Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mixing Drums - Dynamics - Isolating the Internal Bass Drum Mic

Here, finally, are my entries regarding processing drums.  I originally intended to write this series, but quickly realized how almost futile it is to describe, using words, the sounds of things and the manner in which I'm processing to change those sounds.  So... after some searching I came across a nifty little software program called Screenflow that allows me to record my computer desktop, so you can see what I'm doing (I know, I know, Screenflow isn't a new thing.... I'm just an old dog, so I think it's pretty cool).

The tracks I'm processing are of a 1968 Ludwig 4-piece kit, tuned and miked up, with no processing whatsoever on them (no compression, EQ or efx).  This allows me to show you how I approach the processing of drums.

Mics are:

Kick - AKG D112 (internal) and modified Oktava MK319 (outside front)
Snare - Shure SM57 top and bottom
Rack and Floor toms - Audio-Technica ATM25
Hat - AKG C460/CK61
Overheads - Audio-Technica AT4060
Rooms - Coles 4038

This first installment deals with isolating the internal kick drum mic.

NOTE:  All the processing in these videos is done with plugins that come with ProTools.  In the video I'm using ProTools 8 LE with my Mbox 2 on a MacBook.  I'm actually an analogue guy when it comes to mixing (LOVE my analogue outboard gear!), but for the sake of demonstration I want to show what could be done with more commonly available stuff.

I tried to make the quality of sound for this video good (I'll have to check it on my system and see if it rendered properly).  I may have to adjust my method as we go, but try to listen with the highest quality, widest bandwidth speakers or headphones you have to get the full effect.  Computer speakers won't be of much use.

This processing series begins with isolating the various kit components (via dynamics control) and then moves into compression, equalisation and efx processing, so keep checking back for more installments.

Here's the first:

Thanks for watching!

Joel Cameron

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