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Title: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Bill Meeks on December 07, 2020, 09:23:46 am
I'm a mixing newb looking for some advice from seasoned contemporary church service audio mixers. First off, let me say I suspect that the drum sounds in the YouTube video linked below are possibly samples or else augmented by samples. Few, if any, "live recordings" today are really and truly 100% "live" ...  ;).

So with that lead-in, does anyone have suggested EQ or Gate starting points that might accomplish a snare and tom sound similar to what's in this video? This is Elevation Worship performing "Do It Again" live. I've noticed that pretty much all the big contemporary praise bands have a similar drum sound for snare and toms. I call it sort of a "flat" sound with practically no ring. It's like a "splat" sort of sharp attack but no ringing after that initial hit.

The drums pick up at about the 2-minute mark in the song --

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOBIPb-6PTc

Some things I've wondered about. Are they using something like the Steve's Donut device on snare and toms to dampen them? Is it that plus some extra EQ magic? Are they also using heavy gating? My drummer hates gating because it does interfere with soft tom fills. Or are they simply using the live mics to trigger MIDI samples and pulling the wool over our ears (so to speak)? I can get the same general kick sound as they have, but I can't get even close to the tom and snare sound.

Thanks in advance for any tips.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Geert Friedhof on December 07, 2020, 09:32:22 am
Use snare top mic, close mic'd, aim perpendicular close to rim, tight gate, lot of compression and a hall or dark plate FX. Maybe reversed gate FX. EQ to taste. Have fun.

Floor: cut low freq's and dip midlow around 300Hz, add top end (>3-6k) to get some attack, rest as above. Should sound something like "Toonk" with a loud T, not like "broar". Make longer with FX.

Oww: Tune drums, use damping rings ;) Knot 'yes' to drummer, do what you want. Soft tom hits have no place in popmusic. You still have your overheads (which you should compress).
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Bill Meeks on December 07, 2020, 09:55:51 am
Use snare top mic, close mic'd, aim perpendicular close to rim, tight gate, lot of compression and a dark plate FX. Maybe reversed gate FX. EQ to taste. Have fun.

Floor: cut low freq's and dip midlow around 300Hz, add top end (>3-6k) to get some attack, rest as above. Should sound something like "Toonk" with a loud T. Make longer with FX.

Oww: Tune drums, use damping rings ;)

Thanks! Will try that out. I have actual live recorded raw tracks from some services to play with in my DAW. I record all the tracks via Dante and get them straight off the TiO box outputs -- so no filtering or EQ on my raw tracks. Makes it easy to experiment in the DAW. I can also play them back into the sound system for virtual mixing practice.

I'll need my drummer to experiment with the snare top mic placement. Right now it's just over the rim, about three fingers width above the head and aimed at roughly 45 degrees down to an area maybe 2/3 of the way to the center of the head. When you say perpendicular, I assume you literally mean 90 degrees with the head?
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Geert Friedhof on December 07, 2020, 10:13:11 am
Perpendicular: yes, or close to. Experiment a bit. I use Sennheiser 906 and 604 or beyerdynamic TG I51 for something like this.

It's like the classic symphonic rock sound from Yes, Foreigner and the like. Use short attack times for gate and a bit longer for comp (to get a punchy attack). Play with hold and release.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Bill Meeks on December 07, 2020, 10:30:34 am
Perpendicular: yes, or close to. Experiment a bit. I use Sennheiser 906 and 604 or beyerdynamic TG I51 for something like this.

It's like the classic symphonic rock sound from Yes, Foreigner and the like. Use short attack times for gate and a bit longer for comp (to get a punchy attack). Play with hold and release.

Gotcha! Thanks again.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Nathan Riddle on December 07, 2020, 10:45:55 am
Main thing is have the drummer remove as much ring from the set as possible.

Moongels and dampening rings are your friend :)

Hint: just cut up old heads for the rings.

Helps to have decent mics & a drummer who hits hard too.


I guess my list is:
-Good drummer
-Hit hard
-Good drums
-Good heads
-Moongels (these x10000, everything else isn't necessary)
-Dampening Rings
-Good mics (e604/e904, B91, SM81, MD421, MD441, DPA/Earthworks)
-Good system (you need good transients to translate drum impact well)
-Good EQ (cut 300-600Hz out of everything, find the ringing, boost 2-7k)
-Good Dynamics (compress a bit, parallel a bit)
-Good gating &/or triggers [not super necessary IMO if everything else is done correctly]
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Erik Jerde on December 07, 2020, 11:13:31 am
One thing you need to keep in mind is that the live tracked audio may very well have been studio mixed using techniques that are hard (or even impossible) to replicate live.  Overdubbing is possible too though not as likely for drums.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Bill Meeks on December 07, 2020, 11:19:38 am
One thing you need to keep in mind is that the live tracked audio may very well have been studio mixed using techniques that are hard (or even impossible) to replicate live.  Overdubbing is possible too though not as likely for drums.

Yeah, that was what I was alluding to in my comment about "live" not always being 100% live. I've watched a ton of professional mixing YouTube videos over the last two years, so I know about those studio tricks. But my live experience is very limited. I was just hoping to get some amount closer to that type of sound -- not trying to match it exactly.

I've practiced mixing a lot of multitracks that you can download from these pro mixers with YouTube channels, but those tracks are recorded in a studio by truly professional musicians. That's not what we have to work with live, especially in church settings.

I've been learning a lot about the difference between live sound and the studio sound you hear on commercial music (radio, iTunes, Spotify, etc.). But I still get sort of "overwhelmed" by the wall of sound on a Sunday morning with a contemporary praise and worship band. Training myself to hear the individual instruments in the mix and dial them in is proving to be very hard for me. I can do better during the week at home plodding through the raw tracks I recorded, then trying to replicate some of the same the following Sunday. I envy the folks that can just walk up to the mixer board, and in a few minutes, "bam", they have a mix that works!

I've seen a ton of YouTube videos about mixing, but they are all mixing with DAWs. The only "live" mixing stuff I've found has been just interviews of FOH engineers done by Waves or one of the mixer hardware vendors hyping their particular product. No real "how I do this" instruction.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Bill Meeks on December 07, 2020, 12:00:52 pm
Main thing is have the drummer remove as much ring from the set as possible.

Moongels and dampening rings are your friend :)

Hint: just cut up old heads for the rings.

Helps to have decent mics & a drummer who hits hard too.


I guess my list is:
-Good drummer
-Hit hard
-Good drums
-Good heads
-Moongels (these x10000, everything else isn't necessary)
-Dampening Rings
-Good mics (e604/e904, B91, SM81, MD421, MD441, DPA/Earthworks)
-Good system (you need good transients to translate drum impact well)
-Good EQ (cut 300-600Hz out of everything, find the ringing, boost 2-7k)
-Good Dynamics (compress a bit, parallel a bit)
-Good gating &/or triggers [not super necessary IMO if everything else is done correctly]

I have two drummers that rotate. One is a hard hitter, the other has a little more finesse. Unfortunately the hard hitters also bang cymbals pretty hard, so then you have to deal with cymbal bleed.

We are a small-town church without a large technology budget, so there are some cost limitations on mics. Our sound system is decent enough for the budget we had. Commercial recorded music sounds very good played through it at typical "performance" volume. Sunday's are usually around 90-92 dBA slow at the mix position (90 feet from the stage). So we don't rattle people's brains on Sunday mornings. The board is a TF5 with a pair of Tio-1608 stage boxes, QSC powered speakers (the KLA CCA tops and matching subs), a dBx VENU360 system processor and the band is on IEMs (Digital Audio Labs LiveMix system). Drums are in a full enclosure.

Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Luke Geis on December 07, 2020, 01:34:30 pm
This is definitely a studio polished release. While it may have been recorded live, there is nothing about what you hear that is a 1:1 correlation to what you can do live. In the studio, you can chop the tracks so that bleed is essentially a non-issue, and of course the plugins available. I suppose depending on the mixer you're using you may have the same plugins available, but you can't chop the audio well enough with a gate to get it that clean.

It could also be a triggered sound? There is what looks like a trigger on the top of the drummer's snare. It may also be a mute, but it is pretty big. So there could be a blend of live and triggered drums even for the actual live sound.

The biggest trick I learned as it comes to snare is that you really need to get the bottom end out. Hi-passing it, multiband compression, whatever it takes, too much low end in a snare makes getting the modern pop sound rather hard. Another trick that can help get that clarity and presence of the attack is to have a pink noise channel that is triggered by the snare. If you've heard The Weekends song Blinding lights, you can get an idea of what that sounds like. That ttsssshhhhh sound at every snare hit is an exaggeration of what this trick can do. Employed in moderation you can get a very pop snare type sound without having to double mic, or use triggers.

Compression and gating are still standard options of course. I don't like gating live instruments because it isn't natural and often the volume levels on the stage don't help make it easy to dial in. I like between 6-10db of compression with the attack set to just allow the initial transient to pop through. Too short and it just mutes and chokes the snare out. Too long and the snare hit is done before the compressor clamps down on it. I don't typically gate, and if I do, I prefer to use an expander set with no make up gain. I don't want the channel to mute, I just want it to duck down. An expander is a good way to duck a channel down without resorting to plugins or other tricks.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Caleb Dueck on December 07, 2020, 03:01:39 pm
I have two drummers that rotate. One is a hard hitter, the other has a little more finesse. Unfortunately the hard hitters also bang cymbals pretty hard, so then you have to deal with cymbal bleed.

We are a small-town church without a large technology budget, so there are some cost limitations on mics. Our sound system is decent enough for the budget we had. Commercial recorded music sounds very good played through it at typical "performance" volume. Sunday's are usually around 90-92 dBA slow at the mix position (90 feet from the stage). So we don't rattle people's brains on Sunday mornings. The board is a TF5 with a pair of Tio-1608 stage boxes, QSC powered speakers (the KLA CCA tops and matching subs), a dBx VENU360 system processor and the band is on IEMs (Digital Audio Labs LiveMix system). Drums are in a full enclosure.

What you're hearing is a "live-tracked studio sound" kit.  I don't have any inside info as to how much is live vs triggered.

A lot of that sound, which I happen to dislike (sounds hollow, for lack of a better term), is compression.  Hard knee, high ratio, short attack - as soon as that transient is through, slam the rest down.  Also parallel compression. 

I still like gating (downward expansion really) to both suppress the noise between hits, and help speed up the decay.  To me it feels like a more natural sound, more body, less hollow. 

Maybe a bit of plug in help with a Transient Designer. 

Take my opinions with a grain of salt, as my preferences are in the minority today!
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Bill Meeks on December 07, 2020, 03:33:20 pm
Thank you to all the responders! This is helping me out. I am pretty sure that particular video and many others on YouTube from the big Praise and Worship bands (Elevation Worship, Bethel, Hillsong, etc.) have heavily studio-processed post-production audio tracks dubbed in. I know getting the precise sound is well nigh impossible live, but I do want to try within reason to emulate the general sound. After all, that's what the congregation hears on the Christian radio channels.

So the tips shared here are helpful. Our meager tech budget does not allow a fancy board that can run plugins, and quite honestly that level of technology can quickly get overwhelming to typical church sound volunteers. Definitely some cool plugins out there, though. I have a ton of Waves plugins I play with in my DAW. Being able to run some of the low-latency ones live would be really awesome, but we simply don't, and likely won't ever, have that level of budget.

Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Nathan Riddle on December 07, 2020, 03:38:42 pm
I have two drummers that rotate. One is a hard hitter, the other has a little more finesse. Unfortunately the hard hitters also bang cymbals pretty hard, so then you have to deal with cymbal bleed.

Drums are in a full enclosure.

We are a small-town church without a large technology budget, so there are some cost limitations on mics.

Our sound system is decent enough for the budget we had.
Commercial recorded music sounds very good played through it at typical "performance" volume.

Sunday's are usually around 90-92 dBA slow at the mix position (90 feet from the stage). So we don't rattle people's brains on Sunday mornings.

The board is a TF5 with a pair of Tio-1608 stage boxes, QSC powered speakers (the KLA CCA tops and matching subs), a dBx VENU360 system processor and the band is on IEMs (Digital Audio Labs LiveMix system).

Good synopsis, thanks!

I've mixed plenty on a similar system. It can sound 'okay to good'. Room acoustics play a large role.
I'm sure the subs are a bit anemic and the tops definitely are harsh at any level that's 'performance'; but they'll do the job.

I see no reason you can't get closer to your ideal drum sound. Will you ever make it sound like the recording live? Not with that setup. But you can get closer.

Mics:
e604 are cheap; or the e904 when on sale.
But whatever you have might be okay (list it?)

Enclosure is good, easy to keep ambient sound low while getting that 'full' sound.
TF5 compressors are weak sauce (Yamaha in general IMO); but that's not to blame in any scenario.

---

I agree with Caleb to some extent, compression and gating can kill a good drum sound. I think that a little bit is often necessary, but lots isn't.
I still hate tom ringing, so I'll remove as much body from the drum as necessary to keep it sounding 'clean' via EQ or gate or compression.

I kinda disagree with Luke about getting rid of the body of the snare, if done right; 120Hz is very nice to hit you in the high chest area where the kick will hit you in the low-chest area [I'm opposed to the bottom deep sounding kick around 40-60Hz, and as such mix differently].

As with anything; take my opinions about how 'drums' should sound with a grain of salt too. Everything else I said was about how to get to YOUR 'ideal sound' as described in the video.

---

Mostly, I say just go read and try ideas.

http://www.benvesco.com/blog/mixing/2008/mix-recipes-tom-eq-and-compression/
http://www.benvesco.com/blog/mixing/2007/mix-recipes-snare-drum-eq-and-compression/
Google: "prosoundweb eq and compression techniques drums"
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Bill Meeks on December 07, 2020, 03:40:55 pm
I like between 6-10db of compression with the attack set to just allow the initial transient to pop through.

Luke, when you do this are you dialing back in some makeup gain on the compressor to restore volume or are you letting that initial transient that sneaks through before the compressor acts be the "volume" and then using the compressor action to clamp down on and thus quieten the sustain and its decay?
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Bill Meeks on December 07, 2020, 03:59:12 pm
Good synopsis, thanks!

I've mixed plenty on a similar system. It can sound 'okay to good'. Room acoustics play a large role.
I'm sure the subs are a bit anemic and the tops definitely are harsh at any level that's 'performance'; but they'll do the job.

I see no reason you can't get closer to your ideal drum sound. Will you ever make it sound like the recording live? Not with that setup. But you can get closer.

Mics:
e604 are cheap; or the e904 when on sale.
But whatever you have might be okay (list it?)

Enclosure is good, easy to keep ambient sound low while getting that 'full' sound.
TF5 compressors are weak sauce (Yamaha in general IMO); but that's not to blame in any scenario.

---

I agree with Caleb to some extent, compression and gating can kill a good drum sound. I think that a little bit is often necessary, but lots isn't.
I still hate tom ringing, so I'll remove as much body from the drum as necessary to keep it sounding 'clean' via EQ or gate or compression.

I kinda disagree with Luke about getting rid of the body of the snare, if done right; 120Hz is very nice to hit you in the high chest area where the kick will hit you in the low-chest area [I'm opposed to the bottom deep sounding kick around 40-60Hz, and as such mix differently].

As with anything; take my opinions about how 'drums' should sound with a grain of salt too. Everything else I said was about how to get to YOUR 'ideal sound' as described in the video.

