Kick/Snare compression/eq

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downsouthstudio
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2008/12/31 07:35:12 (permalink)

Kick/Snare compression/eq

I use EZdrummer for drums. Until now, Ive just loaded a groove from EZdrummer and tried to compress/eq the groove to get enough kick/snare in the mix. But its not good enough doing it that way. From now on I will make a separate track for each drum/cymball etc.

advice: (for Country songs).
How do you EQ/Compress the kick and snare? Any recommended settings?
I have the UAD plugs, and of course the "cake" plugs.

Thanks in advance,
Jeff

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26 Replies Related Threads

    CJaysMusic
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2008/12/31 07:41:40 (permalink)
    advice: (for Country songs).
    How do you EQ/Compress the kick and snare? Any recommended settings?

    The kick depends on the bass guitar. I would not cut or boost the same frequencies on both. You should do the opposite. I cant say what frequencies, cause all music is different and all instruments are recorded different and all instruments in one song will effect each one differently. Use your ears. i hate saying it, but that's what you need to do when you EQ your kick drum. Use your ears and pay attention to the bass guitar or any other instrument in that frequency.
    Compression is used many ways for many things, so i would tweak to taste and tweak it to whats best for the song at hand.

    I use EZdrummer also and i compress and EQ my kick and snares different in each of my 16 songs. What i did for one song will not work for another song of mine.
    Cj


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    #2
    ara
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2008/12/31 07:59:53 (permalink)
    I'm but a novice at compression, but what I did after separating each instrument was pull up the sonitus. I first soloed the lowest band and enlarged it until I started getting some instrument sound then stop and mute. Then soloed the highest band. Making it as small as possible I expanded it until the fizz started to include a different part of the sound. then mute and solo the next band down, trying to capture 4 distinct areas of the sound- one might be more rim, or ring, or thwack, or shhh. Anyways, when its split then I could bring up or down certain sections or give one a longer or shorter attack. At this point I think to myself what I DO want and aim for that sound- you know a general: ring sound or more head sound.
    I have found that sometimes the compressed sounds can be too rich, and even at quiet levels seem to drill into your head. I EQd after wards with the whole mix going. I posted a little country song- "My Mrs" over in songs with this treatment. Ara
    #3
    downsouthstudio
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2008/12/31 08:00:28 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: CJaysMusic

    advice: (for Country songs).
    How do you EQ/Compress the kick and snare? Any recommended settings?

    The kick depends on the bass guitar. Cj

    _______
    Yeah...what I thought.
    Seperating the kick will really help me. Im learning more about how to use the compressors. Especially, I want a quick hit with the compressor and release, so that i can get the vol up on the kick...without...overshooting the peak. Will experiment with comp and limiter.

    Thanks,
    Jeff

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    #4
    downsouthstudio
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2008/12/31 08:06:02 (permalink)
    ARA....
    Thanks will try that. Off to listen to your stuff.
    Jeff

    Searched, but couldnt find your song. will look later.
    post edited by downsouthstudio - 2008/12/31 08:21:16

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    #5
    downsouthstudio
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2008/12/31 10:22:20 (permalink)
    Yean...that was what I needed to do (seperate the kick and snare)...DUH

    Now I "can" punch up the kick and sweeten the snare.....

    Thanks,
    Jeff
    post edited by downsouthstudio - 2008/12/31 11:44:44

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    #6
    Fog
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2008/12/31 10:33:50 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: downsouthstudio
    Yean...that was my solution.......to seperate the kick and snare...DUH


    has to be that way for me.. and also side chain compression.. .2 kicks and sometimes 2 snares make up the one sounds.. so one covers the low end/high end.. and you dip them so they don't clash..

    all depends on the music you make.. if it's using sub bass.. well ducking is just well handy to give you more room freq. wise.

    to sum up in 1 word , both the kick / snare need.... punch (and not judy )
    post edited by Fog - 2008/12/31 11:00:04
    #7
    Mic Entity
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2008/12/31 10:35:40 (permalink)
    hey jeff clean out your pm box i tried sending you a pm ;)
    #8
    Glennbo
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2008/12/31 10:48:26 (permalink)
    How do you EQ/Compress the kick and snare?


    In this order for kick and snare, I use.

    Timeworks EQ
    Pantheon Reverb (for room sound)
    Timeworks CompressorX (set for brickwall limiting)
    #9
    downsouthstudio
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2008/12/31 12:00:06 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: Glennbo

    How do you EQ/Compress the kick and snare?


    In this order for kick and snare, I use.

