Cognizance Mix: Kicks and Snare
So we left off with, uh, adding dynamics to kick drums in a death metal songs. Um, I'm just wondering if you guys all kind of get that at this point you were saying during the break, you're telling me that this is kind of like adding dynamics back into a performance? Um, and I believe that where we stopped was these individual accent points just getting back to where we were right here, so okay, so what's going on is as having you guys follow along with the automation on the kick drums and paying attention to how it fits with the music. And keep in mind that this this automation lane right here, is bypassing a high pass filter, meaning is cutting out low end, and this one right here is bypassing a low pass filter, which means that it is cutting out high end, and the low pass filter also drops down the volume by a two d be so here goes it's going to get the idea. I think I wanted to kind of start off kind of where we left off, but you guys get the idea and sure, that that's about that's...
, about the level of automation that I'll put into a a kick track now there are a few different ways to skin the cat like um I have tried a few different methods I don't have this in any of these mixes so I'll just kind of explain it where say you have this one you know this this kick drum but you divided into four tracks for like, say for velocity layers or four volume levels or for q situations just you know, whatever whatever it is but so like say on track one would be everything that happens at this speed so I mean I'll just make a very good track just to kind of demonstrate so like you go through to the original kick track and uh cut out like say that this bottom tracker just made his just for fast stuff that has the high pass filter on it okay, so you go through the song and, uh you cut out that stuff and then ah you know and then you do the same thing for every different volume layer and uh what's good about that the goods good about that method? Is that it's way easier to control? Like say that double bass that this speed happens like nine times throughout the song uh if you're doing it all on one track like I have there, you have to go and automate each one of the nine instances same and uh, you know, if you want to change it, if you decide that you're half a tv off and to go on do them all the same within that single track however um with the method I just showed you of all the different velocity layers or whatever are on separate tracks you just in a tweet that overall logging on that track you're done so it's ah it's a pretty cool thing I've done that on a few mixes and and I like it uh because of the particular situation I was in with this one I went like this for the reasons of getting things done quickly because I had no time and uh you guys remember my slide from yesterday time is not on your side when it comes to mixing it's not your friend so uh let's keep talking about this we're talking about the drums get these soloed and uh if you hear that um you listen through here well, obviously they're samples on these drums you know, its death metal it doesn't sound that faith this is not like we're listening to a drum machine. Yeah ok, I wanted to kind of like play through a few different parts like blast beads and some fast feels it. Let me see if there's like some mega phil here to kind of it was straight what I'm about teo explain because a mega mega phil would be cool I don't know how many you guys out here program drums but program fills don't sound like that so how do you get drums in this genre of music that air this fast and still have them sound relatively riel yet not have them get completely lost by a wall of guitars okay, so first thing you've got to do obviously is control of the dynamics within the within the performance of the drums themselves so that they get louder and softer and change tone like they would with the driver plane um but another thing that you can do is a lot of aa lot of snare automation now for some reason I didn't have to do a crazy crazy amount on this song it was very kind of sounded the way the band wanted it to sound uh which is you know, sometimes you get lucky but one of the one of the things that you normally would do is and no show you that we got snare top snare bottom and a sample and a parallel so a sample so this is not like I'm in sample city anyways, but typically what you do is just for instance, turned down the sample on the super fast parts but the way that I got around this was that I printed the samples with dynamics so as you can see right here that I did this in order to save myself a lot of time um this right here the one this is sneer big that's my sample track uh if this was, um you know, another time period or something like that I would have done this dynamic free now it doesn't I'm not going to say that it matches exactly what the natural drum is doing but ah if you compare it to the snare top I'll put the sample next to the snare top it is uh you know, it is kind of it is kind of doing similar things like ok, so maybe that the snare top is going soft, soft really loud this is going sauce off louder and one of the reasons to use samples to get a little bit more of a consistent tone in a consistent dynamic so you don't want your samples to be wildly all over the place, but you notice this is quieter then say theo samples and I didn't have to do it with automation and printed it that way and uh yeah, but france and sometimes I still did have tio tweak the automation because it just sounded too robotic to me so as you can see right here abroad to sample down how much how much is that by one point five d b and I brought up the natural snare by the same amount, so I see what I did with the bottom stair and I also brought up the bottom snare by three d b uh pro tip bottom snare mike is probably, in my opinion out of all your different snare mike options snare tone options that's the one that's going to keep things sounding the most riel like if you say if you completely got rid of your snare top microphones but then had your snare bottom and uh you know natural snare bottom and just samples you could get away with making it sound real so when you have fast parts and blast beats parse it er in question about sounding too robotic uh a good friend tio a good friend of rely on is your bottom snare so