Drums can be a mess to mix if you’re a beginner. It is easy to drown out the sound of the other instruments on the track or get a muffled recording that is lacking any real oomph. But don’t fret. Mixing drums can be painless with a few tips and trick from the pro. The important thing is you take care to make sure your set up is fine tuned before drumming away. Expecting a perfect sound on your first try is silly especially if you don’t undertake the proper preparations. Check out the tips below to help you mix your next drum set of drum tracks with ease.
Set Up Right the First Time: Jumping into recording without the proper preparation will leave you disappointed. Drums are very powerful and can easily overwhelm a sound system and mic set up if even the slightest thing is off. Before you begin tinkering with the drum track make sure you have got the best recording possible. It will save you a lot of time and a lot of headaches to prepare in advance. The easiest way to ensure your samples are clean and ready for mixing is to use the proper equipment. For those who can’t afford a quality drum mics definitely check your local music store for rental equipment. Renting the proper mics and mixing equipment will improve the quality of your mix ten fold.
Parallel Compression: Mixing the compressed and uncompressed versions will help you keep those strong accents in your drumming but also make the mixed track more dynamic. Using a compressor with a wet/dry mix control is an easy way to guarantee the highs and lows of your drum track shine through.
Adjust the Timing: A drum track will have some delay in the recording which can be cool if that is the sound you’re going for or cause a world of trouble. Depending on your needs it may be necessary to adjust the timing of a drum track so that it syncs up with other instruments or tracks in the song. This can be manually done but many music programs now offer more automatic methods for changing the timing on a track. Either way, you can significantly alter the sound with timing.
Experiment With Samples: So you’ve recorded an awesome drum track but it is lacking fullness or some other minor detail. Don’t be afraid to turn your performance into samples in order to add extras that highlight specific parts of the drum track. Even pulling from your sample library can help round out a drum track that is missing a little something extra.
Record Your Single Hits: It is very important to record you drummer playing different parts of the drum loud, medium, and softly. These samples can be used to fill out parts of the recording that may be fuzzy or lacking the quality that you would like.
Good luck mixing your next drum track! It can be tough and an uphill battle but the results are worth the struggle. Let us know any tips you have for mixing drums below.