    Timeworks EQ
    Pantheon Reverb (for room sound)
    Timeworks CompressorX (set for brickwall limiting)


    _____________________

    You've got some great stuff on your site. Are you doin all the tracks or is it your band?....good vocals on Eye to Eye.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Jeff

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    #10
    downsouthstudio
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2008/12/31 12:01:09 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: Mic Entity

    hey jeff clean out your pm box i tried sending you a pm ;)

    ___________

    It's clean now Mate...
    Jeff

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    #11
    Glennbo
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2008/12/31 12:11:51 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: downsouthstudio


    ORIGINAL: Glennbo

    How do you EQ/Compress the kick and snare?


    In this order for kick and snare, I use.

    Timeworks EQ
    Pantheon Reverb (for room sound)
    Timeworks CompressorX (set for brickwall limiting)


    _____________________

    You've got some great stuff on your site. Are you doin all the tracks or is it your band?....good vocals on Eye to Eye.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Jeff



    Thanks Jeff! :)

    I play the bass, drums, rhythm guitars, vocals, and keys on most of the tunes at my three music pages, but I do enlist a couple heavy weight players to do solos on guitar and keyboards from time to time. My buddy and band mate Joey Who??? plays some incredible guitar solos on several of the newest things I've done at my "Jambits" page, and my net friend "Polymod" who's actually 1200 miles from me plays some awesome solos on several things at my main "Glennbo" page.
    post edited by Glennbo - 2008/12/31 12:18:25
    #12
    Middleman
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2008/12/31 13:24:10 (permalink)
    Large question and topic. Like CJ said it can be all over the map depending on the the other things in the low end. Kind of a general guideline in country music is to have a large vocal, meaning the best mic, preamp and compressor on the vocal to make it pleasing to the ear. Just the sound should be attractive. Then build the drums and bass around this. Anything that interferes gets EQd around the voice.

    Then there is the rockin country tele twanging sound which adopts more of a rock approach where you build the drums and bass first and then put the rest into the mix later. Just general guidelines but the kick gets a boost in the 75-125 range depending on the bass sound. The bass will generally reside above this in the 95-140 range but in the same ranges can be below the kick. All depends on what you want out of the low end. My approach is to dramatically cut everything below 40 on both of these. With EZ for small range speakers I will put in a moderately narrow band boost somewhere between 2-4khz for the tick of the kick. I might do the same on bass only focus on the 1-2khz range to add articulation. Completely depends on the bass. I have a 57RI precision bass with the single pickup. It can get very trebley and sometimes this boost is not required. A standard precision bass would most likely require this approach.

    Regarding compression, once again it depends on the song and the feel you want. If you want a low end dull dry pump then you compress more (maybe 8:1 or higher for a softer sound with attack of 30ms or more and quick release). This depends on the compressor but if you have the UAD plugs try the 1176 for more pump. Try to match the bass and kick volumes. If you want a more open room sound then less compression and turn up the overhead, room and compressed EZ channels.

    For the most control reassign the mixer outs in EZ to various tracks in Sonar. This way you can control all of the drums and the room sound as well on various tracks. There is a compressed track option here and it is good for a lighter compression sound which may preclude using a compressor at all on the kick.

    My approach is to create a single midi drum track and 10 audio tracks of EZ for all the drums and room mics. Then I route all of the tracks (but the snare) to both a drum submix buss and a compression buss. I will apply either an 1176 or Neve 33609 compressor on the compression buss. The compression buss is brought up underneath the drum submix. The two snare tracks get their own treatment first by being routed to their own submix buss which will have its own compression plugin. This combined snare buss will then be routed to the drum submix and split to an ambient room reverb buss. This snare reverb buss is then routed to the drum submix. I generally will give the top snare mic a 200Hz-250Hz bump by the way either on its track or sometimes just drop this EQ in the snare buss.

    This approach provides several control points on the sound of the drums. First the ambient mic tracks from EZ which can be mixed to create the room sound required. Next the compressed sound of the drums which puts a nice sheen on the cymbals and provides the pump of the low end. Then the the control of the upper and lower mics on the snare along with the compression on the snare buss and the room verb to simulate control of the bounce back of the snare sounds to make it sound like its in an actual room. This is sometimes required if I want more of a large space perception when the standard EZ room mics are not cutting it.

    This is a general framework you can use. Hopefully this will dial you in a decent sound. There are alternative approaches where you break out more busses as follows: snare, kick & bass, toms, overhead mics and then treat each of these with their own compression and ambiance. More of a rock/metal/pop approach. It all comes down to how many busses do you want to play with at the end of the mix and if you are moving toward or away from the right sound.

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    Glennbo
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2008/12/31 13:39:17 (permalink)
    My approach is to create a single midi drum track and 10 audio tracks of EZ for all the drums and room mics. Then I route all of the tracks (but the snare) to both a drum submix buss and a compression buss. I will apply either an 1176 or Neve 33609 compressor on the compression buss. The compression buss is brought up underneath the drum submix.


