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Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp

Lesson 63 of 74

Drum Mixing - Subtractive EQ


Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp

Lesson 63 of 74

Drum Mixing - Subtractive EQ


Lesson Info

Drum Mixing - Subtractive EQ

Welcome to day 15 of my metal recording bootcamp with monuments, at Creative Live. I hope that you guys have been following along this whole time because today we're gonna start getting really into this mix. If you don't even know what I'm talking about, or haven't been following along, there's been 14 days ahead of this, hence why I said welcome to day 15. And you can purchase the beginning and binge watch it all the way up to here so that you know what's going on. If that's not important to you, just let's talk some mixing. So, where we left off was I had routed everything, did some gain staging. As you can see it's a pretty big session. I got everything routed. I gain staged it so that it's quiet and there's plenty of headroom. I have all the different instruments coming in on the seven AUX's before they go to the master bus. Okay, for master bus processing. And I kinda want to do as much on these AUX's as possible, before I really start to go crazy with the individual tracks. Numbe...

r one, because it will if I do some processing on these AUX's it will reveal problems in the other tracks, it will show me things I need to fix as well as say that there's a build up of a certain frequency or something, if I just take care of it in the AUX, I won't have to do as much processing to the individual tracks. The other reason is that we recorded this at Clear Lake Studios in California, and we thought it sounded pretty cool leaving there, so, I don't wanna just zero it all out and start from scratch. So I'm trying to kind of mix around it before I have to start redoing the things from California, or ditching them completely. And I'm totally open to ditching things completely, but this is the way I'm doing it. I'm trying to simplify it and go with broad strokes first. And as problems are revealed I will solve them and this will start sounding amazing. So, I'll show you guys where the drums were yesterday. (drumming) Okay, so, I added a few things. I added an EQ to kinda roll off some lows and very highs, to give it a little bit of high end extension around 10 as well. I found that there were some nasties between four and six, so I with a wide Q, I knocked some of that out. I also noticed that I can't even read what that says, but I think that that's 500. With a pretty wide Q I knocked a little bit of that out too, that's just like a garbage frequency area, and the room that we recorded in had just this bump in the garbage frequency areas anyways, so, it's always nice to remove when possible. And then I bumped 60, just a little. So I rolled it off up to 50, and then bumped it at 60 just a little bit. So. (drumming) If anything, you can just hear that the low end got a little bigger, and, it got a little less harsh. But it still, when I turn it up loud, let me scoot forward. I put a limiter on here to get it loud. So check out what happens. You'll notice that the high end and the low end are just out of control. (drumming) So I put a multi-band on here to control both the low end and the high end. (drumming) Hear that difference? Like, without the multi-band, the low end is just going insane. Check that out again. (drumming) Of course, I'll adjust that over time to make perfect sense of the base, but. (drumming) I still felt like the cymbals were a little pokey, and shrilly and whistly, instead of doing some EQ, I just thought that maybe Virtual Tape Machine could smooth it out a little. And it has a little. (drumming) Okay, but all that work and I still feel like the kicks are out of control, like I'm hearing a lot more than just the kick in the low end, and it's really annoying me, and it's been annoying me. So I went and I actually isolated the kick bus, and I added this EQ. And I rolled off some more extreme lows, and it didn't make any difference at all. And so I figured to myself that's gotta be coming from somewhere else. And here you go, we recorded Anup Sastry in that big live room and he's one of the most powerful creators I've ever worked with. He played a natural kick, and there's a ton of kick in the room mics. And he hits his kicks really, really hard, so you've got bass drum all over the place, and, looking through the processing that I had done on the rooms, it doesn't look like it doesn't look like I attempted to completely get rid of every shred of kick evidence in all these tracks. And let me just show you what happens when you take the rooms out of the equation. They're kinda loud now, but they're gonna need some work, as well, check it out. I'm gonna play it with and without the rooms. (drumming) Massive difference, those rooms need a lot of work. When you take them out, there's still work to do on the drums, but, but damn. They're way way closer without those rooms. So, I'm gonna mute them for the time being. Let's take a look at what else we've got going on here. (drumming) Okay, I am going to remove the low end from these cymbals. Looks like I already did it on the spot mics, but I didn't really do it on the overheads. So I'm gonna do that on the overheads, 'cause the kicks that we've got are more than big enough, like don't need any help in the low end department, especially uncontrolled low end department. So, let me just check my overhead group and see what is in it. Perfect. So you can see plugins, volume, mute, do sends as well. Cool, so, got a Q1 happening. And then I'm just gonna listen for when the kick, or the low end stops being kind of annoying. (drumming) I feel like there's some whistly, some whistly frequencies that I could probably get rid of on these cymbals. The reason I'm saying that is because I already tried doing a general dip on the EQ that was on the AUX, and I still hear some of these whistlys. So I'm going to zero in on them and get them taken care of now. Every set of cymbals tends to have these, and they're so annoying. They make things painful. So. (drumming) I need a section where he's hitting the crashes or something. (drumming) It's better, I still hear a few. I'm going to take care of them as well. Just gotta find them. Now you wanna make sure to not go overboard, 'cause you don't to completely neuter what you're working on. And just like with guitars, it's the same thing. There's a lot of whistly frequencies in guitars, and you just wanna be really careful not to go too far and completely EQ the life out of it. But, it is good to remove this painful stuff. (drumming) Still hear some. Gotta get rid of it. (drumming) That is awful. (drumming) It's much better. Listen to the difference. (drumming) Cool. (drumming) So that's a lot more pleasant to listen to. Let's hear what else we've got going on. (drumming) Snare's a little pointy. Let's examine. (drumming) Okay. (drumming) There, again, those garbage frequencies just suck. And I am EQing along the bus, seeing what I can get away with. But pretty soon I'm gonna start removing samples and changing them out and getting a few balances different. (drumming) You can use a different plugin to add a little bit of high end back end, 'cause I'm not crazy about the way Q10 does high end. (drumming) Okay, I feel like there's a little too much bottom snare. I'm going to take a look at just the bottom snare real quick. (drumming) I'll see if I can actually get some lows out of that, give it some body. I don't want to, I don't wanna emphasize the highs too much, or it's gonna start to sound really really weird. Papery, almost. (drumming) Kinda kills the low end too much when I have that engaged, wow. (drumming) Alright, so this is a fine, delicate balance here. What I'm trying to do is make the snare bottom a little bit longer, while simultaneously gaining some of those kicks out, so that I don't really bring them out too much. (drumming) There, bottom snare is now not as annoying. (drumming) Gonna add just that gate onto here. Bypass the EQ. No dynamics. (drumming)

