mandatory inserts ?

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nebelfuerst
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mandatory inserts ?

Post by nebelfuerst »

Although I'm in scope for a long time, I'm still struggling with the sound of drums.
I prefer to do most effects online in scope, as I don't like to do finalisation in a DAW.
So I'd like to ask:

Do you feed each drum/hihat through a parallel chain of inserts or do you let them run combined ?

What inserts du you use ?
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masterec
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Re: mandatory inserts ?

Post by masterec »

You won't see any "general" answer because there isn't any. Such thing doesn't exist. Without trying to sound misterknoweverything or disrespectful - but no one knows level of your drums, their dynamics and whatever you want to achieve with them in the context of a mix you are working on. There is no correct or wrong way of mixing your song. You do what you think you need to do until it sounds right. Sometimes you may need to tweak hihats individually, sometimes combined with everything else. There simply is no general answer to making music. Never was.

Try referencing to some of the songs you like and tweak until it's there. Obviously it takes time to "get" there. If it was that easy then everyone would be a professional engineers and producers at any rate.
nebelfuerst
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Re: mandatory inserts ?

Post by nebelfuerst »

I understand, that there's no "one fits all" solution.
Reaching the level of professional producers will stay a dream for me, but nevertheless I want to improve.

On some DAW I find some effects, that are named "drum_something", which sound quite nice.
I also looked into some projects of Samplitude and Ableton to see how the get it done.

On scope I have all effects on atom level, too. But how to combine them ? I can't find projects where I can look into, to learn.

Reverb ( Masterverb ? SC-Plate ?) , then Compressors , EQ or in reverse order ?
Is it sufficent to put these as inserts in a mixer's channel or should it be wired manually for some onknown reason ?
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Peter Drake
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Re: mandatory inserts ?

Post by Peter Drake »

Firstly, drums are a struggle for everyone. It's really hard to get a cohesive and detailed sound that works whether you're going for something natural sounding or totally artificial. It's not trivial, entire careers in recording have been based on an ability to get a certain drum "sound".

What you need to do will vary considerably depending on the source of the sounds; a real drum kit, a sample library from a single drum kit, samples from disparate sources, or synthesized drums will all have specific challenges.
Like almost anything else, you're going to have to learn your tools and practice, practice some more, practice even more, make one or more terrible mixes, go back to the first steps, make a mix that is a little better, repeat, etc.

I think the most important thing is to nurture really good listening skills. Become able to focus on an individual element in the full mix and understand how it fits or doesn't fit with everything else; also, develop the ability to listen to just one thing and be able to imagine the rest of the mix around it as you adjust and shape it. This will probably change your recreational listening as well. Sometimes just listening to music I wish I didn't notice that the hi-hat pedal had a squeak, but other times I'll notice there's a ton of microphone bleed and it sounds fantastic that way.

As to processing and effects it's important to find the boundaries of how much or how little the mix needs or can get away with. The most common beginner mistake is loading a lot of effects and processing on everything, which turns into a "wall of mud" sound pretty quickly. Most, if not all, of these instrument specific plugins result in a lot of problems when they're applied on an individual basis within a mix. Sure, they'll make a solo element sound great, big, fat, detailed, whatever... but when put all together they will run into each other or take up space that other elements should have in the mix. Sometimes this turns into a whole string of one problem causing another: Make everything sound big individually and the whole mix gets murky, crank up the high end and use some saturation to brighten things and bring in/back detail and it gets harsh and "digital", so run things through some tube gear to smooth them out and now the transients are all smeary, add transient processing and now it sounds small with too much midrange, apply dynamic EQ, etc. etc.
It's impossible to explain what's too much, personally I aim for a level of processing that's not completely obvious or even detectable, but if I take it out of the mix I'll want it back. Unless you're doing something that has the effect as an intrinsic element; shoegaze guitar? crank up that bloom reverb and use way too much of it.

