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Author Topic: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?  (Read 3186 times)

Bill Meeks

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Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
« Reply #50 on: December 13, 2020, 01:34:16 pm »

Yep I would call your 'stereo aux bus' a 'group bus'.

The terminology I've heard most folks use when talking about the Yamaha TF series is to call those Aux outs. You have 8 monos that can be paired to produce up to 4 stereo pairs if desired, and then you have the 6 stereo pairs that are stereo only (can't be switched to mono). Yamaha gives you EQ, regular compressor and then a single insert-equivalent point where you can choose an effect (reverb, MB compressor, delays, flanger, psuedo-stereo spreader for guitars, etc.) on each of those 6 stereo aux pairs. You can route their outputs to FOH via the stereo bus, to one of the matrix outs and/or to OMNI out jacks on the back of the console. Can also patch their outputs to wherever using Dante Controller.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2020, 05:37:51 pm by Bill Meeks »
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Bill Meeks

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Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
« Reply #51 on: December 13, 2020, 01:47:40 pm »


Also, I second the idea that the drums have to sound really good to begin with. And in my experience even a lot of drummers don't know how to tune their own drums well, so maybe do some real research on drummers in your area before hiring a guy to come in and help.

Got some unplanned assistance in this area this past Friday night. Long story so I will skip all the details, but a local/regional band made up of retired music teachers, band directors and a worship leader asked to use our setup to track some demos for their web site. They picked us because one of their players is our Traditional Service Music Director and Choir Director. So they came in and I recorded raw tracks of them to my DAW via Dante and gave them tracks to mix down themselves. The drummer took some time and tweaked the kit. There was a marked improvement. The heads were all new (as in less than three weeks old), but some needed a little tweaking apparently.
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Bill Meeks

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Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
« Reply #52 on: December 13, 2020, 02:31:14 pm »

For me slow attack means 30+ ms. Sometimes I might even do 40-50.

As far as settings go, this is where I am going to do you a large disservice.

Let me caveat and say that I am no compression wizard, my mindset is really what problem am I trying to solve? Let that be reason you are reaching for the EQ knob or compressor. Practice until you get there. Once get there, practice more.

As you have fun stuff at home play with those plugs so you can hear what you are doing, even though you don't have all the same tools on Sunday morning the experience will transfer over and be useful. For EQ keep in mind the rig at home will sound very different than your live rig.

Once you are more comfortable with your tools I have a mix challenge for you:

Make a new session/scene for your console. In this session leave your inputs/outputs and channel names. You can leave your effects saved and dialed in (erase any EQ on the sends though!). Now for the channels ZERO all of your EQ, compression, turn all the sends down (verbs, and aux fed subs etc). Now save this file and make 6 duplicates

Now get yourself a timer, and pick a chorus for the multi-tracks.

For the first session spend 30 minutes and save.
For the second session spend 25 minutes and save.
For the third 20 minutes and save.
For the fourth 15 minutes (you get the idea)
For the Fifth 10 minutes (Feeling nervous yet?)
For the final 5 minutes (That really wasn't enough time!)

Go through your scenes and see how the mixes compare. How fast can you get things roughly dialed in? By the last one you will probably figure out how important Snare, Kick, and vocals are  :)

This is a good exercise at any level.

---

Below I will put my approach, that is not quite so helpful to you over the internet as that is rather subjective, and unhelpful subjectivity as you aren't in the same room as me, and even than you might disagree  ;D

Additionally on a Yammy TF series you will be limited, however you can still get a good mix. I have only mixed on one once, but I was able to get it to do what I wanted. While you probably don't have a dynamic EQ you probably can key the compressor to a frequency.

Onto the subjective details  :o

Kick: Using two mics is ideal as it allows you to use one which has a good low-end, and one which has a nice top end. Ie I like the low end of D6, but the top end of a condenser. Although condenser can have even nicer 30hz stuff. Not what I am going for usually  ;)

You can probably only afford one good kick mic. Choose wisely. For example for R&B or something where I might enjoy a nice woolly sounding kick a B52 is a fantastic mic; however I do not find the top end to be at all pleasant. For all intents and purposes the D6 can mimic that bottom end pillow (if that is what you are hunting for) and will have a nicer top end.

Even if you have one mic I would recommend splitting it to two channels. One which will be sending to the mains and subs (if you are on aux fed) and one which will be the top end click. This way you can change the feel and weight of your kick on the fly to best serve the song. If it is a slower song where there is only one kick hit every measure or two, I probably want to feel the low end impact of it. Conversely if it is a faster song, the kick should be more top end.

For getting the most attack I usually put the D6 about 2-3 inches off of the batter head inside the drum aiming at the beater.