    My approach is similar, but I bring 9-11 audio tracks out of Superior Drummer (depending on which drumkit I'm using), and each of those has it's own brickwall limiter to prevent overs and to allow me to push them up when needed. Then the 9-11 audio tracks are submixed into the four food groups, "Kick", "Snare", "Toms", and "Cymbals/Overhead/Ambience", which are then EQ'd, Verbed, and brick wall limited again with mastering limiters. The four submixed drum channels are finally brought into a stereo bus that acts as a final master before the hardware. You can see a screen cap here. http://members.cox.net/bowie17/Sonar8Sparky.jpg
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    kgarello
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2008/12/31 15:42:57 (permalink)
    Middleman and Glennbo,


    Thank you very much for your posts - I have a silly(?) question.

    I also use ezdrummer, but am unable to assign each drum to more than one of 8 tracks. In your post, middleman, you indicate that you assign to 10 tracks. The drop down list in the ezdrummer mixer has output 1-8 - how to you get by this limitation?

    Thanks,

    Ken

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    KevinD
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2008/12/31 16:14:08 (permalink)
    Do you guys usually do it in the final mix after bass/guitar/keys, or do you do it gradually throughout the process?

    I sometimes do a little while doing the drum tracks (BFD of course), then do it in the final mix. Strangely enough, the first settings are usually totally discarded because of sound of the final mix.

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    #16
    Glennbo
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2008/12/31 16:41:24 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: KevinD

    Do you guys usually do it in the final mix after bass/guitar/keys, or do you do it gradually throughout the process?

    I sometimes do a little while doing the drum tracks (BFD of course), then do it in the final mix. Strangely enough, the first settings are usually totally discarded because of sound of the final mix.



    My drums fire up pre-mixed, and ready to play in both Sonar and in Reaper. When I record a track of drums, I play the part as a one shot midi recording from a set of V-Drums, and I'm hearing in my headphones, a mix with all the FX that is very close to what the final mix will sound like.

    Edit:

    In case anyone is interested, this is my default "go to" drum setup I referenced above that fires up with all my DAW software.

    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=403575&songID=7072614
    post edited by Glennbo - 2008/12/31 20:11:16
    #17
    Middleman
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2008/12/31 20:31:44 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: kgarello

    I also use ezdrummer, but am unable to assign each drum to more than one of 8 tracks. In your post, middleman, you indicate that you assign to 10 tracks. The drop down list in the ezdrummer mixer has output 1-8 - how to you get by this limitation?


    Well, this is for country right? I use the Nashville Drum kit add-on and it has 10 tracks as the default. EZ comes with the pop/rock kit which has only 8.

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    Wiz
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2009/01/01 19:24:44 (permalink)
    I have used EZdrummer....I now mainly use S2.

    I didnt have any need to compress anything in EZdrummer.

    Compression for dynamic control that is....I also didnt need to compress to "harden" up or change the sound either.

    I ran 6 instances of ezdrummer...Kick, Snare, Hats, Toms,Ride, Overheads....with appropriate stuff turned off in each of the instances.

    These ran to seperate channels in Sonar.

    this gave me the ability to "pan" the ride and the hats....

    I dont see how you would need to "compress" the drums, for dynamic control, in EZDrummer , or S2 for that matter....you have midi to work with if the performance is to dynamic, and this assumes an E kit...was used, or playing in the drums from a keyboard....if you are using loops, provided by Toontrack with EZDrummer, there is certainly no need for compression...


    Remember compression, for two reasons, to control the dynamics of a performance, eg, the bass players control is a little shabby, and you want to seat it ...

    or , to change the basic nature of the sound, make it harder, make an acoustic guitar played with a pick, a little less "picky" sounding....its very hard to explain in words...

    The sounds in EZdrummer, are very "finished" ready to mix sounds....

    I would go as far as to say, especially in the country, and pop genres, if you feel you need to EQ and compress those drum sounds, you might want to look at other elements in your mix as to why you feel the need to do that...If you had a country song, with acoustic, steel, electric guitars, bass guitar, vocals, and say a hammond b3 part, and you cant get it to work against the Nashville kit, something is wrong with the arrangement or the the other recorded parts..



    cheers

    Wiz

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    #19
    Mod Bod
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2009/01/01 19:58:36 (permalink)
    I also use ezdrummer, but am unable to assign each drum to more than one of 8 tracks. In your post, middleman, you indicate that you assign to 10 tracks. The drop down list in the ezdrummer mixer has output 1-8 - how to you get by this limitation?
    Keep in mind that SONAR allows you to open a soft synth and create mono outputs for the soft synth. So this gives you 16 mono outputs. Since most close mic channels only need a mono track, you can use a little creative panning in the EZdrummer mixer to send each mic channel to its own mono SONAR track. IOW, the kick and the top snare could basically share what would have been on stereo track by panning the kick hard left and the snare hard right on the 1st EZdrummer stereo output.

