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Reverb and Automation

Lesson 32 from: Advanced Drum Production

Eyal Levi

Reverb and Automation

Lesson 32 from: Advanced Drum Production

Eyal Levi

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Lesson Info

32. Reverb and Automation


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

Reverb and Automation

I think that reverb is a question river is a topic I get asked about a lot because I think people don't understand the difference between room mikes and reverb and I know that you guys have all read somewhere that river puts things in a physical space, but I don't necessarily agree with that. I think reverb just adds a little bit of length and it's completely artificial it's not the same thing as a three d space software isn't totally able to model that yet, so if you want to get your full picture of rooms, use room tracks, you wanna lengthen your snare or anything veer the sound of reverb, then cool this is what you do it's really simple you make another ox and we'll call it drum verb put a reverb on there no, we could use deaver, but I like the hollow room better set the mix to one hundred percent whatever large room setting said the output said the input to a bus we're going to define in a minute nine and ten hasn't been used cool nine in ten it is and going to route the snare bus t...

o nine and ten now sometimes you were out just a sample to the reverb so that the sample triggers to river but a very consistent level that's something to do because snares being dynamic will trigger different amounts of river with different dynamic hits if you have a sample that has one dynamic, the river will be consistent at all times so that's something to consider so I'm going to actually put the parallel track that squashed to hell through the uh through the reverb so the reverb is going to be less dynamic but that's okay so sending it to bust of nine and ten teo there's our river now I am going to high pass it so that it doesn't introduce any low and mud you have to guard your low end like your life depends on it because that is the area of the mix where you will lose all your head room it's socks but it's true so do we really need any river below one fifty or two hundred? I can't think of a reason why so cut it off right about there and we'll listen now that river's a little long and a little loud so and turned down the length of the reverb meaning the decay maybe to one second and you can actually go online and look up river decay calculators and set them to the tempo of the song I would highly recommend doing that at least a pre delay calculator and you can actually do this with actual delay plug ins so look that stuff up online and keep your mixes in time it's ah it's too much math to just sit there and do without well maybe I went too subtle with it so that a lot more now this is meant to be subtle you don't want to add too much reverb that's amateur problem number whatever how many topics in her way and that's a huge amateur mistake to just inundate this stuff with river you don't need to if your stuff sounds good you don't need to understand still if you want what mixes that's cool but be careful with this stuff it sounds amateurish and it'll ruin all the definition in your mix I was checking a few of these presets see what there is available maybe a large chamber well because now one thing to keep in mind with river while you don't want it too loud it will disappear a little when you add other tracks so you don't want it to be too quiet either you want to be just right so I'm gonna put the music back in and now hearing the music has still think the snare is just a little bit too loud so balancing out a little more snares got a little bit more depth to it now but it doesn't sound like I show you guys how to do that and superior drummer that's basically how you should do those kinds of tricks is trigger a river of sample just a little bit more of this on that is literally as much as I would do with that however I would add the toms in as well so it's on bus nine and ten I'm just going to send the tom bus out to bust nine and ten copying it over done deal so now our tones air coming through the reverb theo and tom bus could stand a little bit more level keep in mind though soon as I start adding e q and compression to the toms the level is going to start to jump through the roof right now they're totally dry so they are a little quiet so you can hear that this mix is starting to get a little bit of depth to it snares kind of punchy starting to come together a little more sound quite so raw so any questions on river cool there's a few questions here what do you think of this reverb what do you think of that reverb and I'm guessing the interest your answer is try malan see we like yeah like which ones I like in particular smeagol asking do you ever use hardware river bs those air really really expensive but those air usually the best if if they weren't ten to fifteen grand the ones that I know you have a ah hardware reverb that cost a couple hundred thousand dollars which is your house that's true yeah which is where you record drones so I'm being sarcastic but you know the drum room is is the ultimate hardware reverb yeah, well, all the original re verbs or not all of them but a good amount of them were just rooms that people were using. Uh, your coolest reverb comes from an actual acoustic space that you can record with the microphone, at least in my experience. So I would go for rooms before I would go for a plug in and I would also go for a hardware river before I would go for a plug in and then I would actually just try to record my river before I go for a plug in. But you can't always do that and doesn't always work out that way. So all good on river guys cool, so automation I honestly don't use every single automation mode there is, but there's a few basic rules you want to follow with it, which is always be doing it reason being is that music's dynamic and nature music is not static art's not static. You can't leave a static mix that's I don't understand why people are so afraid of automation when they're first starting out, I used to be a swell maybe it seems overwhelming, but show you guys it's really not it's really your mixed savior, so I'm gonna go back to the other edit example because that I would automate a lot more than this now basically, automation is programming changes into your mix that's all it really is programming changes into your mix that will happen automatically when you play so let's say that see right here says volume you have this line this shows where your volumes at right now it's at minus six so double kick sections you can get a lot of low and build up so maybe it's good to turn it down by a d b right there. So I should like that area then pull this line down and voila! It turns down by d b when I get there, I would also turn it down there. Any time that you have superfast double bass or just quick kicks in succession you want to turn them down just a little bit just for the very reason that that's what a drummer would do in real life number one and number two you get a lot of low end buildup from too many kicks happened at the same time based waves take a longer time to develop and so you need to give them time or their will stack on each other and stuff will get really muddy that's basically the simple way look, yeah, okay now another trick you can do is automate within plug ins is not just parameters in the mixer that you would automate like volume or panning or send level or anything like that sometimes you just want to automate an e q or something like for instance say that in this example because the double bass isn't that fast one d b down is fine but say that one day be down isn't fun but you liked where the high end of your kick wass so you don't want to turn it down and volume anymore