I don't usually do compression on a kick unless they are an inconsistent hitter. I do often do some multi band stuff (keyed comp for you) on the top kick mic to pull out some of the very top end 8-10k for when the drummer really lays into the pedal.

Another element to keep in mind is subwoofers vs reference frequencies. A common problem I had early on was that I would feel like I was not getting enough kick drum or bass guitar; in reality I was hammering the subs. I discovered as soon as I added some top end (some string noise/growl for the bass or click of the top end for the kick) that I had more than enough, and I actually would turn down. For many things it is important for us to have a higher frequency reference; don't just plough into the subs  :)

Top Snare:

For compression I am really looking for something that is going to even out the hits somewhat (to keep those hard hits slightly more consistent) and to move the tonality some. I am often probably only doing 2-3dB usually. The slower attack lets the initial transient of the hit through brings up the tail so to speak.

For EQ I am looking for the weight of the snare (low mids) and for the top end crack. Sometimes that topend is a boost at 3.5k, or sometimes it is a high self, this really depends on the mic and amount of bleed from other things.

Bottom Snare:

This is really what makes a snare feel like a snare. Having a mic here adds in the sound of the wires. It really makes a snare feel more 3D. I had several years I wasn't hip to this, and these days if I am limited on mics I have chosen to have a bottom snare mic over mixing all of the toms! (heresy for some) .

If you want more of Hi-Fi snare sound a condenser (such as an SM81) is a good choice, this will bring out the high-end detail you are probably missing with that top mic. If you want more bottom end (warmer sound) something like an E906 is a great choice. A place this mic can be useful is if your top mic isn't allowing you to get the low-mid weight you want on the snare without getting tubby, sometimes you can get these frequencies from the bottom mic.

While this mic isn't usually as prominent out of the two snare mics, it is often where the detail comes from for me.

For compression I usually do two layers:

Layer 1: Is usually as quick as it the compressor can go. This layer drops the bottom snare level bu 6dB or so on a hard snare hit. When you are playing drums (former drummer here) the harder you hit the snare the less of the wires you hear vs ghost notes (soft hits) are mostly wires. This mimics the drummers experience for the audience. This is a controlling compressor.

Layer 2: The second layer of compression is a tone thing. I personally really dig a DBX-160 for its nice SPLAT sound. I hit this pretty hard and dial back the mix so there is some raw coming through.

Hats: In my world I usually don't want bright and detailed hats. Why? Because the overheads probably sound pretty nice, and are detailed. So if I am micing hats I usually make it dirty. It usually hits some preamp distortion (something you won't have on your board probably). I am looking for clank and body. I take out the top end (sometimes down to 3k) and bottom end (200-500hz) and I boost around 1k or so for that body. In the compressor I SMASH this channel. It is compressing even on light hat hits, and very heavily on snare hits. This channel gets added to taste. A little bit goes a long way, it is a nice addition to the detail of the overheads; it also adds more of a room mic feel to the kit (this is more noticeable/useful to me than having parallel bus compression or something for the kit).

Toms: Find the weight (fundamental tone) and the top end. Everything else can usually be cut.

For floor tom I do a lot of processing, to explain I like a big sounding floor tom, here you feel the low end. To the point a drummer technique for fills is to sometimes mimic the kick drum with the floor tom; in this vein a big sounding floor tom is enjoyable.

Roughly steps I take are:

1. Take out below a 100hz (12dB cut or more) this gets added back in with an dynamic EQ expander so there is a slight boost when the tom is hit. This release is set to shape the tail of the hit.
2. A dynamic expanding EQ to the fundamental frequency of the tom.
3. The kick frequency is side-chained to the floor tom, so that the kick wins.
4. The lower end has a very slow attack compressor that pulls back over time, so if there is one hit you feel it in the subs, but if they go to a tom groove there is not constant low end sub rumble from the hits adding up.
5. Depending on how noisy the tom is picking up the kit I sometimes have an EQ top end boost that is off of a tom trigger. Sometimes I do gate off of a trigger. Sometimes I sidechain the tom to the snare so that the top end of the tom mic disappears during the top end.

Overheads: Even with well positioned and delayed overheads you will get transient smear from the snare.

The approach of most engineers I know is to only use the top end of the spectrum for the overheads say 6-8k and up. This is valid, but not my favorite approach. While it mitigates some of the conflict for the snare hit, it also misses the body of the cymbals. To the point those nice expensive custom cymbals a good drummer is bringing don't feel that nice.

So for here I do some dynamic stuff.

Depending on what is available, I either have compressor keyed to the snare or large dynamic band keyed to the snare that pulls back those frequencies (say 1-3k); sometimes I do both. You want to be taking away about 6dB on a good hard hit. If you are doing the dynamic part this enables you to have a greater frequency on the overheads and to capture the body, without fighting the snare.

