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An excerpt from The Mix Academy. This video covers mixing kick drums.
Hear the full song: https://soundcloud.com/davidglennrecording/whatcha-gonna-do-dgr-rough-mix
Alright, we're going to take a look at the drums. Usually, I start out trial and error, just kind of feeling it out, moving things around, gating, pushing up on the console, that kind of stuff.
For this one, I went off camera and I blended the drums a little bit, because I chose to blend Triggers. Actually, for the kick, I chose to replace it, but I blended a — kind of a Pop cinematic kick with a — well, let's take a look.
So I've got — first up on the kick drum, I chose to mute and note use the live kick. Boo, right? Not that it wasn't usable, it was just that for me, kind of going through it as I messed around with it, I felt like this is going to take a little more work than if I were to replace.
The samples now are so good. Especially Slate's Blackbird bundle and the way that it tracks the dynamics of the player. I love it.
So for me, time is money, I was going to go ahead and make that happen quickly. So let's take a look at the original kick. I'll mute my second sample.
Here's the original.
Okay. And so we could gate that, and we could go in and clean up some of the mid-range, we can add a little more click, we can tighten it up, we can use transient designers and give it more punch and attack, we can use multi-band transient designers, and give more oomph to the bottom and the top, and all of that. We can stack plug-ins and have fun and go to town with this.
But for me, I was just like, you know what, I know there's some great samples in my bundle here, so I went ahead and went to town.
So here's what I did. First up, I chose to replace it with the Gretsch preset in the Slate Blackbird bundle. You'll hear me talk about that a lot. I love the way that they've recorded multiple velocities, so you can really retain through some trickery with Trigger and playing with the dynamics and velocity settings and parameters in Trigger, you can really retain a lot of what the drummer recorded, and so I like to use that for this.
Let's go ahead and hear the trigger.
[triggered kick drum]
So kind of a boxy kind of thing going on, but I liked it for this song. But you'll see in a second what we did to kind of emphasize some other things in it.
So what did we do? We tightened up the sustain and the release for the direct mics. Kick in, kick out, kick FX. I left the overheads and the room mics open, the full sustain and release, the decay is there.
But then for the dynamics like I talked about, I restricted their range first of all, for 115 to 127. That's going to be medium to hard, and all hard hits. There was no where in the kick that I felt like he was playing really soft and then building or anything like that, or I would either go in and open that range a little bit, or automate it so that it felt a little more natural.
But these are mostly medium to hard hits. The dynamics and velocity, you can see here, you've got the full range of dynamics, I've just restricted that again. Not anything in this kick performance that I felt like needed a really soft hit through to a medium or a hard hit.
That was a kick for that. Then I went to the EQ. Looks a little crazy, but I wanted a little more punch in it, and I wanted a little bit less of the mid-range stuff. I like that it was a different kick than I've used in previous months and just kind of switching it up, but there was some stuff about it I just wanted it to change.
Then I blended in another kick, so some of these EQ moves are to allow the other kick to do its thing.
So here's before.
[kick drum before EQ]
[kick drum after EQ]
Okay. So we're really cleaning up the room mic mid-range there. We're restricting how much that's going to go on, but the punch, a little bit punchier. There's a little something weird around 180, and obviously, that room — this is a big difference here.
Alright, here's without it.
[kick before EQ]
[kick after EQ]
So we're just shaping the mid-range a little bit. That's a pretty common move. A lot of guys like to take out mid in the kick. It's definitely a little more of a rock thing. Some indie singer/songwriter stuff you maybe want to boost some of that.
But I wanted this kick to kind of have more definition and be more about the direct mic, and not so much about the room.
So that was that. The next one up, because I used a mono to stereo instance of Trigger, you guys who follow me every month, you're members, you've been a member for awhile, you know I like to take these stereo instances of Trigger, and I like to take the 140Hz and below, the low end, and collapse that down to mono.