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Fingerspasm
post Sep 24 2009, 05:06 PM
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I recorded drums here recently and I now have a few things I am trying to figure out. Just for background I used a Shure drum mic kit and put a mic on the kick, snare, 2 toms, I also had 2 overhead mics for cymbals and more of a room sound.
I recorded through my Apogee ensemble into logic on my mac. So the equipment was pretty good. So now I have 6 tracks to mix. Should I cut out all the areas in these tracks that are picking up all the other drum sounds? For instance when the Kick or the Toms have silent areas should I cut that part of the track out since the mic's are picking up sounds from the cymbals and other drums. These sounds are at a lower level but my thought is that maybe this is taking up space in the mix and it might also be creating phase issues because maybe the sound of the kick being picked up through the snare mic might be causing phase issues. Just some thoughts that are creeping into my head after going round and round with my first all out recording session and mixing session. Any thoughts on the subject would be appreciated. I am going to work on it later so maybe I will post some the the tracks on here if anybody is interested in hearing what I am trying to work with. smile.gif


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Neurologi
post Sep 24 2009, 08:08 PM
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The beauty of recording live drums is the bleed which you make mention of. It is what gives it character. If you want clean drums you would use a drum replacement program to give it a more midi-programmed feel. The bleed is what gives you the sound stage in the mix becoming less one dimensional. You could of course lower levels on certain tracks to give a tighter and more closed feeling. It all depends on what you want to achieve. My suggestion is to think in terms of capturing the essence of the performance and not become overly preoccupied with achieving a purely clinical take.

Hope that helps.


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enforcer
post Sep 24 2009, 08:18 PM
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There are some points you should take in account if you wish to make an edit for the drum recordings. First, think as a whole, for example, if you have a kick beat that is off tempo and a little early, before you move it, you need to select all the tracks, search for that kick beat on other mics, and move them all together... If not, there may be some phasing issues, that can change the sound dramatically.

Secondly, the bleeding is natural as Neurologi told you, but you can cut it off with some eq. For example, the bleeding of snare into hihat mic is a normal thing (as is the vice-versa) but you can isolate hihat or the snare to a point by eq'ing recorded tracks...

If there is some bleeding, dont tone instruments seperately, solo the kick channel, try to find an adequate basis for that, then unmute all the others and check that kick sound, and mix accordingly.

Hope that helps buddy.

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Fingerspasm
post Sep 24 2009, 08:36 PM
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Hey thanks for the replies. It makes sense about trying to keep the Character of the drums in there. My biggest problem is that my mix sounds flat and choked. The drums do not sound alive like they are pushing air and are breathing. They sound just flat. I have done some EQ and Compression work and that has helped with the overall tone but they still sound 2 dimensional and flat. When I listen to some other songs that play the same type of music it sounds like its really pushing some air and has lots of life..... I will keep tinkering around with it. smile.gif


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Staffy
post Sep 24 2009, 08:46 PM
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QUOTE (Fingerspasm @ Sep 24 2009, 09:36 PM) *
Hey thanks for the replies. It makes sense about trying to keep the Character of the drums in there. My biggest problem is that my mix sounds flat and choked. The drums do not sound alive like they are pushing air and are breathing. They sound just flat. I have done some EQ and Compression work and that has helped with the overall tone but they still sound 2 dimensional and flat. When I listen to some other songs that play the same type of music it sounds like its really pushing some air and has lots of life..... I will keep tinkering around with it. smile.gif


I will say that usually there should be a noise gate on the kick and snare, they are processed separetely from there, on the other mics there's acually no need to cut the leakage since you will work with the EQ instead to separate the drums from eachother. One thing that really beefs up the snare is to use two mics, one over and one under, and then mix them as desired. If You have access to compressors, try to use them on kick & snare & toms. A multiband compressor to get the drums as near as 0 db as possible will also make them come "closer" in the speakers and more balanced. But that is a step that can be left til the final mix, since its common today to maximize the headroom in order to get a mix that is loudest possible.

