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Intro to Mixing and Drum Clean Up

Lesson 21 from: Advanced Drum Production

Eyal Levi

Intro to Mixing and Drum Clean Up

Lesson 21 from: Advanced Drum Production

Eyal Levi

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Lesson Info

21. Intro to Mixing and Drum Clean Up


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

Intro to Mixing and Drum Clean Up

So day three welcome back to all of you thank you guys for having me sad that it's almost over but we're gonna have a lot of fun talking about a really exciting topic and I'm kidding it can actually be really dry, but I'm going to try to make it as interesting as possible we'll talk about editing, sample replacement drum clean up and then mixing now we started on day one by recording some drums, troubleshooting some problems dealing with a really awesome drummer named sean reinert er day two we took a scenario where say you don't have a drummer or drummer's not good enough what do you do of program drums and superior? And now we're going to take those drums from a day plus and this is basically as much worker more work than actually tracking I think that this ends up being sometimes twice a smudge work, so definitely have a lot to get through today I'm going to assume you guys know the basics of mixing like what ae q means uh what compressor is if not, go look it up on youtube during t...

he breaks there's tons of tutorials out there who will cover the very basics of mixing I encourage you guy's toe look those things up that you're not going to see here today not here to give you guys a tutorial I'm here to show you guys a workflow and this is the workflow I'm going to go through today you start with editing and cleanup now one thing I got to say is that we're going to show you clean up first now in andrew ways guitar class he talked a lot about how the order in which you do things is super important in real life I think that we would do editing before cleanup but in the interest of time for these segments were going to dio clean up first then we're gonna go straight to sample reinforcement and or replacement depending on what you need we're gonna go to mix set up after that which if you don't set up your mix properly we fighting yourself the entire time we're going to go straight to mixing after that so with that let's talk about drum cleanup this is basically just removing unnecessary sounds from the mix if you don't do it you're mix is going to be super cluttered uh you can look at pro tools right now I kind of have an example for you guys from what we recorded the other day si non cleaned up tracks right here semi cleaned up tracks right here that's a four tom she will hear the minute it starts playing after the beach ball thief and let me solo these mikes for you one thing that you should notice is that real mikes I have a lot of bleed theme that's the floor tom here's the other floor tom mind you nothing is actually happening on this mike for a while a lot of extra stuff in your mix and one thing that we've been talking about the last few days is that mixing making albums is an accumulation of subtleties well it's a hell of a lot of subtlety right here if you factor in how many tracks would have all this extra material if I play you just the tom tracks in the bleed this is what you get is like a whole drum sound on top of your drum sound and then not just that the china mike where the china is not playing one one china hit in there all that's got to go so I went ahead and I cleaned up this next section for you this is more what it should look like and I will get into the specifics of how to actually cut this off so notice there's a phil that is actually a snare phil so get rid of that there should be no tom at all in this section okay, so step one look through your tracks then listen through kind of get a lay of the land kind of determined when things are happening now one thing that happens when you record things lives things don't always go exactly how you would envision and so I think that one thing that we would have fixed if we had more time so we've got a better level on the high hat, so one way to change that is tio upped away form view. Now you might need to listen through twice, because when you up it enough to see what's going on the high hats that tom's get out of out of wax, so I go through and listen to the toms and mark where they're not playing. Now I'll save you guys this because I know that they're not playing here filles there nothing for a while afterwards, getting rid of that. And now this is actually a really good section toe look at because there's a lot of tom's happening here, so this section is going to require some close attention paid to it, so and I'm gonna go back and find tune this. This is just to get a basic idea of what is going on, even because you don't know what's going on in your music, what are you even doing so again, just going through looking for where there are and aren't tom hits getting rid of everything in between? Exciting? I know, mind you, there are faster ways to do this, but if you don't understand what I'm doing, you won't ever get faceted, so I'm showing you the drawn out method I don't actually do it like this in real life anymore. And for those of you