Skip to main content

Mixing Drums

Lesson 26 from: Studio Pass with Tommy Rogers and Jamie King

Tommy Rogers, Jamie King

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

26. Mixing Drums

Lesson Info

Mixing Drums

Once everything's done terms above you know production editing you know the drums air quant ized um the guitars in the basic want eyes the vocals or quantifies tuned in the line usually what I would go to next you know you could start with you you know you referenced everything make sure all the all the takes or the way you want things started on some mixing you know like I said, I do some pseudo mixing while I you know while I'm going to get stuff a kind of in the ballpark just just for the uh the client to listen to um uh you know, I really start my make someone's everything's done and I'm confident we got some final tracks or whatever one of the first things I dress or whatever you know is this something I do this it is kind of unique I guess is ah I deal with the dynamics and leah we'll see what we've got here that I wouldn't only use try the other way until one eye either used this or maxim there's our auto some limiters meaning that they they audit you can set a ceiling uh level ...

and the it automatically uh it automatically returns the when you when you process the file and automatically sits the siller the thresh the actual way form in this case if I usually sit about negative two or negative three or four and it automatically puts the signal to that level to the highest level of the track to that to that point, these things are different in that they don't they don't change the the transit of the sound and what forms the sound to us and I cannot give a demonstration of that with a kid's room zoom and make this thing huge we got said actually used these for my primary dynamics let's look at this one kick drum sample. Sure, most of you guys know what kick drum looks like? Uh like I say, we will set a ceiling of ah negative two d b and I'm just going to really crush this thing just so you can see some of things that are going on as you noticed it makes the wave huge really crush it and obviously, if you could give you too much, you're going to hear a negative artifact but what's unique about these. Like I said, they don't change the character, the sound they don't, they don't sharp, they don't accentuate the transit, they don't compressed the truth, they don't take away the transit as much as they are and they just even the transients out if you zoom in and I'll do this in criminal incrementally so you can see what's happening, okay? Like said, we haven't reached the negative to threshold, so it's actually still turning up stuff but after a while if you noticed on that process look at the transit, the actual attack and this is the part that forms with the way we hear this kick drum if I compress it or limited mohr this stays about the same this comes up the body of the audio the residents of the audience stays about the same or changes this is actually increasing this stays about the same again does that make any sense to you goes so this portion that actually forms the way we hear stays virtually the same so like I said, it doesn't change the sound of it and it actually you know you can use it to even out the attacks of the audio from what forms the nose, the audio and just maximize the sound or the residents of the ambiance of the can we cumulus here what those two sound like like before can you actually hear a difference as a single that's a kick out let me let me grab a kickin it might be a little easier to hear I just had that band passed it was try this it's good to our threshold there's the one kick drum hit if you compress it are limited more so sounds pretty official saying just louder tells the same just the body louder the body continues like I said, if you really zoom in you know this this little piece here it doesn't change how much do you do it on the like for for the drums in general like that I just do it enough I usually enough of this so whatever to even out all the hard hits like I don't want to strip all the dynamics out the performance but you can look through this performance tommy was pretty consistent with this kicked dynamics which is optimal for this song this song is pretty straightforward kings river falls yeah uh but what I want to do this I want even up these things and like so this is something that happens with a compressor you don't get the visual that I'm getting then I'm going to get here because you're not processing you're actually just using it on the track as a plug in or as a hardware peace in iraq the compression does very the same thing but the compression you since you control the amount of attack and release you can you can it actually changes the way it sounds where sometimes could be desirable and actually use compressors teo teo change the way it sounds also but the like I just feel like in my experience these you know, you know I'll be it there in to be to blame for the loudness wars, but they're really good, you know they're way more efficient and better and I actually dynamics controls the compressors because part of the thing with these also is they read ahead they don't they don't like with with an analog rat compressor