Advanced Drum Production

Lesson 1 of 52

Class Introduction

 

Advanced Drum Production

Lesson 1 of 52

Class Introduction

 

Lesson Info

Class Introduction

Uh someone catharsis studios in the chat room says holy shit sean is literally easy drummer I take that as well and if you notice there's a couple of mistakes though so we wanted to fix it but we're gonna figure out how to do that but thank you very much I appreciate it I have to say this is the earliest I've hit some drums in the morning so you know it takes a little while to warm up awesome thank you for that take it away and you are consistent it's amazing anyways welcome welcome all of you thank you for being here thank you for having really awesome that you're here. Thank you, finn thank you everyone and uh let's do this um let's talk about why we're here are you here to talk about drums and obviously if you're watching this because you're interested in recording or you recorder, you're going to start recording and you can't really have good recordings without drums there the foundation just like if you were building a house, you wouldn't lay a crappy foundation drums or a foundat...

ion of everything like it says there drum suck everything is going to suck and there's no way around it they're worth mentioning and talking about in detail because they're also the hardest thing to record if you get the drums right everything is downhill from there at least should be um I think that it takes the longest to get good at it and there's definitely just the most roadblocks so here we are talking about it get good at this and you'll be able teo record everything else at least in my opinion I actually want to I ask you guys some questions about drum recording uh starting with you what uh what's your experience recording drums actually, um I've recorded a few, um rock bands and in general um you know I've done uh like of my king technique we're basically miking each element a couple times that I've done just the you know, overheads and based around but that kind of what you're yeah have you so you got into multiple micro home techniques yeah, a little bit that's cool and what about you? I've mostly done living room drum recordings we had the fifty dollar drum set so it was very cheap drum set so same thing kind of like two overheads one on the kick sometimes just one room mike you know squashing the signal so just kind of dirty uh kind of lo fi sound drums what would you say is the maximum number of mike's you've ever used on a drum set? Maybe maybe six six awesome well, you I've got an eight track uh input device hooked upto logic so typically when I'm recording my drums I'll use all eight of those tracks at least six I'm depending on what I'm recording but um yeah so typical am close making that toms and snare in kick and then have a couple of overheads cool you've done a few more than eight uh do you know what the max number that you've been involved with is um alarming personally uh I mean it's been anywhere from ten to fifteen but I mean with tune track I mean you could be anywhere up the thirty thirty five yeah, but that's a whole different process but from a traditional drum mic and stand pointing me I've worked with you personally and stuff um you know, it's it could be anywhere from four mike technique toe ten fifteen I'd say that my average is twenty five microphones and it goes up to about thirty uh when you start to factor in all the rooms and the throwaway mike's like triggers and all that so it's complicated, I think that there is a lot of merit and for my technique or one mic to mic eight but you know you you can get up to thirty and when you get to that point, things start to get really screwy if you're not, you're not careful and that brings me tio why you should care about what I have to say not just that I've used thirty mikes, but I've been doing this for a long time on both sides of the fence been in a band called death we toured all over the place, put a bunch of records and tons of shows all over the world I think over a thousand shows and we've worked with the top producers and metal andy sneaked colin richardson jason suk off who was my business partner? Mark lewis who's my other business partner mean basically I've seen it all from both sides of the fence at this point. Um the name of my studio is audio hammer that's where I went after the band stopped stopped bringing home the bacon basically, uh and we worked with bands like you see on the board black dahlia, white chapel devil driver, ex burns red basically, if they've done something in metal in the past ten or so years, we probably worked with them or almost worked with them, so not saying we're the best or anything like that, but we're definitely an option and people come back to us. So we got something to say on the topic and more importantly, on the topic of drums should pay attention to what this guy has to say that sean reiner eyes actually one of my childhood heroes I've been ah listening to his drums, I know that finn is the same with you we've been listening to him since we were in high school basically he invented the style of music that I came up through so it's really, really cool to be doing a pseudo drum clinic with him uh in a band called cynic which is awesome uh was in a band called death which is one of the founding members of technical medal I did a solo record with him that went by my last name of the other guitar players last name call every worse lor the album was called avalanche of worms and did you record it in six hours or nine hours? No, it was nine hours in the studio, but that was including tracking and getting sounds. It was really quick just going to leave that on laughing so ever everybody at home don't think that that because that's what these guys yeah, that your album with nine hours that was you know, that was that was a jam all the stars aligned for that one it was a jam that's a good way to look at it. Um so quick, you know, like like like we said, shawn's been in this game for a minute and, you know, literally invented this this the style of drumming, you know that that everybody he invented everything that we're doing here today so and he's still in the game, so sean, could you tell us a little bit, kind of from your perspective as a drummer in the studio how things have changed from when you were doing the cynic demos back in the day to how they work in a modern studio sort of you know, talk about the role of technology since that's really the main I mean that's but yeah, you say that basically it is that's the change you know? Of course drum equipment has gotten better but the format of recording has changed when I was growing up and having my first studio experiences it was analog tape so there was a lot of limitations especially with recording drums and the nature of drums so you really had there was a level of preparedness you had tohave going into the studio because editing, you know, live punching in doing there was no replacing stuff there was you know, I mean, you kind of had to really be well practised, rehearsed and um uh, yeah and uh uh, these days you can basically doctor everything I mean, you could learn it in the studio and do it piece by piece and back then you really you really couldn't it got better with a dots you they had it was a little easier to punch in, but it was still you really material needed to be rehearsed and your sounds had to be there already that you couldn't really do anything post the tracking other than some mcewing so just to be clear we're not being the old man screams at cloud like we had to walk more sound technology is a good thing can you talk about like you know so you