We looked at Danley initially, but it was just well outside the budget we had for the amount of stuff we needed to upgrade for the contemporary service. We needed mixer board, PA, and livestream equipment. Also wanted to move to IEMs. The room has a 22-ft ceiling so the KLA tops and subs are flown right up against the ceiling. That helps coverage and balance. Plus the ceiling coupling of the subs seems to boost their output a little bit as what you get in the room exceeds the predictions of EASE Focus.

For mics, budget again limited my choice. Sort of wanted the Audix set that's about $1000, but had to settle for the Shure $499 PGADRUMKIT7 package. I put a real SM57 on the snare. Currently micing only the snare top. While there is not much daylight between $1000 and $500, when it is the church's money and you are right on the ragged edge of over-the-line, you have to cut someplace. So the drum mic kit was a compromise.

I have, since last year when we bought and installed all of this stuff, been able to buy some e935 vocal mics during the November special to replace some e835s. And if I can catch another Sennheiser sale later on e604s or e904s, I may look at those.

But back to the topic at hand. The tips shared by you guys in this thread have been really helpful. I can now get to experimenting, but now I have some good starting points. Before it was a big shot in the dark. Nothing subsitutes for a little guidance from those that have gone before ...  :).
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Luke Geis on December 07, 2020, 05:20:53 pm
Luke, when you do this are you dialing back in some makeup gain on the compressor to restore volume or are you letting that initial transient that sneaks through before the compressor acts be the "volume" and then using the compressor action to clamp down on and thus quieten the sustain and its decay?

A big depends. My main thing for compression is to control the dynamics first, create the desired sound second, and finally to increase RMS level. Using make up gain or simply turning up the channel are basically one in the same. I will use make up gain if The compression is heavy enough or I need to really get the instrument on top of the mix and adding more fader to it just doesn't make sense anymore.

As to the attack time and how it relates to " volume ", we are talking milliseconds. If you simply use the compressor to clamp the dynamics, it will sound like a compressed snare. If you allow a bit of the initial transient through, it preserves some of the reality of the input, while clamping down more on the body and tail of the instrument's sound. I didn't really touch on release times, but too long of a release and you will pack down with the compressor. I.E. It will still be compressing when the next transient comes through and recompress, never fully releasing. Too short of a release and the tail or decay of the instrument will rise back up perhaps too soon. This can help in creating sustain when using make up gain. I prefer to set the compressor up so that it is 100% released by the next transient. This is tricky in songs where there are snare triplets or 1/16th note hits. So you have to use your judgment. I really try and make it so that the compressor is not obvious. When it is obvious to me, I dial it back, otherwise, I use it to as much extent as I can to acquire a desired effect.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Bill Meeks on December 07, 2020, 05:56:36 pm
A big depends. My main thing for compression is to control the dynamics first, create the desired sound second, and finally to increase RMS level. Using make up gain or simply turning up the channel are basically one in the same. I will use make up gain if The compression is heavy enough or I need to really get the instrument on top of the mix and adding more fader to it just doesn't make sense anymore.

As to the attack time and how it relates to " volume ", we are talking milliseconds. If you simply use the compressor to clamp the dynamics, it will sound like a compressed snare. If you allow a bit of the initial transient through, it preserves some of the reality of the input, while clamping down more on the body and tail of the instrument's sound. I didn't really touch on release times, but too long of a release and you will pack down with the compressor. I.E. It will still be compressing when the next transient comes through and recompress, never fully releasing. Too short of a release and the tail or decay of the instrument will rise back up perhaps too soon. This can help in creating sustain when using make up gain. I prefer to set the compressor up so that it is 100% released by the next transient. This is tricky in songs where there are snare triplets or 1/16th note hits. So you have to use your judgment. I really try and make it so that the compressor is not obvious. When it is obvious to me, I dial it back, otherwise, I use it to as much extent as I can to acquire a desired effect.

I've been experimenting in Reaper with some raw tracks and I see what you mean about the attack and release.

Technically I know at the circuit level how all that works (my education was in electronics, both analog and digital, and I started life as a broadcast engineer but moved quickly into electric power production control systems maintenance because electric utilities provided excellent job security and a quicker advancement path. Later I moved into IT networking and security as PCs and networking took off in the early 90s). So anyway, now that I'm actually trying to mix music I am relearning some of these tools like compressors. But this time I'm listening and learning about their impact on tonality as opposed to learning whether they gain change with a VCA, an optical sensor, a variable-mu tube, etc.

I am really enjoying my volunteer sound duties, but man it's a different world when you get into the musical asthetics as opposed to the purely technical stuff. The techie stuff I can handle without a sweat. It's the musical stuff where I'm struggling and still learning. That's what I meant in an earlier post about being sort of overwhelmed when standing in front of the board with the live band playing. I know exactly what each fader and knob does and where every signal is routed, but I'm just not confident yet of when to use what tool and by how much. In music mixing, you need to purposely EQ things away from "flat" many times. That's about the polar opposite of what I did in my early broadcast engineer work for radio stations. There we strived for as flat of a frequency response as possible from 30 Hz to 15 KHz (for stereo FM) and then a sharp rolloff above 15K to make room for the 19 kHz stereo sub-carrier pilot tone.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Tim Weaver on December 07, 2020, 06:45:54 pm
Ok. I'm going to let you in on the big P&W band secret.

Those are tracks. They are playing to tracks. That drum sound is 85% track with maybe maybe a little bit of the actual drum layered in. They do this live. They do it in Church. They do it on the record. They do it everywhere, all the time. In fact you can do it too.

https://www.multitracks.com/songs/Elevation-Worship/Speak-Revival/Do-It-Again/multitracks/


Take a listen to the example. Sound familiar?

YTou can buy this track and it comes with click track with singing prompts on it, and you can either get a full mix or just buy certain parts, and you can get it in multiple keys.

It's almost like cheating huh?


I am the Audio and Lighting guy at a fairly large church. We are a Cowboy Church so a lot of our stuff is 100% live, but our youth band makes use of these tracks all the time. They play it back from an ipad which can change keys and do other cool things within the app. But yeah. With enough track playing in the mix you don't even need a band anymore.....




P.S. I can't stand contemporary P&W music. I saw the title and was really excited for a second. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmdiKePVUy8&ab_channel=SteelyDan-Topic
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Bill Meeks on December 07, 2020, 07:41:11 pm
Ok. I'm going to let you in on the big P&W band secret.

Those are tracks. They are playing to tracks. That drum sound is 85% track with maybe maybe a little bit of the actual drum layered in. They do this live. They do it in Church. They do it on the record. They do it everywhere, all the time. In fact you can do it too.

https://www.multitracks.com/songs/Elevation-Worship/Speak-Revival/Do-It-Again/multitracks/


Take a listen to the example. Sound familiar?

YTou can buy this track and it comes with click track with singing prompts on it, and you can either get a full mix or just buy certain parts, and you can get it in multiple keys.

It's almost like cheating huh?


I am the Audio and Lighting guy at a fairly large church. We are a Cowboy Church so a lot of our stuff is 100% live, but our youth band makes use of these tracks all the time. They play it back from an ipad which can change keys and do other cool things within the app. But yeah. With enough track playing in the mix you don't even need a band anymore.....




P.S. I can't stand contemporary P&W music. I saw the title and was really excited for a second. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmdiKePVUy8&ab_channel=SteelyDan-Topic

Yep!  I am familiar with the tracks game. Our band is in the long process of learning to play them and keep time with the click in their IEMs. Still a challenge for them, so we don't use the full tracks yet. Just plain pads for now. They want to use them to supplement their sound (provide some missing instruments), and then on the odd Sunday if a member is absent perhaps make up the part from tracks. The COVID-19 issues have put a crimp in their practice sessions, so not much time this year to learn the tracks gig.

But even the tracks were initially recorded in a studio and then mixed down. So I figure there are some of the studio tricks that might translate a little bit to live sound. That was the basis of my original request.

