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Fine Tuning Tones Part 2

Lesson 8 from: Advanced Drum Production

Eyal Levi

Fine Tuning Tones Part 2

Lesson 8 from: Advanced Drum Production

Eyal Levi

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Lesson Info

8. Fine Tuning Tones Part 2


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


The Tone Pie and Process Overview


Getting the Lay of the Land and Q&A


Assemble Your Gear


Drum Tuning Part 1


Drum Tuning Part 2


Fine Tuning Tones Part 1


Fine Tuning Tones Part 2


General Guidelines of Tracking Drums


Tracking with Sean Reinert


Pop Quiz


Basics of Superior Drummer


EZDrummer vs Superior Drummer


Constructing a Metal Drum Kit Part 1


Constructing a Metal Drum Kit Part 2


Constructing a Rock Drum Kit


Grooves and Programming


General Q&A


Prepping Virtual Drums for the Mix


Superior Review with Q&A


Intro to Mixing and Drum Clean Up


Interview with John Douglass


Intro to Drum Editing


Manual Editing Approach


Editing with Beat Detective


Editing with Elastic Audio


Sample Layering




Gain Staging and Bussing


Mixing Essentials


Compression and Parallel Compression


Reverb and Automation


Mixing Tips and Tricks


Day 2

Day 3


Bonus: EZDrummer - Introduction


Bonus: EZDrummer - Intro to EZDrummer


Bonus: EZDrummer - EZDrummer Foundations


Bonus: EZDrummer - How a Drummer Plays


Bonus: EZDrummer - Part Writing Part 1


Bonus: EZDrummer - Part Writing Part 2


Bonus: EZDrummer - Part Writing Q&A


Bonus: EZDrummer - Intro to Grooves


Bonus: EZDrummer - Writing from Scratch


Bonus: EZDrummer - Intro to Fills


Bonus: EZDrummer - Writing Fills


Bonus: EZDrummer - Mixing in Your DAW


Bonus: EZDrummer - Bussing and EQ


Bonus: EZDrummer - Compression and Reverb


Bonus: EZDrummer - Conclusion with Q&A


Bonus Video: Editing


Bonus Video: Toms and Cymbals


Bonus Video: Snare Midi


Bonus Video: Kick Midi


Lesson Info

Fine Tuning Tones Part 2

All right. So that's what I thought was gonna happen. The snare bottom. Okay, cool. So that's one thing we gotta fix is that snare bottom. I actually think the Tom sounded good. The snare definitely needed. Needs some work, and ah, it looks like the snare bottom Mike is actually resting against the stand. So who that could be the cause of that crazy wave form? Yeah, that is something that happens. That happens very frequently is microphones move. So that's why I checked microphones in between every song and why I keep going back and looking at this. They move. There's a lot of vibrating pieces there and you have, ah, microphone resting against a stand. That's what happens. Sounds like garbage. It's entirely possible that we're gonna record something now, and it'll still sound like garbage and be weird. But I'm willing to bet that it won't be nearly as bad because it's not vibrating against a piece of metal that's touching it. So we want to check that real quick. Do you want I say I say...

