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iphone9 / Gretsch Maple 5yr+8mo ago
Interesting interview with Dave Weckl, couldn't agree more... "My sound has been manipulated and destroyed enough back in the early days by engineers that really didn?t understand how to get a drum sound. When you think about it, back in the day, Buddy Rich ? one overhead mic and one in front of the kit; John Bonham almost the same thing. You?re recording the drums in a room in a space and that?s what the mic is hearing. It?s like putting a mic on each guitar string and expecting an engineer to mix that so it sounds like one instrument. It?s crazy when you think about it. If you?re not a drummer or if you don?t have the drum knowledge sitting behind a mixing console it?s really difficult to get that instrument to sound like one instrument with thirteen mics on it. I don?t know how anybody does it that is not a drummer 'cause you?ve got to be able to understand what the guy?s going for"


     

6 people like this: capomagicpicJR, StratCas, Staffan, alizieri, markmiller, joel_sattlersongs

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iphone9   commented 5yr+8mo ago


apostrophes are being replaced with question marks?

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sanger   commented 5yr+8mo ago


Hmmm, that's odd - did you copy and paste? If so, that's probably the reason - I will check with the team regarding a solution

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iphone9   commented 5yr+8mo ago


yeh, copy paste

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xvpusw   commented 5yr+8mo ago


It always does that to me on copy and paste, you either have to go back and edit or not use them at all.

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sriracha   commented 5yr+8mo ago


prolly windows "smart-quotes" are being replaced. I've gradually been learning to work the room mic(s) in for more cohesive sound and likewise how to utilize bleed instead of trying to get rid of it. I've even been trying to do that with elec kits more - creating a cohesive room sound and working that. Dunno - I like it more as I do that anyway.

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Gemini   commented 5yr+8mo ago


Re. interview, my views exactly. I couldn't agree more. But it won't make any difference :)

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markmiller   commented 5yr+8mo ago


Great read....I too, have been utilizing the overheads much more. Still use a trigger on the kick, but I like the results....even though it seems to go against the grain of some of our 'engineers' desires.....) Thanks for sharing...

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iphone9   commented 5yr+8mo ago


yes the kit can sound great in the overs, I find the cymbals can be too overbearing though. One solution is too hit softly, but kinda hard to do on high energy songs, or can eq some of the high end. I'm currently trying my overheads (one single NT4 stereo mic with 2 heads) a little lower and back from the kit, more shoulder level. I sometimes add a gog sample into my kick too, but it's usually just an isolated sample I made from my own kick.

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alizieri   commented 5yr+8mo ago


Thanks for sharing. Very interesting.

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RB   commented 5yr+8mo ago


And folks wonder why I don't upload individual kit mics. I've not heard a mix that hasn't destroyed my intent. Usually I post up a "composite" kit mix and, at most, a separate kick and snare. These are usually the only two pieces that engineers/mixers like to play with. Individual toms, HH... forget it. Even my snare is usually a stem of the batter and snare-bottom mics. Most often, my kit is paired back to a Glyn Johns mic configuration. I'll sometimes throw in a HH or bottom snare mic since they can yield a nice bleed that livens up the kit.

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Gemini   commented 5yr+8mo ago


Exactly right!

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iphone9   commented 5yr+8mo ago


That's it RB, we also tend to set our levels as we play, and we can emulate that original intent when we mix our own stereo sep. I've heard 'no panning' on my drum mixes and everything 'mono', bad gating, where it's actually missing hits, or so much added eq to the snare mic that its hearing every other piece of the kit, or the bottom snare mic is overpowering everything, or even the hats mic is the loudest. Just bizarre decisions. It's way more complicated than a pulling a guitar tone yet no guitarist likes their tone tampered with, and there are so many ways to mess up a drum mix.

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DantheMan   commented 5yr+8mo ago


I played drums in the past and I prefer all seps. Seps please!

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DantheMan   commented 5yr+8mo ago


Dry too.

