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Mixing Tips and Tricks

Lesson 33 from: Advanced Drum Production

Eyal Levi

Mixing Tips and Tricks

Lesson 33 from: Advanced Drum Production

Eyal Levi

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Lesson Info

33. Mixing Tips and Tricks


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


The Tone Pie and Process Overview


Getting the Lay of the Land and Q&A


Assemble Your Gear


Drum Tuning Part 1


Drum Tuning Part 2


Fine Tuning Tones Part 1


Fine Tuning Tones Part 2


General Guidelines of Tracking Drums


Tracking with Sean Reinert


Pop Quiz


Basics of Superior Drummer


EZDrummer vs Superior Drummer


Constructing a Metal Drum Kit Part 1


Constructing a Metal Drum Kit Part 2


Constructing a Rock Drum Kit


Grooves and Programming


General Q&A


Prepping Virtual Drums for the Mix


Superior Review with Q&A


Intro to Mixing and Drum Clean Up


Interview with John Douglass


Intro to Drum Editing


Manual Editing Approach


Editing with Beat Detective


Editing with Elastic Audio


Sample Layering




Gain Staging and Bussing


Mixing Essentials


Compression and Parallel Compression


Reverb and Automation


Mixing Tips and Tricks


Day 2

Day 3


Bonus: EZDrummer - Introduction


Bonus: EZDrummer - Intro to EZDrummer


Bonus: EZDrummer - EZDrummer Foundations


Bonus: EZDrummer - How a Drummer Plays


Bonus: EZDrummer - Part Writing Part 1


Bonus: EZDrummer - Part Writing Part 2


Bonus: EZDrummer - Part Writing Q&A


Bonus: EZDrummer - Intro to Grooves


Bonus: EZDrummer - Writing from Scratch


Bonus: EZDrummer - Intro to Fills


Bonus: EZDrummer - Writing Fills


Bonus: EZDrummer - Mixing in Your DAW


Bonus: EZDrummer - Bussing and EQ


Bonus: EZDrummer - Compression and Reverb


Bonus: EZDrummer - Conclusion with Q&A


Bonus Video: Editing


Bonus Video: Toms and Cymbals


Bonus Video: Snare Midi


Bonus Video: Kick Midi


Lesson Info

Mixing Tips and Tricks

We already talked about fattening a snare let's talk about treating symbol some more so one thing that happens in overheads is that you get everything in there and that's not always desirable especially low end you want to really be able to control your kick and er if you have full range overheads you're gonna lose some control over your kicks so this is basically what I would do to overheads now mind you symbols khun b what makes mix really really hard to listen to after about tend of fifteen minutes those air the frequencies that will destroy your hearing and just make it so that records ahron listenable and those symbol frequencies so you've got to keep them under control also they will swallow everything else hole if you don't control them the overheads are your best friend and your biggest enemy in the mix so you have to keep them under control the first thing I would do is roll off the base some of you guys know that know this already but can't stress it enough I passed that basi...