who want to learn the fast way of doing this, how we're doing on album in a little while I'm going to be talking to my engineer john douglas, who has made some videos for you guys who purchased the class on these videos will show the actual workflow that we that we do it audio hammer when when editing drones one clean them up it's way faster and I think would be too fast for the video, but for those of you who are already advanced and want teo do some expert level ninja on top of the mountain stuff, those videos for you, I'll play a clip of them later and I'm also going to skype john in later and we'll talk to him about this stuff but let's see pretty basically cleaned up here on the toms see it's not actually that much time elapsed of tom so let's, take a look at this phil and take it off the grid mode you want to be in slip for this now looks like the phil starts here zoom in on the way form a little bit said you don't cut it off draw this toe where it starts put a tiny cross fade you're done repeat now when it uh when the film's over this is the part that's actually a lot harder the ring the ring needs to be pretty natural, but the same time you've got to remember most of your drum sound comes from your overheads in your rooms, not the close mikes so you don't want these ringing into infinity because they're just going to clutter your mix and you already have them ringing in the room mikes in the overheads and also if you have samples on top of this as well, which some of you might some of you might not the samples will ring you don't want these ringing because listen to what the ring sounds like sounds like other drums that's just one of the tom solo player the ring from another mike symbols sounds like symbols and tom ring you don't want too much of that in your mix so I will go ahead and delete that fayed that out and I think a good rule of thumb is tio not let them go for more than three hundred milliseconds unless it's a section that ends with a tom hit that rings into silence otherwise there's no reason to let them go longer than around three to five hundred milliseconds and up here in pro tools is where you will see those length so just you notice as I scroll here it's showing me a length that I have selected so let's see see you later you know that this one ring out just a little more because that is the one ring that you would naturally here the most and this should sound one hundred percent less cluttering and do the beginning of the wave forms think the trick with the fade ends is that you don't go too soon but you don't cut off any transients you're cutting off transience you're doing this completely wrong so be careful go about their cool now removed the china bleed now you know that what you're hearing is what you're supposed to be hearing you're hearing overheads you're hearing a kick track snare tracks snares you're hearing tom's when the fills air happening you're hearing a china when the china's happening and hats but you're not hearing snare from the tom mike's kick from the tom likes china through the tom likes tom's through the china mike you're not that's so convoluted one of the things that you don't want is for tommy q to be on your overheads and that was what will happen if you don't cut this stuff out whatever I go on do hear tomic you can be pretty extreme looking sometimes like just to give you guys a quick idea of what your typical tommy q looks like something along these lines you know that's not something you really want on your overheads it sounds like a painful ear situation so let me get rid of this unless listen through this again now there's cleaned up it should sound one hundred percent clearer now let's talk about symbol cleanup because a little bit different thing that defines symbol editing is in the ring. What I mean by that is that you will always know about edit job by if the ring is cut off unnaturally that's the number one way to spot a bad editor it really kills things symbols tend to ring way longer than you think they do. So the thing to do here is listen to the track it's very quiet bringing up a little clipping still ringing so what I would do is I would find a snare hit that it rings until and cut it off there that's a little long maybe here fade it there and again remember this is coming through your overheads and your room's, so one way to check if you cut it off to short is toe solo your rooms and your overheads along with whatever it is you're editing while cleaning off then sound too short to me, so and then I'm just cutting it to the next china hit. So the way in which this china was recorded, I need to pay close attention to when these china hits are because they're kind of his loud as some of the other hits the bleeders very high I think we probably probably ran out of time on the china and high hat and just had to record so here's another china hit so I might cut that off there but that seems a little little quick thiss snare hit seems like a good spot that might be a little too long was checked that out see if it sounds unnatural ah, a little bit bringing out here on the moor on uh just going teo ask one of you guys if you want to jump on the mike and you want to you could you guys tell the difference between the ring that was too long and the ring that was too short