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MarkAlanDooley   commented 5yr+8mo ago


How do you tell if the stage is level? The drummer is drooling from both sides of his mouth. drumjokes.com

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markmiller   commented 5yr+8mo ago


ha ha ....now you've started something...)

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RB   commented 5yr+8mo ago


What do you call a guitar player who breaks up with his girlfriend? Homeless

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RB   commented 5yr+8mo ago


What's black and blue and lives at the bottom of the ocean? A guitar player who told too many drummer jokes.

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MarkAlanDooley   commented 5yr+8mo ago


? How can you tell a drummer's at the door? The knocking speeds up. ? What's the last thing a drummer says in a band? "Hey guys, why don't we try one of my songs? ? What do you call a drummer that breaks up with his girlfriend? Homeless. ? How can you tell when a drummer's at the door? He doesn't know when to come in. ? What do Ginger Baker and black coffee have in common? They both suck without Cream. ? How many drummers does it take to change a light bulb? Five: One to screw the bulb in, and four to talk about how much better Neil Peart coulda done it. ? How many drummers does it take to change a light bulb? None, they have a machine to do that now.

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StratCas   commented 5yr+8mo ago


Exactly the reason a good composite drum sep is all I desire on Kompoz. Dean, you have a great track record for that:) Makes life much easier for preserving the sound the drummer originally intended!

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iphone9   commented 5yr+8mo ago


Thanks Tony, I'm leaning more towards what RB said, and uploading a stem of the overheads etc plus adding a snare and a kick track. But even then, people often do weird shit, over compression and eq and try and change the sound too much. I do understand that people like to have some extra control over their levels, but I don't think uploading raw seps is helping drum mixes, because most people can't hear what they are doing wrong. And even when they ask for advice, there is way too much to explain, there is a lot that goes on, and a few db here and there can make all the difference. Depending on the song of course, sometimes I just use overheads, kick, snare, no eq or compression on anything.

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MarkAlanDooley   commented 5yr+8mo ago


I prefer a composite to mix, some are well recorded, some aren't. Either way it affects everything. The whole house is built on it. I built a 12 channel trigger system for Weckl back in the 90s, one of my favorite drummers.

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stoman   commented 5yr+8mo ago


I prefer seps. No matter how well the kit is recorded as a whole, it never fits perfectly unless you want a live sound.

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sriracha   commented 5yr+8mo ago


I've been thinking about this a bit off and on since the first post. One thing that I've been thinking about is that while I think drummers may be the best for making a mix of their drums, when you are mixing you are not mixing things for how they are when behind the kit: you are mixing things to fit a cohesive whole where all the performances must agree in things like eq, spatial relationships, etc. and for the listener in front of the stage. When I listen to some of the top drummers here's mixes, I often hear drums, then the rest of the things. That's not levels as much as the focus of things: you start getting a great sounding drum mix and add the rest to it. Now, that's exactly how I start mixing, but with each new addition as I add to the mix; bass, then piano, then guitars, etc. - I go back to the drums and each subsequent instrument as needed and tweak things so that they all blend properly. I think that is the goal, right? Sometimes I've worked with comps that were perfect, other times where they just didn't fit. If drummers aren't comfortable providing seps, then at least consider providing dry OH comp, tom comp, kick, snare. Give the engineer a chance to work your performance and vision into the mix. If you don't like it, you have a few choices: - bitch at the engineer and shutdown, refusing to participate further until they use your drum comp - give up, leave the poor guy to his mix but silently resolve to never work with them again - explain what you don't care for and why and help the eng get the sound you are after, ideally making amends for changes to better serve the mix Personally, I'd rather you take the time to work with me. Even if you bitch at me to start. :D Everyone here wants to do the best they can and also wants to learn and improve. When I post a guitar track, if someone wants a change, I'm happy to accommodate them, and I've often posted raw tracks before any amp processing, etc. for the proj owner to add their own ideal guitar sound to. I know how it feels when someone else's vision seems to horribly ruin yours. I opt to try and work with the person to develop a sound that serves the mix and represents me. I've worked pretty hard over the past 6 months or so to get better cohesive drum mixes after doing some private testing with a few players here on acoustic kits. I've learned a lot about using bleed and room in my drum mixing, which allows for a more natural, cohesive sound. I'd encourage you guys to try and work with whoever's mixing: be honest and upfront about what you think of their mix of your seps and help make it work. In the end, everyone benefits from that. Just some thoughts as I start looking for a drummer who will post seps for one of Doc's projects... :)