cally what I'm listening for is where the low end of the kick stops so see boosted sound theo now mind you I don't want to neuter them to where they just sound like shrilly garbage but I want to get the kick out of them completely at meaning the low end of the kick completely I want the low end of the mix to be inhabited by the kick drum channel on the bass channel and that's it there's a bass synth ok, we'll deal with that but I don't want it to be a mixture of overheads that have whatever random stuff on them and kick drum and bass and whatever other things may be going all the way down there so get them out of this range also one twenty to two hundred seventy seventy two, two hundred you've got basically the low end of the guitars and depending on where you cut and where you boost, you really don't want your overheads interfering with your guitars are talk more about that in second so this will keep the low end of the overheads out of the way of your guitars your base in your kick drum it's kind of important but sounds a little mid rangy and that's going to interfere with guitars too because guitar there mid range instrument it's also going to interfere with vocals like crazy so let's sweep around now showing you how to sweep on a different queue, by the way. So this is a take you where you can't actually see the sweep so I just turn it off and then go that's where it hurts so turning that down way more pleasant maybe needs a little bit more top just a little but that sounds like it's not going to fatigue you quite as fast copy that over there theo notice a simple sound louder and I didn't really turn them up I mean I made mohr of ah cut I've made more cuts than boosts so this should be quieter it's not it was less stuff stepping all over itself that theo so now that they're seemingly louder I would turn them down just a little bit the point is to keep this uncluttered e I see that no but didn't want to let you they say something uh was turning this ten twenty four hopefully it agrees with us now keep in mind though this right here is the s s l q the analog mod is on so it actually has a soft clip and yeah I turned the output up for a reason because it was pretty quiet theo meaning the soft clip means that when it does hit the red it's not that nasty digital garbage so why would you want your overheads tio distort a little bit just a little bit there's actually a reason they'll make them sound a little bit less shrilly it'll help them cut a little more make them a little more more pleasing to the year it will make them sound a little bit less digital basically give put them and more of an analog sounding space so a little bit of harmonics or your friend on that I'm not talking about distorting the hell out of him but just a little bit and there's no, uh, they're no good distortion plug ins on this computer, so unfortunately, we're not gonna be able to talk about that in detail, but I will say tried decapitate er on everything koya write that down every single track ever right now heard some really brutally loud crash, right? They're going to turn that down. That is our buddy automation. I'm nearly so bad. Turn down a little more now. Why am I doing automation instead of turning down everything? It's? Because I like the way this is sounding so I don't want to turn down the overheads anymore. I just want them to be down and those annoyingly loud hits. So I'm kind of creating more work for myself because I have to go through and turn these all down every time that they happen, but whatever, I'm kind of digging these levels now, mind you, can'tjust always turn things down the way I just did cause they'll sound way too sudden so you have to make gradual moves like this come thank you. No, you couldn't hear the automation, so try to be musical with your automation and if you notice, we're bouncing around that's because that's, what you do in your mixing is once you get the basics down, it's basically carve, carve, carve, carve, carve until you're done so and the only way to carve is to have, like, a complete picture of everything, so we're definitely bouncing around, but that's how it would actually happen in real life on that could come down just a little bit more human. So like I said, I would go through and I would put this type of automation on every single crash it it could take you thirty minutes, but it'll be worthwhile after you get it done, so copping pacing won't work, I have to do it like this. You can always click right here to see how much you did and minus eight point whatever. So I actually just copy it from over here on this track, too, right here, cool and then right here and now it sounds like we need a little more high and on the way, all right, let's, talk about toms, as you can see there's quite a few steps to this, but that's because tom's don't really sound like tom's until you process them. Unfortunately, they're tom's air a little bit different than the other drums in that you kind of have to know where they're going ahead. I had a time, so you kind of have to know what raw toms are supposed to sound like in order to be able tio get them you know the rest of the way so I don't actually know if the toms that we got our raw material because I don't actually know what this room sounds like but I'll show you guys the process for getting thunder toms and uh see what happens so what's ah solo the tom bus I just want one tom for now there we go it's going to get annoying forgiving okay, we've got a tom uh I guess it bears noting that your tracks should be totally cleaned at this point because what we're about to do you don't want happening to the bleed some got some toms and uh let's see get any q off that everybody knows this guy and let's look for that nasty there's some garbage frequency in here too but I'm going to find and kill too wide already better alright then gonna look for the low end where it lives too wide sounds like it lives around there but then again it sounds like there's another slight bump around there that sounds better to me then that that's a cooler frequency so make that kind of wide yes tom's air very skewed now turned down my output because sorry guess I'm clipping snapback where we were before that's where we are now sounded like garbage before starting to sound like tom's now because your basic process it almost looks like a geek for a kick um is very, very similar but the low end this in a different spot in the attackers inside the different spot but the's mids on drums air kind of your enemy if you notice a common theme I've been cutting them on lots of these drums cutting them on the symbols just doesn't seem to be a happy spot for drums it's not necessarily the law but just doesn't seem to be happy spot so going teo add some e q to the rest of the toms let's just move the cq over real quick already sounds better than did but it's gotta be a little different find where the where the attack lives that's fine with the low and list gonna turn this off so we can hear it more clearly knows what tom's that there's a wolfie low end frequency and then a cooler sounding one whatever cooler means and that's the one that I tend to go for is usually in the hundred ninety ish range not that not this yeah it's not cool who is calling at eighty five try this back on now it's too much of that I just mess it up uh no thank you back where you were before this is where we're at now let's add one more time intothe party sounds better so I would follow the same process yeah kick drum it's a very similar to a kick drama it's a very similar kind of curve especially a floor tom but just cause I'm running out of time I'm going to skip the queue in the floor tom but I am going to put a compressor on this channel on the tom bus wrong ssl and