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Setting Up Parallel Compression

Lesson 60 from: Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp

Eyal Levi

Setting Up Parallel Compression

Lesson 60 from: Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp

Eyal Levi

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Lesson Info

60. Setting Up Parallel Compression


Class Trailer

Intro to Bootcamp


Purpose of Pre-Production


Technical Side of Preproduction


Pre-Production: Setting Up the Tempo Map


Pre-Production: Importing Stems


Pre-Production: Click Track


Creating Tracking Templates


Intro and the Tone Pie


Drums - Lay of the Land


Bearing Edges


Wood Types


Depths and Sizes




Sticks and Beaters


Drum Heads


Drum Tuning


Drum Mic Placement Intro


Basic Drum Mic Setup


Cymbal Mic Setup


Touch Up Tuning


Microphone Choice and Placement


Drum Tracking Intro


Getting Tones and Final Placement


Primary Tracking


Punching In and Comping Takes


Guitar Setup and Rhythm Tone Tracking


Amplifiers - Lay of the Land


Amplifiers & Cab Shoot Out


Guitar Cab Mic Choice and Placement


Guitar Tracking and Signal Chain


Finalizing Amplifier Tone


Guitar Mic Shootout Round Robin


Intro to Rhythm Tracking


Setting Up Guitars


Working with a Guitarist


Final Guitar Tone and Recap


Guitar Tracking with John


Guitar Tracking with Ollie


Final Tracking


Tracking Quads


Intro to Bass Tone


Bass Tone Setup


Bass Tone Mic Placement


Bass Tracking


Intro to Clean and Lead Tones


Clean Guitar Tones


Lead Tones


Vocal Setup for Tracking


Vocal Mic Selection and Setup


Vocal Mic Shootout


Lead Vocal Tracking


Writing Harmonies


Harmony Vocal Tracking


Vocal Warm Ups


Scream Vocal Tracking


Vocal Tuning and Editing Introduction


Vocal Tuning and Editing


Routing and Bussing


Color Coding, Labeling and Arranging Channels


Setting Up Parallel Compression


Setting Up Drum Triggers


Gain Staging and Trim


Drum Mixing - Subtractive EQ


Drum Mixing - Snare


Drum Mixing - Kick


Drum Mixing - Toms


Drum Mixing - Cymbals and Rooms


Drum Mixing Recap


Mixing Bass Guitar


Mixing Rhythm Guitars


Basic Vocal Mix


Mixing Clean and Lead Guitars


Mixing - Automation


Mastering - Interview with Joel Wanasek


Lesson Info

Setting Up Parallel Compression

Looks like I've got my master drum bus and I'm gonna go ahead and send this to the drum aux. Cool. And while I'm at it, I know that I'm gonna want parallel compression, a parallel drum bus, so I'm gonna duplicate this. Drum parallel. And I'm gonna remove Kramer PIE. I'm gonna turn it all the way down. And I'm going to give it a different input because I want to control the level of drums that go to the parallel, I don't just want to send the same mix that I'm sending to the regular drum bus to the parallel drum bus because for instance, if I have a loud kick, the kick could completely destroy the compression. Or I might end up with cymbals that end up way too loud and pumpy or whatever. I want to control which element is triggering that compression, I need control over that. So, I'm gonna make myself a bus right here for drum parallel. Drum para. (clicking) And then I can set that up on stems, I mean on sends, whenever I want to send something and I can control the levels that are goin...

