Bonus Video: Toms and Cymbals
When you close Mike a lot of individual elements of a kit in a drum recording, you're gonna end up with a lot of tracks that aren't necessarily being used very often but bleed from all around. The kit is coming through those mikes most of the time. These spot mikes are positioned to best capture that individual drum or Cymbal without much consideration of how the rest of the kit sounds coming through that particular mike, especially in metal when we have fast tempos and busy drum arrangements. If you combine those elements with 20 or more tracks, you're probably gonna end up with a lot of mud in your drum mix. And for that reason, we're gonna talk about cleaning up toms and symbol tracks. Basically, all we're going to do is go through each track individually and cut out all the space between hits on that particular drum or Cymbal. Now both toms and Cymbals tend to ring a lot, and you might be surprised with how little ringing we leave on these individual tracks. The reasoning for that ...
is these tracks are really meant to emphasize the transient or punch of these individuals kit elements, so if you soloed a bunch of cleaned up tracks and listen to them, it might sound unnatural, like things were popping in and out, but in the context of a full mix, with rooms and overheads added to it, you can craft a drum mix where even the smallest elements, like a nice bell or a splash Cymbal, punched through the mix. So I've got a song here where the drums air already edited and as we did when we were editing drums, the first thing I'm going to do is duplicate the playlist for all of the drums and then go back to the main playlist. Now will need to disable the groups for hands and drums so that we can access thes individual tracks. If you're working on a session with Tom Top and Bottom Mike's, you'll need to group each of the top Mike's to its corresponding bottom Mike in an edit group. Next, I'm gonna open quickies and make sure that my drum cleanup shortcuts are enabled and that any other shortcuts that use the same keyboard triggers are disabled, like the identify seek point or the quantities shortcut. Also, you need to make sure that there's already a MIDI track in your session. Otherwise this part of the toolbar will not be there. And these drum cleanup shortcuts won't work. What I'm gonna do is vertically zoom, these Tom tracks so that all I'm looking at is the Snare 57 track, the Tom Tracks and overhead tracks. This way I get a visual reference for what the entire kid is doing without having to look at all the symbol spot Mike's next meeting to make sure our nudge value is set to a millisecond value. If it's not, our drum cleanup shortcuts won't work, so we'll just clean up the 1st 30 seconds or so. This song is an example, but solo out the Tom one track and start listening through and will stop once we get to the first hit on Tom one. Now with tab to Transient enabled Aiken tab to this Tom hit and trigger my drum cleanup fade in short cut. Now, all it did was it got rid of the audio before this drum hit and created a three millisecond fade in. Noticed that no part of this fade is touching the drum transient. Right after this Tom hit is too soft. Snare hits, but neither is bleeding really badly. So I'm gonna let this drum ring just a little bit up until this next Tom hit happens. So I tabbed a transient there, and since I'm letting the drum ring a little bit, I'm gonna use a longer fade out that I might normally use with Tom's. To do that, I'm gonna use my drum cleanup fade out. Long shortcut. This creates a fade out of whatever length I set within the shortcut. In this case, it's set to 45 and my short fade out is set to 15. I signed these 22 different keys so that when I'm cleaning up the drums, I can quickly create fades of two preset sizes, depending on the song and how long the fades need to be for that tempo. So I'm gonna create a long fade out, which isn't very long, really. In fact, I might make it longer, and then I can hit a over here to get rid of some of this so that I can hear how the drum fades out. No, I think that fate actually needs to be a little bit longer to choke off the snare role. That's a little better. Let's keep listening to this track. All right, there's another hit right there, so we'll do the same thing. As you can see. We're not choking off. The transients were good, pretty similar situation, except this time, the snare hit after it is a little louder. So I'm gonna split the region there and manually make a fade from the snare hit right after the Tom hit until the end of the region, I could make this fade out much shorter. Let me give you an example. So I click right where this snare hit happens into a short fade out of 15 milliseconds. Then we're not going to hear any of the snare after our thomet. Now that sounds like it's cutting off abruptly, but in the mix, it may sound just fine. You've got to remember that other drums have loud transients as well, that air punching in and this sort of distracts your ears from noticing that this Tom just got cut off. In fact, I think I like it better this way. Once