Intro to Drum Editing
We'll talk about really amazing topic called drum editing and this is a toughie you guys are not going to figure out how to do this right just based on this class alone you're gonna have to spend a lot of time on it it takes a lot of practice I think out of anything I've done in recording that has taken up way too much time it's been drum editing and if I didn't have to edit another album would be okay with that but I think I've edited over one hundred albums at this point and I'll say that the first twenty or thirty were really really bad news um everybody really does have their own way of doing things but the one thing that all the good editors have in common is that their work flows nailed like if your work flows not down pat then it's not going to work out like and if you were paying attention in the call earlier when I was talking to my editor basically it takes him three to five hours a song depending on the situation I know that a lot of you in the chat rooms probably spend way ...
longer than that on editing drums and and I remember back when I was starting it would take me days to get done with a song sometimes we would be editing up until the end of the record I remember one record taking three weeks to just edit. And that's before I really knew what I was doing and there's no way that that would fly in a real studio situation so work on your workflow and if you want to really get some pro tips on workflow, we're going to show you some clips from the videos that john made a little bit later and you can purchase the class and download the video's on editing that he made that will show you exactly how to make custom key commands and really fly through it. And another thing that you've been hearing throughout this entire class is that in addition to practicing forever on this stuff in addition, teo getting really efficient no matter what it all boils down to using your ears if you're doing everything by sight and aligning everything to the grid like this isn't because it's unedited example, if you are doing everything by sight and just being insane about it but not using your ears, you're edits air not going teo get past the starting gate it's not the way to do things so you gotto establish your workflow and always be checking against what you're hearing. So now I'm going to show you a few basic approaches and show you manual editing, which is my favorite approach because it's the least destructive I'm gonna show you beat detective, which I think is pretty destructive and show you elastic audio which I think is the most destructive but they've all got their pros and cons and you should be able to should be able to get around in all of them I know that some guys have never even used elastic audio and some guys have never even used be detective so don't say that it's absolutely required that you learnt all three and so you may not even have pro tools but you should get pro tools and you should learn at least two of these methods manual editing being one of them because sometimes some drummers do not need to be gritted like where sean reiner here the other day he did not need to be grated actually as a matter of fact, I took the song we recorded last night and I tried to grit it as an example for this class and didn't work it sounded horrible so it's supposed to sound better when it's edited it actually sounded worse so I had to get a whole other song from an actual album that we did I'm not going to tell you guys who it is but it's from a national album that was released and that's going to be what I go through later on but just just wanted a pre face this with some guys don't need much editing so use your ears if you edit someone who doesn't need it you're going to make you the record sound worse and there's no point in that you don't get brownie points for how long you spent editing you get brownie points for how good the record sounds so with that said let's uh listen to some stuff here is an unedited example that when you have to check out let's see if it works now click was in there so that you could use that as a reference point because sometimes when you hear this stuff just literally blasting pass it's hard tio it's hard to hear so listen one more time to unedited and now listen to edit it if you're not hearing a difference I want you to pay attention to the click and how the one two three one, two three one, two three really locks in listen toe unedited and how is just all over the place reason and make you listen to these two examples over and over is because I think that the unedited example would be passable to a lot of people they would not be able to tell the difference and you need to be able to tell the devil it's because these are worlds apart the first one would not fly at all on the records, so listen to the click track and listened to the drums against the click track all right now listen to the edited once again use the click track as a reference all right, let me give you another example of unedited and edited here's unedited no click on this one hopefully your ears are a little more fine tuned now check it out now here's a version that's badly edited and here is finally the good version we're gonna go through those one more time because I realise that's a lot to take in lots of snare hits unedited badly added it and edit it all right now gonna ask you guys some questions between those you guys notice the difference between the examples whoever gets the mike first wins you guys noticed the difference? It took a few listens the to think that I noticed most on the first example that you showed was the rot the ride when the ride hit that was just kind of all my year focused done and what would did you notice? Um well, especially in, like the downbeat in the first example the unedited version I mean, sometimes it was like a literal early sometimes is a little late. It was just more consistent in this in this second, but I mean, that was just kind of all my ear focus down. Yes, it was just kind of all over the place in the first one and it sounds like you're about yeah, the blast like the snare aspect of the blast beats were pretty wild and the velocity particularly was kind of all over the place now what's interesting is that there is no velocity fixing on the edited ones but did you take like maury evenly uh played your hearts? Uh not on blast beats because there's symbols going the whole time can't it's tough it's not advisable it's more advisable tio teo tough it out because you've got symbol bleeds going all over the place listen to the symbols now if you are going to copy hits like john said you got to make sure that they're phasing perfectly with the overheads and are exactly in the same spot as the previous hit so this can really open up a can of worms it's better to tough it out unless of the velocities are just told a craft and in that case coffee away so listen to the symbols now one thing that is copied is that this first section is now the second section as well that that is accurate pay attention to have we just kept the original performance. Now let me point something out listen now that start this one starts wasn't too how on the edited the first blast starts first you can tell that it's copied the symbol is exactly the same way russ and the unedited it's not a slightly different tone that's