that it just sound the same to you? I could tell the difference. Yeah, it just kind of seemed like it died off. Yeah, I was just kind of choked at the end there yeah, that one thing that's gonna happen when your records get mastered is that the symbols were going to come way up basically everything that's on the sides of the guitars and the symbols go up into your middle goes down so snares kicks vocals everything that's right there in the center gets quieter everything all sides get louder so if you have weird ring out and stuff that's cut off unnaturally it's going toe really come through when you get your stuff mastered so it's super important to pay close attention to this and not let it sound bad and this is the kind of thing that will get you canned from a real gig you do not want to be messing up your symbol rings, so let's do this a little more street as khun see how to do this and again, if you already know how to do this and you're looking for an expert way, john's videos that we're going to provide with the purchase of this class will be your guiding light. Now let me check out the floor toms I never really cleaned those properly seems like they could be that long and be all right now. One thing I've noticed, this is a trap that you may not want to fall into. I used to fall into this trap when I was first starting out was that I got used to the way my drums sounded before I cleaned up the tracks because they sounded full you could all the bleed was making everything sound huge. The problem then, is I wasn't accounting for all the guitars and bass and vocals and sent that we're then going to be added basically a view. If you look at a mixed like a cup of water can only go to one hundred percent of your drums were taking up this much, and you only leave this much room for everything else is going to start clipping get really nasty really quick, so you're giving yourself a lot more headroom by getting rid of all that unnecessary garbage and it's, basically what it is, it'll sound full when everything gets added in just, uh, trap not to fall into. Listen, listen to this a little more, tom, wait. All right? This phil is a little more complex. Let's, take a look at that just to tie things back. Teo, yesterday, basically, what you're doing now is a manual version of what you get out of superior when you bounce it with the, uh with the overheads separated. Say that again one more time. So basically, what you're doing now is a manual version of what you get when you use the bounce feature and superior drummer absolutely the bounce feature and superior if you separate the mikes, which is a key part of it, if you don't separate the mikes doesn't come out like this, but yes, if you separate the mikes and then separate the bleed, this is what you get so pretty cool timesaver period. Oh, yeah, superior is is pretty fast. But you know the thing about virtual drums that take a long time for the stuff that we covered in the easy germer courses, all the velocities and the programming and all that that's the part that makes them sound real not not so much what we covered yesterday though what we covered yesterday is time consuming if you factor in all the sound selection and basically the superior drummer tone pie along with the programming it it can take quite a while so let's take a look at this phil and show you guys this because it's a little bit more complicated of a phil so check out this right here solo these two toms so that's not even a tom right there that's a snare allowed that scenarios and all four tom likes you don't want that thou basically help you lose control over your snare tone in the film and again cutting out all the ring where the toms aren't actually playing. You wanna keep these to about three hundred milliseconds the ring outs at the end and, uh, to do this for an entire record? I should take you about a day, maybe two days once you get good at it but definitely is a very time consuming thing. Another reason why you want to get this right as opposed teo wrong is not just for, you know, taking pride in the sonics you put out into the world is it's very tedious and you don't wanna have to reduce stuff and I can tell you that someone like me will send this back if it comes all weird and cut off so now that seems like those ring outs are a little too short let's check against the overheads seems so bad when you put those in handsome room a this one could ring a little longer I think hee hee I think that gives you guys a basic idea on how tio clean up your tracks mean just give you a quick rundown so you zoom into your track, select the area you want to get rid of deleted zoom in further find the transient here it isthe draw the track over to it not all the way because you don't want to cut off your transience but a fade zoom out go to the end of the phil that's a ring out so you can let it go for his natural duration on non ring outs like say over here you want to keep them short so select your area make a fade done that's it use your ears don't screw it up so with that I think you'll see if you guys have any questions about this for a move on to another topic. Do I understand correctly that with the ring out from the symbols you're a little more flexible in how long that transition the cross fate is? Absolutely