we check that, Um I think basically one thing that I do is every time that would make a little tweak. I will drop a marker and say, OK, bottom snare, mic fixed and just kind of, well, kind of no, where we're at and what's going on because really easy toe lose track of everything you've done. So select my tracks and hit record. Just play a beat for a little like same beat. Yeah, okay, cool. And so we're going to re record that, cause we Because the snare Bonham was messed up so cool. Narrow sometimes. So the snare bottom still looks kind of weird. Let's see. Still kind of weird. So let's see. It's probably clipping the pre amp just a little bit. So do you want to revisit the tone? Pyro quick and sort of like talk about you know where your I guess. Use the process of elimination and see what led you to the pre EMP. Well, basically, we have ah, signal that's clip to sell. Uh, not sure why I'm not touching anything. There's no there's nothing else in line with it that would be distorting it like crazy. It could be a bad cable, but I have never really seen a bad cable do that before. That's probably just hitting the pre amp as hard as possible. So I know what I don't think it is. And that leaves only one possible one possible solution. So process of elimination is seriously important when you're figuring out problems. See, the first thing I thought was the mike was resting against a piece of metal vibrating it like crazy. And that wasn't the problem. So do you mind, uh, hitting that snare on? I'm going? Teoh. Watch your years, guys. So it was clipping. Seems like it was clipping the input of the pre amp. I don't know performer Had any of that? That's That's definitely my microphone, too. Employees device? Absolutely. It looks still much. That's just the underneath. Where is that both? Let's see. That's just the underneath. Yeah, that's already So the folks in the chat room are asking what you were messing with their What were you turning buttons on? I was hardware wise. Yeah, I was just messing with the input and output of the preempt. And I noticed that as I turned the input down, it got better. So but then the level disappeared. So then I start messing with output until level came back. Um output down and put our I mean input down output up. Yeah, but that's not necessarily going to be the problem every time you get distortion. But that's what happened here. And I'll point to it, I guess on the Summit, you've got input and output. I've never used this pre amp before, so I'm learning as I go. But you know, there's only to Riel two knobs, so it's not that hard. So as I went this way, it started to sound better. So I just kept on that tangent. And now it's semi acceptable. So cool. He was just saying that the trim on the personas could have been the problem, but the trims all the way down. So I doubt that is gonna distort less by turning it up. All right, now that that doesn't sound like total garbage going to ah, check the phase on it that I think that's a record before help. Okay, so getting any queue up, check it out, circle with a line through it. Your buddy, you hear the difference? Check it out suddenly has got body on low end some. Here we go. So snares in a way better spot I think that it was before, and that is going to blast us. So this is all there is to it Times every element on the drum set for however long it takes to get it sounding right. So And also, just cause that's in phase doesn't mean that that's a snare tone we want. That just means that it's in phase. That just means that there's nothing actually wrong with it. Um, Now we have to use our taste in our judgment. And just because these two mikes are in phase doesn't mean that they're in phase with the overheads. We gotta be checking that as well. I don't think we have time to check every single thing and then also keep going with tones. So now that that's ah solved, do you mind? Ah, do you mind playing the beat? Thank you, sir. And just just just so we get a little bit of variety, Do you mind doing also like a slightly heavier beat? Don't cool. Hang on one second. Thank you. All right. So let's listen to this. We got that as opposed to That's where we were before we tweak the snare. This is where we are now now is this. Everything at unity is there. There's no leveling going on. The only levelling is there's a little bit. I mean, this isn't crazy mixing or anything, but I have the snare bottom down from the snare. Top of little, but, um, I've got the I never got the rooms that I haven't really checked yet down some, but it's you can see it's pretty close. I've started moving it around a little bit just a little bit, Like, uh, I have the kick up 0.3 and, uh, the, uh, overheads up 0. in this snare down minus three. So but that's it. Everything else is that unity. All right, So you guys tell the difference. You see what one mike being messed up can do to your entire sound? Uh, that's why you got to go through and check all of this. If any one of these mikes is messed up, you may as well uh, kiss your drum sound. Good bye. Now, Now I want to point out for and this is totally a subjective taste issue, but for everyone, um, you know, on either side of the kick drum versus real kick drum. This is what bass drums sound like. Uh, this is what they sound like playing