//Staffay


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enforcer
post Sep 24 2009, 09:05 PM
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Man, drums sounding flat and lifeless, it sounded like phase cancellation to me... Check the position of your overhead mics, keep them in a A-B type posture... If it doesnt help, give a little angle or height difference between them... That should help... Also check those sites:

http://www.howtodothings.com/computers-int...d-and-mix-drums

http://homerecording.about.com/od/recordin.../glyn_johns.htm

this later one is great, I really recommend it! biggrin.gif


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American Stratocaster Maple Standart with X2N bridge pickups
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Pod Xt Pro Rack Amp Simulation System
Digitech TSR 12 Rack Effect and Studio Reverb
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Neurologi
post Sep 24 2009, 09:11 PM
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QUOTE (Fingerspasm @ Sep 24 2009, 10:36 PM) *
When I listen to some other songs that play the same type of music it sounds like its really pushing some air and has lots of life.....


What you are hearing is no doubt a final master. The mixing process is quite separate where you get the overall balance right but leaving enough headroom for the mastering process. Don't push up levels so high in the mix that it comes out squashed in the master.


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Staffy
post Sep 24 2009, 09:14 PM
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QUOTE (Neurologi @ Sep 24 2009, 10:11 PM) *
What you are hearing is no doubt a final master. The mixing process is quite separate where you get the overall balance right but leaving enough headroom for the mastering process. Don't push up levels so high in the mix that it comes out squashed in the master.


Absolutely right! The mastering process is totally underestimated, and is often what differs a home recording and a pro recording, since these mastering guys (or software) will do a great job when the final mix is done!

//Staffay


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Fingerspasm
post Sep 24 2009, 09:20 PM
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Enforcer - Thanks for listing those sites I have been to homerecording a couple of times and its a good site. I will double check and make sure my waveforms are lined up and not out of phase. This is what I was worried about with the bleed over from one mic to another. I was thinking those small snare sounds in the kick mic might be causing a little cancelation since the sound had to travel a little further it might be out of time with the actual snare mic etc.

Staffy and Neurologi - Yes you could be right I should probably not try and get my mix to sound like a master but just concentrate on the levels. So when I go to the mastering process is this done by mixing down to one track?

This post has been edited by Fingerspasm: Sep 24 2009, 09:29 PM


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Staffy
post Sep 24 2009, 09:27 PM
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QUOTE (Fingerspasm @ Sep 24 2009, 10:20 PM) *
Hmmm maybe this is my problem. I am trying to get the final mix to sound like the mix that has already been mastered. When the master a mix. Do you render the mix into one file and then Master?


Yeah, thats exactly what You do. In the first mix try to balance everything and get as close to the desired final sound as possible, then You master it with additional EQ, multiband compressors, Tube processing, Exciters .... there's a lot of options here to improve the result. The goal here, is as i mentioned before, to come as close 0 db as possible. Some producers even do this in several steps, adding a little compression for each mastering until its really loud.....


//Staffay


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Fingerspasm
post Sep 24 2009, 09:31 PM
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QUOTE (Staffy @ Sep 24 2009, 03:27 PM) *
Yeah, thats exactly what You do. In the first mix try to balance everything and get as close to the desired final sound as possible, then You master it with additional EQ, multiband compressors, Tube processing, Exciters .... there's a lot of options here to improve the result. The goal here, is as i mentioned before, to come as close 0 db as possible. Some producers even do this in several steps, adding a little compression for each mastering until its really loud.....


//Staffay


So get my tracks balanced out and then mix down to a High Quality .wav file and then put that back into Logic and start applying the mastering to that one track?


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MickeM
post Sep 24 2009, 09:32 PM
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Sounds like phase error to me too. You can try the overhead mikes in different positions when recording. Angled, straight down, move them closer or further apart or the Hi-mic, Crash-Mic, left or right or whatever you call them over taking eachothers sides even.
Beaware of bleed, especially with the kick mike. If it's put inside the kick there shouldn't be a problem. If it's outside the drum you can get a probem with phase in relation to the overhead mikes.

I suggest you do this, raise the overhead mikes in your mix. Kick turned off. Raise the kick until you hear it over the overhead mikes (you'll have the kick there too obviously)
Then phase shift the kick channel! Does it sound better or worse? If it sounded better you had a phase error between the overhead mikes and the kick.