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iphone9   commented 5yr+8mo ago


There's way too much to explain in a drum mix Bill, be impossible, easier if I mix it myself...So you're saying in the last six months you think you may have a handle on drums now? So what about all the drum mixes before this time, you aren't so sure? Do you not think that after 38 years of playing and recording drums I may have discovered a little bit about the recording of acoustic drums, understand its limitations? I cannot explain via a keyboard how to mix drums whether it be within the context of a song or the drum mix alone, there are too many variables depending on the type of song, too many problems that arise and many ways to counteract those problems. I also wouldn't try and tell a guitarist how to get his sound. Mixing drums is about juggling phase and hiding unwanted spill or using it effectively, and maintaining a usuable sound within the song and within the instrument itself...a good snare sound, kick sound, cymbal sound, tom sound. A stereo drum sep always sound way better than some attempt at programming drums or using loops because a live drummer with move and build with the music. It's a massive task uploading 12- 24 bit seps for someone to make sound like crap and stream back at 128kbps on Kompoz...why would you? The Culbertson project, out of all the audio files, provided no drum seps...I just finished a load of projects for different people, just stereo drum seps, sounds great, Weckl himself provides stereo drum mixes when he works via collaborations all over the world. If you cannot make a stereo sep work, then its maybe the pieces of the jigsaw at your end that aren't fitting correctly, because the seps I supply should be cohesive within the overall context of the 'completed' mix, I gauge that when I mix and upload my drum idea. Maybe not 100% perfection, but loads better than some one pulling the whole drum sound apart from scratch with seps, and much better than the same boring programmed sterile drum sound everybody uses. Take a listen to Derek Cleggs latest 9 track album, all mixed using one stereo drum track for each song covering pop, folk, country, rock, and it sounds bloody good.

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sriracha   commented 5yr+8mo ago


Well, to be fair, most of the drums on here are vkits of some sort, or folks use triggers, so the sounds are not blessed with bleed, phase, etc. As for what I think of everything I've done before and after any point in time, I don't know about you, but I believe in continuous improvement and learning. It would be a sad thing if I *hadn't* gotten better at this stuff. I was pointing out that I've been paying more attention to acoustic kits and the mixing of those and have been fortunate to work with some drummers who would help me understand what they were after. It doesn't mean they thought they didn't do better. :) My point is if you are not mixing the tune, why not be flexible with the person that is? It's like working in software: if I can't learn something knew, and I can't in turn mentor and share with others, it's time to move to a new gig. I want to learn from others and share what I know. My point wasn't to bash anyone - it was to point out the view from the project owners chair.

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iphone9   commented 5yr+8mo ago


btw I've already done a ton of docs projects and still have an invite sitting there to do, I don't need your permission Bill. Let the musicians just make music, don't dictate what they need to contribute. Maybe it's easier just have the same boring default drumming on everything eh.

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sriracha   commented 5yr+8mo ago


I have no idea where you got the idea I was dictating to you. You sound defensive - sorry man, that really wasn't the point of things.