By the way, I love the Cowboy Church music. Found some channels on YouTube a while back. Which church is yours? Do you have some clips on YouTube? I love the way they do some of the old classic hymns and gospel type songs. I don't hate the contemporary P&W music, but that's not what I grew up with. I'm getting on towards being an old fart at 62 now ...  :D.

For the vast majority of churches, the contemporary music is where it's at now, so I've learned to like some of it. There's still some that's just too far out there. Luckily our P&W band is more conservative and doesn't get into the really hard stuff. Songs like "Do It Again" are about as hard rock as they normally get.

Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Tim Weaver on December 07, 2020, 08:02:17 pm
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaCzOEnfdatx-sg43liUOAA

So the stuff you see under the "Music" section has all been post-mixed. Vocals were tuned, and possibly some drum samples added. The core performance was live, just sweetened in post.

We had a Worship leader who was a seriously fantastic musician. He left a year ago and our current WL is not so good. Funny thing is the former guy did a lot of upbeat, funky, and fun music. The new guy does the same 7-11 songs you find anywhere else. You know those songs with 7 words and you repeat them 11 times? Yeah those.

Old WL:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLM9aLp8QuI&list=PLhHdFOtFmxmwbJ4C9auA7yHq6ThEfuHXo&index=4&ab_channel=LoneStarCowboyChurch

New WL:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPxhcAioqM8&list=PLhHdFOtFmxmwbJ4C9auA7yHq6ThEfuHXo&index=58&ab_channel=LoneStarCowboyChurch
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Bill Meeks on December 07, 2020, 08:27:06 pm
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaCzOEnfdatx-sg43liUOAA

So the stuff you see under the "Music" section has all been post-mixed. Vocals were tuned, and possibly some drum samples added. The core performance was live, just sweetened in post.

We had a Worship leader who was a seriously fantastic musician. He left a year ago and our current WL is not so good. Funny thing is the former guy did a lot of upbeat, funky, and fun music. The new guy does the same 7-11 songs you find anywhere else. You know those songs with 7 words and you repeat them 11 times? Yeah those.

Old WL:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLM9aLp8QuI&list=PLhHdFOtFmxmwbJ4C9auA7yHq6ThEfuHXo&index=4&ab_channel=LoneStarCowboyChurch

New WL:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPxhcAioqM8&list=PLhHdFOtFmxmwbJ4C9auA7yHq6ThEfuHXo&index=58&ab_channel=LoneStarCowboyChurch

That's actually the first Cowboy Church I found when perusing YouTube in the past! Shared the link with a member of our current church who loves that type of music still. He is a native of the Houston area, but has been here in south Georgia for many years.

I agree your old WL was very good. There are some old vocal harmony songs he did with some ladies that are excellent! Also love the old classics like "I'll Fly Away", "Blessed Assurance", "Are You Washed In The Blood" and others similar.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Luke Geis on December 07, 2020, 10:38:23 pm
Learning the timbre, root note frequencies, and music production part of being a " sound guy " is probably the hardest part. You can easily learn what an XLR is, how it's wired, and how to connect anything you need to with it without ever touching one. It is a whole new world when you can listen to a reference and be handed a limited set of tools and find a way to replicate that sound. Compressors, gates, EQ, busing, and bus processing, mixing and even the master bus processing all have a multitude of ways in which it can be done. This doesn't even touch the surface when it comes to micing the instrument, assessing it with no reference, and adjusting the mic position to achieve the desired result. Then you get to do all the rest of that stuff on top of it. Imagine doing a one day show where you load the truck, travel to the gig, set the whole system up, tune it and then go through sound checks, to then finally run the show, break everything down, travel back to the shop and unload it all!!!! This is what many of us do just about every day. You have no choice but to create a palette in your head of what makes a good sound and how to get it because you have to use as little energy as you can and arrive at it quickly. This is stuff that can only be learned while doing it. If you don't know how the end result was created, then how do you start creating it? Doing it is what teaches you that. Some learn it quickly, some get stuck in a repetitive rut of this is what I do and others forge the way experimenting with things and use different techniques under different circumstances for the same desired result.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Nathan Riddle on December 08, 2020, 12:22:09 am


For mics, budget again limited my choice. Sort of wanted the Audix set that's about $1000, but had to settle for the Shure $499 PGADRUMKIT7 package. I put a real SM57 on the snare. Currently micing only the snare top. While there is not much daylight between $1000 and $500, when it is the church's money and you are right on the ragged edge of over-the-line, you have to cut someplace. So the drum mic kit was a compromise.

I have, since last year when we bought and installed all of this stuff, been able to buy some e935 vocal mics during the November special to replace some e835s. And if I can catch another Sennheiser sale later on e604s or e904s, I may look at those.

But back to the topic at hand. The tips shared by you guys in this thread have been really helpful. I can now get to experimenting, but now I have some good starting points. Before it was a big shot in the dark. Nothing subsitutes for a little guidance from those that have gone before ...  :).

Not to be harsh (you do what you can with what you got) but I can almost guarantee that the mics are what is killing your drum sound. (As long as the kit sounds decent). Get good mics and you'll be happy.

Rent them and show leadership what you can do with good mics.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Bill Meeks on December 08, 2020, 08:29:10 am

Not to be harsh (you do what you can with what you got) but I can almost guarantee that the mics are what is killing your drum sound. (As long as the kit sounds decent). Get good mics and you'll be happy.

Rent them and show leadership what you can do with good mics.

I understand, but leadership does not have a lot of money to spend. There are many priorities in a church. In smaller churches most of the money goes to basic expenses like salaries and utilities. So yeah, you work with what you have and improve incrementally. The e935 mics I purchased were on my own dime (a donation). Picked up four of them during the November sale. The technology upgrade last year was a special one-off fundraiser. And even then the final amount raised was below the goal, thus the need for compromises on equipment purchased when implementing the project.

The kit is owned by one of the band members. It is a Sonor kit. I'm not a drum buff so I don't know much else. Just saw that name and logo on them.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: lindsay Dean on December 08, 2020, 01:28:13 pm
I'm sure this is the last thing you want to hear but by the time you buy a load of Mics, try to get it just right between 2 drummers, , you might want to consider getting something like a Yamaha drum module and some triggers and go with
some great sounding presets.
  This will give you more time to practice on the recorded tracks  and get some. experience and try them during rehearsals.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Mike Caldwell on December 08, 2020, 04:01:46 pm
The audio on the video has had major post production applied, who knows what the actual live recording sounded like maybe it needed that much post work.

I'm with Lindsay, get a good set of E Drums or triggers and a module.
In addition to a lower stage volume the drum sound will be consistent plug and play with some additional kits sounds available at the push of a button.

No one in the congregation will care that the drummer is playing E Drums.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Bill Meeks on December 08, 2020, 04:47:32 pm
The audio on the video has had major post production applied, who knows what the actual live recording sounded like maybe it needed that much post work.

I'm with Lindsay, get a good set of E Drums or triggers and a module.
In addition to a lower stage volume the drum sound will be consistent plug and play with some additional kits sounds available at the push of a button.

No one in the congregation will care that the drummer is playing E Drums.

I was fairly suspicious that was the case (lots of post-production sweetening applied). Still was curious how someone could get closer to that kind of sound. The tips and info shared here in the thread have been helpful and I am very appreciative of the replies.

I broached the electronic drums thing when we bought the drum enclosure, but I got not a single "yes, that's a great idea" response ...  ;). More like they didn't even hear me.

Some triggers and a module might be possible in the future, though. Might could sort of sneak that hardware in here and there over time.

Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Mike Caldwell on December 08, 2020, 05:40:10 pm
I

I broached the electronic drums thing when we bought the drum enclosure, but I got not a single "yes, that's a great idea" response ...  ;). More like they didn't even hear me.