metal beats. If that was a sample, that would sound like a really heavy beat. Listen to the pattern. So if I cue that and that's already pretty cute to be metal Horrific, but Okay, so we'll start with you, because I wanna ask what? What are your thoughts so far? What would you change just in regards of the entire drum kits and what we're here? What are you hearing? And are you hearing the difference between what we did from before? Uh, before it sounded like there's a turntable going over the top of the entire drum kit so I'd say it sounds quite a better. I don't know what we're moving in a good direction. Um, I would maybe get a little bit more. Ah, Clicky nous in the kick itself without queueing, probably. I agree. Anybody else? Anything that you guys here in this sound that you would tweak? No. Okay, so I agree. The kick sounds a little monthly to me. So is well, it actually, you know, the muffle that we have in there is actually covering the head. So you're not even having the mic see the head right now? So that's why we're getting that muffle the sound. Okay, so that would be something to try to address. Yeah, absolutely. So? So you see how it's up against the heads? I told him, And the migrant is, like, inside of the muffling. Yeah. Okay. So, times when muffling kick doesn't work out exactly right exactly the way you wanted to. Here, let me go ahead and a mute that. So this is a part of the process where teamwork helps. Because while I'm doing this, I can't really see what's going on in here, because physics don't allow me to see through things. So for the mic is still in the blanket. We would have that there. There we go. OK. Can you see the mike? If you can. You tilt it up a little bit. I think it's actually in the blanket. That's stupid. Stupid blanket. There you go. All right. Cool. Yeah, a little more to your right would be up. All right. Thank you. That's gonna be way better. All right, let's check that out. All right. So, dropping a marker saying removed some muffling from kick with us Now that was before and now the e que I had on an exaggerated way exaggerated. Well, I was trying to correct a problem I didn't even know existed in this. Why you got to go through this stuff and let me just point out that I don't think you should always reach freak You. I think you should do things via tuning and mic placement first. But kick is one of those drums that I think you're gonna eat you no matter what. Uh, especially for this style of music, you're doing metal beats. That's not the based Rome does not sound the way you want, yell yah. Absolutely. Compression based arm does not sound in real life the way that it sounds in a metal recording. Totally. Yeah, it's It's weird. Then sound nearly as clicking. Okay, so here we are for all right. And there is not a night ideal kick sound. But you saw how to ah, troubleshoot some. So let's go from beginning. That's bottom, Mike face. All right, so we had a problem with the bottom snare. We somewhat saw that we had a problem with the kicks being to monthly with somewhat solved that Let's check the tuning on the toms again because drums tend to drop. Uh, do you mind giving me single will record single hits sound like some of them dropped Teoh and the small drum usually does that. It's kind of in the right spot. What about between the two floor times and I like to address, like when I'm doing tuning issues like that? I do do a lot of the star technique where it's equal, you know, Uh, but, um, attention. But then when I'm fine tuning a drum, I usually find just one lug that will take care of business, tune it up or take care of the problem versus little turn here and here and there. I like to start at one place and, ah, just we didn't rehearse this, But that's actually my first suggestion to two drummers when ah tuning issue comes up is we should find the one lug that slipped because usually all that is and oftentimes it's the one closest to the drummer because that's where he's hitting the most. So there you go. There's, ah, concrete tip for you guys. Check the lug closest to the drummer or closest toe where he's been hitting. Um, and you want to go in tiny increments, I think. Absolutely. Yeah. And you're not, like, crank it? Yeah. And again, can you The almighty ear. Absolutely. Can you show like, the, uh, like, maybe de tune that drum a little bit for the camera and turn it back up just so that they can see, uh, the amount of turn absolute that it isn't. But that just happened right now. Yeah, Yeah, it was been not even 1/4 turn, so I mean, and you can see it was the lug that's right here where I'm hitting, you know. Awesome. Okay, cool. So now that that's now that that's good. Eso I'm gonna drop another marker. Se fixed stage left floor, Tom. And, uh, if you guys think that this process is tedious, you're right. Um so can you hit the toms one more time? And, ah, if there's any drummers who have recorded it all your hammer in the chat room, you guys can confirm this is exactly what we do. There is. You guys were seeing it. Uh, there's no ah, no glamour. to it. This is how how it rolls. Yeah, that that floor times on his way Better now sounded all weird there and way more defined. They're so cool. Good job. All right. So let's ah, let's see what's going on with this stuff with