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iphone9   commented 5yr+8mo ago


You wrote this... "Just some thoughts as I start looking for a drummer who will post seps for one of Doc's projects... :)" I think it is clear what you are referring to...why else would you add that in there? And you are obviously concerned about my original 'Weckl' post, and concerned at the lack of enthusiasm for drummers to hand over seps. I found his interview very inspiring, and I also understand why people like Simon Phillips and Gary Husband, Keith Carlock all mix their own drum sounds. Weckl even does it at live gigs. Jojo Mayer uses one mic behind his kit as his main 'monitoring' system, and uses it to blend himself independent of other mics. I don't take it personally Bill, you're an intelligent man and I actually enjoy this kind of banter at night, instead of watching shit TV like NCIS or sumthin, and if you think you have something to teach me, then please share it. I think if people don't tell you honestly that they're not happy with how u mix their sound, then you aint gonn learn anything. I'm not saying u can't mix, but u can't pull a drum sound, yet you continue to demand drum seps with no understanding of what to really do with them, how to individually treat them and combine them as a whole cohesive drum sound that is appealing to a 'drummer' and to the 'song'. Can project owners reliably tell you when you have achieved a great drum sound?...generally no, they don't always know either. It would be like me trying to describe a pretty face, it's impossible to do, and doesn't compare to seeing it. I find it frustrating in an internet world cause I can't clip people round the ear when I hear stupid bloody newbie errors in a drum mix, when I know if I was in the room, at the desk with them, I could easily demonstrate what constitutes a good drum sound and show them in seconds...yet it would take me way too long to explain the process. And as I already said, I wouldn't dream of dictating a guitarists sound, trying to mess with it. Dave Weckl himself was surrounded by pro engineers from LA who were trying to engineer his drums, but doing a shithouse job, because they didn't understand (you should read full article) If you want to hear and learn about drum mixes, listen to mine, listen to Corey's drum sounds, RBs, listen to Mark Millers, Astronut (when he was here) there's all you need to learn about it right here, and the fact they sound great soloed, you can guarantee they'll be sounding rocking in the song too. You don't really get a 2nd chance at a finished mix, the first one is usually it, and you've been mixing here for quite a while Bill. And an 'experienced' engineer knows when to do 'nothing' to a sound except set the level, that's the sign of a great producer/engineer. I have uploaded OHs, Toms, Snare, Kick in the past and that's proved still too much room for error. I mean with guitar, bass, voice, keys, as long as u don't do anything stupid, you can't really go wrong, but everybody seems to wanna re-create the wheel when given drum seps...

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sriracha   commented 5yr+8mo ago


(And yeah, I get the value and fun in the back and forth...of course, it's coffee time here in the US, so I'm still waking up. ;) That comment was in there to make the point that proj owners as well as engs want the seps in general and I run across this issue often when I'm invited to mix - "can we get drum seps?" and I'm left asking. I'm actually fine with drummers mixing their drums: but the problem is everyone's busy and if the drummers vision and my vision don't mesh then it's a pain trying to get changes made to the drums because it's now up to me to do the explaining of what I want in the mix versus me having the seps, or even the comp breakouts to work with. Sometimes I just don't agree with the drum mixes in comps, and as I said above, then it's tough to get changes made because the drummer has "their sound". Dude - I change my guitar sound all the time when requested. It's not a big deal. (What I do object to is slicing and dicing up my leads and making something that isn't what I played out of it - anything else I'm ok with for the most part.) I've spent time in the past in private projs with Kevin and also Cory for that matter working to improve my acoustic drum mix technique. I'm not saying that either loved my work, lol, but I learned from it. (I did read the article, btw.) As for the point about getting a drum sound that the drummer likes, is right for the song and the proj owner, I would suggest that's subjective. I've had plenty of drummers who liked the drum mixes (and yeah, I always ask in PM to make sure - why? because I *do* want to properly represent you). And when they don't, which happens, I really appreciate it when they work with me to get it where they want it in a way that serves the project. That was the main point of my post in the first place. I understand the difficulty of communicating this sort of knowledge over posts, but when someone asks me something, I do my best to try and explain and help, not just throw up my hands and claim there's no way to explain it and/or you can't understand. lol...I'm not going to teach you anything about drums, man - my drum experience is limited to a couple of years of trap kit lessons in high school in the 70's: zero chance you'll hear me claim to play drums. :D