    You can find instructions how to do this in Tip # 6 at http://www.gatortraks.com/forum/index.php?topic=26.msg855#msg855
    post edited by Mod Bod - 2009/01/01 21:07:27

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    kgarello
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2009/01/01 23:31:04 (permalink)
    Middleman and Dave,

    Thanks for the replies. Seems strange that different kits have different output options. Seem like it would have been better to allow the host (ezdrummer) dicate the amount of outs available to all kits.

    I was referring to the standard kit. I have the DFH kit - I will check whether that has more outputs.

    Thanks for the link Dave, I will look at that technique.


    Ken

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    #21
    montezuma
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2009/01/02 01:32:00 (permalink)
    In ezdrummer when you separate the tracks...kick, snare etc...though you can work on one thing idividually, you still have the original sound bled into the room track, the comp room track and the overhead track...so it's a bit tough to do much worth anything. You can work on the kick...but right there in the overhead, the room and comp room tracks the original sounding kick is there.
    #22
    Mod Bod
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2009/01/02 09:02:59 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: montezuma

    In ezdrummer when you separate the tracks...kick, snare etc...though you can work on one thing idividually, you still have the original sound bled into the room track, the comp room track and the overhead track...so it's a bit tough to do much worth anything. You can work on the kick...but right there in the overhead, the room and comp room tracks the original sounding kick is there.

    This is what you deal with when working with real drum tracks. Since I had a little experience working with live drum recordings, it never has given me a problem.

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    #23
    Mod Bod
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2009/01/02 09:09:05 (permalink)
    I would go as far as to say, especially in the country, and pop genres, if you feel you need to EQ and compress those drum sounds, you might want to look at other elements in your mix as to why you feel the need to do that...If you had a country song, with acoustic, steel, electric guitars, bass guitar, vocals, and say a hammond b3 part, and you cant get it to work against the Nashville kit, something is wrong with the arrangement or the the other recorded parts..
    I don't think that it's a bad thing to rework some of the instruments in EZDrummer in order to make them a little more your "own". And I have found some instruments that I disagree with the engineer's ear. It's usally a Tom that rings too much on a particular frequency. The Nashville EZX Hi Tom always gets a 250hz cut and gating on it when I use it.

    Dave Modisette ... rocks a Purrrfect Audio Studio Pro rig.

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    #24
    yorolpal
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2009/01/02 10:39:41 (permalink)
    Well, I can't imagine NOT EQing or compressing those drum sounds. Every project requires a little different tone and punch and you are severly limiting your tonal pallette by just using the EZD sounds stock, IMHO. With the proper compression and EQ you can take a kick (for instance) all the way from Ringo to Jim Keltner to Terry Bozzio and all points in between. And, like MOD says, there are a few things that definitely need to be "tamed".

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    lightninrick
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2009/01/02 13:12:59 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: Wiz
    I would go as far as to say, especially in the country, and pop genres, if you feel you need to EQ and compress those drum sounds, you might want to look at other elements in your mix as to why you feel the need to do that...


    I would be very surprised to learn that there's a song on the radio anywhere that doesn't have some kind of compression on the drums. It's especially amazing to me to think that a pop drum track wouldn't use compression. Drums sound better with compression.

    All that said, here's a terrific set of tips from forum member middleman on how to set up your busses and compression for EZDrummer:
    http://forum.cakewalk.com/tm.asp?m=946371&mpage=2&key=smashing%2Ccompressor󧸌

    regards, lightninrick

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    #26
    Middleman
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    RE: Kick/Snare compression/eq 2009/01/02 13:59:13 (permalink)
    The approach to take regarding the room and overhead mics is to turn them off initially. Get a decent sound dry with compression and focus on things under 500Hz i.e kick, snare and tom balance and relative volume, all this in conjunction with the bass. The drums will sound a bit dark but thats OK. Things above 500Hz tend to reside in the room sounds, overheads etc. meaning hi-hats, snare sizzle, cymbals. Bring the room, overhead and compressed tracks up until you feel you have the type of ambient space, room, mood of your song. This will also add the upper end which you may or may not like. Adjust to taste. Once the ambient space is defined then go back to your kick, snare and toms and adjust as needed to the rest of the song. If you still need more space definition put some room verb or delay on the snare only. This alone can create the effect that the room just got a lot bigger.

    This approach puts the upper mid and hi-end adjustments of frequency more dependent on the room sounds. If you don't like what you hear then back these mics down. Then follow with Mid range and upper end EQ as the last step, after you work with your ambient mics.

    So the point is, the ambient mics are you friend just don't mix with them hot at the beginning because it can leave you chasing your tail on the right sound. Also, there is nothing wrong with just turning them off and dealing with dry sounding drums, this works just as well depending on your song and the vibe you want to impart.

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    #27
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