it requires some signal ting to engage the compression and these that they don't work on that principle it analyzes the actual way form in advance and like said that enables it to preserve that transit so that doesn't change the way it sounds it just literally umm it doesn't change the sound much like some of these sound a little different but it literally enables you to just even out the dynamics and maximize the levels that's why did you design the avid um, version? This is called maximum maximized the sound, but I'm gonna do this incrementally just so I could get get ah a visual some will try about four dbs again reduction if that makes any sense just like you would a compressor said the threshold we're just gonna lower that out ceilings negative too we're going in increments of four saw it's getting bigger louder now we're seeing the compression see how these these kicks arm or even we get a really good visual I want to do just enough of that. Let me let me do it just to be again induction so do you want some? You want to maintain some like dynamics when you're looking at it visually sometimes yeah, like natural it happens if the drummer actually is purposely playing it like say, you know you've got a loud chorus part I would want to even out loud chorus parts and then if the drummers pulling back and a verse or ah you know, an interlude or something like that leave those natural dynamics there don't compress it so much that takes away his his dynamics or her dynamics thea um but in this case like I said that cake is the polls through this whole entire song it's pretty consistent we wanted kind of consistent so I'm actually going toe compress it until it's consistent and this looks pretty consistent there's a fuel lighter hits but we could actually copy and paste those out if we want but this is something that idea this unique the but I don't know you know that anyone ale stills that I haven't actually I worked with and kind of showing what I would do whatever you like said and there's like so you got to be careful with this because you don't want to compress it too much like said takes away dynamics when also it could bring up a lot of the residents some of the negative artifacts whatever like symbol bleeding stuff if you do it on the stair you're really crushed the snare you're going to bring in a lot of symbols and high hat bleed um but I use this across the board and it really helps it really helps even out all the dime away the dynamics that you want consistent it really helps them make them more consistent way quicker than in and and also, you know, it's a lot more visual than than, you know, working with an outdoor compressor or, you know, even a plug in compressor that you see engages jump up and down and stuff like that this you could actually see what it's doing to the audio yeah, and you could know that I know those kicks or consistent media is that why you're not using it as a plug in versace and you're using your party you can use this is a plug in to get the same result okay in all reality, but I like the process it because it gives me a visual, okay? And then you know he'd say some cpu power also because it is that actually rendering to like yeah and pro tools has got, you know, it's, I don't know how many other dolls were you know, programs offer the process option or the render option or whatever, but pro tools was really, you know, great in that each plug in you can actually process the audio process, the actual pull again onto the track itself and we do this with the kick out we'll go incrementally so you can see it it looks pretty even vegan yeah it's pretty even and again I didn't do this but you know what I've been doing this forever and the I recommend saving unprocessed versions just in case you need to revert back these stairs you can kind of see here he's playing lighter dynamic and diverse and that's on purpose and we're gonna let it stay a little lighter I just want to even up on the snare top here I want to even up these these hits on the top or in the loud portions maybe too much I say it for me this is educated guess type stuff I mean and first starting this you want to kind of be a you've done this enough that you want to listen to what you want to process it listen to it make sure it's it sounds cool it's gonna work but you can look at it and know what it's going to sound like thiss yeah you know that drew the analogy that you know it's like if you're typing on a keyboard first you have to look at the keys but over time you don't have to look at the keys anymore you know it's uh it just happened so don't get frustrated if it seems like a lot of stuff a super time consuming for you know or more time consuming that it's you know it is for me here the tom's you could see the tom hits here look kind of do the same type of deal to go all the way open tom's what's that like you try to get it not necessarily anoka like said the cool thing about this you can see the attenuation here with the this particular poll again you could see how much gain reduction you're actually getting, how much limiting you're getting and like that is great because you it presses down on the audio but then it auto sums it back up too negative too so that's why it looks like it's making