your dead giveaway more so than the velocities because well happen velocity wise is when you have something going this fast once it's all lined up phase wise it's going to get more coherent it's going to seem louder so sometimes it's not that the velocity gets better is that the phases mohr intact. But the dead giveaway to me is that even though the same symbols ringing in the same place, the tone is just a little bit different in the first one and it's obviously identical and the in the edit one now, to be perfectly honest, this was edited well over a year ago. So I threw myself in the hot seat by not choosing sunday I edited last night, but that's actually part of the example is can we spot what's actually going on? And I hear in the air and the toms like in the filles I can sort of aiken go with cem looseness and the blast because, you know it's like fast and chaotic and stuff but like the toms or where it sort of brings it back like, you know, slows things down on like, you know, bum bum bum and those air much more locked in on the edited version. Yeah, man in the un ended versions of disaster like that doesn't set the party up at all now, even if we kept the second blast, we'd still need toe correct the hell out of that phil so even if, say, I imagine viewer editing drums, you would go for the lightest touch possible. Just ah, just a hunch. But I'm sure that you would agree that that phil is unacceptable. So even if we were to not touch the second blast this phil, we need to be fixed and these kicks at the beginning or just horrible flim and incorrectly. Yeah, just not not going to fly. Now on the second example without the click, let me play this one more time for you guys to see if you guys can spot the differences. And it's been a second since we played this that's all I want to play it again. Lots of snare hits to keep up with so unedited, badly edited and well, now, let me just point out that all these examples are from actual records that have been released. This is not these air, the actual edit cemented to the album that is out in the world. So now the second example can you tell the difference between the three? Is it making is can you hear where the bad edits are? Oh, yeah, I mean, honestly, even the part that made it to the record there's going to be guitars and bass, et cetera over the top, but, well, I can tell that they should meet detective. And when I was saying that beat detective is destructive, you will always hear a little bit. Which is why I think the lightest touch possible always wins with editing, but yet you can hear it. I can hear it honestly, I always hated it, which is why I pushed the drummers in my own bands and projects to try to be as good as possible and actually play this stuff because I can hear what it does to the symbols when it cuts it up and then cross fades across it and coffee's symbols to other symbols and you get two things happening at once or with elastic audio when it stretches the audio all over the place, it is destroying your audio. So you want to do this is little as possible. The fact that we have to do it for entire songs really bothers me. I don't think that drummer should be that bad, and I don't think that music should be this grated. But that said personal taste aside, if you're working for producers, you have to do what they want, and you have to give them tracks the way that they request them, and this is a very, very important skill toe have so. Like I was saying quick on that alien got britain who says can't hear what's wrong with the unedited one then again I'm coming in as a drummer, not a producer so question is do you have any suggestions for how to actually train your ears to hear the things that are wrong other than just listening to a ton? Well, listen with a click let's ah let's go through this again to the one with the click listen to the bass drums and listen to the flow of the snare against the clique in the blast beats and then listen to the fil against the click those three aspect specifically let's check this out again it's all over the place one more time check out this phil is not with it at all here's the thing to listen for on the blast beats listen to how it drifts eventually it starts right on and then it's like the guy just loses steam he's blasting too hard or he's not warmed up whatever it is he loses steam starts tensing up and the blast starts to go slower than the click that's what you're hearing it's not that he suddenly messed up and to take a shot it's that just that that you can hear that the drummer's slowing down and basically in the field the music this stuff music needs to be right on in your face you're going toe be able to tell we start to track it tars on this and the guitar start to slow down the vocal start to slow down because of it you'll really be able to tell so it's like the way I describe it is it's like a weird almost like a unpleasant galloping sound between the snare and the metrodome it's just so weird it's awkward feeling it's uncomfortable yeah it's not it's not within the realm of what I would consider feel uh there's there's a gray area for feel which is when drummers don't place specifically exactly to the grid the push and pull that a real performance gives you you need to preserve as much of that as possible if it's good like say, sean ryan's performance the other day we won't want to mess with that because it just felt great everyone in the room could tell it just everything about it was awesome he wasn't even playing to ah metrodome which is pretty pretty spectacular but with this listen to the feel of the blast beat one more time then we'll move on and hopefully hopefully can hear a little more by hearing what to focus in on what I would do is take one pass and listen through to the kicks take one pass, listen through the symbols and really try to focus in on every element individually if you can train your ears to hear the elements individually you're going to be able to tell what's wrong way easier, but if not it's going to be a lot tougher, and it we'll take some selective listening and maybe get the course and listen to these examples over and over and over again. But check it out one last time just a quick, quick question before you play it, we've got somebody else who says who suggests that you put the click on and then push shift or space bar and listening halftime? Do you ever listen? Not like at real time t help you spot these things, or do you only listen to real time on li? Listen, in real time, half time is a completely different feel, so I'm trying to preserve or improve the field. I'm not trying to listen to it in a whole other field and, uh and then fix it. That seems really weird it's actually confusing me because why would I listen to it in one tempo and then fix it in another tempo? That makes no sense? I would be fixing it arbitrarily and that that doesn't work for me. You need to fix this stuff in context of the song you're working on, otherwise, why are you doing this that goes back to using your ears and not your eyes if you're doing it, according to half timing it. You're going to do it more so, according to what you think is going to be right in the future. And I feel like I'm already starting to sound confusing because the concept makes no sense to me. Uh, let's. Listen, one more time to these kicks, okay?