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Staffy
post Sep 24 2009, 09:35 PM
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QUOTE (Fingerspasm @ Sep 24 2009, 10:31 PM) *
So get my tracks balanced out and then mix down to a High Quality .wav file and then put that back into Logic and start applying the mastering to that one track?


Yeah, sounds like a good idea !!! I dont know if You records in 24 bit or not, but if so, export the .waw file as 24-bit and then use dithering to convert it to 16 bit in the final master. I use T-Racks T3 for mastering, great plugin but I dont know if its compatible with Logic??? (i use Cubase)

//Staffay


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Neurologi
post Sep 24 2009, 09:39 PM
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QUOTE (Staffy @ Sep 24 2009, 11:35 PM) *
Yeah, sounds like a good idea !!! I dont know if You records in 24 bit or not, but if so, export the .waw file as 24-bit and then use dithering to convert it to 16 bit in the final master. I use T-Racks T3 for mastering, great plugin but I dont know if its compatible with Logic??? (i use Cubase)

//Staffay


Final bit depth depends on the track's purpose. 16 bit is for old school CD ... smile.gif And yeah T-Racks seems to be a popular choice for a quick and dirty master that still gets good results.

[EDIT] >> I would suggest leaving the master at the original bit depth. You can always post-process the file to an alternate bit depth or sample rate later.

This post has been edited by Neurologi: Sep 24 2009, 09:44 PM


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Fingerspasm
post Sep 24 2009, 09:47 PM
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QUOTE (MickeM @ Sep 24 2009, 03:32 PM) *
Sounds like phase error to me too. You can try the overhead mikes in different positions when recording. Angled, straight down, move them closer or further apart or the Hi-mic, Crash-Mic, left or right or whatever you call them over taking eachothers sides even.
Beaware of bleed, especially with the kick mike. If it's put inside the kick there shouldn't be a problem. If it's outside the drum you can get a probem with phase in relation to the overhead mikes.

I suggest you do this, raise the overhead mikes in your mix. Kick turned off. Raise the kick until you hear it over the overhead mikes (you'll have the kick there too obviously)
Then phase shift the kick channel! Does it sound better or worse? If it sounded better you had a phase error between the overhead mikes and the kick.



I will try that. Thanks for the help

QUOTE (Staffy @ Sep 24 2009, 03:35 PM) *
Yeah, sounds like a good idea !!! I dont know if You records in 24 bit or not, but if so, export the .waw file as 24-bit and then use dithering to convert it to 16 bit in the final master. I use T-Racks T3 for mastering, great plugin but I dont know if its compatible with Logic??? (i use Cubase)

//Staffay


Sounds good I will give it a shot. I have T-Racks on my PC. I will try it in Reaper with T-Racks and also on my Mac in Logic.

QUOTE (Neurologi @ Sep 24 2009, 03:39 PM) *
Final bit depth depends on the track's purpose. 16 bit is for old school CD ... smile.gif And yeah T-Racks seems to be a popular choice for a quick and dirty master that still gets good results.

[EDIT] >> I would suggest leaving the master at the original bit depth. You can always post-process the file to an alternate bit depth or sample rate later.


I can leave it at 24 bit right? I was wondering when I finally bounce the track down to burn to a CD what is the format that I would want to use? Surely not MP3. I guess I need to dig into my Logic book a little further and see if it has a function for getting it ready to put on CD.


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Sep 24 2009, 10:02 PM
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QUOTE (Fingerspasm @ Sep 24 2009, 08:20 PM) *
... So when I go to the mastering process is this done by mixing down to one track?


Not quite. IMHO you would be better off providing a stereo main bus with as little processing on it as possible and the stems in the original wav format that you tracked and mixed at unrendered to any ME and allow them to work on those files (or master them yourself of course).

Mastering is in part summing and rendering, part making the final cd copy to correct standards, part correct gain staging, part over all tonal and dynamic balance. Give the ME the best mixed track you can to work on and let them do the mastering. Mastering is not about slamming the levels or even achieving as close to max output - its about making the track musical: that so many modern recordings go for maximum loudness is a symptom of the industry and not a sign of good ME. Just my opinion though smile.gif .

