Mixing Electronic Drums
I was showing that H delay effect earlier is something you could apply to attract and kind of emulates. Ah, tape delay. There's also emulation for actually just recording your track to tape, and there's a lot of differences between. So when you record something digitally and you go above zero to where you're clipping, you know you're in the red. It just literally chops the tops and bottoms off your waves and sounds really bad. Um, back in the days when people recorded to tape when you went into the red a little bit, it just kind of smoothed everything out and compressed it and had this nice, warm, saturated, fuzzy sound to it. That's part of what people talk about when they talk about, like the warmth of and log media. Um, a lot of times, I think it has something to do with, like the vinyl. But often it's just that the things sounded nicer when they recorded it to tape in the first place. So a thing you can do for your tracks. You can do this on your drum tracks or you can do it on you...
r whole mix is to run a plug in that emulates that tape. Right? So all show right here. We've got it on our whole mix. I'll kind of show you how it works. So you want to set your level here to where you're not clipping, you're kind of in between the zero and the three. And I turned this record level down to be in that range, and it turns the playback level up to mash it so that the game is constant, and then you can turn this flux up. That's kind of how much kind of fuzz and sloppiness there is to the sound. And that can really help that. That turning that flux up a little bit and getting a little bit of that, like tape distortion sound can really help to glue together parts in your mix or glued together parts in your drum programming your drum composition, Aziz. Well, and as a matter of fact, let me pull up that original thing that we had demonstrating effects on the on the drums. And I'm gonna pull up our mixer channel and put that effect on this guy. Here it is, so you can see with a break feet. Well, that's loud. There we go a loop, you turn that down. You can see here. I'm gonna turn out. It's a subtle difference when I turn it off versus when I turn it on. But it just sounds a little mawr, like one piece, you know, like everything is together. And, um, it sounds like a bunch of stuff in a room together, as opposed to sounding like a bunch of samples in a computer. You know, another thing that this will dio, you know, if you want that, like, fake tape hiss sound, which I think is a little like, played out but that, like Lies, records, everything sounds like it was made in 1985 kind of vibe. This is good for, like, adding that fake tape hiss to it, which you can't really here. But there's faked APIs, um, and then, uh, also wow and flutter. This will kind of simulate while and flutter, which is So you have an old tape deck right, which is physically tape on reels. Being driven by a little motor that spends the real around and wow and flutter Is that sound that you have on old tape decks where the high end sounds a little war belief, right? And I'll give you this piano here to give you an example of what that sounds like with the setting really turned up, you know, higher than you'd ever use it just to give you an example. Um, where's the mixer channel? There we go. You hear how that sends modulated like it's got a vibrato on it, and if you turn it down to a level, words there. But it's not really noticeable. It can add a kind of sense of, you know, if you're trying to make something that has an older vibe to it. If you're making, like, a dub reggae record or ah, or a disco record or house record, that's tryingto sound like the sixties or seventies or eighties that can really like just having it there to where it's so like. It's not something you're audibly aware of, but it's still there in the mix. Can add that kind of like verisimilitude to your record, make it sound a little more authentic, you know, um and then, uh, yeah, that's about I mean, there's also like, some feedback and, uh, kind of reverb things, this conduce. But I think using actual delay and reverb plug ins is you have a little more control, so I've never I don't generally use them for that. But yeah, I think I think that kind of tape simulation is really useful for, um, getting your mixes to come together a little better. And, uh, let's see here next we can talk a little bit about actually mixing stuff down and getting everything. How you want it to sound. We do have one question for Michael about using multiple re verbs and delays on your drums. Do you first put everything in a room and place the sounds and then go to the more creative and wild stuff? Or did you just start off with wild stuff? If that's what you're going for? Yeah, I mean, it depends on the kind of record you know, if you're doing like a house or a techno record, it's it's generally not gonna You're not gonna be trying to sound like it's in a real room, anyway. It's It's a synthetic