it larger but basically it's like it's actually pressing those loud transits down a little bit and then it's automatically put it back up to where your your pre selected position and they hear the drum overheads and symbols there was one thing I may have mentioned earlier and I'm doing this is relative to the mix I'm doing a band pass hi pass it five hundred hertz so everything below five hundred hertz is getting cut out the low end rumble the gong iness of the symbol I'm leaving only highs now I find it nice like said, I'm going to actually take this off I find it beneficial toe actually physically process because you know, like I've been doing this long enough and it's we've already mixed this record so I know this will work you see where the I know in my symbol tracks the hat riding overheads symbols I want five hundred hertz gone we'll go in process this, and this is the reason I'm doing this because I said again, it gives me a visual representation. You notice how the way form looks different now, the process he will see the snare bleed and the kick bleed it's reduced, so every time you process it does it just doesn't do it again or do it more. Yeah, I can do unify process this multiple times it would it would actually roll off a little more, okay, but you see how it looks smaller, the actual symbol information stays the same because there's not much symbol information on I'm just doing it over and over, so you can see it is actually not a lot of symbol information below five hundred, so the symbol information stays the same, but this bleed is different, and I go ahead and process that specifically so I can, uh so I could do my dynamics more accurate, so I'm actually because I so I can actually see what the the limiting is doing to the symbols, not the believe from the other door, not the actual pick up from the other drones like cakes there in toms, the film was first just said itunes negative two and results set the negative tuesday at zero I just want a little bit of ah had red room exactly just so just in case I need to turn something up a little bit I mean, sometimes it's a good idea to you said and negative four yeah so you can actually process on effect on their you know, something of that nature but the negative you off often works keeps things from clipping do incrementally again I've gotten to the point where I can actually look at it and tell how much reduction to do it and that just gotten uncannily miraculously good at doing that what I want to do with these symbol tracks I want to actually push down the snare bleed and actually get it where I'm actually limiting the actual symbol information a little bit even in and out I said again you could do all this with the compressor with the auto some limiter on the bus itself but it's way less visual and you know I said I mean, I definitely recommend trusting your years and stuff but your eyes can help also this or the, you know, part of pro tools it's one of the things one of the main attributes for and benefits from having pro tools is that you get a visual representation of everything you know, it's all graphical and that's really a great tool and I don't think that you shouldn't not used that, you know, I mean obviously audio is ah is what you hear but like say this gives you a graphic representation that you can is another tool to help you I get what you're looking for audio wise, faster, this high hat some might have gone a little too much on this, even at this loud high and it's there and anything you used the ride, did you, tommy? I don't think so. No, tommy didn't use the ride. I'm well, actually we'll use that because what? I want to come in a lot of times of these acts it, um mike's is that it's often times is a good idea to ah, to do a little bit of gating. Emanuel gating just stripped says he didn't use the right almost going throw that away let's say I used to ride on the verse only would you erase everything that's? Not yet the verse yeah, so here used the high hat there in the middle song, but use your crash writing here while the auxiliary drum stuff like that you eat justo takeaway lesson I mean, because what I want out of these close up mike's like, you know, if you had a splash or china or so stacks or something, I usually would try to mike those at least in pairs, and I'm liking the hat and ride and these air just for extra detail and you know, you know volume if you need it in the mix, whatever that's how it kind of treat these like the overheads or kind of central they're picking up the all the symbols overall like all the symbols go into the overheads and even in the room like so you always have that, but if you need a little extra detail from the ride, you know the extra detail from the heights hat you can bring these mikes in and because of that I'm going to go to turn will turn this well it's actually down right now anyway, but I will keep these kind of low for now because we might I mean, there might be enough high hat coming in through the room mikes and the overheads and the stair mike and stuff that we don't even need extra because you're not doing a lot of intricate I had working the song so may not even need it, but we've even out all the hard hits their room mike same type of deal I just wanted to even