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Cognizance Mix: Toms

Lesson 9 from: GearGods Presents: Mastering Metal Mixing: Fundamentals

Eyal Levi

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Lesson Info

9. Cognizance Mix: Toms

Lesson Info

Cognizance Mix: Toms

No tom's you were saying that ah you're having trouble with tom's not sounding with tom sounding very papering right um well in this particular case you know yesterday I was showing you guys in the template that we use that he divided thompson too high and low and all that but in this particular case didn't do that I just took the natural tom's and samples and sent them to a bus and that's it now we show you what the tom sound like naturally just was semi semi q oh I'm sorry there's that's the samples by bad is going to say that sounds doesn't sound like tom's ok now um that alone in my opinion I mean you could eat you it more and more and more but that alone just wouldn't work that's not enough to cut through death metal mix uh you know you could e q more high end into it and cut cut it up with the equalizer but it's just not enough in my opinion and I tried a bunch of different things it just wasn't cutting it so that's ah that is that is a job for a sample so I don't know if you've ...

been using tom samples but uh now when we put these together but I think that the key I don't know if you do this or not do use tom samples do you pitch match him uh make sure they're the same pitch it's the natural tom's ok well then there's one big problem uh well because if there you have to pitch match him because, uh you'll be creating harmonies or, you know, dissonant harmonies possibly whatever uh if tom won the natural tom is a note and that's the note that you're hearing in the overheads and in the rooms and you just pick some sample and say it's a minor second off or whatever uh you're gonna be creating some sort some sort of harmony uh against not just the natural tom's but the natural times in the overhead tracks and the room tracks and uh and that that right there already will take away from the power of the whole thing do you check the phase between them when you do that when you use samples? Yeah, check the phase, but most of the time I'm just using samples well, just replacing the drums they're that bad. Can't you should try using some natural drums and their two men? I think that just using samples is a problem too, because then uh it's very, very hard to get them to actually sound like drums when you use only samples. I don't know if you noticed this but using samples only on tom's it's really hard to get it did not sound like tom's in space, you know it depends if you're using sample sets that have enough velocity layers in them you know if you have like six or eight hits per velocity layer and five lost the layers you have a pretty good pile there unless it's like some really, really busy type tom work you khun some pretty believable but if you're trying to get together with one shots like yeah no way well known I don't mean one shots of course I don't know man, I've had a really hard time even with well, but I'm talking about more for music like this uh I don't know what kind of music you're talking about doing it for um I just find that that with tom's that I don't know he hasn't ever really work for me that well, teo use one hundred percent fate I think the hardest thing is like especially a big floor tom, if a guy does like a big roll and there some soft hits and some really hard hits in the middle of it, then it's it's really tough to get that exit like as as you know, natural sounding is the real mike yeah there's I feel like there's just so much variation in the way that it drummer hits the tom that you that unless you're just an expert programmer I mean you could be an extra programmer uh and then congrats but like unless of your an expert velocity programmers from really hard to get to really like program the velocities are filled with it that it would happen I feel like for some reason the human years sensitive that I don't know why but why why does it not matter so much on kicks but on tom's like yet the velocities wrong it just sounds so I don't know I think that for tom's especially the samples the samples or what will there what will keep it punching through but we'll keep it not sounding really dumber are the natural is blended in I think there's typically like more expressiveness and finesse and a drummer's hands than in his feet though lily's with with heavy metal type stuff you know I'm not I'm not saying there's no expression and double kick drums beats and stuff like that but uh I don't know that here is that there's a lot more dynamics to it you know that breakdown pattern was pure poetry yeah that's true the t one t two and t three top that you have down there those are the natural sounds so it looks like he chopped him and gated I'm pretty pretty hard there right? I'm not hearing like any symbol bleed through that I was just curious how you went about isolating them like that because I normally have at least some bleed but I don't I didn't really hear any at all they're uh very very meticulous miking yeah um I don't know well that was those were the sample one of the overhead is doing in that part yeah I'll show you like way spent a long time with uh with these drums here I play the because alex have a symbol that pretty high above the shows to let's just say that he's very um professional so I don't remember exactly how I but he'll work with you yeah I hear a little bit here I'll turn up you might be it might be hard to hear just from my vantage point the speakers behind my head and I come over