parts of the kit like the toms, cymbals, snare and bass drum will all need different EQ and compression settings to sound good as a whole. Just follow the same guidelines (and there are many like Darko said) for tweaking normal drumsets and you should be fine. Doesn't matter if you use a drum computer or not. That's why I love any VST-compatible drum machines... total control over everything. You can even vary the velocity settings on cymbal crashes and tom rolls to add an extra, more natural realism factor.

Number one rule for live playback - NO CLIPPING!!
More than likely you will need an extra mix just for the live playback. From my own experience, you will most likely end up keeping it flat with no reverb, only keeping the volume differences between each member of the drumkit. The houses P.A.s and mixers will always fuck up your own private mix (and I mean totally mangle it up) so live, it's best to set everything flat on the source and then tweak the P.A. and/or mixer settings for that source's input channel. 10k is your friend here (clarity/general top end), but too much and you'll sear the audiences ears off. Too much of 100Hz (bottom end) and you can turn the bass drum into a speaker cone destroyer. With poweramps and drum machines, things can get REALLY out of hand live.

Now you see why soundcheck can be a gig-saver...

Last edited by Sycophant : 2008-08-28 at 13:45.
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  #8  
Old 2008-08-28, 14:19
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Oh yes, of course - in case it didn't go without saying, as Syco just mentioned, each piece of the drum kit should be EQ'd individually!
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  #9  
Old 2008-09-02, 06:02
Exodus666 Exodus666 is offline
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Ok, thanks. I tried DFH2 but it doesn't load any sounds, argh. It looks more interesting than the first, though.

I also found some sites with tips on EQing drums, I'm going to try this once I finished programming all tracks. Here they are:

http://www.drum-tracks.com/NEWdrumEQ.htm
http://www.sirgalahad.org/paul/music/eq-guide.html
http://www.trinitysoundcompany.com/eq.html
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  #10  
Old 2008-09-02, 12:18
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I'm not sure how DFH1 works, but the second one is a plug-in. You open it as a VSTi in, say, Cubase or Protools, and use MIDI to control it from there.
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  #11  
Old 2008-09-02, 15:35
Exodus666 Exodus666 is offline
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Yes, I know, DFH1 works exactly like that. I had a bad version, that's all. Now I got another release of DFH2 that gives me sound in the stand-alone application, but whenever I load a kit as a VSTi, I get this message:

Quote:
The outputs configured in the loaded Multi differ from the current output configuration!
...and it refuses to give me any sound. I had the same message in two different host programs.

Any idea what might be causing this? Thanks.

EDIT: Oh, the 1-8 numbers on the left (to load parts of the kit) are actually channels in the mixer, lol. I'm getting some sound now. It's a lot less intuitive than DFH1 though, I'm going to google for some tutorials. The samples seem to be less "ready-made" than in DFH1 as well.
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  #12  
Old 2008-09-23, 02:06
Exodus666 Exodus666 is offline
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Alrighty, I quickly recorded two guitarlines (crappy quality, never mind those) and put them on top of a drumline.

I practically didn't EQ them (apart from one preset which is very subtle). When I hear the drums separately I always find the snare too loud, but now it's perhaps too silent?

Any other comments? Could use all the help. Maybe a compressor on the bass might give some extra punch to it.

http://users.skynet.be/fa020387/lulz.mp3
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  #13  
Old 2008-09-23, 11:39
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I'm not sure what your priorities are for the drums, but I would search for some more realistic samples if that's possible. The drum samples for the kick and snare sound like someone hitting different sized wooden-blocks to me. I would look into better sounding samples before trying to EQ them. The snare drum has no resonance.
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  #14  
Old 2008-09-23, 12:04
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I'd say lower the entire kit just a tad. Like Execrator said, ditch that snare. Besides it sounding like ass, it sounds a lot like the kick and you don't want that. I can't give a good critique on the kick because I'm listening with headphones which don't do a very good job defining bass (but from what I can tell, its fine).
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  #15  
Old 2008-09-23, 12:23
Exodus666 Exodus666 is offline
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Thanks for the feedback.

More realistic samples are hardly possible, this one is straight from DFH. By next month I'll have Superior Drummer 2.0, maybe that one's even better. DFH has a number of snares in it, and I just tried some... Quite a different sound, entirely (but because of my incapable ears, no idea whether they are better).

I might have put the bottom mic too silent, too. Or, for that matter, the entire kit rather "dry", but it seems to affect the snare most.

I'll post some clips with varying snares later on.
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  #16  
Old 2008-09-23, 13:26
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That snare is awful.... really really bad, EQ won't really help there, you need to pick a sample that has much more body to it. I don't like the sound of sampled overheads, i just find they stand out way too much- they don't really gel much as an instrument, partly down to the panning (too wide for my liking). I don't know the setup of these types of software, but if you are applying reverb to each part of the drums separately, then stop and introduce a single reverb for the whole kit (on slower songs, a separate reverb for the snare can be used for effect). The kick sounds alright to me, not too woofy or clickly, which is nice
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  #17  
Old 2009-01-17, 12:47
Exodus666 Exodus666 is offline
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Sorry for the late reply, but I've went over every snare-sample from DFH and exported the same 10 sec for each sample. These are the "raw" samples, I didn't EQ or edit the sounds in any way. Your opinions please.

You can download them here (only 150kb):
http://users.skynet.be/fa020387/snares.rar
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