g to it and yeah. And then as you see, both the master drum bus and the parallel drum bus are both going to the drum aux and they'll be going in as a blend. And then when I get to finally, actually mixing, I'll be only mixing most of it on these seven faders. Pretty cool. And do the prep work so that your actual job is a lot easier. So, drum parallel, okay that's a bus. Kick, that's a kick bus, so... That's going to drums and I know that I'm gonna want some kick going to the parallel, right? So I will go ahead and put that on there, drum para, but I don't know how much, I don't know anything else, so I've got the send and we'll deal with that later. Now, these are actual kick tracks so I will make these a shade darker. (clicking) And then, this is the gate, that'll be the darkest. Actually, you know what would be cool? What would be cool is for the gate to be this shade of darkest and then, drum samples can be this. That way, there's a little bit of differentiation between them. I might even do this for the... (clicking) Okay, cool. That doesn't make any sense, otherwise. I was trying something, I failed miserably. Okay. So natural drum, drum sample, side jam key and then bus. So as you can see, these are all going to the kick. This hasn't been routed to anything and it's turned down, we don't even know if we're gonna use it. I'm gonna just minimize it. Okay, snare. That should be going to drums and then I should set up a send for the parallel, for the drum parallel. Okay, now again, I don't know how much or what the levels are, so I'm not gonna mess with that. I know that I will want a parallel snare bus, so I'm gonna go ahead and clone this right now. Whoops. Snare... Para. And, I am going to call, I'm going to make a I/O for it. Actually, no, I'm not. Because whatever the snare balance is, I'm gonna want the same thing going into the snare compressor. Okay, so then the snare para goes to the drum parallel and to the drums, cool. And I'm turning down the snare para all the way. So, these are buses and these are actual snares. So these are the natural snares right here, they'll be this shade. These are some samples that we laid. (clicking) And here's the gate. Cool. What do you know, it's gonna be the same thing with the Toms. So, go ahead and make a duplicate of that. For the toms para. And I'm gonna set up a send right here, on the main tom. To go to the drum parallel. Did I do that on snare one? Yup, cool. I'm gonna turn it down all the way. Just double checking a couple things. Yeah, if you notice right now, none of this stuff is being routed to those auxes up there and that's because they're being routed to the individual buses for the instrument which then go to the drum bus, which then goes to the auxes up above that I'm gonna be working with. So, here are the natural toms. Here's a couple samples we printed. Here's the gate keys. Those are turned down. Great. Cool, cool, cool. I know, I know guys, this is super exciting stuff. But, ever since I gave you guys a template on my last mixing class, I got so many questions about how this is put together, I figured why don't I put one together in front of you so you can actually see how the thinking works and so you also see that I don't just use my own templates right out the gate, every single time. I have a rough idea of how it's gonna work, but a different project may come in and I might set things up differently. This right here might be a future way that I'm gonna work, though, 'cause I like this idea of getting everything down to just a few faders. So, if I remember correctly, we've got cymbals and then all my rooms were also going to the cymbal bus. I don't like that. I want there to be a differentiation. So, right here, I'm going to make a new track. It's going to be a stereo aux. It's gonna be called rooms, craziness, right? I know, I know. I get it, guys. Okay, so cymbals goes to drums. I might do a parallel, I may as well just set it up. I don't know yet. But rather than having to set it up every time, in the future, I'm gonna just set it up now. And with this, I really don't know what levels I would be sending to it, so I'm gonna make it its own bus, so that I can control that because cymbals can get crazy with compression if you do it wrong. (clicking) Okay. And what that means, also, is that these cymbals will have a send... go on. For cymbals para. Follow master panning law. I guess it only gave it to me on one. That's cool. No problem Pro Tools. I'll just take control of the situation. Alright. Alright, so, these are the actual cymbal tracks. So, just so my life is easier, I'm gonna make the overheads, 'cause those are my main cymbal tracks, this shade darker. And then I consider the spot mics, like the hi-hat mic and the ride mic stack and giant mic, I consider those to be extras. Like if you need just an extra little bit of shimmer with the mix or just a little bit more definition. So I'm gonna actually make those darker, so that my eye doesn't always keep going to those. I want to be focused on the overhead tracks, right here, primarily. And then, we've got rooms, so pick a different color scheme for rooms. We can go with, well, we don't have to, let's go with that. The room aux, room bus, and then I'm gonna make a parallel one. And these need to go to... to the drum bus. Where is it? Here we go. Alright, so, I'm gonna make a room bus and a room parallel bus. Rooms. Rooms para. Again, I need to have total control over what's hitting. If I'm gonna use parallel compression on the rooms, which I have not decided yet, but if I am, I need total control over what's going into that. Because they all sound so different. I wouldn't want the wrong element setting off the compression. So, got that turned down all the way. The input is going to be rooms para. And the input here is gonna be rooms. And then, all these rooms are gonna be routed to rooms. But they're also gonna get a send to the rooms para. Oh, thanks for working that time. Follow master panning law. Cool. We'll deal with if we're actually gonna use those sends in a bit. The one thing that never got set up, which I think needs to get set up, would be a... a drum reverb. So, I'm gonna make a drum effects track. And again, it'll be a bright blue. And it'll go to the drum aux. If I can find the drum aux. Hell yeah. Alright, turn that down for now. I'm gonna just put whatever on there, well it's not whatever, it's