Was it the drummers who were not going along with the E Drum idea?
Yea there's some difference in feel and a whole lot of difference in the "look", guess which one makes the most difference to the drummer!!

As for the video's drum sound, It was good but nothing I would call the greatist drum ever and go and try everything to recreate.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Tim Weaver on December 08, 2020, 05:56:53 pm
I was fairly suspicious that was the case (lots of post-production sweetening applied). Still was curious how someone could get closer to that kind of sound. The tips and info shared here in the thread have been helpful and I am very appreciative of the replies.

I broached the electronic drums thing when we bought the drum enclosure, but I got not a single "yes, that's a great idea" response ...  ;). More like they didn't even hear me.

Some triggers and a module might be possible in the future, though. Might could sort of sneak that hardware in here and there over time.

If you've got a full drum enclosure I agree with those folks who didn't want E-drums. I'm sorry, but I've yet to hear an E-kit that sounds good for regular music. If you want Flock Of Seagulls, then go ahead with the E-kit.

I would suggest using more overhead and seeing what that does for you. And I have a cheap option for overheads too. Choir Mics! If you've got a set of old hanging choir mics around not being used you can hang those over the kit inside the enclosure. I just screwed a drywall screw into the lid and zip tied the mic cable to that. Make sure that both mics are an equal distance away from the snare so that it ends up in the middle of the stereo image.

Old choir mics go for cheap on ebay and most of them are actually really high quality. My go-to hanging mics are Audio Technica Pro45's. They can be had for 25-30 bucks used on ebay.


Here's a clip I worked up for somebody else. https://soundcloud.com/highspl/drum-example This is our Youth band which is a DW kit in a full enclosure. Beta52 inside the kick (just laying on the pillow), SM57 on Snare, Rode mic on Hi Hat, Sennheiser 604's on toms, and a pair of Sennheiser hanging choir mics for the overheads. Thats it. No bottom snare, no samples nothing special.

Read the tags on the sound clip. OH's only, then all mics unprocessed, then all with a 5 minute EQ, Gate, and Comp set up. Nothing special.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Bill Meeks on December 09, 2020, 08:29:02 am
Was it the drummers who were not going along with the E Drum idea?
Yea there's some difference in feel and a whole lot of difference in the "look", guess which one makes the most difference to the drummer!!

As for the video's drum sound, It was good but nothing I would call the greatist drum ever and go and try everything to recreate.

The drummers were not enthusiastic about an e-drum kit.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Bill Meeks on December 09, 2020, 08:46:20 am
If you've got a full drum enclosure I agree with those folks who didn't want E-drums. I'm sorry, but I've yet to hear an E-kit that sounds good for regular music. If you want Flock Of Seagulls, then go ahead with the E-kit.

I would suggest using more overhead and seeing what that does for you. And I have a cheap option for overheads too. Choir Mics! If you've got a set of old hanging choir mics around not being used you can hang those over the kit inside the enclosure. I just screwed a drywall screw into the lid and zip tied the mic cable to that. Make sure that both mics are an equal distance away from the snare so that it ends up in the middle of the stereo image.

Old choir mics go for cheap on ebay and most of them are actually really high quality. My go-to hanging mics are Audio Technica Pro45's. They can be had for 25-30 bucks used on ebay.


Here's a clip I worked up for somebody else. https://soundcloud.com/highspl/drum-example This is our Youth band which is a DW kit in a full enclosure. Beta52 inside the kick (just laying on the pillow), SM57 on Snare, Rode mic on Hi Hat, Sennheiser 604's on toms, and a pair of Sennheiser hanging choir mics for the overheads. Thats it. No bottom snare, no samples nothing special.

Read the tags on the sound clip. OH's only, then all mics unprocessed, then all with a 5 minute EQ, Gate, and Comp set up. Nothing special.

Tim:

Do you remember the snare EQ settings you used and can you share them? I want to see about how much you boosted and where. After listening to that full kit, I see (or actually hear) one of my problems already. I've got way more cymbals and/or hi-hat (especially from one of my drummers) in the overheads. I'm guessing I need to change their location. How are yours positioned in the enclosure? It gets pretty tight in ours with the kit and all the cymbal stands, so I have trouble finding floor space for all the dang mic stand tripod legs. I think I have them too close to the cymbals and thus too far away from the snare and toms. Your suggestion for hanging from the ceiling is a great idea, and I will definitely try that out.

This is the enclosure we have:  https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/IsoPacADG--clearsonic-isopac-a-dark-gray (https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/IsoPacADG--clearsonic-isopac-a-dark-gray).

With your inside-the-drum Beta52 placement, about how far off the beater head is it placed? And is it centered with the beater or lying off to one side a bit? I had been using that technique for several months, but changed to just inside the drum port after we had to move the enclosure to a different position on stage to make room for Christmas decorations. The enclosure will now be staying in its new location.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: lindsay Dean on December 09, 2020, 01:46:13 pm
I know that most drummers do not like e drums that's why I suggested getting triggers
  For the acoustic set for your audience feed.
 The drummers should not care if it's triggers, if it's for the good of the music and the congregation
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Tim Weaver on December 09, 2020, 03:19:25 pm
Tim:

Do you remember the snare EQ settings you used and can you share them? I want to see about how much you boosted and where. After listening to that full kit, I see (or actually hear) one of my problems already. I've got way more cymbals and/or hi-hat (especially from one of my drummers) in the overheads. I'm guessing I need to change their location. How are yours positioned in the enclosure? It gets pretty tight in ours with the kit and all the cymbal stands, so I have trouble finding floor space for all the dang mic stand tripod legs. I think I have them too close to the cymbals and thus too far away from the snare and toms. Your suggestion for hanging from the ceiling is a great idea, and I will definitely try that out.

This is the enclosure we have:  https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/IsoPacADG--clearsonic-isopac-a-dark-gray (https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/IsoPacADG--clearsonic-isopac-a-dark-gray).

With your inside-the-drum Beta52 placement, about how far off the beater head is it placed? And is it centered with the beater or lying off to one side a bit? I had been using that technique for several months, but changed to just inside the drum port after we had to move the enclosure to a different position on stage to make room for Christmas decorations. The enclosure will now be staying in its new location.


I don't remember exactly, but likely it would have been a hi shelf boost to gets some sizzle going and High Passed at 80-100 wherever it sounds ok. Then probably a wide cut around 500-1k ish just to scoop the mids a little bit.

The Kick mic has no intelligent positioning whatsoever. I literally laid it on the pillow where it won't slide off. Thats it. The Beta52 is not my favorite kick mic, but when you place it right in the port it becomes one of my least favorite kick mics. The port has so much turbulent air flying around that you almost always get a weird response. Pull it out of the port, or stick it all the way inside.

As far as stands in the enclosure, why are you using them? I have one stand inside there for the HiHat mic. Everything else is using rim clamps (sennheisers). The OH's are screwed to the lid and dangling.

Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Bill Meeks on December 09, 2020, 05:24:50 pm

I don't remember exactly, but likely it would have been a hi shelf boost to gets some sizzle going and High Passed at 80-100 wherever it sounds ok. Then probably a wide cut around 500-1k ish just to scoop the mids a little bit.

The Kick mic has no intelligent positioning whatsoever. I literally laid it on the pillow where it won't slide off. Thats it. The Beta52 is not my favorite kick mic, but when you place it right in the port it becomes one of my least favorite kick mics. The port has so much turbulent air flying around that you almost always get a weird response. Pull it out of the port, or stick it all the way inside.

As far as stands in the enclosure, why are you using them? I have one stand inside there for the HiHat mic. Everything else is using rim clamps (sennheisers). The OH's are screwed to the lid and dangling.