here oh cliff all right you hear a little bit in there oh yeah I can tell now but it's not that bad no yeah that's and that's all natural tom short there I can hear any of the top and from back here on my own my slinky couch and so there's a little bit but not much it's just making it well um when were miking drums because first of all uh this is one of these things where having the vision up front of where you're headed was something makes a difference of you're working with this drummer like or to say a drummer like him you know that it's going to be great and you know that if you can't get a good drum sound you just ruined a really good opportunity to make something cool so, um working with him it's worth it to take the time to get that kind of separation because you know that it's going to just end up great with some drummers you know you're just gonna have to replace everything because they don't know how to hit the times is going to sound like garbage no matter what but I so yes so what this? We just took a long time making them to make sure that there was minimal bleed at all times and ah, a sometimes some sometimes it's better to go with a spot on the drums that has less bleed but might not sound as ideal placement lies because then at least you could use more of the natural tongue you can shape you know you could do a little you can actually uh, do a lot more with the q because if you put if you have improper mike positioning and uh you might you might get a killer tone off the drum, but if you're keep getting too much crash and whatever the and anything you do with the cure you seek it's just going to affect overhead sounds and it's just bad news but like it but with this method yet even if it's not ideal, at least then you can make a sound I deal with the q and a I think tom's need to be cute a lot you had to ask something you don't have a room to actually record live drums and you're just using strictly samples uh and uh going and renting a rooms out of the out of the picture yes that is um are you asking me like what software I would recommend for like leaving you know how how you would go about the sample tom's drums everything okay uh well the wind around it are you talking about from midi or something right yeah yeah yeah ok well I'll tell you two ways to go about it because there's the way I would go about it and there's the way that the you know that's a lot more realistic for people um my my engineer john douglas and myself and a big shout out to john and give you guys his contact info later helped me put a lot of this together and uh he's basically the organized part of my brain but we have unengaged I that uh uh that's very very detailed and we have our own room our own room is sampled and uh yeah way take very, very meticulous samples of every single set drum session we do uh all the room mikes everything every single option and so when we have to do a middie session uh we trigger our own room and has pretty great uh but before we were doing that we were using superior drummer with a great success uh superior drummer and easy drummer I think you're fantastic. Uh, you know, unless it unless you have the skills to make your own stuff and you have a room of your own that you can sample I don't know, I think superior and easier pretty great just go about that their rooms are fantastic, but and one thing that we would do sometimes is say you have one set of samples that might come from one place and some rooms from another you just mix and match till you get what you like, but nothing nothing beats are our new method there's something? Yeah, just one thing I'd like to do and I'm sure a lot of guys do this too is when you do have the opportunity to work in a good room and you're tracking kid or something like just take time, tio sample the whole kit if you get something really good and tom's tuned, right and you like it, like sample everything really deeply and then later on take the time to set up your own like instruments like it, like a trigger t c I file or something like that, and I've been doing that for years, so I've built up like a pretty good, you know, collection of kicks and snares and tom's that I've all engineered myself and you know that we don't have to feel like I'm copping out just like using superior like, you know, tens of thousands of other people are, you know, I love superior and stuff for song writing and pretty pro, and sometimes it doesn't find its way into a mix that I'm being paid to work on, but in general, I also like using my own my own sounds, you know, something that's, that's unique to my production I get I think we're basically saying the same thing because like, yeah, the thing is I own an amazing room, so like I've been the in care that we made, uh, it was taken to consideration that we have this room so may as well, like, take it to that level, but yet us before that that's what we were doing is making our own sample sets using using tc eyes, but then we would blend them with superior rooms uh, when we would have, like before we it could be sampling our own room and you had to do all that we would use superior rooms, they've got some really great rooms in there, so, you know, use your own samples with superior rooms, he is obviously you trigger the superior rooms the way you do that and you keep that, and we would just have tracks of of their rooms with our own samples and we work pretty well it's very similar to what you're saying it's the same idea I think definitely definitely try to customize a cz muchas possible um but that would require we require your recording some real drums um are you asking because you program maybe a lot or because you