know it's a double edged sword yes you had to be more prepared back then but technology is a great thing to talk about how personally it helps you oh these days yeah well now in days I mean there's two ways I go about recording it's either we're going to do it to a clique and if that's the situation what I'll do is is play three or four takes of the song from top to bottom listen to my takes figure out which ones I liked if one had more energy and felt better than that the track all work with sometimes the energy levels the same and I could literally say ok this verse was really killer this section worked and you know with pro tools you can use get your cross fades you're not hearing dropouts or anything like that on dh then there's that we just record this last cynic record there was on ly click for a couple of bars as a starting point reference and then we'd play through to a section where I stopped then I'd listened back was that good ok and then move on um and again technology allows you to do that better versus you know a digital station vs vs tape then you know you might have one amazing performance all the way through but you have just a couple spots where the kick drums in the wrong place or something slamming and you know with technology now you can get in isolate that slide it a little bit on dh then make that you know, capture the performance so to speak um and then also going back and remixing stuff now you khun sound replace if you had really bad sounds at an earlier date you know and now on days you can go back and really get things where you want them to sound so um yeah that's those are the two ways I kind of approach that some guys actually come in and just do bar by bar by bar you know what I mean until it's right? Yeah andi which is fine it's just it's decided the time's kind of thing that's just back. You know when I was starting out it's you really had to work it out in the rehearsal room versus you know, going to the studio and doing that cool well, please chime in throughout the day you know, tell us I mean obviously you you spent more time recording drums than just about metal drums and just about anybody so you know please do chime in with your, you know, take on things throughout the day, of course and let me just say that the ways that he mentioned recording would be my dream come true ah and cynic would probably be the only band that I would be cool with recording account off and then just playing you guys would be the only guys that I can think of that would probably trust enough to do that that is sounds really scary to me so anyways that said we're going to talk about every step of the process this is going to be a really long workshop at least for me three days the first day it's going to be all about really drums to show you everything about my king uh tracking other is to know about it and I'm going to show you a clip of some real drums you want to get stuff that sounds like say, shannon lucas from battle cross like this pay attention this is exactly how we recorded this. This is from the latest battle cross record this's no edits, no punches straight through there's a few reasons I chose that clip to be the example of what you can achieve with acoustic drums. First of all, the performance is perfect that is the gold standard that all of you guys should have your drummer's aspire to I realize that you could fix everything these days, but if you don't have to don't fix it, have them actually play it everything will come out better so that's number one the performance is great number two the stereo spread on it is great we're gonna be talking about choosing drums and cymbals and one thing you can hear in the is that the symbols air totally separated each one has its own character and on quality and that's a very, very big part of choosing drums everything is completely separated, punchy and perfect so that's why I chose it but say the drummer sucks or you don't have a drummer which is the case a lot of the time um I'll say that maybe this year about half the records I made I have been with virtual drums so being that this is about how we do things in real life day to be all about virtual drums using superior drummer bye tune track which I think is the best virtual drum plug in out there here's a track that's one hundred percent superior drummer see if you can spot the difference between this and say shannon that I just put anyways to my ears sounds like a dude in the room playing you a b it to the battle cross it's a different mix obviously it's not the same recording but it's not like you listen to one of them and you're like whoa that's really on the other island like whoa that's fake to me they both sound like a drummer and that's the point of day two how will you program drums or use spirit drummer to get stuff that sounds like that that level of real it's actually not that difficult if you know what to do and again I will play you and baby so you can check it out one more time shannon lucas on battle cry superior drummer on some metal all right all right so say that you start with a do like sean or do like shannon or you start with a guy like superior drummer it's a really good friend of mine at some point you're gonna have to mix and edit the stuff so that's what we're going to dedicate day three two we're going to talk about replacing we're going to talk about mixing we're going talk about editing everything that you do two drums after their recorded and I guess in the cases appear drummer after they're programmed um I'm going to show you how to get tracks from basically an aide to an a plus or a gn f to a sea however however you wanted slice it and here's a gn example for you this is unedited and then edited and show you how to do this just pay attention if you can't tell the difference pay attention to the bass drum and that will give it away this is unedited kind of all over the place here's an edited and I want to go around the room really quick and just see could you tell the difference because not everyone can and uh if you could tell the difference besides what I gave away by saying the kick drum what would you say are the differences that you could spot between the unedited and unedited versions? Um each element seems a little tighter like maybe it they've been e q to sit and ah in this spot now it's interesting about that is that there's no e q different none that's just editing that's all performance correction it does affect the way things sound one hundred percent if transients are lining up all punching together, everything sounds tighter and you have to do a lot less queuing there's a lot less fixing you have to do so you go on the kick there's there's yuki not that this is the exact same set identical uh you're just hearing a bunch of the cancellation slop that going on in that first performance so editing a super important that's what we're going to cover it in huge huge detail gonna tell me what you hear different if if there is anything that we didn't cover already ah it where I'm sitting it's a little hard but it sounds like the on the second the stereo separation it's more ah I mean you said there's no accused but to me feels like the lows are coming more from the center of the mix, highs air coming on. I guess maybe that is because the track transients, I'm not sure that's, exactly right. The transients are, uh, all hitting at the same place, and so everything's, a lot more focused. So correct, you hear anything? Mainly, I just noticed that everything just tightens up it's, all aligned, and so the the attack is more pronounced on on every hit in this blast, beats and it's just me. Everything just feels tighter, it's, just there.