the symbols. All right, Let's Ah, if you don't mind, what I'm gonna do is I'm going to solo the overheads and have you play around from left to right, right to left. And what I'm looking for right here is an even balance in the mikes between all the symbols. Yeah. So say there that's excluded. No has. Well, yeah, because high hat are a thing that is loud in every single microphone. So especially in the overheads. Want to know? I want what I'm dealing with, so All right, let's check out what we got. Okay. Right off the bat. Yeah, I'm going, Teoh. Raise it just a little bit and then move it out. I'm hearing a weird like I'm hearing your stick more than the actual symbol. Yeah, not really. That's not a common issue that I have found, but also I was very close to there, close to the value of it. So I'm, uh That's actually the one that I ended up raising yesterday. So I think that was never compensated for no. Okay, So when we ah did this yesterday, we actually measured it to the snare. As you can see, being equal distant didn't really make our lives better, but at least it's a starting point. So what I did was I raised the stands, move the mikes out a little bit at this point, just kind of eyeballing this stuff. Who knows? We'll see. We'll try that again. I feel like probably still getting impulsive error on that one. But let's check it out. So this one, I still need to I feel like I need to angle it just a little bit. I'm getting a little bit too much of that stick. Okay? Just check that out and see what happens. That's better. Okay, so I'm dropping a marker that says overhead Hides and angles fixed, fixed 40. All right, So let us get another beat. Now that that's all been tweaked. Could you do like the rock beat and then the metal beat? Yep. Cool. Thanks. Now it does sound like the snare dropped at all this business before, Uh, pro tools don't crash. OK, that's before. That's once you fix the stair mike. And this is now that seems darker. Is a little doll, right? Yeah. So we could definitely be the first thing I'm gonna do is the love those closest to me a little bit. Okay, so I just noticed that the snare sounded like it dropped. He just turned it back up and now going to check it against the previous snare that we had earlier when I fixed the snare mic. Okay, it's tuned up. Keep that sound in your head says before pray. Yeah, is still a little bit off, but one you're previewing is after we corrected the face, this right here is now and then. Yes, the one that I know the one that I'm previewing is after. Ah, we fix them. I stand corrected phase and corrected the input. Okay, Um, just like it still comes just a little bit and see. And this could Also it could be losing its character already. You know, that snare head could be dying and the stair mike's because it just sounds like it's less Hi fi. Now like it's got less high end and low end. It could definitely be that. And why don't we check it out? The way toe really know would be to solo it out. So that's your snare top now? No, it was definitely higher before That's before, so But you're right, because I moved the mikes and I changed the angles. That could have possibly been what happened, but I don't think that's what happened this time. I think it definitely did drop. So check it out. That's now. As as before, you're not hearing overhead Mike's. That's a soloed Mike. So that's definitely the tuning. And like you said, though, it could also be that the snare head is dying. I mean, how long has it been on there has been on there since yesterday since yesterday, and we've been hitting it a little bit. Yeah, I mean, it should It shouldn't be the head, but it it could be yet, you know, it's been on their long, but if we can get it sounding Goodbye, tightening up. Yeah, you know, that'll eliminate that. You know, totally or not. Well, we'll see. So where is it at now? I tightened it up a little bit and also kind of checked underneath. None of the lugs under the It could be an underneath situation as well. A bottom head. I don't think it is. I think it was the top. Okay, so I'm gonna record it some more help. As you guys can see, most of this is tuning and stuff like this all most of it. This is not messing around with gear. Most of this is messing around with drums. So that was before. That's now. Check it. Yeah, check out. That's the best hit right there. So check that against. I actually think it sounds better now. Cool. And that's why it takes a few days to get drum tones, cause it's sometimes starts to sound way better. Like I feel like it starts to sound better by the third day. And like that, that's the best snare hit we've got. But I've also been leaning on this, too, so I've been determining it. So it's not that the heads lost its life. It's just that it got loose, looser, You know, it really hasn't had time to see. Yeah, I've noticed that somewhere around the end of the second day or third day of getting tones is when things starting settles in. Yeah, and it starts to sound good. And I feel comfortable with tracking. Usually by the end of the first day, we're doing this till our ears air just completely shot. And ah, um well, just come back and do it more, and then if by the next day, we're still getting these issues, just keep on going till the next day and then