This is part 3 of a little Mixing Drums Series. So far we’ve covered:
Today we’ll cover how to use compression on a drum kit.
First things first. Just so we’re all on the same page, if you haven’t watched my Intro to Compression video, I’d suggest hopping over to that link and watching it. Like the Intro to EQ video I posted yesterday, it’s a good overview of what compression is and how it works.
Tonal Implications of Compression
Besides just being an automatic volume controller, compression is used to change, or enhance, the tone of an instrument. These tonal changes are different with every instrument, and they vary from very subtle to extremely obvious.
After yesterday’s brief overview of mixing drums, let’s jump into EQ.
Intro to EQ
Before we get too far, if you haven’t already watched my Intro to EQ video, you should. It’s a great overview of what EQ is and what it does. It’s 16 minutes long, but it’ll be time well spent.
Match the Overheads
In yesterday’s post I encouraged you to listen to the overhead tracks first (often labeled “OH”), before anything else. Why? Because these two little tracks captured the entire kit. They tell you what the kit as a whole sounds like.
I haven’t written a lot of articles about mixing here on Home Studio Corner, so over the next several weeks we’ll take a look at mixing various instruments, and how I approach them.
Over the next couple of days, let’s take a look at drums.
Recorded drums or MIDI drums?
My guess is that most home studio owners aren’t set up to record a full drum kit, and chances are most of you aren’t going to hire a drummer and a book a nice studio to track your drums.
So, we revert to using MIDI drums – things like EZDrummer, BFD, etc. Is this okay? Absolutely!