Studio Pass: Periphery

Lesson 21 of 40

Tracking Drum Takes

 

Studio Pass: Periphery

Lesson 21 of 40

Tracking Drum Takes

 

Lesson Info

Tracking Drum Takes

The goal right now is, we're gonna try track this song, "Alpha" from start to finish, one pass through. No punching, no stops, just try to get it from start to finish. And then after we do that, we may go through certain sections and just sort of, show you another way to track, to track drums which would be more so like section by section. So we'll do like the verse, get that good, and then move onto the chorus, and get that and maybe do a couple takes of each. But just to show you some variations in the way that we'll sometimes actually track the song. So, here comes the fun part, the really fun part. Cool. Let me know when you're ready. K. Are you gonna want the whole intro? Like the extended intro? Yeah. Cool. (drums) Okay. Good. Alright, here 'ya go. (keyboard music playing) (heavy metal music) ♪ It's always better on the other side of it ♪ ♪ Wanting what you'll never have ♪ ♪ And it's a goddamn broken state of mind ♪ ♪ Yeah, the one that we've been living in ♪ ♪ It's...

never greener inside the mess we're in ♪ ♪ Wanting what you'll never have ♪ ♪ The less we are content the more we throw away ♪ ♪ What little time we have left to grow ♪ ♪ Separate mind from hate ♪ ♪ Punch through the unknown ♪ ♪ Adamant will to leave the little time we have ♪ ♪ Stop bleeding on the inside, we are alive ♪ ♪ And it's more than enough ♪ ♪ to paint the walls that are white ♪ ♪ Can we show the ones who are blind? ♪ ♪ (Instrumental) ♪ ♪ It's envy been eating away at the core of us ♪ ♪ Wanting what you'll never have ♪ ♪ Isn't it the point of living to breathe ♪ ♪ Knowing this is all we need ♪ ♪ It's never greener inside the mess we're in ♪ ♪ Wanting what you'll never have ♪ ♪ The less we are content the more we throw away ♪ ♪ What little time we have left to grow ♪ ♪ Separate mind from hate ♪ ♪ Punch through the unknown ♪ ♪ Adamant will to leave the little time we have ♪ ♪ Stop bleeding on the inside, we are alive ♪ ♪ And it's more than enough ♪ ♪ to paint the walls that are white ♪ ♪ Can we show the ones who are blind? ♪ ♪ Stop bleeding on the inside, we are alive ♪ ♪ And it's more than enough ♪ ♪ to paint the walls that are white ♪ ♪ Can we show the ones who are blind? ♪ ♪ Can we show the ones who are blind? ♪ ♪ (Instrumental music) ♪ ♪ Stop bleeding on the inside, we are alive ♪ ♪ And it's more than enough ♪ ♪ to paint the walls that are white ♪ ♪ Can we show the ones who are blind? ♪ ♪ Stop bleeding on the inside, we are alive ♪ ♪ And it's more than enough ♪ ♪ to paint the walls that are white ♪ ♪ Can we show the ones who are blind? ♪ ♪ (Instrumental music) ♪ ♪ Fly past the withered trees ♪ ♪ Ascend to holy air and breathe ♪ ♪ Fly past the withered trees ♪ ♪ Ascend to holy air and breathe ♪ ♪ (Instrumental music) ♪ ♪ This want is menacing, it will not leave us be ♪ ♪ Can we purge this? ♪ ♪ The bastard in our brain will chew until it bleeds ♪ ♪ How did we get like this? ♪ ♪ How did we get like this? ♪ ♪ Step out in the rain ♪ ♪ Step out in the rain ♪ ♪ Feel life in our ♪ ♪ Feel life in our ♪ ♪ Veins ♪ (instrumental music) Drums. Is that alright? Yeah. That was great. We just need to check something. The performance was great - sounds awesome. Just not sure of Pro-tools Just not sure of Pro-tools. Sorry. We're just not sure if Pro Tools is showing us something incorrectly, or if there's something weird going on. K, you need me to do it again? Do you need me to track it again? Do you need me to track it again? There we go. Do you need me to track it again? I don't think so. I'm just going to check something out. Okay. Cool. So while, they're ahhh, I'll talk for a second. So while they're figuring out whatever is wrong with the Pro Tools, that take is pretty close to what I would perform in a live setting. Over time of playing the song over and over in front of audiences. I've sort of settled into certain little nuances, or certain habits with this song. So there's a couple sections that I just maybe do a variance from what was on the record. But for the most part, that was pretty straight-forward. You know, if I'm being honest about my own take, there was a couple really little subtle things that I might do different, like there was a part where I could have played the high hat with the left foot, but decided not to, and it's little things like that that don't necessarily affect the song overall, you know, the structure of the song. But maybe could be something that we would, if the take was really good, if the performance was good, and maybe I missed that, the high hat chicks on one section, we may go back in and record maybe just that one section. Or even if the take is really good, just record high hat chicks, and it's not like it's something that couldn't physically do so every now and then if you just need to go in and kind of use a (high hat) sample of the high hat like that, you can do that kind of layer it in. So, it's not something we do often, but it's a possibility if the take is really that good. So, do you need to check something here? I'll check the tuning. They're very confident that this is just a glitch in how.. Don't worry, you don't need to get up. (drum sounds) In how Pro Tools is displaying things, but just so we don't sign off on something that is flawed, just trying to reload the graphic. It just looks like - these are holding up really well - (drum sounds) And I guess this is a good example of the kind of things you encounter in a real session. Yeah The take may be there, but what, I forget. When we actually tracked this song the first time. We did it the first day. We had to do it again at the end because...what was? The thing is that when you track, you hit a lot harder than when you sound check, which is great, but in that case