The stands are for the overheads, the kick mic (it's a small one), one for the snare and one for the hi-hat. I'm using an SM57 for snare, so no rim clip for it now. The toms have rim clip mics. Getting rid of the two overheads stands would be a big help. Also getting a rim mic for the snare would help. Guess I can look at the Shure A56D or something similar unless I opt to move to a Sennheiser snare mic.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Tim Weaver on December 12, 2020, 12:35:15 pm
The stands are for the overheads, the kick mic (it's a small one), one for the snare and one for the hi-hat. I'm using an SM57 for snare, so no rim clip for it now. The toms have rim clip mics. Getting rid of the two overheads stands would be a big help. Also getting a rim mic for the snare would help. Guess I can look at the Shure A56D or something similar unless I opt to move to a Sennheiser snare mic.

Spend the money on LP Claws. Then don't attach them straight to the drum you are micing. That's one of the big secrets nobody will tell you (if they even know themselves! lol). When you clamp a mic straight to the rim you'll get as much noise transmitted through vibration as you will through acoustically through the air. This can be a huge issue on rack toms where both toms start sounding the same, since one tom will excite the other's mic through vibration.

I like to use LP Claws because they can be positioned better and easier than any of the other options.. I like to clamp them to cymbal stands and neck them out to the drum. It will clean up your sound immensely.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Luke Geis on December 12, 2020, 01:51:43 pm
I have had bleed from clamps used on cymbal stands. Just as a tom will ring and vibrate, so will a cymbal stand. For a live recording I did once, I used clamps on the cymbal stands for the toms and whatever else. When monitoring back the recording I could hear a low pitched kind of vibration on the particular mic that was clamped to the cymbal stand that was being played at that moment. Of course, it wasn't in sync with the toms...

The absolute best way to mic a drum is with a mic stand that is not in contact with anything else that could potentially vibrate. Second to that is using the rim clamps. The rim clamps have at least a sympathetic vibration in them that simply becomes part of the sound of the toms or snare it is attached to. I would hope that sound was also factored in when designing the mic and clip.

Something else I have had luck with is using overheads only for toms. Luckily in modern rock and other pop music genre's there has been a trend towards mono drums or at least a more crushed and centralized type of drum set sound. An example of this would be Tame Impala and similar music choices. The technique for his sound is pretty simple. A kick mic, two snare mics ( one top and one side ), and a single overhead. He then sends it all through a single channel Shure Level Lock brick wall limiter and then Bobs your uncle. You can do pretty much the same with any kit. It can be done to great effect with or without crushing the heck out of it.

I wish we had an easier way on here to share audio files. I have a few recent live 2 track ( hot off the master bus ) recordings that I am quite proud of. I use a pretty broad technique that some engineers have said is more like a studio setup. In my most recent live recording, I used a kick mic, a snare mic, and two overheads. Each of them is compressed and EQ'd as desired at the channel level, then sent to a drum crush bus where I further compress the whole mix, do more EQ, and then on to the master bus. The drum crush bus is where I think all the magic happens. I use a limiter with auto makeup gain and I use a pretty fair amount of compression ( -6 to -10db of it ) to do it. At the channel level, I am using about the same amount, except at the channel level I am doing it to achieve the core sound, the bus limiting/compression is there to glue the mix together and lock in the dynamics of the kit. For me, it takes a kit that sounds very lively and makes it sound more studio esqe with punch, drive, and apparentness.

Not knowing what sound you are working with ( if you could only upload the audio files ) it is hard to say exactly what I would do to process it. I don't have a one way fits all solution. I listen first, asses,s, and then correct. I have a couple of different ways that I will approach different things depending on the genre of music and the quality of the talent.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Tim Weaver on December 12, 2020, 02:11:26 pm
Sign up for Soundcloud. It's free and easy to use. I use it just for the occasional shared soundclip.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Tim Weaver on December 12, 2020, 02:19:59 pm
Yeah a cymbal stand *can* vibrate with a drum hit, but if it's clamped to the drum itself it *will* vibrate with the drum strike.

My biggest issue is that tom1 will be picked up by tom2's mic almost at the same volume just through sympathetic vibration through the mic clamp. Thhis doesn't happen when you clamp on a cymbal stand.

I've had extreme cases of this happen where both toms essentially sounded at the same pitch through the PA. Moving the clamps off the actual drums cured it.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: doug johnson2 on December 12, 2020, 06:27:07 pm
One thing that I have found helps a lot when dealing with a drum kits in a booth is to use triggers on the drum shells to key your gates.   With careful placement you can virtually eliminate having the wrong drum opening your gates.  You can pick up triggers pretty cheaply, pintech sells one for around 15.00.  The biggest issue is whether you have 5 or six extra channels to route them through. 
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Matthias McCready on December 12, 2020, 08:22:45 pm
I am little late to the game, but had a few thoughts:

I mix for a large mega church that would sound fairly similar to this.

I would argue you can absolutely get this sound live.

In this track is there probably studio magic going on? Yes, however a lot of that is smaller details and consistency.

Where I mix utilizes LOTS of trax, however I would not recommend using drum trax as they probably won't translate well, as you will probably not be processing enough channels to make if feel good. If you only had 2-3 channels of trax for entire kit it would probably not feel good; and unless you can have the person firing Ableton working the trax to your PA at volume that is probably a non-starter.

So for live you can have mixed or triggered snare samples; both are fair game. For the advantage is of triggered snare samples is not that they sound better; it is a consistency thing (although it is still cheating  ;D ). When you have a sampled snare you won't have to worry as much about tuning, mic position, and head condition etc.

That being said I don't use triggered for samples; again not inherently opposed to it, just seems like one more computer to have issues.  ;)

---

So presuming we are wanting to do this live, here is how I would be thinking through this:

I cannot emphasize how important a good source is!

For our church the snare sound starts with a $700 Ludwig Black Beauty at the broadcast campus. For modern worship it is a lot about deep snare drums. Often 6.5 to 8 inches deep. A shallow snare drum isn't going to sound the same, no matter what mic you use. Additionally heads are often thicker; and they need to be changed often, otherwise your snare will thud life a piece of Tupperware being hit! (no one wants that).

Large dark sounding cymbals are also important, often 15"-16" hats. 20 ride/crash and a larger ride. Cymbals is something an electronic kit will not do well, this may change some day.

Some places use something like the Waves Torque plugin to get that weight out of snare drums, I would still prefer to fix it on the source side.

I have become a REALLY huge fan of the Zorro Beater; this makes a night and day difference for kick sound. It adds lots of attack. When I used to be a drummer I probably wouldn't have used one, but as an audio engineer I swear by them.

If you are not, you should be paying attention to heads. For example I really enjoy an Aquarian Super Kick II for batter head. It is a one trick pony, but it is a good one. If you want a consistent drum sound it starts with heads. At my main campus I work at we probably have 30 drum heads in the backroom. Learn how to tune, and what heads feel good for the sound you are going for.

As said by previous posters quality mics are VERY important:

Those cheap mic packs (irrespective of brand) sound awful, they will not get you the sound you are going for; they are good for door stops.

Some of the mics I personally like:

Kick Low: Audix D6 or nice Condensor (you probably won't get the sound you are looking for with a beta 52 or AKG D112)
Kick High: Shure Beta 91 or the Sennets 900 option (forget the model)
Snare Top: SM57, Beta 57, Audix I5, SE v7, KM 184
Snare Bottom: SM81, KM 184, Senn e906
Hats: 57, SM81 etc
Toms: e604, e904, 421
Overheads: KSM32 (favorite for the price), Audix SCX 25, etc

There are lots of decent/great mic options. Some will work better for different kits/rooms.

Having a good source (player, kit, heads, tuning, mics, well placed mics) will get you a LOT closer.

This all pre-processing.

EQ is very dependent upon your source, PA, and room. In general the guidance given has been good there.

As far as compression goes I am usually pretty deep into Waves to get what I am looking for, which is not helpful for you. In general slower attack for most drums, and not to heavy on the compression. I almost never use added gain after compression.