Back to your OP:

Recording drums will almost certainly have some bleed - it's pretty much unavoidable. Nonetheless there are some things you can do to improve a drum tracking/mixing stage. First make sure the drum kit is properly and well tuned. Then make sure it is positioned in the recording room as well as possible. Third different parts have different dynamic properties - you don't have to hit the hi hat as hard as the snare, if you do you will spill hi hat. Fourth you don't need lots of mics to record drums well but you do need a range of different mics to focus on the different characteristics and you need to position these properly to correctly capture the particular bit of the drum kit, minimise spill and be in phase. Fifth damp the drum kit and room.

Record the drums as multi stems of a group. Also mult the kick, snare, etc. Use the mults to level correct before attempting compression and eq. Eq and compress as required - experiment with different types of compressors, multiple sequential compression and parallel compression. Multi band as a last ditch attempt to save a track but only on the drum group and not the main.

Anyway, if you can't go back and re-record experiment on the tracked file/s.




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Neurologi
post Sep 24 2009, 10:19 PM
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QUOTE (Fingerspasm @ Sep 24 2009, 11:47 PM) *
I can leave it at 24 bit right? I was wondering when I finally bounce the track down to burn to a CD what is the format that I would want to use? Surely not MP3. I guess I need to dig into my Logic book a little further and see if it has a function for getting it ready to put on CD.


Record, mix and master at as high a bit depth and sample rate as practicable. Then as the final step when you have decided its purpose convert to the appropriate bit depth and sample rate for the rendered file. Audio CD tracks are pretty much 16 bit, 44.1kHz files in wave format. Mp3 is good for the net and that is about it! smile.gif


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Fingerspasm
post Sep 24 2009, 10:22 PM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ Sep 24 2009, 04:02 PM) *
Not quite. IMHO you would be better off providing a stereo main bus with as little processing on it as possible and the stems in the original wav format that you tracked and mixed at unrendered to any ME and allow them to work on those files (or master them yourself of course).

Mastering is in part summing and rendering, part making the final cd copy to correct standards, part correct gain staging, part over all tonal and dynamic balance. Give the ME the best mixed track you can to work on and let them do the mastering. Mastering is not about slamming the levels or even achieving as close to max output - its about making the track musical: that so many modern recordings go for maximum loudness is a symptom of the industry and not a sign of good ME. Just my opinion though smile.gif .

Back to your OP:

Recording drums will almost certainly have some bleed - it's pretty much unavoidable. Nonetheless there are some things you can do to improve a drum tracking/mixing stage. First make sure the drum kit is properly and well tuned. Then make sure it is positioned in the recording room as well as possible. Third different parts have different dynamic properties - you don't have to hit the hi hat as hard as the snare, if you do you will spill hi hat. Fourth you don't need lots of mics to record drums well but you do need a range of different mics to focus on the different characteristics and you need to position these properly to correctly capture the particular bit of the drum kit, minimise spill and be in phase. Fifth damp the drum kit and room.

Record the drums as multi stems of a group. Also mult the kick, snare, etc. Use the mults to level correct before attempting compression and eq. Eq and compress as required - experiment with different types of compressors, multiple sequential compression and parallel compression. Multi band as a last ditch attempt to save a track but only on the drum group and not the main.

Anyway, if you can't go back and re-record experiment on the tracked file/s.


So for mastering I can just go to the final output track in logic and master it there. I notice that this is the only track that gives you access to the mastering presets. I am going to have to step back and learn how to group my tracks. Right now I just have 24 individually labeled tracks and I am working on each one individually. I need to learn how to group the drums guitars etc. Kinda learning as I go. I am seeing improvements every day some days are frustrating and end in me wanting to give up and some days I make progress.
As for the loudness factor. Unfortunately I am going to have to make the final master be as loud as some of the famous groups that my son is emulating. They are used to hearing this type of music this way plus I am not sure they have ever listened to anything that is not Mp3 so they have a certain expectation that I will try to meet. I agree with using the volume control to make music louder after it has been mastered but when they put it on myspace they want it to have that volume level that they have come to expect. Anyway thanks for the input. I will surely be posting more as I continue this process. Any other suggestions are more than welcome. smile.gif


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Sep 24 2009, 10:41 PM
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QUOTE (Fingerspasm @ Sep 24 2009, 08:47 PM) *
... I was wondering when I finally bounce the track down to burn to a CD what is the format that I would want to use? Surely not MP3. ...


