Mix Prep Q&A 2

 

Gear Gods presents Studio Pass: Kurt Ballou

 

Lesson Info

Mix Prep Q&A 2

All right, well, I'm going to throw it at you hear from study with two d's study I who says I always take clean no bleed samples of the drum kit at the start of tracking why not use the samples to replace the bad bleed covered tracks for example take ten or more samples of clean tom hits and replace the close mikes with clean samples? What do you think about this approach? Yes, I have absolutely done this and uh there are arguments for and against that and thie arguments for that is that it's ah more organic tone and related to the drum set so and not you know, I'm not some sort of pre packaged canned sort of tone thie arguments against that or I said I'll just word of caution make sure that if you're doing that you're taking samples make sure the drummer gives you a really wide dynamic range of hits to choose from. Typically when a drummer is recording samples they are playing harder than they are in the context of the song, so make sure you have a wide range of things to choose from ...

if you need to replace those andi also not all dead center hit some ofthe center hits because you know, especially with tom's people have tend to have a pretty wide wear pattern on the drum because they're not as accurate on tom's is they tend to be on the snare on I'll also take that even one step further and say that if you choose to take samples of the bass drum make sure that those stables include both hits that are with the beater resting against the head after it struck and with the beater bouncing off the head after it struck when you're resting the beater you tend to have a much shorter decay then when you bounce the beater so like instances of double bass playing or any sort of super fast bass drumming they're not resting to beat it ron on the head as they're going through a little bit because they're complete pulling it off but in slower bass drumming they tend teo rest the beater on the head so make sure you have both versions of those samples you should choose to replace any bass drums that you know when you do a double bass stuff you're pulling the resident sounds if you want to feel realistic and even single base you're doing that more dead type of sounds the reason not to do that aside from you know just just the pain in the ass that is replacing drum hits is especially toms which tend to be very dynamic and it's hard to really mimic those dynamics with samples the other is not to do it is theirs there will actually be a phase relationship between the original tom track and your new tom tracks since is the same tone so um you know, you really have to be very careful about lining up for transients exactly when doing it that way so that the trees, you know, the sample is in the exact same location as the transition of the original hit. If you don't do that, then your phase relationship between your sample and your overhead might wander from hit to hit, so you just have to be a little careful with that. And for that reason, I actually find that when I okay, and I don't do it often, but when I do bring samples in teo a set up, I will I'll use samples from some other session or from some sample pre pack or something like that because I know that those samples will have no, I don't think no phase relationship, but it's, the phase relationship is much less important when using a sample from another recording session that being said, it's, great to have staples of your jumps at as a safety, and I do it all the time because sometimes you might have a bad hit here. There you might want to just replace one bad hit or maybe there's like a riff with a much about hits, if you know, common problem is, you know, a drummer who who plays too high on their snared on when they're playing a high hat being you might want to replace all the snares for just the high happy but you might want not wanna have to replace the snare for the entire songs then if you have samples replace just in the area that you need without affecting the rest of the track and same thing with double bass actually, one technique that some drummers use when recording double bass is if they know that they can't play a superfast double bass pattern is accurately as they want to when that double bass pattern comes up they'll just stop playing with your feet entirely and just do hands on lee and then it'll be up to you as an engineer to create a crypt a kick track for that section and if you have samples of the actual drums said you could drop those in too on ly that section requires it without having to lose the natural feel from the rest of the song so yeah um yeah that's uh yeah that's that's what if when when you're actually dropping the samples and do you do that manually do do with like di rt and trigger like a lot of people do are um well from dropping them in manually then I use a bunch of things like should we could just do a little example when I was two in the tom editing well it's kind drop into uh you know I'll do it on the track grow this snare little howie's pro tools track large okay, so let's just say for example that I want to replace every time every snare hit with a tom or that I just I just use a thomas an example so let me make another track here and then I'll sign the output of that track to my rod tracks and look at that a little bigger and it's going to have to skip over these flames for now because you might handle those little differently but just a few backbeats here of snare I'll just do the same thing I do when I was editing tom's where I'm in I have my keyboard shortcuts turned on tad the transient is turned on and I'm just having over to the beginning of the transient of each sneer head okay then actually gonna put this track up above that ok to say I've already edited these tom things so I'm just going to pretend that this is a snare sample that I that I recorded after the session I just copy this rack tom, pace it up there and let some let's actually make this a little bit bigger it's actually easier to edit a large or to move around a larger segment so I'm grabbing the rack track and I'ma hit all shift three which is a short cut for consolidate region so now I have this sample up here, which is, you know, a tom track, but let's pretend it's a snare and I wantto align it with this region. Some click on this region and then control click and it will snap the beginning of my tom sample region to the same position as that, okay? And then now I have one of two ways that I can also apply this to all the other regions mean, let me actually make a few more regions. I'm I'm kind of just going to pretend this snare is not a flam and not worry about how we handle that. So we have a few to deal with here, um and, uh, I can now either it's control option click on this and it will snap a copy of this region lined up with that. Um, the other thing I can do is I'm just gonna remove that for now and bring this back out to its original size, okay, the other way that I can do this if I have a lot of these two do this little faster. Is it's been a while? So I've done this, so bear with me if I mess up, you grab that, I'm gonna copy, so in approaches, I just press see the coffee, but I can also do it as an edit copy or made apple see um how things just see, okay, someone copy and then I'm going to turn off taba transient. So now when tab to transit has turned off, as I tab, it will not follow the transients, but it will just have to the beginning of the next region. Okay, so I'm gonna have the transient and then I'm going to shift, click my, um my triggered track and now when I tap over to the next one it's tabbing over on both my original snare track and my trigger track, then I compressed the and it will paste the copied sneer trigger onto the new track. And now, at this point, I can just keep doing tabby tab the tab, the tab, the all the way to the end of the song from replacing every hit or if it's, just a section where replacing every head, I can just keep doing tabby tabby tabby, if you want to have any variance in the tones like if you want to have, like left hits and write hits like you got to do that a little bit more manually. But if there's just like a segment where you want a bunch of identical hits, like in the case of a double bass section, you might want to do this, or, um you know, double bass sections more than likely you're you know doing some kind of super perfect recording technique and you're on a grid and you could just say like uh eighth notes career didn't just make it all happen but that's this is one way to without any kind of triggering plug an application to just manually place a bunch of samples that's that goes relatively quickly ray I'm gonna delete this tracks that it doesn't screw me up in the future that's probably smart while you're doing that you plan to cover automation at all we've got a question about that uh sure I mean this this there's a lot of kinds of automation specific two drums dude bro do you grow uh was wondering whether you ever use volume automation to achieve a similar result too for tom getting oh yeah I used to do it with I didn't used to edit the drum the toms I used to do that all with volume automation is certainly a viable way to do it you don't have the benefit of that roll your own crossover thing where the decay is a warmer tone then the attack when you do with volume animation the other reason not to do volume automation aside from it being more time consuming you don't have that you don't have like the taba tree indian automation much are the excuse me the tab transient option in writing volume automation quite as easily um but as you start to stack up things in pro tools and add add things that consumes system resource is the automation tabs actually become less accurate and there could be a bit of a time lag in the volume automation they may have fixed that in pro tools eleven but I know that I'm running ten mac and I see subtle lags in time so when I'm doing automation two guitars for example I have to sort of anticipate it sometimes andi I when I'm writing automation I tend to treat it more like I'm doing a fader so there's like it's slower movements rather than just you know instantaneous up and downs so I've had better luck to you with editing but you know if if volume automation works for you that's great just another thing about automation before I forget you know I do mentioned earlier about automating the spl transient designer on drums once in a while if you have ah passage where it's too technical for the drummer's strike is hard as you want to hear it struck and I might turn that my turn trains in designer on for that stuff thie other thing that I like to do is automaton my overhead volume in relation to my room mike volume depending on the temple of song so slower songs might get a little bit more room mike and faster songs mike favor the overhead a little bit and then also with with regards to reverb, time on the drums were really the whole mix. Faster songs might have a shorter reverb times slower songs I have longer reverb times and I think we've got time for one more if the answers quick from slow I you experiment with the curves of the fades when doing the tom editing, do you find that any particular curve seems to impart a more natural decay? Yes, for sure. And that's that's something that is up to you in the song, but yeah, I tend to go with just whatever the default iss, but an s curve can be nice or, you know, all the all the different shapes and the lengths of them can vary a lot it's all sort of something you just gotta determine on the fly. If you were listening to tom's in solo, I think that would be a lot more important than if you had, you know, overheads and ra mikes and stuff factoring, and I think that the editing that I'm doing is actually because a drum set is, you know, there's a lot of inherent bleed within all the microphones on the drum set that kind of makes that tom editing a lot more forgiving and you could be tolerant of, you know, a super fast fade here are super slow fade there if circumstances dictated