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stoman   commented 5yr+8mo ago


The project owner/producer has a certain sonic vision, and so has everybody else involved, including the drummers. But those visions are NEVER the same. Everybody has individual preferences. IMO it's the producer who should decide, not a single player. Only the producer views it as a whole, and if he wants to change parts (e.g. add delay/reverb/distortion/whatever to the snare or toms), he should have all the freedom to do so. If some of the players do not agree with the mix or arrangement, why not simply provide ALL the seps for the song and give EVERYBODY the chance to do their own mix? We have the great option to create as many spin-offs as we like here at Kompoz, so there really should be no restrictions for anybody IMO. Regards, Steffen

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iphone9   commented 5yr+8mo ago


simply because Steffen, when I offer that option of multiple seps to a so called 'producer' I have little or no confidence in, and I have done that on hundreds of occasions, then I always get a crappy ass drum mix which in the end, becomes 'the main' mix streamed on Kompoz..there's plenty of those for you to listen to btw, and I'm not really bothered. To add insult to injury, it's also a pain in the rectum uploading that many tracks for every single project, especially as the current Kompoz version has so much instability, took me 4 attempts yesterday to upload just 2 tracks.So what fun is in it for me Streffen? I end up with a crap mix anyway from a 'producer' that cannot mix drums, wasted time re-setting my uploads at my laptop because of constant error messages. Might aswell not bother, much easier to upload a stereo sep and hopefully they won't tamper with it too much...but that happens aswell. I can generally mix a stereo sep pretty well, whether it be rock, folk or whatever, it's def gonna be a better result than someone pissing about blindly. I use stereo seps in 'all my own' mixes, everything is subbed to a stereo drum aux in my pro tools sessions, and I rarely touch the separate channels once I've found a good balance between all the mics. Do you still not understand? yesterday I had 6 invites...2 of them had a usable drumless ready to go...if they then ask for seps (and I can do 6 songs in a sitting if they have a proper drumless ready, and the songs in time)...that's 72 raw tracks on an average internet connection going to a seemingly very unreliable server. Sorry but I do this for fun in my spare time, and as much as I enjoy jammin on certain projects, it isn't being aired on commercial radio, a lot of this stuff is just gathering dust on a website and is for our own personal short term satisfaction...lets get some perspective.

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stoman   commented 5yr+8mo ago


I do understand where you're coming from, Dean , but being the perfectionist that I am who always gives "200%", I still disagree. :) I spend ALL my spare time working on music projects (my own as well as requests by other folks), and I don't (and don't want to) make any cent with it either. It's just for fun, but it's also a dedication (for me). I have my vision, and I do know how to achieve my sound, if I'm given the means. Yes, you can mix with decently pre-mixed drums, but there is absolutely NO ROOM for artistic freedom. I just mixed a song for somebody (by request) with just pre-mixed drums. The mix turned out ok, and he liked it, but it would have been REALLY good with drum seps. For me it hurts when options are taken away from me. Anyway, different folks, different opinions. :) Regards, Steffen

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iphone9   commented 5yr+8mo ago


What I'm saying here is what you're gonna hear from every 'decent' drummer I've heard on Kompoz, it's not just me. When a stereo sep isn't working for you it is likely your mix, either bass is interfering, but 9 times outta 10 the guitars are too loud. If you mix to where the drums still sound good then you are usually on the right path...and then you have every guitarist screaming at you to turn them up...yeh I know, its a shit fight some times for sure. Have a listen to Derek Cleggs recent 9 track release, lovely balanced mixing, every song was a stereo drum sep. http://derekclegg.bandcamp.com/album/nine-in-three

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stoman   commented 5yr+8mo ago


Dean, I'm not saying that a stereo drum mix won't work. But I cannot do the mix that I envision that way. It has nothing to do with technical issues, it's simply creativity. Regards, Steffen

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iphone9   commented 5yr+8mo ago


There are hardly any projects on your profile mixed with acoustic raw drum seps. I'd like a 12 piece orchestra seps on some of my tunes myself, but I don't see that happening either Steffen. Do you have the room, mics and gear and access to a decent drummer to record a full acoustic drum kit regularly at home?? So a lot of your projects will therefore continue to sit unfinished without any acoustic drums at all. You will eventually have to resort to a mechanically sounding loop or programmed drums to finish a demo of your songs, but at least it won't be a stereo sep where you have no creative freedom on your mix...