repeat, repeat, Repeat until finally everything sounds cool and, uh, ready to go. I think that sounds awesome. Yeah. So bracket. Yeah, that's so on that note from the chat rooms, Reverb Island says wonder if he ever runs into a vicious cycle of tuning playing it than following out of tune than tuning again. Isn't that what this is all about? Exactly? Yes, that is the that's That's the process where you think drum heads do when you hit them. That's why that's why tuning keys exist and drum techs are employed. Um, and why this takes a while. Yeah. Um, it's not glamorous at all. It's a lot of work. So one thing also, that I should point out is that snare hit? Sounds awesome. I think it's That's a sample worthy snare head. Um, So I was saying, sample worth e snare hit. I mean, it's funny, but when I look at this session, what I would do ICSC sample worthy snare head. So I go right there. Yep. Sounds awesome. So at this point, I would want to do snare samples, and I feel like we should describe that real quick. Um, So what I would want him to do is now that it's like this us see how quickly it's narrow, go out of tune and lose its tone. So this is the next thing you guys should do. Once you get a sound, a good take samples. So give me. Since you're very dynamic player, I would want more dynamic layers than most guys. So if you could give me five five light five kind of light, five medium, five kind of medium and then five heart. That would be five on So 25 hits? Yeah, 25 hits. Oh, we're giving these samples away to anyone who buys the class. That's why were apprehensive. No, you let me know when you're ready. Yeah. And this hard hits were intense. When you're taking samples, you want to get super hard hits like that Sounds great. Thank you. All right. Doing maybe place some fills okay for us. So we can now see the relationship of the snare on the times that I think we're both happy with Where the snares that, um let's see if we're still happy with where the toms air at in relationship toe all that. So maybe kick snare. Tom's kind of they got whatever. Shaun Ryder cool stuff. I totally think it's getting there slowly. Yeah, I mean, it's like, if, uh, and I meant to do that stick clue. Yeah, that it was It sounded authentic. Um, very masterful. Stick click. No, I feel like all right. So, I mean, unless of God dog poop in my ears, I think it's getting better. Uh, measurably so. And you guys could probably see how we have more time. It would only keep on getting better. The important thing to recognize that this point, though, like, say, you're two days in, is when is it not going to get much better? When is it not worth it? to keep on tweaking. When is it time to get going? And that's a subjective decision. Um, kind of the only factor you have tow way against is what time do you have left? And who are you recording once again? So back to what we talked about first, who was your drummer? What's the material was going on? Can you play, Uh, how many days do you have left? You have three days. You have five days to have a week. Like what's going on? You have one day cause the drums just sounded terrible. You gotta cram it. Just figure it out. And that's a point at which you start recording right now, we only have a couple hours left. I want to see if we could take some tom samples really quick. So, uh, if you don't mind turning the snare off, that's gay. Ah, really? Question a couple people have asked about this. What's address before we go on, Um, Jesse Cannon, for example, I Jesse Hey. Hello, Jesse. If you have any particular philosophy when setting the game for a particular drum or Cymbal and ah, a couple of people mentioned there's a lot of red in that game. Staging well, The red in pro tools, uh, is an accurate first of all. So when you hit red in pro tools, you know that you still have three or four db left of headroom. So take a look at the way forms, and that's your guide. That's clipped. I would bring that down for sure. Um, with AP eyes, though, uh, everything that I know about them is you should drive them harder. So, uh, that's when they're cool. Cool Little distortion kicks in, is when you're driving them super hard. So with AP eyes, yeah, I would drive them a lot harder. Ah, it seems like when you're not driving them very hard, they just seem kind of sterile and lifeless. I don't know of other people have noticed that as well. Um, one thing that's interesting, though, is what's your interface? Um, there's there's different interfaces calibrated different ways. One problem that I've got in my control room is that my roar links are calibrated kind of weird to the A p I. So I can't drive them very hard without clipping the converters. Um and so I kind of have to adjust around that. Ah, I think it just depends on the pre amp With my focus writes, I definitely don't drive those heart at all. They start to sound like total garbage. So I think it's Ah, I think it's preempt specific. Uh, do you think that harmonics air Your friend? Uh, and some pre amps have cool harmonics and some don't just he will like that. He also thinks harmonics are your friends. They are your friend. Uh, but I mean, it's a matter of intentional harmonics. Uh, if if you're getting a lot of distortion audible distortion than ah, you should probably bring