we listened through with all the tracks enabled after we've cleaned up everything will be able to tell whether this decision was a good one or not. Let's go ahead and get rid of everything before the Tom hits. Now. In this case, I think it would be wise to do a short fade right before the snare hit comes in after the last top it because it's a pretty hard snare hit. And for these sort of fast fills, I like to chop off the Tom Ring as soon as any other drums start to bleed through with any intensity. It is especially prudent to cut off a Tom ring if a Cymbal crash could be heard right afterwards. Most of the time, we give these Tom's pretty significant high end boost with an e Q. And if there's any symbol bleed in the Tom Mike's, it could get nasty real fast. We're gonna do the same thing here, okay? Pretenders. If that's the end of the song, and we'll go back to the beginning and do the next Tom. So the first hit is Tom Now, since there's another low Tom hit right after this one, I don't think it's necessary to preserve the ring of this Tom for very long in fact, once this hit on Tom three happens. I'm gonna get rid of the ring on Tom to immediately do the same thing here. We got a big snare role there. I think I'm gonna let the Tom ring through the 1st 2 soft snare hits. And by the 3rd 1 it will be cut off. So we're going to start the fade roughly at the second. Sneer hit. Let's see how that sounds. That's probably about right now we got another Tom hit right here. There's a lot of kicks going on there, but I think what we're gonna want to do is tab to this Tom hit. Move the selection up, pull the fade back a little. We'll see how that works when we listen through later. This one sounds like we can let it ring until this snare hit happens into a short fade out. Same with this one here. I think we're going to cut off the ring as soon as thes lower Tom's start hitting. Now, as soon as that crash happens, we want the ring to be gone. So let's check it. I don't hear any crash. We're good. Assumes that scenario happens. The ring should cut off. Okay, back to the beginning. Next. Tom, we got a couple kicks here, but I think I'm gonna let it ring. But start the fade around the first kick it. We'll see what that sounds like. Now it gets a little busy on this Tom here. And usually when that happens, it can be best to just let the Tom ring through and whatever bleed, as long as it's not too bad constrain a in there. But this one, I think we're gonna have the end of the fade lineup with about this snare hit, they will have the fade start. Maybe around here, we'll see what that sounds like. That sounds pretty good. Not too much bleed. Now here. I think we're gonna wanna cut off the ring before the snare happens. Because it's bleeding. Well, it's that one. On this long time hit, I think I'm gonna actually use a very short fade. Now, you might think that that would be noticeable, that have a long tom ring out and then have it suddenly end. But you got to remember these kicks that are coming in are gonna be really loud because this is a metal mix going to do the same thing when these snares come in. Now, we're definitely gonna cut off the ring before those Reid hits happen. And again cut it off before the snare. Okay, last Tom. Cut it off before those kicks. Now, this time doesn't have a whole lot of sustain, so we can probably get away with cutting off the ring pretty quickly. Okay, Now are Tom's for this part of cleaned up. Let's have a look at the symbols. Could make these tracks small again. Now we're gonna want to see the overheads with the spot. Mike's taking up the rest of the screen. Let's go ahead and zero out the volumes on the spot Mike's so that we can hear them more clearly. Usually, I like to start with the tracks that are being hit the least and just get them out of the way. In this case, that would probably be the stack, the splash and the China on the high hat side. In fact, for some of these drums, I like to listen to two at a time because the hits are so infrequent. So let's pan the splash all the way to the left and the stack all the way to the right. Solo them out and we're gonna need to make our fate outs longer. Will make the long fade out about 90 milliseconds and the short fade up about 45. As I said, depending on the tempo of the song in the style of playing, it may need to be longer or shorter. There. We got a splash hit. Now we haven't had any stack hits yet, so let's go ahead and delete this so we can hear just the splash. No, I think we're gonna want in the splash ring right when the snare comes in. No, I think we're gonna want the fade out to end By the time this snare hit happens, let's see what that sounds like. We got a stack hit there. Now, even though we have high past all the symbol spot Mike's to about 300 hertz. We're getting some pretty clear bleed from the kick in this stack. Mike, I'm gonna have the fade out in by the time these Tom hits happen again and have it start a little bit before these kicks come in. That'll probably work. There's another splash hit. Now these snare hits are pretty hard, so I think we're going to try