there's something cool you can do so I just turned it down point five theo so you see it's like the kicks hurt a good level but they are getting a little too thirty you can tell when guitars get in there it's going to turn into aa bit of a muddy mess so go to my kicks and put a uh one channel like you on it and a high pass it down to about forty four I'm showing you guys exactly what to do just so you know then uh I turned the volume down about one turn on the automation master bypass information ad that by hitting this button right here you get all the different parameters that you can add to your automation options so I want to automate this plug in to come on when I tell it to and switch off when I tell it to so put master bypass into automation now you can go back to the automation lanes and as you can see right there the q comes up in my automation of that the master bypass so right now the queue is bypassed. See what I mean by pass off five on so right there I want this cq on volume changed. Teo, click on so and I would actually wanted to continue through this part because kind of quick all right, so that's a lot more manageable. You khun tell that guitar's aren't going to get swallowed by the double bass, but there's enough high end coming through teo where you'll still be able to hear it so that's a cool automation trick another one that you should probably get good at is turning your snares down one things start to go faster like it starts to sound overbearing in parts like the well parts of it so I would literally just draw this in select the snares one thing you should do, though make an automation group so select your three tracks you wantto automate together apple g mix on lee solos automation mode volume right here this means that the group volume will be affected together so the mute so we'll see what happens see now in a clique solos, all three of those tracks well solo now when I turned on the volume all three of the tracks well, lamia, do this cool all right, so you want to bring your snares down on parts where they go faster because that's what drummers do in real life maybe not as much as a drummer would do in real life but you don't want it to be like clang clang clang clang clang clang clang in your face so turn it down also mind you turn it down by small increments a little goes a long way but one d b across three snare tracks it's actually three d b two dvds actually six across three snare tracks so be very careful going increments of point five one one point five even increments of point three just ah don't be don't be making like sixty ve automation moves or stuff like that you'll ruin your mix in a hurry so kicks down in double bass I just show you guys that I know that there's some really really big producers who will uh turn each individual crash hit up for instance when when it happens so let me show you what I mean okay so hear my overheads so here's a crash it and turning that up a little bit and that's a double crash just turning that up a little bit and you just kind of go through the whole track and do this so that the crash is really punched through and a little more you know someone with automation it's not that it's that much quieter you're just trying to give it a little bit of edge you're not trying to make it suddenly be way louder like out of context loud you're still mixing within the context of what was performed or whatthe songs sounds like so have fun with that let's uh talk about ah side chaining some automation we go back teo sean reinert we're all pulling for almost there almost there only seventy two more slides to go all right so of course the beach ball has to go would be would be pro tools without the beach ball all right so one thing that I noticed about this track last night when I was looking at it this is the sean reiner track is that once up with overheads on and started working with them the snare was so loud in the overheads that it started to really affect the snare tone and I lost the ability to really control the snare tone what I was doing to the actual snare bus was pale in comparison to what was happening in the overheads so check it out the overheads snares pre loud in there yeah he hits really hard I mean that's something we would assessed out you know with mohr time to check it out but also having a control room helps uh not being in the same room as the drums listening on aircraft carrier headphones works people try to have control rooms and not record in the same room miss drums anyways he hits really really hard so that's gonna happen when you're scared just going to be loud and your overheads one drummer hits really hard and there's ways to get around that via my king and we would have done that for sure we would have definitely moved the mike away from the snare and pointed the mortar rejection angle but say you didn't track the drums and you just got this from somebody else and it's too loud well it's really, really simple what to dio and this uh this falls under side chaining and also automation open a compressor on your overheads now here's what matters you make sure that you have a key input without a key and put on the compressor this is not gonna work. So set a bus bus eleven is open all right and set it aside chain on the key see loki right there the key right here this means that the compressor is going to be working getting triggered off of whatever's coming down bus eleven so I'm gonna put the snare down bus eleven that way the overheads will compress whenever the snare hits so in effect the snare will be turning down in the overheads automatically. All right, let's do that real quick snare down plus eleven I think we got a bear key from there all right, switch my view make this old more compact need the second set of sins and I don't need the second set of inserts or track comments or track color smaller now you can see every time that the snare hits these overheads come down now release salo along but it's a little better a supposed to this that's what it was before now you put that into a myth you can you can't really tell that that's happening but what'll happen is you can actually control your stairway way you guys all understand how that works took me a long time to figure that one out and uh explained it in like a minute and I don't know you guys were going to save some years so what's uh some of you guys understand automation does that make sense to you guys yeah I mean you make it turn up for turned down or pan left her pen writer plug in turn on or off I did have one question when you were automating the snare earlier yes and you grouped the three snare tracks and automated them altogether is there an advantage to doing that rather than just automating the bus that they're all running through well they weren't running through a bus yet so and sometimes you want to do that because say you're working on the blend of the sample versus the natural snare so you won't want to just turn down the bus because the blend stays the same you want to turn down say the three samples as opposed to everything. So, yeah, so basically, I don't know, use your ears and not just your eyes, and you need to keep making musical decisions. We're not done yet, but that's just basic mix stuff. I think, uh, if you do this all by what I just said to do, you're probably not going to get very good results. If you're not listening to you, just I know you have a writing stuff down and that's. Cool. They're good starting points, but if you just go and apply these to your mix, because I said to do them, your mixes aren't going to sound very good, because I kind of know what I'm going to do. But I've been tweaking everything specifically for this situation, so you need to keep making musical decisions always, or your mixes will suck.

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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