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iphone9   commented 5yr+8mo ago


Just changing a guitar sound is very different Bill, it would be more like you uploading your 6 strings separately, plus a set of frets for them to play with. You would quickly see where I'm coming from when it became a shadow of its former self at the other end. I've tried to offer suggestions in the past Bill but everybody gets defensive, so I just don't listen to their mixes any more. It's impossible to teach someone unless they are there, I think you have to do it day in day out for years, and being a drummer must really help, because they all seem to pull great drum mixes 99% of the time. I don't think there's a drummer on Kompoz that has the perfect room to record in (which can be 70% of the overall sound) but most do the best with what they have.

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DantheMan   commented 5yr+8mo ago


what are you trying to do all? Trying to get one of the best, maybe THE best drummer on the site to get mad and leave? I would take Dean's drums mixed over a bad drummers individual seps any day. And his mixes are always perfect to match the song. It might be interesting to get your seps to try to duplicate your mix Dean, but I would take your mix any way I could get it. It's the playing that really counts. D

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iphone9   commented 5yr+8mo ago


Cheers Dan, not leaving mate, nothing wrong with a little debate on the subject, and everyone is entitled to an opinion, I enjoy a good argument. I have worked with Steffen and Bill plenty of times, no ill feeling at all, and it's fine for friends to disagree.

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sriracha   commented 5yr+8mo ago


Yah - Dean's a professional about this stuff and open discussion doesn't hurt anyone. So as I've said - my thing is that there are times when a drummers drum mix doesn't match what I want in my mix. I don't buy the "then your mix is borked" reasoning. lol - that would be the equivalent of me saying "don't eq my guitar, fix the mix". BTW - don't eq or compress my guitar seps - they really are exactly as they should be - nothing rapes the tone of a guitar more than that stuff. People do it all the time, but there you go. But back to the mix - so if what I want to do and what you heard when you mixed your drums don't agree, I've got limited responses. You mention people ruining the comp mix - how about this: I'd be perfectly happy to get a single comp (or more my pref, OH, tom, kick-sn, which is most I'll get from Cory, I believe and I'm very happy with that) can I "send it back to you" to pull the cymbals down? Messing with eq in those comps other than subtle enhancements turns them to shit - you can't cut freqs w/o getting a mess, but sometimes they just start with a different vision for the song and need to be changed - despite what you may believe is the best mix of them. Is that something you think drummers should be open to?

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stoman   commented 5yr+8mo ago


Another very important aspect is that you don't always start a mix with the rhythm section. In vocal-centric music (like country, rap, etc.) it is often a good idea to start with the vocal and then build everything else around it. I do start with the drums most of the times, but not always. And many great, award-winning engineers have very different workflows - some (like Michael Brauer, I think) always start with vocals, some always start with drums, some decide what to start with on a per-song basis. If you have to deal with pre-mixed material, it seriously affects your workflow, and, of course, dictates the direction - which you usually don't want as a producer. Regards, Steffen

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stoman   commented 5yr+8mo ago


What are we trying to do? Express our different opinions and talk about our experiences. That's all. :) I do agree that the performance is what comes first. That's why we want real drummers. But there is much more to a good mix than just that. EVERY time I was given drum seps (even if they may not have been recorded perfectly in some cases) I was able to create a much better mix than with the pre-mixed drums. That's a simple fact, and btw, I love mixing drums. Taking away that option from me simply reduces the fun. :) I have been lucky enough to be given individual real drums for the vast majority of all the songs I've ever created myself and/or mixed. :) Regards, Steffen

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stoman   commented 5yr+8mo ago


... and I'm with Dean: There is nothing wrong with a little debate among folks who respect each other.