I then do a second of layer compression to tame some of the harder cymbal hits. Pull out any offending frequencies.


---

I also wanted to talk "budget" for a second

As you stated you are from a small church, as it is small lets think of budget as so  :D

As it is so small don't bother with the budget, bypass it. If there are upgrades you really think are needed take some ownership and raise some money for it. Find a few like minded conspirators and put some cash down on it, invest in your idea. If you approach your pastor and state,

"We would like to purchase product X, which will help improve this..., I have already secured us a $4k matching grant" I doubt they will say no, and they probably announce it after offering as something people can give to. I have seen this raise $20k for new gear for small churches in a week or two. To the point I have seen God provide in some incredible ways!
The sky is the limit!
--

Additionally as you have some personal Waves plugins, it seems to me that you are wanting to get better and possibly have some personal finances to invest. So maybe the church doesn't buy a better mic package, you do. When I started out my mentor made me buy a Pelican and furnished me with some mics.

So I would roll into the little churches with my 1510 and mic the kit up right. Where I went so did my mics. I really got to learn how those mics worked by using them across many PA's.

This kit will be your personal one, and you can serve where you mix with them. What mics do you want own and get to know? Additionally setting them up fresh every week will help you to become more proficient at doing it an efficient manner and should help you to learn positioning.

Thank you Matthias:

Lots of tips here for me to digest. You're right that I personally want to get better at this. Sort of a personal challenge now. When I was asked to take over the technology duties at church is when I started accumulating a lot of Waves plugins. I wanted to learn more about the mixing craft, and playing around with those using downloaded mutitracks was one method. Lately I've been able to practice using raw tracks from the church services recorded via Dante. I also use Dante with the TF5 to do virtual mixing practice during the week.

I understand what you are saying about the compressor sidechaining, but unfortunately the TF5 does not offer any sidechaining that I am aware of.

I have already made quite a number of personal equipment purchases and donated those to the cause. I will continue to do so as I am able. Just last month I picked up four e935s while the Sennheiser sale was on. I've bought a number of other things for the church over the last five years and will continue to do so as I am able. I'm thinking an Audix D6 might be my next buy based on things said on this board and elsewhere.

You've given me a number of ideas to toy with. I can't do many of them live due to current hardware limitations, but I can certainly play around in my DAW and try them on the raw tracks I have and hone my craft a bit. I live in the actual and for real "sticks", so there are no readily available mentors to learn from. The closest city with more than 50,000 folks is two hours away. Thus my hunt for Internet mentors ... :)
« Last Edit: December 13, 2020, 02:35:43 pm by Bill Meeks »
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Bill Meeks

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Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
« Reply #53 on: December 13, 2020, 03:41:52 pm »

https://www.lonestar.tv/

BTW Our big band Christmas show is happening today at 10:00 Central time. Also at 7PM tomoroow night. What you'll hear is completely live. I don't even have Plugins running right now since my Plug in host lost it's power supply. Eveything is live, no samples, no tracks, and processed only by the CL5 I'm mixing on. If there are any questions post up and I'll do my best to answer them.

Impressive! I saw the link too late to watch it live, but after following a link trail from the one you posted on over to YouTube, I found the service there and watched. My hat is off to the guitar soloist! I've never heard that version of those Christmas songs, but it was cool.

I have some questions, but this time not directly related to drums. Perhaps they may be better shared in a PM back and forth if you are willing. Just let me know.

Thanks,
Bill
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Tim Weaver

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Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
« Reply #54 on: December 13, 2020, 04:23:27 pm »

I started an AMA. (Ask Me Anything)

https://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,174765.0.html

Go ahead and ask there. It will benefit everybody. This site has been so slow lately and Iím blessed to actually have work right now, I thought I would kick start some traffic hopefully. And Iím happy to share. Iím not a big time mix engineer like some folks on here, but Iíve been doing it for a living for a out 25 years now. And Iíve got experience in production, touring, and mixing both foh and monitors and now broadcast. All live experience. Iíve never been in a studio.
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Bill Meeks

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Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
« Reply #55 on: December 13, 2020, 04:47:37 pm »

I started an AMA. (Ask Me Anything)

https://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,174765.0.html

Go ahead and ask there. It will benefit everybody. This site has been so slow lately and Iím blessed to actually have work right now, I thought I would kick start some traffic hopefully. And Iím happy to share. Iím not a big time mix engineer like some folks on here, but Iíve been doing it for a living for a out 25 years now. And Iíve got experience in production, touring, and mixing both foh and monitors and now broadcast. All live experience. Iíve never been in a studio.

Thanks! I will post my queries there. Listening to that mix makes me want to just pack my toys and go back to the house ...  ;D. (edit: thought I would clarify this for those not familiar with southern humor; it's actually a high compliment by implying "I can't compete with that").