Class Description


In this two-day course, prolific producer Kurt Ballou will take you behind-the-scenes of GodCity Studios to show you exactly how the magic happens. This all-access studio pass will immerse you in every aspect of Kurt’s distinctive sound — from choosing and setting up gear, to tracking and mixing.

Kurt will show you the basic and advanced techniques he uses in his studio every day, and teach you how to apply them to your own recording — regardless of whether you’re working in a studio or at home with a DIY setup. Using anecdotes from his years behind the board, Kurt will also teach you his best practices for working with bands to extract the best and most inventive sounds.

Reviews

Keith Foster
 

First off, even though I'm neither a beginner nor a recording professional, this class is absolutely worth the money you spend on it - especially if you plan on making heavy music. There are enough tips, tricks and guidance in here to get your money's worth many times over. That said, as an indie artist who goes to a studio to record drum tracks, then does the rest ina home studio I found some of the things disheartening. Much of the class follows a "I do this thing using item / amp / microphone / plugin (X), it's pretty cool" vibe, and it sounds cool.... until you check the price. As an example, the 'stereo buss processing' section sounds fun to try, except for the part where the three pieces of gear cost about $8K. As a result I found myself figuring out how to incorporate the essence of what he was saying without the gear budget to do so. Maybe I'm not the intended audience but a little more concept and less gearhead would have been even better. That said you should totally get it, it's a low price for so many hours of great content.