kind of thing, Um, but I usually even in that context will try and do some subtle stuff first. You know, I feel like this clap needs a little bit of reverb to blend into the sound. I feel like this snare needs a little bit. Just a tiny bit of delay on it. You know, this kick needs to be acute. I'll do those things that or are mostly imperceptible. And then once I have everything like that, like I'm happy with it, Then I'll do the flashy stuff, you know? So I guess the differences between you have effects that you're using to get your sound shaped into a better sound, and then you have effects that you're using is like G. That was a cool trick, you know, and I don't. I'll do the shaping of the sound first and then put the effects that are more flashy, like showpiece effects in and then usually do a little more shaping. Once I've done those to get everything really perfect and sitting well in the mix. Yeah. So, um yeah, and then kind of It's an example of that. Here. All, uh, show you here, so I'm gonna go ahead on these channels. This clap. I feel like there's a little bit of mud here in this track that I wanna get Rid of So, um and it might not be something that you hear. Uh, but here, here, in this room, with these speakers, I hear it. So, um, I'm gonna take the clap, which is not a sound with any real low end. I'm gonna cut everything below Hertz. Just cut it out on this roll off that I'm changing here. You can see that That changes the slope of how quickly it cuts off, and it's measured in how many decibels it cuts per active. So basically, what this is saying is that see, one is gonna be 24 decibels quieter than see two if it's set a 24 db to the active, Um, and so on. That's below the cut off point, of course. And so I'm gonna do that from a clap for my Congo. And you can just go through all these tracks, uh, that Don't you know all your high pitched percussion and cut all of this like low end reverb and muddiness and stuff you don't need. Cut it right out. If it starts to sound thin or you sound like you're missing something, then maybe see if one of those tracks had a little Maurin It like this snare And we think of a snare is like a high instrument. But you listen to that. You hear? There's a lot of room in that you can hear the room reverberating a lot of that snare. There's some kind of rich sounds in the in the low end, so I don't really wanna rob the whole track of that. So maybe all Ah, cut everything below 60 because I remember the kick drum is right around 60. And so I don't want to cut out the low end of that snare. But I do want to cut out any part that's gonna fight with the kick drum, so I'll cut 60 and below out instead of 100. And it's not gonna make a huge difference, but will make a small difference. So I've got this, Um, I think the big key at this point, you know, if you have ah, structure if you have a structure that you're happy with, um, listen to the whole thing a lot. Listen to it in mono. Listen to it in your car. If you have one, listen to it in your IPod on your bike or on the train or whatever. Um, don't ride your bike with your IPod. You'll get hurt. But, uh, do they say not as I do on and, uh, yeah, this Listen for anything that's wrong and try and, uh, fix that before you go into, like, finalizing your mix and your mix down. Um and then so So let's give this spend some time with this to see if anything jumps out at us. I think that baseline could be a little louder. So I'm gonna turn that up a little bit, just one decibel into my ears that pianos a little too loud. So I'm gonna drop that down half a. So once you've got that kind of, you know, once you've got your track mixed, how you like, you've got it structured. Then you can do another pass of looking at adding, you know, fun effects and stuff like that to it. Um, let's say maybe we wanted some delay on this snare that comes in. I'm gonna set this. Okay, so it's a dotted eighth note I'm gonna set to where it bounces back and forth and has a little bit of that, like muddy muck on it. So I've got this set. You'll see to 100% dry, and I'm going to add an automation. Uh, I'm gonna automate the the amount of what to dry ratio. Let's here and you can see as I pull this it changes on the actual plug in a swell. So then what? I can dio We've got this this breakdown here Unless, you know, let's say I want to get a little weird with it. I can bring this up. You can fear that DeLay fading in. So that sounded good for, like, that breakdown. But then I don't want that delay into the track. If I just faded out, it'll sound like a pretty obvious fade out of the delay. And so I think what I prefer to dio is to have a really hard fade out right when a snare heads and so the snare kind of, um, how do I put this? You have that fade out. Instead of having that fadeout noise, it just goes right into a snare that that is the end of the delay. So I think that helps is another very subtle thing that adds the like the punch of that breakdown one more time