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RB   commented 5yr+8mo ago


My perspective is from a live standpoint. I aim to provide what the producer would like main control over. 90% of the time it's kick and snare, so you pretty much get that. Before the days of 50 mics on a kit, you'd get just an overhead or room mic. This was enough to produce some of the best music ever recorded. So the overheads (stereo) will give you 80% of what you need and the kick/snare will give the rest. One of the toughest things to get right is the balance. Good drummers inherently know balance because this is how we play. We know what's realistic and what's not. This is why Dean says things like you 'destroy' the intent. He played/mixed it with the balance that makes him Dean the drummer and I play with a balance that make me Rick the drummer. What we emphasize during our playing is our style. If you monkey with it, you might as well program the drums. If you don't like Dean's balance or style in a particular mix he proposes, find another drummer. If you need to push the kick a bit or pull some edge off the snare, knock yourself out. But whenever I post all my mics and dry tracks, I find the mixer becomes more of a juggler with too many balls in the air. Plenty of folks can do it right but many more cannot.

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sriracha   commented 5yr+8mo ago


This may have been the best post here so far as far as describing the viewpoint behind the terms and stuff. I get this. I've def done my own thing in the past with drums, sometimes creating things very different than the comp provided. I understand how that can be frustrating in that it doesn't represent you. Once people expressed this, I started working more towards emulating the comp, but also have control over the reverb and eq and stuff. I don't use compression on the individual seps other than sometimes on snare, but rarely then. I also use a lot more of the room and OH to get the sound I want versus trying to eq the seps, etc. As I said, I ask drummers their opinion and I've been getting good feedback on the acoustic drum kit mixes I've had for a while thanks to the honest feedback people provided in the past, plus the chance to work with a few guys and try and improve. What I do find is that most of the project owners want seps. They then ask me to get them if I'm mixing. As I've said - even the comps like you suggest: OH, kick, snare and room is enough to let me balance things for the mix as long as the comps are dry, just the natural room.

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iphone9   commented 5yr+8mo ago


A lot of the regular guys I work with don't want seps, just a stereo mix. They know to leave well enough alone as they struggle to pull a better sound and find the right balance between all the seps. And they use that stereo drum sep as the first part of the jigsaw and build a mix around it. They're not trying to mould the drums to suit the mix, it's often built around it, and my calculations of kick snare levels are usually correct. To get more snare level, it aint just a matter of turning up the snare close mic (which most do) then you just get extraneous hi hat bleed. Too much overheads will cause the cymbals to be annoying and you'll lose that weighty back beat from the close mics. Same with kick, they're a bastard for snare bleed and getting that balance of attack, fatness and tone. Nothing wrong with practicing your craft Bill and getting better at drum sounds, listening to the drummers style, considering the genre of music and instrumentation etc etc. Be happy to take a listen to your drum mixing and offer you suggestions.

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RB   commented 5yr+8mo ago


Yes... and full disclosure, my kick sep is still my own 'mix' in that it's a stem of the front and batter side mics, along with and EQ or effects added. Same with the snare... usually a batter, snare side and possibly some bleed from the overheads thrown in.

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stoman   commented 5yr+8mo ago


100% agree - the overheads are the most important part in a drum recording (and many drummers I've worked with in the past don't know how to record them, btw.). I always start with the overheads when mixing drums. For me a stereo OH sep, one or two kick seps and one or two snare seps are absolutely sufficient, if (and only if) they were recorded well. Some additional tom mics won't hurt either, but for rock music they are not that essential. Regards, Steffen

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stoman   commented 5yr+8mo ago


P.S.: I can even do without a room mic in most cases as I usually can get all the room I need from the overheads.