this is just to help them punch more setting a fast release and a medium attack I have the ratio some more makeup again sounds better so you know that's not the be all end all tom sound but you can tell that that's how we would get there and honestly if that's not enough sometimes you need to add samples in there uh just for reinforcement but I think it's in a much better space than it wass yep as opposed to like floppy weird drum things well and but here's the thing now as you listen through on different phil's you'll notice that maybe some of these accused don't always work so you have to tweak it across the song s so that's not gonna work right there so yeah and that's why you would automate the q because it's entirely possible that in the time that it took us from getting for to get from here to here in those just a minute he hits so hard that the toms de tuned but it seems that they d tuned in a pleasant way it sounds like they're better tarzana song and they were at the beginning of the song which is perfectly reasonable that happens but this is why you always check the pitch for tom's and automated accuse it would be slightly different right here and also the levels would be slightly different it's way loud that's one problem so let me let me jump in sure think maybe if you talk about thie turning it down to turn it up I think that's an important concept we've covered a lot of this other stuff I mean maybe close us out with a summary of the past few days and then you can go collapse from exhaustion I thought we have a party to go to well turning it down to turn it up get to that in two seconds you see it's not so bad when you turn it down kind of just have the high and poking through some and it's not really quite is annoying so sometimes it is just a volume issue you mean you don't want your tom's too loud anyway e but I think that this hit is kind of annoying I would probably take that hit and replace it with a with a hard hit but not one that jumps out quite so much anyways it says what I have I've been cut off from this so let's uh let's talk about turning it up to turn it down you're turning it down to turn it up all right this is more something that applies across other instruments would in relation to drums but metal mixes or super crowded it's, one of the most cluttering styles of music out there, everything's on top of everything else. You've got distorted guitars that are full range on top of distorted base that's, full range on top of drums there, full range on top of vocals that her full range and everything is just competing with everything. Symbols are competing with guitars or competing with vocals, bases competing with everything guitars, kick and vocals, guitars, air swallowing, everything symbols or swallowing everything it's just a total mess. So one of the ways that you can quickly destroy a mix is by thinking you need to hear more of something and turning it up. So if you noticed when we did a few of the examples, I actually didn't turn things up. I brought other things down, and they came up like when I brought the snare out of the overheads quite so much the scenarios actually more apparent in the rest of the mix, I didn't even turn it up in the rest of the mix. I just got rid of whatever was getting in the way of the snare, which was the snare of the overheads is that makes sense. The snare tracks, the actual mike snares were getting kind of overblown by a weird I guess frequency curve that was on the overheads are making the snare sound not quite so good in the minute that I took that out with the side jane compressor the actual center snare channel was hell of a lot more apparent so also the way that I took the kick drum down on the heavy parts if I if I was leaving the bass drum static throughout the heavy fast parts what would happen is that the low end would swallow the guitars you would want to raise the level of the guitars and then suddenly you have too much low and you have too much guitar your snare disappears, her vocals disappear and your symbols disappear so that's not the way to go about it whereas you could just automata filter onto your kicks and turned them down by a devi you still hear your kicks but suddenly there's a room for set to be moving at this speed and everything to still be heard and just cause you turned it down by a d b doesn't mean that the apparent volume of it turned down it just means that there's more headroom so just basically as it started go faster it seemed to get louder because low end was stacking up against itself so basically here's a frequency map of the drums as you can see they cover ever you think so if you start to turn things up with volume you're kind of going to interfere with, uh, with your entire mix, like I just said so the the basically the gold standard for mixing is toe gold center practice would be to make room for everything else. It's something you can't hear enough of something. Ask yourself what's getting in the way of actually being able to hear it. If if you can find it, that'll be and turned something down to let something else come through, that will be a lot better than just starting to turn things up. Now sometimes you do have to turn things up, but that should be approached. Number two, attorney things down shows be approached number one that also goes in line with keeping proper gain, staging and not clipping or anything is keeping things in czech. So with that, I guess we talk about, uh, the end. I guess we covered acoustic drums, virtual drums, mixing editing, sample replacement there's, some extra videos with, uh, really, really detailed sample replacement editing stuff. I think you guys have been cool and feel free to hit me up on the internet. You have more questions. I do answer them. Where's the best place to find you out there on the inter web, what do you think, finn unstoppable killing machine? Ah, yeah, instant at unstoppable killing machine on instagram. Or you can ask if you want to ask him some questions about this stuff. He spends a lot of his free time answering questions on his cue and a tumbler, which is a levee dot tumbler dot com. So, you know, whenever he's got a spare moment, he's sitting there, tapping on it, so not paying attention to me answering your questions on tumbler is that so take advantage of the fact that you can ask him any old, random question and hit him up on tumbler. I know that we did. We'd, like, packed this thing with contents. We didn't get to a lot of the questions that you guys had s oh, yeah, jump on there and ask him, so, yeah, I'll answer them, mostly, move it.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Day One Presentation.pdf
Day Three Presentation.pdf
Day Two Presentation.pdf
Johns QuicKeys Shortcuts.qkmx
Sample Input List.docx

Ratings and Reviews

El Bulbo Studio

This class will give you confidence when tracking drums. Eyal's interaction with the drummer will help you communicate better with the artist to get the best performance and tone. The added bonus on drum replacement is very valuable and will improve your mixes.

a Creativelive Student

My drum sound has improved by 150% and counting. I'm grateful that Eyal would share this information with us. Not every technique is for every situation, but they all work. It's up to you to have the vision and to use the right tools for the job. Thank you guys!!

Michael Nolasco

To the guy that said buyer beware: this is an advanced production class, it's not meant for beginners who are learning to mic up a kit. I'm a beginner, but i'm using superior drummer, so this class was perfect for me to learn how to process drums post recording. I refer to it constantly. The editing videos are also prime information.

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