out the hard drum hits I prefer a manu far room a lot of people do stereo for rooms, but there isn't, you know, it's kind of tough to get a stereo image at a distance you know it's just hard to ah and I just found it more useful in the mix just single monitor so how far I mean depending on how big this your room is how far out do you put your like here the stereo likes where ten feet. Yeah, well, normally I'm ice you know, because I have a smaller room you know, normally I go you know, sixty eight feet out with the the medium room stereo meeting rooms and then I'll go with a mano far mike whenever I go out about twenty feet okay. Um from the kid or whatever fifteen to twenty feet and here I think was pretty much probably we did hear actually yeah, pretty pretty similar the rooms were like five feet off the ground for five feet. Yeah, and then it just kind of like saying what you just think where you know if you were standing there having how could you hear the kids most and the reason I lower the close rooms lower those mikes or whatever so they can actually pick up the kick drum and the drums that are closer to the floor a little better. You know, obviously the symbols are gonna cut you know very easily in those mikes but mainly what I want from the room is the ambiance of the actual kicks there toms and things but if you have tons of my I mean it's always nice and if those of you who have worked with a superior drummer and uh with the other engineers and social whatever it's always ah it's always nice if you if you have the extra inputs and loads extra likes just grab other you know it could be cool to do a manu mike over the top for a fix that could be cool to throw mike out in the hallway you hear about people doing that kind of stuff all the time or multiple room likes I mean a lot of times you don't need those but they're cool for in effect so you want to drop out and have like, rooms you know out and then you know really just trashed out type of rooms down you know, uh, you know, a lot of a lot of people mess around with that kind of stuff, so of course you could do the similar types of affects with plug ins also, but now it like said of what I've done here like said, I'm going through, but I was some limiting and like, um like keep grabbing their own knobs here wrong controls, but I've ah, I've even nelson dynamics where said, normally you'd want to listen to these to make sure they're good whatever, but but this is a process our a p over everything weii tracked, we track these shakers previously and you've noticed I've kind of done that already on the shaker the media may call the smaller let's solve so many mix issues because a lot of times, you know it's, like, you know her to be in describing, you know, massaging stuff into the mix or, you know, trying to make it sit in the mix and things like that if you take the dynamics out of stuff that really doesn't need the dynamic first not desirable to have the dynamics than you ah, large portion your work has done, you know, and and also like said, you don't have to rely on running a bunch of compression in the cpu using plug ins or ah, you know, out your passion in outboard gear first for this particular purpose, you know, when you could just process that on there and it's also, like said, I mean, it does you know it since it pushes down the transit it's a little bit who makes the drum sound bigger, maximizes volume in the in the size it changes the ratio of the the, uh the attack to the residents of the from its sale, like for the kick drum is pushing down that transit, make other residents come up a little bit in ratio, so it makes it sound bigger boom here, that kind of stuff.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Jamie King - Tommy Rogers - Gear List.pdf
Jamie King - Tracking Template.ptf

bonus material with enrollment

Tommy Rogers and Jamie King - Syllabus.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Zachary Towne

Thanks for two outstanding sessions. Tommy, Jamie and the Creative Live folks really did a great job elucidating the studio recording process for producing honest, listenable, and powerful rock and metal recordings. I particularly appreciated the individual treatment of each instrument as well as how they all integrate into the mix. I found Jamie's methods to be straightforward and effective and I'm really looking forward to applying that to my own production.

a Creativelive Student

Another well done class from Creativelive. A glimpse into the daily life of a pro musician and pro engineer. Some great advice, tips and tricks that anyone can use to make better music. Was hoping they would get more into the business side of things, they did briefly discuss it towards the end, however a more detailed, longer discussion on the topic would have been good. You do learn some cool ways to record and mix. Some of these are obvious, some not so much. I am sure that for most people you will get something of value from this class.


This was an awesome 1st half of the course! Jamie touched on so many things that I've always had questions about in the production environment. I can't wait for the second day! This course is a MUST HAVE!! I will be purchasing it soon!! Many thanks for the Livestream!

Student Work