For bottom snare, very quick attack and release so that the bottom mic disappears the harder the drum is hit. I usually have 6dB down on a hard hit. I often have one compressor for control and one for tone.

The goal for overhead compression for me, is usually to make the snare disappear from them. Again often use two compressors here, or lots of dynamics EQ.

It is worth noting that cool processing will never make up for a poor source. One of the best snare sounds I have ever heard was a good player with a fresh head on Ludwig black beauty with a KM184 on the top raw. While that snare and mic are out of price for you, the takeaway is that the source matters!

Two kick mics really helps to dial things in. Adding a bottom snare mics makes snare sound SO much better. If you do not have lots of money for mics it is better to have a few good ones rather than many subpar ones.

Hopefully that helps you  :)


Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Bill Meeks on December 12, 2020, 10:49:53 pm
Thanks again everyone for chiming in. I have lots of information to work with. Some of the ideas will cost money and need to be worked in over time. Being a small town church, a large technology budget is just not happening. While I can maybe argue for a small increase, currently we have about $7000 or so per year to spend on all things technology (sound system stuff falls in that box along with office PCs and the software-as-a-service subscription for the church accouting and membership maintenance software). So super expensive mics are not happening with that small annual budget. Small improvements yes, but the "big boy stuff" is too far out of reach. So I will have to trim my expectations and do the best I can with what fits the budget.

With that said, I can apply some of the tips shared in this thread about mic positioning, compression and so forth. I did wind up getting the LP claw mount for the snare. I placed it on the rim as a start, but if I hear it on Sunday and it sounds weird, I will take Tim's advice and put it on the nearby cymbal stand. Have not done so yet, but will also investigate Tim's suggestion of hanging the overheads from the enclosure's ceiling. That will eliminate two more stands from the enclosure.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Bill Meeks on December 12, 2020, 11:17:33 pm

As far as compression goes I am usually pretty deep into Waves to get what I am looking for, which is not helpful for you. In general slower attack for most drums, and not to heavy on the compression. I almost never use added gain after compression.

For bottom snare, very quick attack and release so that the bottom mic disappears the harder the drum is hit. I usually have 6dB down on a hard hit. I often have one compressor for control and one for tone.

The goal for overhead compression for me, is usually to make the snare disappear from them. Again often use two compressors here, or lots of dynamics EQ.

It is worth noting that cool processing will never make up for a poor source. One of the best snare sounds I have ever heard was a good player with a fresh head on Ludwig black beauty with a KM184 on the top raw. While that snare and mic are out of price for you, the takeaway is that the source matters!

Two kick mics really helps to dial things in. Adding a bottom snare mics makes snare sound SO much better. If you do not have lots of money for mics it is better to have a few good ones rather than many subpar ones.

Hopefully that helps you  :)

Matthias:

Can you elaborate on what you consider "slower attack"? I have done a ton of YouTube watching over the last couple of years watching clips from both professional studio mixing engineers and the few live FOH guys I can find. One live FOH guy I've watched some videos from lately is James Attaway. His videos are here:  https://www.youtube.com/c/AttawayAudio/playlists (https://www.youtube.com/c/AttawayAudio/playlists). I've also read all the posts I can find from folks like Chris Huff, the late Andrew Stone and others. I also own a ton of personal Waves plugins I play with in my DAW, so anything you are currently doing with Waves I can probably replicate in my DAW for learning purposes. I can't use the plugins live in church, though, as our board won't easily support the interface. I could make it sort of work, but not well enough to justify the $3500 cost of the Waves server and Hear Technologies Dante interface box. And there is that limited budget thing I've mentioned before ...  ;D. Plus the TF5 is just too limited with internal routing. There are no patchable inserts on any channels.

From watching the YouTube videos, it seems there are as many opinions on drum compression as there are engineers ...  :). I am currently using these compressor settings:

Kick - hard knee, 5 mSec attack, 203 mSec release, 4:1 ratio. Getting -3 dB max compression on hard hits.
Snare - same as kick.
Toms - hard knee, 10 mSec attack, 400 mSec release, 4:1 ratio. Getting -6 dB max compression on the hardest hits, usually more like -3 dB compression.

Lots of the Waves plugin presets for drums seem to love about 4 mSecs for attack and 200 mSecs or so for release (this is the "Drums" preset on the RCompressor, for example).

So what's your go-to starting point for the drum compressors?

I buss my drums into a Stereo Aux on the TF5 and there I have some light EQ and then a modified 3-band multiband compressor preset from the Yamaha effects choices. The bands break at 132 Hz and 4 kHz. This compressor kisses the drum hits with what appears to be -2 or -4 dB of compression. Hard to tell because the GUI has poor marking (big gap between the numbers and the physical space is small, so it's hard to really pinpoint the gain reduction value it shows you with the bargraph display).
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Geert Friedhof on December 13, 2020, 01:00:17 am
I buss my drums into a Stereo Aux on the TF5

You do what now?  ???
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Bill Meeks on December 13, 2020, 06:53:50 am
You do what now?  ???

So each drum channel, after individual treating, is sent to Stereo Aux 9/10 on the TF5 instead of going direct to FOH. That board has 6 Stereo Aux mixes, buses or groups (pick your favorite term) where you can apply an effect. So I treat that Aux pair as a drums bus where the whole kit gets a little EQ, and in this case a little multiband compression as that is one of the available effects on that Aux pair. The Aux then goes to front of house via the master bus, to the livestream feed and is also available in the IEMs for the band as a stereo group they can adjust to taste (our IEM system is Dante-based and each user has total control of his mix from the list of available channels).

I actually set this Stereo Aux drum group routing up initially just so the band would have the complete kit, mixed, in their IEMs. I later decided to route that treated group to FOH instead of each individual drum channel. So now, akin to a DCA, the output level of that Aux pair is the "Drums" fader on the custom fader layer we use for mixing.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Tim Weaver on December 13, 2020, 07:41:57 am
Nothing wrong with bussing a drum kit to a stereo bus for processing. I do it too. I think Geert was thrown by the "stereo aux" thing, but I understand what you meant. Typically an aux send is for "sending" things out of the console. To drive a monitor or an effects unit for example. A "bus" is where you would group channel together inside a console for processing before patching them to the main mix. Just semantics.


For microphones, you don't need super expensive. The Shure DMK57-52 is actually a fantastic deal normally, but right now it's a screaming deal: Super Huge Link (https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/DMK5752--shure-dmk57-52-drum-microphone-kit?mrkgadid=3303550189&mrkgcl=28&mrkgen=gpla&mrkgbflag=0&mrkgcat=studio&recording&&acctid=21700000001645388&dskeywordid=92700046938539860&lid=92700046938539860&ds_s_kwgid=58700005285191559&ds_s_inventory_feed_id=97700000007215323&dsproductgroupid=475948848139&product_id=DMK5752&prodctry=US&prodlang=en&channel=online&storeid=&device=c&network=g&matchtype=&locationid=1026634&creative=285689015205&targetid=pla-475948848139&campaignid=1465808290&gclid=CjwKCAiAlNf-BRB_EiwA2osbxbUlx5l6qQ8MNSVtuPTj2ihECSkqJKNxh0htK-Vrfwbbs6PEdV--ahoCuUYQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds)

This gives you 3 of the industry-standard drum (or anything) mics. The SM57. 3 well-built drum clamps, and a completely workable kick mic. Right now it's 350 bucks which is like getting the B52 and 2 of the clamps for free.