because the symbol ring is going to be a lot more apparent in everything so you want to let those ring out a ce long as you think they naturally would but always check against the overheads at some point they let me, uh, bring us back to the china example at some point it's a just a little too long so I like to go up until a snare hit something like that teo basically faded out up until you reach another event like a snare hit don't fade it out until the middle of a ring out of that makes sense say until the snare hit see right here, wait a little longer you can't even tell that that's faded out now that's the way to do it the big thing to remember is to fade it up until an event like a snare hit or another symbol or something like that if you fed it out in the middle of the ring that's when it starts to sound cut off and weird, that makes sense cool? Yeah so the three to five hundred milliseconds is specifically for tom's absolutely. Then symbols are kind of yes recalling the three to five hundred milliseconds is specifically for tom's and specifically for tom's on non ring out sections. So we have this one section here where sean played into a ring out let me find it really quick believe see here they're at the end so that right there there's nothing else going on so it would seem weird if I cut the tom off in the middle we could do it, but I think it would just be just a little bit weird. Let's, let's, check that out. Yeah, I can hear that. It got cut off strange. So you want to let them go throughout their natural duration or close to that during these ring out there? You can't even tell that is clean, or I couldn't tell that I was cleaned. Makes sense. Okay, cool. So we've got question from escape frequencies and gamble based wanting what, whether you would follow the same process on the snare track as well, no, uh, with snares I will actually use, uh, gates more often cause near hits, their heads are going to be much more pronounced, and the ring is going is less of an issue. So it's a lot easier to just use a gate and be done with it, but you need to be careful with ghost notes. You don't want to kill your ghost notes. I could see this taking a very, very long time if you did, it was snares, I don't recommend it, you're going to end of wasting a lot of time. You just ought to meet the gating at that point, because, like I record a lot of music with snare rolls and stuff, really quiet, dynamic stuff, and I I don't know, I just I end up losing all of that stuff and I have to do some pretty strange editing is there something that would make that easier? Yeah definitely automate the gates too cut off when you get to ah section with ghost notes or a section with phil's but you know when you're dealing with eighty five percent of music which is just you can you can get that and you'll be pretty okay uh I don't go through and cut out in between the snare hits just because it would take so long, you would add I think you would add close to another few days to the whole process because look how often the toms actually took place in this whole track it's not that often I mean yeah, you get some bands were phil's take place more often and this can be a lengthy process but still tom's are something that are used to cap off sections or emphasize things via fills snares something that happens throughout the song look at the snare track going the whole way through so what? I don't I don't recommend taking that method but right here for instance let's see what's going on here, theo he's let's listen to that on the top say so gate might not catch that the side stick action so I would shut the gate off right there let's see? And sean is, uh sean is a drummer where I would kind of just leave it wide open because he does go snow all over the place. Yeah, I could see you ruining the track by using a gate on this. So is that, uh, hopefully that answers the question for the internet. Yeah, that was great. Thank you. Okay. Cool. Yes, sir. So in the case of ah drum part where maybe you're there riding on the floor, tom instead of a symbol or no there's just a beat that happens on the toms rather than the snare for an extended part of the song. Would you switch to gating on the toms for that type of situation? If it's long enough, you know, just delete it. If it's a long enough section like, say that this section right here had nothing going on in the snare mike yeah, why not? Just that. I mean for the top, for the actual tom mike's, if there you know, for a whole stretch of the song there on the toms and he's dead when you add it all of those individually or if I get I get what you're asking on tom section well, that's where using your ear comes into play more often than not, like if the drummer's holding it down on the floor, tom, and playing other toms individually. Throughout that, maybe going to fill keep the floor, tom constant. I would just leave the floor, tom, track alone, and maybe ed it in between cleanup in between the other tom hits. But your ears got to be your guide. If it starts to sound like crap, just leave it. I done plenty of records. Where on tom specific parts. We just leave it alone because there's just too much ring and interplay between the drugs that get cut off like this.

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