things back a little, but I don't know, uh, there's only so much you can fix, given a certain amount of time. Uh, you want to take some sample? Does that answer the question one? Yeah, I thought I think it did. And let's go and record that Check this guy. It looks like the mike is right on it, I'm sure. Let's do that. Is it Is it touching that that one's OK. Think this one is like, actually touching the drama? Is that No, no, no. Yes, a little. But it should be raised a little bit, okay? And then the same thing with this one, this one's OK. Down was not touching it all. Okay, cool. That was all right. Yeah, that's cool. Ready? Yep. Do what you want. Something just turned the snares off, but maybe give me three of the three. Ah, let's go medium hard and give me three of each and but let them sustaining for a while longer. Cool. Thank you. Let's check these out. All right, so let's address the, uh must address the game situation on the FBI. The, uh I think it sounds pretty cool, but I going to demonstrate what to do. If you are seeing lobbed off wave forms much like that, it's really simple. Turn it down. Got the pad already engaged. It's a 20 db pad. So the problem with AP eyes is that they are very, very sensitive. So another characteristic that people should keep in mind. If you're recording with AP eyes, you might want to get a lot of in line pads for your drums because you're going to clip them like crazy. So to mind, hitting the snare, some snare. Yeah, Like loud. Here. It's what allowed hits. Yeah. Was turned down the gain on the A P I a significant amount on snare top. Maybe that sounds better. Maybe it doesn't should compare it. It sounds better. Okay, so at this point, we discovered a problem. Thank you. Chat room with the snare so I would take snare samples all over again, cause that sounds even better now. Cool. So you won't do that real quick. Awesome. Now seems tedious, and it kind of is, but that's what we do. And that's how it gets awesome. I'm checking out the loud hits. All right, so I want to talk about some, uh, some key takeaways about all this because we could go on forever and, ah, you know, could fix the game structure on. Everything could fix the tuning on. Everything could just fix everything and fix and fix and fix. But again, Like I said, we're not making an album right now. We're just showing in the process. This is what takes forever. This is what could take an entire day or take three days or five days. Ah, you're not going to get everything right. And especially not in a new environment. So allow for some time now. One thing we haven't talked about that I really do need to mention and us are all probably feeling it right now is that your fatigue is very, very riel. Uh, especially at this point in the game that you've been hearing drums all day long. You're all probably fatigued. It's time to take a break. Uh, in real life, I think your brakes should be at least an hour long. Um, because you really need to rest your ears and let the regenerate. Um, sometimes I do studio sessions where it's like, first part of the day, you know, get there in the morning or late morning and go till the mid afternoon. And then there's like, a significant break for, like, two or three hours to where, and people might take a nap and completely reset. And then there's a night session from, like, 6 to 10 or 6 to 11 or whatever. Um, you really shouldn't be spending more time than that getting drum tones because you will be working against yourself. Um, you guys all feeling the fear fatigue? Oh, yeah, right. You guys, too. And you guys have been wearing earplugs too, right? Uh, I've been wearing these the shooting headphones or whatever they are. And my ears are kind of shot too. So, yeah, at this point, I would call the first session. Say cool. Good job. Thank you. Rule. Uh, let's meet up in a couple hours or something. And we would just get lost and not listen to any music anymore. Yeah, definitely. Don't put yourself in a quiet environment. Don't Don't don't go. Listen, T it's raining blood while you're resting your here just to confirm you did say, do put yourself in a quiet environment. Absolutely. Yeah, yeah, I know. It's clear it out of your head. You know, you've heard drums all day. You know, if you're gonna need to listen to music like listen to classical music, you know what I mean? Something that's just two diametrically opposite to what you're doing. But I would say even just no media. You know what I mean? Just Yeah, that's what I would do. Does not listen to any music at all and try not to have conversations allowed people. I mean, this is like pretty serious is just I honestly just disappear because it's a mental thing. As much as it is a physical ear thing, I literally will lock myself away from the band and just not talk to them for a couple hours. I don't want to be hanging out with them. After getting tones on drums for a few hours, I want to regenerate. Um, engineers need to regenerate their ears, and so do the band, especially the drummer.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Day One Presentation.pdf
Day Three Presentation.pdf
Day Two Presentation.pdf
Johns QuicKeys Shortcuts.qkmx
Sample Input List.docx

Ratings and 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.

Student Work