get many from other people who are going yeah it's ah, I don't know do do you have any drum recording skills? Um only very little yeah that see that's that would be helpful to get good at that and even if it means I mean it just depends how far you want to take it I've you or hire somebody and go to a studio you could go to a studio for a weekend or even for a day and hire somebody that knows how to engineer some drums and get some really good sounds to take him home and do what he's saying what I'm saying and you'll be in a better spot for sure um I think, uh I think that do you make your own and k I or you do it with tc eyes? What beautiful rooms? Um I normally record room samples to ok cool so you trigger u s oh every time I set up like a snare t c I I've actually done some snow tc eyes where there's like seven or eight velocity layers and like twenty hits per layer so it takes forever to chop that stuff up in fame and put all into an instrument but then if you work on something really busy like this and you have like, you know, like that many hits going by it takes a long time for that same first sample toe loop around and it kind of takes the fakeness out of it so I've set up a few like that but yes faras rooms I'll normally make a t c I have like top snare and bottoms in there and stereo room and then I can kind of mix them all independently yeah, the uh getting the rooms samples is is crucial do you have the simplest for ah demagogue so I have a few kids from aaron gillespie or jelly sturgis has some so I used those well if you like them than we're power to you but like uh I think the thing is like like he's saying and I'm saying is you're only going to get so far with other people's stuff and uh like occasionally other people sounds will work out but you kind of you're not going to root really get it to the next level until you start making your own sounds in my opinion it's the same guitar tones kind of like with the camper and everything with uh everyone wants everybody else's kemper tones but they don't ever really work the same way is the ones that you make for yourself um something happens when you make your own stuff uh have you ever you owner camper to um have you had that experience at all? I've used a few of the people's tones but yes so far to the stuff that I've done myself is my favorite yeah you know I mean because because like you know you spent time in front of it and putting a mike where you like it and like tweaking in and you know ironing out the parts you don't like you know like you hear that as soon as you turn your own profile back on you like oh yeah I remember when I had found that sound yeah so I think it's almost like look if somebody else's preset or ah or tone will work for you let me move on tio two symbols and stuff but let me just real quick to show you what this basically q is on these tom's just standard stuff nothing special cutting out some five hundred boosting some eight and ten boosting some two hundred I mean that's like normal normal stuff and nothing nothing really out of the ordinary here and then on the natural toms the same sort of idea just cutting out some mids boosting some highs and some lows it's like nothing crazy so employees some overheads all right? You see something I'm goingto get rid of the sikh you for a second I was wondering if this stuff was actually played okay but I mean so look obviously that's not gonna work is too full frequency and it's no point so generally I feel like everybody already knows this but generally the thing the way to go in medal for overheads is cut out the lows um however one thing that is good to do is uh listen closely and see if there's a lot of mid coming through and your lot lots of mit's coming through in your overheads and uh if there are look for the most offensive ones and notch those because overheads will kill your vocals and overheads will kill your guitars because symbols are very symbols and have it lots and lots of frequencies and they can just destroy mixes entirely so it's okay to leave the high end alone because not too much else inhabits that area but right here in the mids definitely be looking for that. I know a lot of people would just I have like slight dips just wherever the vocals lady you know, like in the one to two range they'll just have a slight dip like the slight dip we did in the guitars and that other song but you definitely definitely want to be looking for weird mids that will cloud everything up but that wasn't happening in this case who uh, didn't even bother uh that's not you grabbing a microphone how is the internet doing? I'm doing good way have a couple questions somebody wants to know what a t c I a is so the cia is just the uh like the uh preset for slate trinity's again it's all it's like you loaded up on all the samper's their slate trigger yeah it's like it's like agog for drama dog it's like a t c I for slate trigger and do you have to tone match even if you replace drums so they will match overhead in room mike's tone match yeah pitch match I think pitch match because that's what we're talking about yeah yeah pitchman it yes um so would you leave the room mike's the original room mike's then because that's what he's suggesting he's doing? I'm wondering if you sorry started so ok I'll start all over it says do you have to pitch match even when you replace drums so they will match overhead and room mike sayyou yes ok. Yes because a lot of your of your drum sound is going to come from your rooms and from your overheads maybe in metal it's not quite as extremes in rock like there's a lot of a lot of stuff on maybe even in and some of those more commercial forms of like