Really depends

-if you mean full international commercial audio cd the format is 'cda', or more correctly red book where the audio meets certain criteria - including that it is 16bit, 44.1. CDA is neither wav nor mp3 - though arguably is closer to wav as it is uncompressed and loss less.

Red book is more than just nyquist etc though and includes a number of other issues like ISRC6. A full red disc master though is what a cd pressing plant would generally expect you to send them if you wanted them to print 1000 copies of your latest work.

I'm not sure if Logic does/meets full red book standard for cd authoring - I think you'd have to use a second program like waveburner to do cda.

- if you just want a final recording that people can play back on most domestic/car systems then wav or mp3 will usually work - and aac for ipods - as most people have equipment that can read those ok. MP3, whilst very popular, is a 'lossy' format in that it compresses data, wav (and a few others ie apple lossless, ogg vorbis, flac) are loss less. MP3 has an advantage that is will result in a much smaller file (about 1/10th the size of the equivalent wav file), but may be of poorer overall audio quality. MP3 may also result in distortion of the original uncompressed and unrendered file. Most people, on most domestic systems would probably not notice this loss of quality tbh.

However if you have not finalised your recording then you should save what you are still working on in an uncompressed form. Once you compress a file it is very difficult/impossible to get back the lost data.


QUOTE (Fingerspasm @ Sep 24 2009, 09:22 PM) *
So for mastering I can just go to the final output track in logic and master it there. I notice that this is the only track that gives you access to the mastering presets. ...


I don't really use Logic but I'm pretty sure that if you sent a group (ie the drum group) as a bus to a new stereo channel then Logic would see this as ok to access the master bus. You'd still of course need to be able to sum that with the other groups at a later stage but you may get away with re-importing the mastered stereo file back into your original.

Slammed mixes and masters rolleyes.gif - don't get me started wink.gif .


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Fingerspasm
post Sep 24 2009, 11:21 PM
Post #20


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QUOTE (tonymiro @ Sep 24 2009, 04:41 PM) *
Really depends

-if you mean full international commercial audio cd the format is 'cda', or more correctly red book where the audio meets certain criteria - including that it is 16bit, 44.1. CDA is neither wav nor mp3 - though arguably is closer to wav as it is uncompressed and loss less.

Red book is more than just nyquist etc though and includes a number of other issues like ISRC6. A full red disc master though is what a cd pressing plant would generally expect you to send them if you wanted them to print 1000 copies of your latest work.

I'm not sure if Logic does/meets full red book standard for cd authoring - I think you'd have to use a second program like waveburner to do cda.

- if you just want a final recording that people can play back on most domestic/car systems then wav or mp3 will usually work - and aac for ipods - as most people have equipment that can read those ok. MP3, whilst very popular, is a 'lossy' format in that it compresses data, wav (and a few others ie apple lossless, ogg vorbis, flac) are loss less. MP3 has an advantage that is will result in a much smaller file (about 1/10th the size of the equivalent wav file), but may be of poorer overall audio quality. MP3 may also result in distortion of the original uncompressed and unrendered file. Most people, on most domestic systems would probably not notice this loss of quality tbh.

However if you have not finalised your recording then you should save what you are still working on in an uncompressed form. Once you compress a file it is very difficult/impossible to get back the lost data.




I don't really use Logic but I'm pretty sure that if you sent a group (ie the drum group) as a bus to a new stereo channel then Logic would see this as ok to access the master bus. You'd still of course need to be able to sum that with the other groups at a later stage but you may get away with re-importing the mastered stereo file back into your original.

Slammed mixes and masters rolleyes.gif - don't get me started wink.gif .


Hey thanks I really appreciate the info. I understand that this is as much of an art form as it is a science. I am approaching it like I approach guitar. It will take time and lots of practice. I just want to try and get these 5 songs to a level where my son can put them on CD and sell them at his shows. I will try and render down the Drum tracks later and post them. Maybe I can get some advice on the sound. Thanks again smile.gif P.S. I understand your feelings about slamming the tracks but I am trying to reason with my 17 year old son not an easy task.


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