great. But, this Valhalla Vintage Verb is phenomenal. But I've got the volume turned all the way down. And I'm gonna make a send for the drum verb. Because again, I want to control what is causing the most reverb. I might not want the kick to do that, I might want the snare to be the primary instrument that's getting reverbed, maybe I don't want cymbals, maybe I want a little bit of cymbal in there. So I should do this. Drum verb. Okay. The input is drum verb. I'm gonna rename this already, QUASI for mix, come on. Come on Pro Tools. "Eyal Rearrange 1." So I know what that means. Okay, so, as far as the drum verb goes, I'm gonna put sends on the kick aux, the snare aux, the toms aux, the cymbals aux, and the rooms. And... I'm gonna try and do that all at once. Cool. It should be pre-fader. I'll deal, again, I will deal with the levels of this later. Now at least I've got a little control over this. Okay. Now, one thing I almost forgot, is I need to make my room tracks a little darker. Cool, this is midi, so I'm just gonna make it stand out. Cool, I know what all this means. Alright, almost there. So bass. This is the bass aux, I mean the bass bus. So I'm gonna send it to the bass aux. And then, all these basses, I'm sending to... they should just have a bass... bass bus. Guess not, guess I'm gonna have to make one. (clicking) Bass, simple. Ah, okay, I see. (clicking) Easier to just do it like this. Alright. Alright, so. Now I have a bass bus, boom. So all of these we'll be sending to the bass bus. I don't know yet what I'm gonna do with all this. But this is my main bass, this is the bass bus and this is the bass DI and this is a dark glass and a bass pod, and then here's all the microphones. A lot of stuff and I'd at least color the microphones differently. So I'll make all of the DI basses one shade darker. And then all the microphones another shade darker. Cool. Okay. Bass looks to be under control. Though I do prefer brighter colors for bass. I'm gonna go with a yellow scheme. (clicking) Okay. Guitars, I got a lot of shit here. So, John Brown's DIs, I'm gonna put those together. Because we might need to use them again. Might be re-amping. I'm gonna put those at the bottom. And we're gonna make guitars, rhythm guitars some color of green. That's a color we haven't used yet, green. Okay so let's see what we've got. Now we did the full song through amped cabinets. But then I also had him do accent parts through his Line 6 POD HD, which he sounds great on. So, let me just organize this a little bit. So guitar rhythm, that should really be everything, all of this together. All sounded to one place. So, guitar rhythm should go to the guitar aux. Rhythm guitar aux. At the same time, the POD should be going to the rhythm guitar aux. Just have to find it. Cool. Okay, so, these are buses. This is the main one, this is the POD one. Alright so these are the POD tracks themselves. So, gonna make them a shade of darker green. I don't even know what this is, so I'm gonna make it dark. And these are also POD tracks. And there are some DIs here. Looks like I've got DIs here, here, here, and here. Now, I don't think I'm gonna be re-amping the POD tracks because I already like the way they sound. But, I'm gonna put these altogether. So that I can just hide them and activate them and find them together if need be. Here his four POD DIs. Let's hide that, get out of here. We don't need your kind. Okay. This POD widener guy, I'm putting it down here. Oh I see that, I guess I was sending some tracks to it. So, and then it goes to the POD, to the main POD. Bus, okay, that makes sense. This is all routed to the POD bus already. Okay, now, we've got the main lines. Since that's a DI, I'll make it darkest. These are all tracks so I'll make them the second shade of dark. And there's one thing missing here, which is that I need a bus for the amped tracks because right here I have this bus where the amped tracks and the PODS will come together. I need one where I can just control the amped tracks on their own. So I'm making a bus right now. No I do not want to clone that. I want to clone this. And then I'm gonna, actually, take that off of here. Bring this down here. So I'm gonna call it GTR amps. And I will make a bus for that, a GTR amps bus. So now, all of these are going to the GTR amps bus. As are these, for now. I'm just going to the rhythm, yup. No, that's gotta go to.. Gotta go to GTR rhythm. So I'm setting the input here to GTR amps and sending the output to GTR rhythm. Just got to find it. Cool. (music playing) Looks like it's working. And I'm going to just print the guitar. Let's see if this is still working. Rhythm guitar print. (hard rock music playing) oh, come on. (clicking) Thank you, I just wanna make some rhythm in there. (electric guitar playing) Yup, alright, so, it's pretty safe to assume that this is working out just fine. And, I'm guessing that what actually printed here is not just guitar, or maybe it is. (screaming music) nope, 'cause I didn't have it soloed. So there's a perfect example, you can print the whole mix while you're doing your stems at the same time. Okay, back to hiding this track. We are making progress. I love how the synth track is right next to the synth aux. Why not. Okay. What else is missing? Okay, so, we know that we didn't like the dual rec, so I'm just gonna go ahead and hide those dual rec tracks. I've got enough stuff to deal with in this session, let alone have amps that we didn't even want to use, 'cause they didn't sound good. Okay, 'cause still I'm gonna need to get a balance of these mics. These are the mics that go to the... That we used on the recto cab, but with the 51-50. I'm probably just gonna use one mic, but we shall see. Or I might end up re-amping. All remains to be seen. However, it looks like the session is routed now.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Eyal Levi Bootcamp Bonuses
Drum Editing - HD

Ratings and Reviews


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.


Wow is all I can say. This bootcamp goes in so much depth from tuning drums, setting up guitars, to recording and mixing. I have learned so much by participating in this bootcamp. It has taught me some new recording techniques and signal routing for my mixes. I just want to thank Eyal, Monuments, and Creative Live for taking the time to do this. It has been amazing and I will keep going back to these videos.

Student Work