Two Methods of Drum Production
The world of drums there, it's very deep er there's two, two ways to record drums and edit drums and I want to talk about these two ways. So the classic way is record all the drums at the same time and edit all the drugs in a group which preserves the phase relationship between each microphone. This is kind of the traditional way of of what you think of when you're when you're talking about a drummer going to the studio and recording the drums that you put up all the mikes you set everything up, you hook it up to the computer, the drummer performs the song and then you record all the different microphones. That's, that's, the classic way uh, the advanced way is recording all the drums separately, and this is this is pretty difficult for some drummers because they they know and perform the song in a set way. And so when you start to break that down into a bunch of different things, it becomes difficult, so not everyone can do it the advanced way, but if you do it the advanced way um, th...
ere's, some pros and cons let's talk about the pros and cons of the classic way first, uh, so the one of the best things about doing it the classic way is pretty obvious the field of the performance is going to come from the drummer, um now there's all kinds of different styles of music, and they all call for different styles of production, but for the kind of production that I do, I feel like sometimes it makes more sense to for me to have more control over over the drums than it does tau let the drummer control that, so it just really depends on how technical I think the music is now, if I'm going to record foo fighters, I probably don't want to mess with editing at all. I would rather just record the drummer um, so one of the best ways the classic ways you get to maintain the field of the drunk, the drummer as a performer and has a unique performance takes less time to record an edit and it's also easier for the drummer to play some of the cons is that the producer doesn't have full control over the performance there's only certain, uh, there's only a certain number of edits that you could actually do before you can't move something this far or before you can't separate something, and, um, the editing requires a drum mikes to be edited as one unit, which is basically the same thing is kind of sometimes you can get away with sliding the kick a little bit. Off from the phase of the rest of the microphones and stuff, because it's a little bit more forgiving, but, uh, you're still limited some of the pros and cons of the advanced way the producer has complete control over editing each individual part uh, that's, just because, you know, when you record each drum in its own, in its own group, it has no bleed into the other microphone, so you can just move it wherever you want. Uh, the phase issues in the comb filtering is less of a concern because because it is separate and you can move it separately, and the producer can create his own field so you can actually go in and swing, beats a little bit and move things more freely. The cons are you have to record every single part separately and it's difficult for the drummer to do, and the producer has to have the technical and creative ability to hear what they're building. Um, so we're going to talk aboutthe steps to get started with the classic editing you're gonna put all of your takes into a folder, and you're going to then clean up the takes, and the reason why you want to do that is because you don't want to be cleaning up the takes while you're doing the editing, um, because then you're you're focusing more on cleaning it up, then you are editing it you also want to make sure that all the takes of the same length because if you don't you'll you'll run into a bunch of problems and I'll show you why here in a minute and then finally you want to group all the takes and, uh oh, yeah and also move the first hit to the first down be but let's let's let's zoom in here and show you what I mean. Um, so this is the classic editing way that I'm going to show you because the advanced way I think is a little bit more, um obscure and probably not as useful to most people because it's it's actually such a pain to do ah with the classic way you you basically have two scenarios that you're dealing with, you've got early hits and you've got late hits so there's two different things you have to do based on on those two things, so if it's if the hit is early, you need to cut before the hit and move it later and you can see that demonstrated right there on the slide and then if the cut or if the hit is late, then you actually need to cut before the position where you want to hit to land and move it earlier in time so this is the result of an early hit at it. Um, if you look, we started here and we made the cut, and then we moved it later in time to put it closer to the grid marker. And then if we look at the late hit, you can see the arrows pointing to that line that's where we're going to make the cut, which is still in front of of the grid marker, but, uh, away from the hit. So that gives us some space to move the hit backwards and then that's the result right there. So how do we know where to cut? And how do we know what to trust when we look? We're looking at our tracks. Well, first, you have to know how sound travel works sound takes time to travel, so it travels through the air and it goes all around the room. So it starts with the source, and then it goes away from the source that travels. So let's, look at this picture here and you can see the snare drum. I have it circled there with the red circle. When you hit that snare drum, the sound of the snare is going to go away from the drum, and if you look at our room, we have a bunch of different mike set up, so in the red circles on this slide you khun see where all the different microphones are throughout the room now when you hit that snare drum sounds going to come out and travel through the air and go to all the different microphones but it's going to land on each microphone at different times so the microphone closest to the snare drum circled in red has the orange line coming from the snare to the mike that shows you that that line is so short that the sound coming from the snare is going to go through that microphone first and then the yellow line you can see is unlike that's much further away from the snare drum it's going to take longer for that sound to reach that microphone so that's actually going to appear to be late in the tracks so let's look at q base here I have ah drum session open I'm gonna show you what I'm talking about so this is just I'll just play this performance just so you know what we're working with here pretty basic beat sounds like it's in time it doesn't sound like it's faster slow or anything like that um the drummer that played this is is a very good drummer but I want to show you with the clique and see if you can hear anything that's wrong okay so what you might hear is it sounds like it's pretty dead on but for me it's just enough off that I need to correct it. And that's just because a lot of my productions are very precision based now, if I zoom in here, I'm going to show you the grid versus what he played. So if you pay attention to this top area is going to show you the different beats. And as we go along in the performance, we can see that his hits are lining up very close to those beats because he's a really good drummer he's on time. But I also want to convey, like if you see, you can see that as the as he hits the kick drum, it takes time to travel to all the various microphones. And as we go from direct to room, you can see how it actually travels, you know, takes time to travel each one. Um, that was we go along here, you're going to see a little bit so, like this kick hit and in particular is a little bit early. Um, same. There is going to keep looking. So this is really early. That's here's the grid line. That is where it should be. And here's how early it is.
Joey Sturgis is the producer behind some of the biggest names in metalcore, including Asking Alexandria, Of Mice & Men, and I See Stars. His style is one of the most sought after sounds of the last decade and in Studio Pass he’ll show you how he produces it.
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