SM57's make a fine Tom mic. They are fairly large and the clamps aren't "fully" adjustable like the LP Claws, but you can work around these issues as countless soundguys before you have done. Relly the big improvement in Tom mics over the years has been to make the mic smaller yet still retain the sound of an SM57. You can also use 57's as oveheads, Hi Hat, top and bottom Snare, whatever. They work everywhere, which is why you will find them on every stage around the world.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Tim Weaver on December 13, 2020, 07:47:14 am
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.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Nathan Riddle on December 13, 2020, 09:34:52 am
I buss my drums into a Stereo Aux on the TF5 and there I have some light EQ and then a modified 3-band multiband compressor preset from the Yamaha effects choices. The bands break at 132 Hz and 4 kHz. This compressor kisses the drum hits with what appears to be -2 or -4 dB of compression. Hard to tell because the GUI has poor marking (big gap between the numbers and the physical space is small, so it's hard to really pinpoint the gain reduction value it shows you with the bargraph display).

Quote
PGADRUMKIT7

Bill, I love you to death for trying very hard and exhausting every option. I keep following because I want you to succeed. Small church is run by awesome people like you who support via time and financially.

Frankly im perplexed why the others keep throwing the same ideas around and haven't already said this.

You're most likely trying to polish a turd.

You can apply all the compressiom and EQ to a bad kit and mics and it'll never get the sound you want. You gotta fix the source and then the pickup of that source.

You want to buy a truck, but told the dealership you have no money.

Im not saying you need to spend 10k, just a wee bit more than nothing...

---

First thing first do the drums sound good?

Get a budget to pay the best drummer you know who has their own kit and sounds good to bring it in and/or tune-up yours. Get the kit sounding the closest you can to what you want the drums to sound like. Buy new heads, moon gels, deeper snare like Matthias said, etc.

Then get a budget to slowly buy new mics. Start with kick mic: b91 or d6. Then snare sm81, then toms e604/904, then add the 2nd kick mic and 2nd snare mic. You dont need earthworks or DPA mice to sound great, but you do need something.

One thing to remember, and if i was physically present trying to help. I'd bypass everything and start at the source everytime we changed something and tested it. Oftentimes in other people's systems they're doing too much processing/layers and it just doesn't sound good. Try bypassing the drum group, etc.

Of course we know it wont all happen at once. You've said 10x you dont have a budget. Time to get one. You have not because you ask not. Go to leadership and kindly make a petition, outline the things you've learned here. Offer to rent before buying, etc. Take them on the journey with you, give them joint-ownership of the project.

Godspeed
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Geert Friedhof on December 13, 2020, 10:04:56 am
I think Geert was thrown by the "stereo aux" thing, but I understand what you meant. Typically an aux send is for "sending" things out of the console. To drive a monitor or an effects unit for example.

Yep I would call your 'stereo aux bus' a 'group bus'.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Tim Weaver on December 13, 2020, 10:12:07 am
Pro37 (https://www.ebay.com/itm/Audio-Technica-PRO-37R-Condenser-Microphone-UNIDIRECTIONAL-Made-In-Japan/114573723072?_trkparms=ispr%3D1&hash=item1aad2045c0%3Ag%3AiW8AAOSwaYVf1UsN&amdata=enc%3AAQAFAAACcBaobrjLl8XobRIiIML1V4Imu%252Fn%252BzU5L90Z278x5ickkAgU0umhwUTmgTFbE5cu7zTSvh8bEZibbezwU5dna%252FnzXMYI8pp3u4Aw6komsvT6oYomJ8ft7%252BG6cYpqntKE9losRn5YXN8x6UtSzDYM%252Fql1dRPYTaEP%252FyScHq%252BuaQNnNFDcH3dDZXNKIbQyaTFNDebTsnBNB87ZlM8E9wsutdT6SpT6z%252FzmVRH%252BcnBiDS42uIksZyiOatNmwJbibmvUEooIjJuzFlwcALGLEJf6%252BkD7mRsblQnGSC%252BChREI7UabcBKwgRiITNU6H%252FgV%252F6eQhCCMC0i6ebNdKBFQahfhQ7M9XRTpDpyO3dvVBjouZg6fg35O45Fu8bFLAZPAK0X0TQPBADs7cRouDumJylze3FbqwUWBvM0SD9VxoygXgDMeQsy36NKFmqR1mjgooFe2623sTOZBOqbgwwF%252BBiyVa6OALARWRxgfZ06WIgAmRrwP%252BrkWsz2mgFalrl0VR%252BoieGHfYM9SMzNuCoOkG8PWdPvvQ9dL%252FCdtX4XnC3os3D%252Bc52Afm6bFpvMPqw06dpbtQHvhfQcHxvPj3hM8yvgchssGjQPPppFsb8tjZxaS4y49p%252B3v%252BEZUKHVw2IkBC7h0V9ABkC9auS2sue%252FQINX3b0c8WNiFdgHpb0UKIJ4H%252BTmPjvwm5v%252BwaQ8O0ht232I1e0PvbBLOPriAOyrMzP42yQoy7KdGRDhfaCr%252Baqb3LxSNQe%252BFLY%252BARprDvqTsuR%252Bp8nxQUbr5CLCFryc6CtQpKA1ynwpkbuZvGnfdCLiq43XPv87S4W8hHAwlJcRTsbTv5ag%253D%253D%7Ccksum%3A11457372307230e4cd4e87f1461a9d91954f68412128%7Campid%3APL_CLK%7Cclp%3A2334524&LH_ItemCondition=4)

Pro45 (https://www.ebay.com/itm/Audio-Technica-Pro-45-Cardioid-Condenser-Mic/224273339334?hash=item3437bb93c6%3Ag%3AN9cAAOSwjI5are68&LH_ItemCondition=3000)

Audio Technica makes excellent budget freindly condensoer mics. You can't go wrong with either of these mics. Don't buy their cheap dynamic mics though. Those aren't great.

For cheap Dynamics, you just can't beat the Shure sm57. It's a stereotype because its true. The 57 may not be the best mic for every source, but it is the good enough mic for every source.


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.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Matthias McCready on December 13, 2020, 11:40:16 am
Matthias:

Can you elaborate on what you consider "slower attack"? I have done a ton of YouTube watching over the last couple of years watching clips from both professional studio mixing engineers and the few live FOH guys I can find. One live FOH guy I've watched some videos from lately is James Attaway. His videos are here:  https://www.youtube.com/c/AttawayAudio/playlists (https://www.youtube.com/c/AttawayAudio/playlists). I've also read all the posts I can find from folks like Chris Huff, the late Andrew Stone and others. I also own a ton of personal Waves plugins I play with in my DAW, so anything you are currently doing with Waves I can probably replicate in my DAW for learning purposes. I can't use the plugins live in church, though, as our board won't easily support the interface. I could make it sort of work, but not well enough to justify the $3500 cost of the Waves server and Hear Technologies Dante interface box. And there is that limited budget thing I've mentioned before ...  ;D. Plus the TF5 is just too limited with internal routing. There are no patchable inserts on any channels.

From watching the YouTube videos, it seems there are as many opinions on drum compression as there are engineers ...  :). I am currently using these compressor settings:

Kick - hard knee, 5 mSec attack, 203 mSec release, 4:1 ratio. Getting -3 dB max compression on hard hits.
Snare - same as kick.
Toms - hard knee, 10 mSec attack, 400 mSec release, 4:1 ratio. Getting -6 dB max compression on the hardest hits, usually more like -3 dB compression.

Lots of the Waves plugin presets for drums seem to love about 4 mSecs for attack and 200 mSecs or so for release (this is the "Drums" preset on the RCompressor, for example).

So what's your go-to starting point for the drum compressors?


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.



Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Bill Meeks 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.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Bill Meeks 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.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Bill Meeks 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 ... :)
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Bill Meeks 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
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Tim Weaver 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.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Bill Meeks 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.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Scott Holtzman 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?
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Jonathan Hole 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!
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Bill Meeks 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.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Tim Weaver 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.
Title: Re: How Do You Get This Drum Sound -- or reasonably close?
Post by: Scott Holtzman on December 15, 2020, 04:14:32 pm
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.


Great story and probably true, Nashville is saturated.