typically uh if if I bring up the snare top in a blasted by like one and a half tb I'll bring up the bottom by three d v er is usually I'll go twice as much on the bottoms they do on the top um and that gives it much more of a natural sound and uh just listened through some of this this the same with phil's I bring up bring up the bottom snare on phil's bring down the sample someone fill so on some of this stuff even though even though I printed the sample with dynamics to kind of match the performance uh there still is sometimes you do have to do automation or will sound like a drum machine so lee some of those to me some more robotic than others but that's a choice there's some that bugged me and some that didn't and so I did the volume tricks on the ones that didn't mean you just have tio use your better judgment and see see how you feel about that also I've did put a parallel camp on the sample um for the sample back and all I did was duplicate the track and do some meat you see what the what that's all about track not much on it just to meet you yeah and then they listen into this without the peril compression track in there now here's what the apparel company I know it's just not like suddenly the snares eighty nine d be louder or anything like that the parallel camp is actually pretty quiet listen todo play this snare the snare sample with it and without just notice the difference it's not just louder it has because not any damage volume uh it's just adding a little bit more punch and it's this uh if you guys can use one of these debates when sixties any riel version of it in real life a hard reversion you should they are there so there's a little pro tip they are a compressor that just does wonderful things for drums you have one by any chance you got to get one nobody don't want myself yeah there that's ah if anyone is asking about go to kind of gear like gear that actually does make a difference the hardware d b x one sixties er on drums they just have a magic to him I mean there are software versions and in my opinion the u eighty one is pretty damn close to the real thing but you know if you're going to buy a cheap compressor get that one for drums but you notice on this mix this isn't all that complicated as faras snares go there's not like eight million snares there's a top of bottom a sample on apparel compression no and then it goes to snare bus and that's it done and it works you don't always need to have a million samples in there um and the initial mix that got rejected had a million samples in it but uh may see it I'm doing anything different on the parallel khan a swell each you wise yes I cut out the low end I guess ah and the reason for that eyes because I didn't want it even though when you come whenever you compress something unless it's ah compressor that's got a mixed not on it or some sort of filter you know roll off on it or whatever or uh bypassing frequencies whatever there's different ways to do it when you compress something typically it will get rid of low end for you and so but in this particular case it was in getting rid of enough low end and I didn't want to be compressing low end and I didn't want to be adding low end into the snare what I wanted was to be adding cut that's why did the peril come because I felt like without it stan was just kind of getting lost and so we're talking about how you get this snare tio cut through u e q e q the parallel snared to kind of be what you want and then you compress the living hell out of it blended in you've done that's basically the way to go about it so and ah and this brings up a point I want to talk about uh about in what order to do things because I get asked aa lot about what you seek you before compression or compression before e q sort of thing what order to do lots of things and and the order you do things and makes a huge huge difference um for instance if I was compressing we're still talking with the parallel about the peril cop track if I was compressing at first like I just said and then cueing it what I'd be compressing is the full range full frequency snare would be compressing the low end and everything uh so what I'd be getting is some sort of compressed version of everything but that's not what I want so what I'm trying to add to the track on trying to add his cut so why s o u e q before compression so that what you're compressing is exactly what you want to be putting into your mix. Um and that you know, a lot of that goes is well for like, save vocals like say that there's you know how we talked about pinning the meter on an eleven seventy six as the first thing in the chain? Well, there's, lots of problems in the vocal tracks like what's a pluses and lots of away too many assets like more than usual more than the usual amount that you would needed. Yes, or just like just some nasty, nasty frequencies that that you have to get rid of it. You take that and feed that into the compressor. Well, guess what is going to get smashed and brought up to the you know, brought up to be these loud is everything else is going to be all the problems in the vocal track. So, that's, why you do q before the compressor to correct a meek you you do a corrective. E q before the compressor compress how you, uh, you know, compress, hate the hearing. People say to taste, but that's good, what you do, you know, compress it the way you want it, whether it's, uh, to get it smashed or just controllable, danny, max or whatever, and then if you want to do more e. Q. Then that's, where you, you do the q. You need tio shape the tone to fit into the mix. Um, in my opinion, that that's the order ago.
Mastery of compression, EQ, reverb, and effects is essential for every mixer no matter the genre. In GearGods Presents: Mastering Metal Mixing: Fundamentals, Eyal Levi of Audiohammer Studios will show you how to apply those fundamentals to metal’s unique challenges.
In this class Eyal will show how you can use EQ in Pro Tools to carve out space for every element in the mix. You’ll learn how to mix all the typical elements of a metal song: vocals, bass, guitar, drums, synths and effects. He’ll also teach you how to use bussing, compression, and effects to help drums, vocals, and guitars cut through the track without overpowering it.
Tune in to Mastering Metal Mixing: Fundamentals and learn how to fit everything into a metal mix.