Another thing to keep in mind is that what seems to be an effect sometimes isn't, or isn't what you think it is. Huge Phil Collins drum sound was actually done in a rather small room with creative use of compressors and gates. John Bonham sound? among other things, always late on the snare, which creates an illusion of big drums. I once had did a session with a client that was chasing the Led Zepelin drum sound, I set up a delay on the snare controllable from 0-20ms, labelled the control knob as the "Bonham" knob and let him dial in the sound he was looking for directly.

All of this or none of this will be right for you and what you want to get. Learn and practice. There is no definitive list of do this, or don't do that. Find out more about how other engineers and producers think, problem solve, and get creative. There are a ton of instructional videos out there. Also, check out Tape Op magazine, it's free and it features professionals of all ages and genres talking about how they work.

I hope this helps.
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garyb
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Re: mandatory inserts ?

Post by garyb »

believe it or not, what most drums need is a small amount of overdrive(bass too!). "great" drum sounds are all defined by tape machines, and they are all recorded "hot" to cause tape "saturation". a small amount of overdrive fills this role nicely.

also, when using mics, if the room acoustics are not good, the recordings will not be good. no plugin can fix this.
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dante
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Re: mandatory inserts ?

Post by dante »

Reverb on snare and toms, SPL Transient Designer for snare sustain, then on the overall drum buss maybe a bit of Empirical Labs Fatso or SPL Twin Tube.
borg
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Re: mandatory inserts ?

Post by borg »

everything Peter said...
I strongly suspect you're asking about a real drum kit. If so, check House of Kush videos and try to port his workflow/choice of devices to Scope:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... xRw1KAdmDx
andy
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nebelfuerst
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Re: mandatory inserts ?

Post by nebelfuerst »

Thank you very much so far.
I understand, what strategies/ideas you use.
I'll do some drum-only exercises to get more feeling, how to set things up.
I'm just using drum samples/synths, not a real one. ( Just my singer is real, sometimes.)
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borg
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Re: mandatory inserts ?

Post by borg »

Well, some context might help. What genre are you producing? Something electronic? Or rather a more rock/traditional oriented style? A drum sound as if played by a drummer? Mechanical? Some names as reference will get you better advice.
Maybe it's not so much the processing, but the drum programming that you're not happy with. People programming drums might be aware of not putting everything rigidly on the grid, but often overlook velocity when trying to make their drums more grooving.
andy
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nebelfuerst
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Re: mandatory inserts ?

Post by nebelfuerst »

My goal would be the style of Boris Brechja ( e.g. Thunderstorm https://youtu.be/DpGYmiOnQwA ) or DerDritteRaum (e.g. Polarstern https://youtu.be/-xdDZ3Y-uQs ).
(I'm fully aware that some people aim for a certain sound style, which is the opposite of their talents :wink: )

Like peter wrote, I start with a clean( - but too dry -) sound from CWM blackbox or EDS16. Then I add masterverb and dns-stereocomp to them, which seems to improve the situation, but at the end I end up in the "wall of mud" :o
The midi-sequencer is my own, which is 100% exact in timing, so a mechanical unrealisitc perfection occurs. Ableton seems to have functions for some offsets/randomness. I'll try this for the next step, but currently I'm still unhappy with the color of sound, even it's just a bassdrum, snaredrum and hihat.
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spacef
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Re: mandatory inserts ?

Post by spacef »

I would also include "sidechaining" to all drums except the kick, at least when you want the kick drum to be prominent. Sidechaining source is generally the kick but it can be any other drum. It creates movements and life. Groove is often a matter of volume relation between various elements (rather than a "human quantize" thing, which of course plays a role as explained in previous - very interesting - posts). Sidechain is especially good on metals (hats, crash, cymbals) and good for percs too.
Shameless plug - it would not sound the same at all without sidechaining, it would sound rather plain https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1ozC3tH0vk&t=6s
plug-ins for scope
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