as we were alluding to in the previous section, the engineer decided to really try to overdrive his preamps to get some kind of saturation on the way in. And it was already on the limit when you sound checked, and then when you did the actual track, it was straight up distorting, so it was not ideal. (drums) Sorry, I probably shouldn't hit that drum at the same time as talking but. (drum sounds) Cool. Do you just wanna, do wanna do just maybe one pass through the verse... Yeah, sorry, I don't know which section you want to do a variation of. It would be cool to do a variation of the second verse, second chorus, and then the bridge. All through in one go? Mmmm...no let's just, let's punch each section. Okay, so you know the drill, play into it. And then stop after you've played into the next section. But we'll start with the second verse. [Drummer} Cool, yeah you can start at the end of like the first chorusy, outtro kind of thing. [Assistant Producer] The overview looks the same way, but when I do prefader muting on it, it doesn't look like the signal's getting that hot. (music playing softly) So that's the ride then...it's there. We'll roll with it for now. [Assistant Producer] What are we doing now? Okay, we're gonna punch in to the second verse. So, let's have Matt in on what we're talking about. So I will direct you to the second verse. You'll just need to enroll the 22.. Yeah Let's just find this second verse. [Assistant Producer] If I can see the vocals, it's probably going to be the best way of doing it. Right If this was our own session, we would have probably labeled this, and it would be a little more easy to find our way around, but we will prevail, so... Yeah it's always good to label it. [Assistant Producer] Can I just get rid of this for a second? Yeah. [Assistant Producer] 'Till we find it. Okay. Yeah, it speeds things up. (heavy metal music) We're just cueing that up for you now. Thank you. I think you just took off one of the remotes. (heavy metal music) ♪ It's envy been eating away at the core of us ♪ ♪ Wanting what you'll never have ♪ ♪ Isn't it the point of living to breathe ♪ ♪ Knowing this is all we need ♪ ♪ It's never greener inside the mess we're in ♪ ♪ Wanting what you'll never have ♪ ♪ The less we are content the more we throw away ♪ ♪ What little time we have left to grow ♪ ♪ Separate mind from hate ♪ ♪ Punch through the unknown ♪ ♪ Adamant will to leave the little time we have ♪ ♪ Stop bleeding on the inside, we are alive ♪ Cool so we'll keep that one. Do you wanna get into the chorus from that? Yeah, we can just take it right from there. Just roll from a couple of bars. From, you know, the section we were just in. Get him part half way through that on the blue line probably (heavy metal music) (drums) Alright, it's gonna come in like half way through ♪ The less we are content the more we throw away ♪ ♪ What little time we have left to grow ♪ ♪ Separate mind from hate ♪ ♪ Punch through the unknown ♪ ♪ Adamant will to leave the little time we have ♪ ♪ Stop bleeding on the inside, we are alive ♪ ♪ And it's more than enough ♪ ♪ to paint the walls that are white ♪ ♪ Can we show the ones who are blind? ♪ ♪ Stop bleeding on the inside, we are alive ♪ ♪ And it's more than enough ♪ ♪ to paint the walls that are white ♪ ♪ Can we show the ones who are blind? ♪ ♪ Can we show the ones who are blind? ♪ (heavy metal music) ♪ Stop bleeding on the inside, we are alive ♪ You're really nailing that. And I kinda want to make a point to people too, if you're gonna watch this back later if you've, really note how he's playing the cymbals. Matt has a reputation for hitting a lot of cymbals. But, note, he's really not hitting them that hard. You're really not laying into them. But you are laying into the shells and the kick, and that's exactly what I want as an engineer and a producer. Definitely take notes on how he's playing this song because in order to get the shells to sound a specific way, he has to be lighter on the cymbals, and in fact, that's going to make the cymbals sound better too so. Definitely take notes if you can. Once more section? One more section we should do is the kinda like, the busier section, where it starts (drums) Just kinda that way, maybe through the end. Okay. Cool. I think the tones are fine. I won't retune. We'll just, we'll just go. So this is going to be where the break is and all the instruments. It might be easier to find that. We'll take you - do you wanna play through the gap? Or do you just wanna join in when everything kicks back in? Give me the gap. Okay so we'll play you in from the last section. Hit the last crash if you can and if you're gonna do some cymbal acts and stuff, then go nuts. Okay ♪ Stop bleeding on the inside, we are alive ♪ ♪ And it's more than enough ♪ ♪ to paint the walls that are white ♪ ♪ Can we show the ones who are blind? ♪ (Instrumental music) ♪ Fly past the withered trees ♪ ♪ Ascend to holy air and breathe ♪ ♪ Fly past the withered trees ♪ ♪ Ascend to holy air and breathe ♪ (instrumental music) ♪ This want is menacing, it will not leave us be ♪ ♪ Can we purge this? ♪ ♪ The bastard in our brain will chew until it bleeds ♪ ♪ How did we get like this? ♪ ♪ How did we get like this? ♪ ♪ Step out in the rain ♪ ♪ Feel life in our, feel life in our veins ♪ ♪ Step out in the rain ♪ ♪ Feel life in our, feel life in our veins ♪ Cool. That's awesome. Yeah. Are you good? Wicked, yeah. And also just to point out, like we're not paying quite as much attention to things like the fades, like being dead silent on the fade out. You know, we're not recording the album version here. We'll make a comp - I don't know - during the show or afterwards. We'll try and include some of these different variations and so that tomorrow when we get to mixing we're in the next segment when we get to mixing We can hear how all that stuff translates. Great job!