to eliminate as much of that bleed as we can without choking off the splash too much. Something like that probably fine is another splash. Let's do the same thing with the fade out, and I think we should go back to the beginning of the song and do some more symbol. Mike's go ahead and do the China on the high hat side. There is a hit hit pretty lightly, though, so I think we'll just do a short fade out right. When the scenario it happens, there's another one seem kind of fade out. Okay, go back to the top, do the ride. Now, out of all the symbols, the ride might ring the most. But we're still gonna have to cut it pretty short because there's a lot of bleed in this mike. In fact, I think we're gonna have to cut off the bleed by the time the high hat hit on the ride. Side happens, but it should be fine. Like I said, we're looking for the transient. Okay, notes. Do the China on the ride side that crash is bleeding into the mike pretty badly. So I think we're gonna have to cut this china right. When that crash, it's into a pretty short fade. We've got a good amount of snare bleed here, so I think we'll let it ring for about the same amount of time. Now, this snare hit is where I hear really punching through. So make sure the fade ends before then. Maybe make the fate a little longer. You can think of. This process is managing the focus of the listener. Right? When these China's hit, we want the listeners focus to be on them. But then when these high hats come in, we want the listeners focus to be on those high hats. So we cut off the ring from the China, and more focus is drawn to the hi hats. Now, those snare hits are pretty loud, so I think we're gonna have to cut this one a little short. Okay, now all we've got left is the hi hats. Let's start with the ride side hat. Now, this hat isn't gonna ring much at all, so we can cut it off pretty quickly. Looks like there's a little scenario goes on out there and we want to cut it off right when that stack it comes in. Okay, let's do the hi hats on the other side. It's not like we had a couple petal heads in there now. Normally, I would include those pedal hats in my high hat track. But since there's so much bleed going on around it and it sounds like there's only a couple of those pedal hat hits, I think I'm gonna leave them out. All right, now we have some open hat hits. We'll cut it off right as the sneers come in. In fact, I think I want to make the fade out length a little shorter for these open hats. Let's try again. This may sound like I'm ending. The high hat hits abruptly, but we'll see how well they work once we're done with this track. Okay, now, one way you can check and make sure that you did A good job of cleaning up the's symbol tracks is to listen to them in conjunction with the overheads or the overheads and the room tracks. Now let's go ahead and lower volumes back to around where they were when we got the project and let's have a listen. Now the only thing that sounded unnatural to me were these hits on the China on the ride side. They were a bit louder than the others sometimes, and I think this is the case. In this instance. Shorter fade outs actually sound more natural, then longer fade outs, which you probably wouldn't expect. But if you listen to this, that sounds much better than this. So we're gonna keep these fades short and just turn down the volume of the track a little bit. That sounds pretty good. Maybe that we could be a little longer. Let's try it. That's okay. Okay, I think we're good. Now. Let's go ahead and listen to the first part with the Toms to and the rest of the track. Now, the Tom sound like the Bring is getting cut off a little abruptly, and part of that is that the Tom's right now are louder than most of the elements in the mix. Sometimes we like to use Tom samples in conjunction with the rial Tom's that have already been cleaned up, not only to increase the punch of the drums, but to give the Tom some ring without having any bleed. Now that we're done cleaning up the track, what we'll do is bring the track sizes back down a little bit. Then we're going to save the project. Save it is something else. Then take one of our overhead tracks or another track that hasn't been cleaned up. Extend the selection to the tracks we have cleaned up. Make sure the selection goes all the way back to bar one, beat one or wherever the beginning of the session is and consolidate the regions. The next part of our process will be taking Midi from these Tom tracks, so we're gonna need four new MIDI tracks. So now we just route are four Tom Midi tracks to our easy drummer. Instance. What's name, Um t one trig T to Trig t three Trig and T for Trig, and then we will group them to their corresponding audio tracks. From there, it's the same process as doing snare mitty. You just open Massey D R t take a Tom track pulled Amidi manually. Align it using the paste. Trig Command set the velocities, although with Tom's for the most part, You probably won't have to change much as far as the velocities as long as you said it right in the d r T window And then once you've aligned all the midi, you're done.