Sounds great, and doing it live is doubly impressive. I was feeling really humbled until I finally noticed the video guy had one screw up. Somebody changed the camera position and zoom on the "live shot" on air. Had that same thing happen once in each service for us this morning, so it was comforting to see the big boys can mess up, too.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2020, 05:11:17 pm by Bill Meeks »
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
« Reply #56 on: December 15, 2020, 02:08:55 am »

Thanks! I will post my queries there. Listening to that mix makes me want to just pack my toys and go back to the house ...  ;D . (edit: thought I would clarify this for those not familiar with southern humor; it's actually a high compliment by implying "I can't compete with that").

Sounds great, and doing it live is doubly impressive. I was feeling really humbled until I finally noticed the video guy had one screw up. Somebody changed the camera position and zoom on the "live shot" on air. Had that same thing happen once in each service for us this morning, so it was comforting to see the big boys can mess up, too.


Tim that mix sounds great.  I never noticed you and the pastor have the same last name are you related?
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Jonathan Hole

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Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
« Reply #57 on: December 15, 2020, 11:11:18 am »

A bit late but just saw this thread and can add some color on the original link to Elevation Worship's video and the drummer - I get this question often in fact.

I work with this drummer on a regular basis outside of Elevation (I mixed at Elevation for about 5 years as well) and I can tell you that for any size show, he is meticulous about tuning his drums - best sounding kit I've ever heard acoustically.  He also plays with authority and I always kid that digital metronomes go to Vince to be calibrated.  I've done well over 100 shows with him on the road and never heard him not on his A game every time.  That's the dedication he brings to his craft.  I mic and process his kit with a very normal approach, drum bus and crush bus, very minimal gating as I'm sending to his IEM off my board... and frankly it's just so easy when you have a great source and player which is most important.  Very hard to make a worn, out of tune kit and uneven playing sound really good.  Almost impossible to screw up a great kit if you halfway know what you're doing. 

So long post to say, start with the source. Listen to the kit in free air, then go from there.... Be well!
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Bill Meeks

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Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
« Reply #58 on: December 15, 2020, 12:49:53 pm »

A bit late but just saw this thread and can add some color on the original link to Elevation Worship's video and the drummer - I get this question often in fact.

I work with this drummer on a regular basis outside of Elevation (I mixed at Elevation for about 5 years as well) and I can tell you that for any size show, he is meticulous about tuning his drums - best sounding kit I've ever heard acoustically.  He also plays with authority and I always kid that digital metronomes go to Vince to be calibrated.  I've done well over 100 shows with him on the road and never heard him not on his A game every time.  That's the dedication he brings to his craft.  I mic and process his kit with a very normal approach, drum bus and crush bus, very minimal gating as I'm sending to his IEM off my board... and frankly it's just so easy when you have a great source and player which is most important.  Very hard to make a worn, out of tune kit and uneven playing sound really good.  Almost impossible to screw up a great kit if you halfway know what you're doing. 

So long post to say, start with the source. Listen to the kit in free air, then go from there.... Be well!

Thanks for that insight. I will follow-up on this thread by saying that last weekend on a Friday evening a local/regional band came into our facility to record some raw tracks for later mixdown to produce demos for their web page. This band is composed of all professional music teachers from the surrounding area. They play 60s and 70s flashback hits, and are very good. Since we had a place already set up where they could record (via Dante to Reaper raw tracks) with IEMs, they asked to use the facility. One band member is also our Traditional Service Music and Choir Director, so that was the main reason they used our facility.

Anyway, their drummer (who is also a percussionist by trade as I understand) took a few minutes and tweaked our kit. The kit is from Sonor (a German company, I believe) and it actually belongs to a church member who sometimes also plays in the Praise Band. The kit had new heads (like three weeks old), but the pro guy made some adjustments. Don't know exactly what he did, but during their recording session the snare sounded fantastic. It was also much better the following Sunday morning.
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Tim Weaver

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Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
« Reply #59 on: December 15, 2020, 01:00:25 pm »


Tim that mix sounds great.  I never noticed you and the pastor have the same last name are you related?

I just saw this.


No, not related. Just happenstance. I grew up in Tennessee and there were not that many Weaverís up there. Down here I run into quite a few.


You know its funny, I grew up about 40 miles north-east of Nashville, but moved to Texas when I was 19. I probably never would have had a career in audio had I stayed in Nashvegas. The market is just so saturated I doubt I would have had those gigs that I fell in to that built my career. Down here I was ďthe guy who knew something about audioĒ so I got called to do some things I was probably not qualified for. But I showed up, I learned, and I made a ton of mistakes along the way. Somehow I kept getting those calls. That probably wouldnít have happened back home.
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Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
¬ę Reply #59 on: December 15, 2020, 01:00:25 pm ¬Ľ


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