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iphone9   commented 5yr+8mo ago


Not sure what drummers you have been working with Steffen, but the 'experienced' drummers I know, with years of recording and live work behind them, can identify a bad drum mix in seconds and usually know what's needed to fix it.

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stoman   commented 5yr+8mo ago


I think I have worked with both extremes, not only in terms of drums. But it does not always depend on the drummer alone. If the room isn't treated and the mics aren't great, even the greatest drummer (and engineer) on earth cannot create a perfect sound. However, I must admit that the best drummers I have worked with did indeed deliver the best recordings too. Anyway, I still insist: The producer should be given all the options. I won't deliver synth/keys as stems either, no matter what I think about the producer's quality. I will always give them what they think they need - and kindly ask to get the seps for my own, private mix. :) I have no problems with my collaborators posting their mixes on the internet either. They are all an essential part of the song, so why shouldn't they be allowed to express their visions too? Regards, Steffen

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iphone9   commented 5yr+8mo ago


Hmmm keys are just digital samples recorded in isolation and already professionally 'touched up' as 'one send', it's a completely different scenario with few issues to worry about, their intended sounded usually pulls through mostly intact, maybe just lower in the mix than you intended. And it's funny you mention that, because another mistake they always make is often they will also eq my acoustic snare like its a sampled snare, then not realize it has become so grainy and flat that it sounds ridiculous. You just have to trust me, if you played drums as often and as long as I have, and had heard some of the shit I've heard in the past couple of years, you'd be over it also. I'll continue to find song I wanna jam on, and if I have confidence in their ability to mix, I'll upload some basic seps, but I won't stand by and listen to Kompoz 'engineers' make dogs breakfast out of acoustic drum seps, the butchery has to stop : )

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stoman   commented 5yr+8mo ago


So be it. No butchering! :D But, but as for keys being pre-processed anyway: That's not necessarily so. It is true for most synth stuff (even though it sometimes helps to render synth voices without the delay/chorus/reverb section to make them gel better with the mix when the producer decides to do changes to the other parts). Pianos, though will never have any effects printed when I render them. I even take off the tremolo/vibrato on electric pianos sometimes or the distortion on an organ track.

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RB   commented 5yr+8mo ago


I mix the tom direct mics, if used, into the 'overheads' stem. That way, you can't push the toms too far out of balance with the rest of the kit.

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stoman   commented 5yr+8mo ago


The tom seps are only necessary if the producer wants to process them very creatively (like add lots of phaser, distortion, and such in certain pop or pyschedelic genres). In rock mixes there usually is no need for tom seps. Same goes for the hi-hat, and pre-mixed kick and snare seps are fine too. But not less. :)

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iphone9   commented 5yr+8mo ago


If your definition of being 'creative' with drums is adding phaser and distortion to toms, then you're probably doing it very wrong. It's something that would probably annoy a 'drummer', unless otherwise stated before hand, at which point they could pull out of the project altogether. I have had similar things happen to me, my argument still stands : )

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stoman   commented 5yr+8mo ago


Ever listened to 70s stuff, e.g. Electric Light Orchestra? You will hate their drum sound. Well, actually their overall sound. But it was Jeff Lynn's creative decision to "kill" the sound. It became their signature sound. To be honest: I hate the early ELO sound too. But later on it was great. And, yes, they did use lots of phasers, flangers, etc. I wasn't saying I will normally do that. But if I decide to do it, I claim that it will be the right decision. Because it is what I want the song to sound like (psychedelic, that is). It's not wrong just because it does not sound natural. Sometimes a sound MUST not sound natural.

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iphone9   commented 5yr+8mo ago


Very well said RB, find another drummer, especially if you wanna get creative. One mans creativity is another mans disaster.

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Staffan   commented 5yr+8mo ago


If You play and record well it always sounds Very good and You are one of the best Drummers here on this site Dean. And your mixes are often much better Than the final mixes imho Cheers

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ReggieB   commented 5yr+6mo ago


I always ask the drummers to do their own drum mix then send it to me as they want to hear it,