Class Description

Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp will give you access to one of metal’s most in-demand producers and educators. You’ll also get to watch the talented and seasoned performers of Monuments show you how to record flawless takes and how to prepare to enter the studio.

Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp is the definitive guide to recording and producing metal. From soup to nuts, start to finish, A to Z, you will learn everything you need to know about recording and producing a metal song.

Eyal Levi will take you inside the studio with Monuments as they record a song from scratch at Clear Lake Recording in Los Angeles. In this bootcamp, you will learn how to:

  • Prepare for a session in preproduction by choosing tempos and organizing the session
  • Record flawless drums from selection and reheading/tuning to mic choice and placement to editing
  • Record rhythm guitars
  • Record clean and lead guitars
  • Record bass guitar
  • Record, edit and tune lead vocals, harmonies, and screams
  • Mix and master from session setup to final bounce


  1. Intro to Bootcamp
  2. Purpose of Pre-Production
  3. Technical Side of Preproduction
  4. Pre-Production: Setting Up the Tempo Map
  5. Pre-Production: Importing Stems
  6. Pre-Production: Click Track
  7. Creating Tracking Templates
  8. Intro and the Tone Pie
  9. Drums - Lay of the Land
  10. Bearing Edges
  11. Wood Types
  12. Depths and Sizes
  13. Hoops
  14. Sticks and Beaters
  15. Drum Heads
  16. Drum Tuning
  17. Drum Mic Placement Intro
  18. Basic Drum Mic Setup
  19. Cymbal Mic Setup
  20. Touch Up Tuning
  21. Microphone Choice and Placement
  22. Drum Tracking Intro
  23. Getting Tones and Final Placement
  24. Primary Tracking
  25. Punching In and Comping Takes
  26. Guitar Setup and Rhythm Tone Tracking
  27. Amplifiers - Lay of the Land
  28. Amplifiers & Cab Shoot Out
  29. Guitar Cab Mic Choice and Placement
  30. Guitar Tracking and Signal Chain
  31. Finalizing Amplifier Tone
  32. Guitar Mic Shootout Round Robin
  33. Intro to Rhythm Tracking
  34. Setting Up Guitars
  35. Working with a Guitarist
  36. Final Guitar Tone and Recap
  37. Guitar Tracking with John
  38. Guitar Tracking with Ollie
  39. Final Tracking
  40. Tracking Quads
  41. Intro to Bass Tone
  42. Bass Tone Setup
  43. Bass Tone Mic Placement
  44. Bass Tracking
  45. Intro to Clean and Lead Tones
  46. Clean Guitar Tones
  47. Lead Tones
  48. Vocal Setup for Tracking
  49. Vocal Mic Selection and Setup
  50. Vocal Mic Shootout
  51. Lead Vocal Tracking
  52. Writing Harmonies
  53. Harmony Vocal Tracking
  54. Vocal Warm Ups
  55. Scream Vocal Tracking
  56. Vocal Tuning and Editing Introduction
  57. Vocal Tuning and Editing
  58. Routing and Bussing
  59. Color Coding, Labeling and Arranging Channels
  60. Setting Up Parallel Compression
  61. Setting Up Drum Triggers
  62. Gain Staging and Trim
  63. Drum Mixing - Subtractive EQ
  64. Drum Mixing - Snare
  65. Drum Mixing - Kick
  66. Drum Mixing - Toms
  67. Drum Mixing - Cymbals and Rooms
  68. Drum Mixing Recap
  69. Mixing Bass Guitar
  70. Mixing Rhythm Guitars
  71. Basic Vocal Mix
  72. Mixing Clean and Lead Guitars
  73. Mixing - Automation
  74. Mastering - Interview with Joel Wanasek



I'm on lesson 19! Already worth every dollar!!! Priceless insight! I have already incorporated some of the ideas (preproduction common sense stuff that I never thought of, but damn). VERY HAPPY with this course! ALWAYS LEARNING and looking forward to the next 50 (or whatever) lessons!!! Excellent course! GREAT PRODUCER/ENGINEER, GREAT DRUM TECH, and GREAT BAND!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!


I'm just part way though and I'm blown away by the quality approach Eyal takes to getting the best out of the sessions. I love how well everything is explained and Eyals calm manner is just awesome it really makes you want to listen to the gems of wisdom he offers.


Amazing knowledge is being presented here. If you want to start out recording, this should be your first step, it'll save you lots of time and get you awesome results. Highly recommended class.