Class Description


Periphery
is one of the most influential bands in the progressive rock/metal scene. They’re known not just for being great players with great songs, but also self-producing their most recent double album “Juggernaut.” In this class, you’ll get an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at exactly how they did it, lead by Periphery bassist/producer Adam “Nolly” Getgood and drummer Matt Halpern.


First, they’ll track drums live in the studio, showcasing some of the techniques Nolly uses to capture Matt’s unique, nuanced performances. They’ll cover their approach to tuning, mic selection, mic positioning, and some of their own tricks for handling mic bleed and other common challenges.

Next, they’ll walk through a complete mix using an actual session from “Juggernaut” and the drum tracks they just recorded. They’ll cover their overall approach to mixing, then go into detail on approaches for compression, EQ, and effects for every instrument.


This class will also include all of the samples that Matt and Nolly record live on the air available to download along with a bonus video of Nolly showing how to mic a guitar cabinet using the technique that he used to get the guitar tones on the Juggernaut album.

Reviews

Connor Smith
 

I haven't even finished the course and already my mixes have improved dramatically. Night and day difference. I haven't watched the portions with Matt as I'm using drum samples (GGD specifically), but I have no doubt it's great. Matt is always incredibly helpful and is a brilliant drummer. I thoroughly enjoy listening to Nolly, he's very articulate and his approach to audio engineering is flat out brilliant. I'm so happy I purchased this course. Before my mixes were good (balance and things of that nature) but lacked life and energy. I just wasn't getting the professional level sound I was searching for. Now, I am proud of my mixes and actually think they're getting to the point where they sound professional and don't sound like they were produced by a dude in his bedroom with about half of year of recording and audio engineering experience. The metal genre is difficult to mix as there's a lot going on and the "current metal sound" is very crisp and clear while still being very heavy and punchy. It isn't 80s dad metal where guitars are hissy and flubby. lol I am a huge Periphery fan and it's a privilege to watch Nolly share his knowledge. I really enjoy his approach as its very simple but very effective. He doesn't have insane mixing strategies, he just does what works and it's applicable to any DAW and is helpful for almost any genre of music. Brilliant course!