the breakdown a sing song your radio kind of rock metal scene core kind of stuff um where the drum sound like especially the sustain of the drums and I guess a lot of the a lot of the a lot of the part of the tone and makes it sound like it's part of the drum set that's like the whole kid picture that's your overheads um in your rooms and a lot of times they're pretty loud in the mix so even if you're using completely replaced tom's but you're but you've got overheads yeah, you need to match pitches of course um I mean you know I'll say that and then some great mixer is going to be like I did this number one record where I didn't do that so whatever but in general yes pitch match um which is why when your doing the production side of things the engineering side of things you know make sure that your drums or tuned right so that later on you interview replacing them you're not you're not putting minor seconds in between your tom samples in your overhead truck action weird things like that I'm sure that question pertained mortar tom's than any other part of the kid but like with snare to just comes back tio recording things the way you want to hear them in the mix you know, like don't record ah band was like a really small little sounding snare drum and then when it comes to mix time like pull out some big fat sounding sample you know, I mean, you could probably get away with it if you tweak things long enough in the mix but like why why do that? You know, like if you know from the get go I want to really fat snare sound like, well user use of fat sounding snare you know? Yeah, absolutely there is only one like different approach that, uh I've taken that works but it's they say it's like a combination of what, what you're saying and one other thing okay? Like so so you have a final vision for a snare tone and it's a snare tone that's not really possible given what you've got, but you know that that snare tone is possible by a blend of what, whatever snares you have available to you natural snares plus a certain type of sample like say, uh you don't have a really deep stare, but what you're going for is a snare that's a lot of flak, but you know, deep through active but like really good high crack well then make the choice that the natural snare will have the crack you're looking for and you'll supply the other part of the tone with, uh with, you know, with the appropriate sample, but you still have the vision in advance and that's the point that's a deliberate move andi it's based on the situation you're in it's not that you just recorded some random snare like some random piccolo snare and then your places with, you know, a nineteen doing a fat city samples yeah, exactly it's the point is to make deliberate decisions sometimes you don't have the luxury of having the exact right gear drum wise for for the tone you're going for in the end but you can record with the mix in mind by doing things that you know will blend properly with where you're going to add to it that makes sense but that's again that just goes back to being deliberate in your choice is, um anything from else from the internet good, cool let's talk about some guitars. We'll just play the rooms real quick. Can I just want to go through this? Uh, well, you guys hear what my drama room sounds like. So this is my job. So the idea of using these in the mix is to just give a little bit more length to everything and to kind of glue everything other special and using samples. Uh, you don't want them to sound like they're just you know, and drums in space is what I call it in your room tracks are what will keep it from sounding that way. You just be really careful when you're mixing heavy music to not let your room tracks overpower everything because it eh they'll get washed out everything will get lost so you had tio yet to approach them very very carefully some guys don't even use room tracks but I feel like they're mixes sound like garbage um yes that's have a very, very light touch and uh I've got a lot of stuff going on here I'm sending them to a few different buses um well there's three different sets of rooms there's you eighty seven's reuters for fourteens and they're going to they're each going to a bus where adding a little bit of you guys are familiar with this plug and it's pretty cool um adding a little bit saturation compression and then from there sending them to a room bus where more compression and noise is being added for vibe but um e q wise like just like with overheads getting rid of that bottom that you just don't need you do not want anything messing with low end besides the base and the kick in this kind of music is just there's no room for that um then they're not shout all the one call he's not just but we got rid of all the nasty little spikes that I guess would get in the way of the other instruments here we go and then put it through I think so I was asking me if we use any of this slave stuff and yes we do here it is so give it a little bit more of that natural sound, though they already do have that natural sound, and then that's it, just blend them in. We just blended them in very softly, is all, um, so, yeah, when you're dealing with rooms in death metal, uh, just remember, you can ruin a mix really fast with these, so take it easy.

Class Materials

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Bonus - 1-on-1 Mix Critique with Eyal Levi.pdf
Eyal Levi - Mastering Metal Mixing - Mix Fundamental Slides.pdf
Eyal Levi - Mix Template Routed.ptx
Eyal Levi - Mix Template Routed.ptxt

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Eyal Levi - Syllabus.pdf

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