Class Description

Recording drums that sound both hyper-polished and authentic has always been something of a black art — one that isn't taught at any school, one that you could only learn from one of the few elite engineers scattered across the planet. Until now.

In this three-day class, free to watch while live, you'll learn the real-world production techniques that producer Eyal Levi uses every day at Audiohammer Studios — on albums for bands like The Black Dahlia Murder, August Burns Red, Chelsea Grin, and Whitechapel. Eyal will show how to select the right drums for the sound you want, tune and set them up, and mic the kit. Oh, and did we mention that the legendary Sean Reinert (Cynic, Death) is the in-studio drummer?!

You'll also learn how to use virtual drums, including when to use Toontrack's Superior Drummer and other software instead of a human drummer. Finally, Eyal will reveal the closely-kept secrets for polishing tracks —everything from editing and sample replacement to layering samples. At the end of this class, you'll know the trade secrets of high-end drum production and be armed with a toolkit for creating world-class drum tracks.

Lessons

  1. Class Introduction
  2. The Tone Pie and Process Overview
  3. Getting the Lay of the Land and Q&A
  4. Assemble Your Gear
  5. Drum Tuning Part 1
  6. Drum Tuning Part 2
  7. Fine Tuning Tones Part 1
  8. Fine Tuning Tones Part 2
  9. General Guidelines of Tracking Drums
  10. Tracking with Sean Reinert
  11. Pop Quiz
  12. Basics of Superior Drummer
  13. EZDrummer vs Superior Drummer
  14. Constructing a Metal Drum Kit Part 1
  15. Constructing a Metal Drum Kit Part 2
  16. Constructing a Rock Drum Kit
  17. Grooves and Programming
  18. General Q&A
  19. Prepping Virtual Drums for the Mix
  20. Superior Review with Q&A
  21. Intro to Mixing and Drum Clean Up
  22. Interview with John Douglass
  23. Intro to Drum Editing
  24. Manual Editing Approach
  25. Editing with Beat Detective
  26. Editing with Elastic Audio
  27. Sample Layering
  28. Replacements
  29. Gain Staging and Bussing
  30. Mixing Essentials
  31. Compression and Parallel Compression
  32. Reverb and Automation
  33. Mixing Tips and Tricks
  1. Bonus: EZDrummer - Introduction
  2. Bonus: EZDrummer - Intro to EZDrummer
  3. Bonus: EZDrummer - EZDrummer Foundations
  4. Bonus: EZDrummer - How a Drummer Plays
  5. Bonus: EZDrummer - Part Writing Part 1
  6. Bonus: EZDrummer - Part Writing Part 2
  7. Bonus: EZDrummer - Part Writing Q&A
  8. Bonus: EZDrummer - Intro to Grooves
  9. Bonus: EZDrummer - Writing from Scratch
  10. Bonus: EZDrummer - Intro to Fills
  11. Bonus: EZDrummer - Writing Fills
  12. Bonus: EZDrummer - Mixing in Your DAW
  13. Bonus: EZDrummer - Bussing and EQ
  14. Bonus: EZDrummer - Compression and Reverb
  15. Bonus: EZDrummer - Conclusion with Q&A
  16. Bonus Video: Editing
  17. Bonus Video: Toms and Cymbals
  18. Bonus Video: Snare Midi
  19. Bonus Video: Kick Midi

Reviews

El Bulbo Studio
 

This class will give you confidence when tracking drums. Eyal's interaction with the drummer will help you communicate better with the artist to get the best performance and tone. The added bonus on drum replacement is very valuable and will improve your mixes.

a Creativelive Student
 

My drum sound has improved by 150% and counting. I'm grateful that Eyal would share this information with us. Not every technique is for every situation, but they all work. It's up to you to have the vision and to use the right tools for the job. Thank you guys!!

Michael Nolasco
 

To the guy that said buyer beware: this is an advanced production class, it's not meant for beginners who are learning to mic up a kit. I'm a beginner, but i'm using superior drummer, so this class was perfect for me to learn how to process drums post recording. I refer to it constantly. The editing videos are also prime information.