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In this course, author Bobby Owsinski reveals industry tips, tricks, and techniques for producing professionally mixed audio on any digital audio workstation. He offers recommendations for setting up an optimal listening environment, highlights the most efficient ways to set up and balance a mix, and shows how to build a powerful sound with compression. The course also explains how to master the intricacies of EQ; incorporate reverb, delay, and modulation effects; and generate the final mix.
The drum kit is interesting and different from the other instruments in the mix in that it may use several different reverbs in order to layer it correctly in the track. In this video, I'll show you how reverb can make your drum sound come alive. One of the things to keep in mind is that the reverb on the drums usually comes from the snare more than anything else. Matter of fact, the kick drum is usually left completely dry. Sometimes the cymbals and the hi-hat and the toms even have a different reverb from that of the snare. On the other hand, a single reverb may be just enough to make the kit sound great.
So let's start with our snare drum. Let's have a listen. (Music playing) This is the send going to Reverb number 1 and we'll solo it. (Music playing) Now we have our D-Verb and first thing we want to do is time it to the track. So what we're going to do is put a room sound on it. And I'd like to start somewhere around 1.5 because it usually sounds good in there, but let's tweak it so it fits best in the track.
(Music playing) The way we time it to the track is when the snare drum hits the reverb should just about die out by the next time it hits. If it spills over, then the track tends to get muddy. So if we make a mistake, we'd rather make it on the shorter side rather than the longer side. Next thing we'll do is we'll add some pre-delay.
Now what we want to do is time this to the track. I happen to know that this track is at 104 BPM. So that means that 72 milliseconds is equivalent of a 16th note. Let's put it at 72 milliseconds. That's going to be too long but you'll get an idea. We'll just click in the box, hit 72. Let's have a listen. (Music playing) That's way too long. Let's cut that in half to 36 milliseconds. (Music playing) It sounds pretty good there.
Take note if we turn it to 0 what it sounds like. (Music playing) And at 36. (Music playing) We can even cut that in half again, to 18, and have a listen to what that sounds like. (Music playing) Even that sounds good. So we'll leave it at that. Let's hear what it sounds like in the track. (Music playing) You can hear that it makes the drum sound bigger.
The next thing we want to do is tweak the sound of the reverb. So what we're going to do is add our 4-Band reverb. We're going to disable all of the EQ bands and we're going to set the High-Pass filter to 120 and Low-Pass filter we'll set that to 10K or thereabouts. Now let's have a listen. (Music playing) Let's listen with the EQ bypassed.
(Music playing) So it fits a little bit better in the track when the reverb is tailored by using some EQ. Now let's listen when we actually add reverb to the rest of the drums. First thing we're going to do is add it onto the toms. So the easiest way to do that, press the Option key, press and click the mouse, and drag it over to Floor Tom, let them both go, and there you have a copy.
One more time, on the Tom 2, one more time to Tom 1. What that does is it gives you a copy with the same exact settings. So it's a real fast and easy way to do that. And let's solo all the drums, have a quick listen. (Music playing) Let's go to a part in the song where we can hear the drums.
(Music playing) Now let's listen with the rest of the track now that we have some reverb on the toms as well. (Music playing) Now sometimes what we might want to do is add a different reverb. So let's go over here. We have another D-Verb here. And we can leave this on a Hall and let's just bring this down to somewhere around 2 seconds.
Let's make this a bigger Pre-Delay. Let's put this back at 36 milliseconds because we're timing it to the track, and let's have a quick listen. (Music playing) We'll have to assign it first. So now what we're going to do is solo everything up. Now let's change the send to Bus 13 and 14 which is the longer reverb, 13 and 14, and Bus 13 and 14.
Now let's have a listen. (Music playing) Let's just listen to the toms themselves. (Music playing) A little bit more. (Music playing) Let's listen in the track now. (Music playing) Now you can hear that the toms have their own different sound and they're in a different environment with a different pre-delay, so they're a little bit bigger.
Sometimes it works in the track, sometimes it doesn't, but this is the best way to do it. Now finally, let's listen to our hi-hat and sometimes we'll want some reverb on it. We want to put it in space and other times we won't. Let's have a quick listen to what it sounds like. First of all let me put this Let's go here. (Music playing) So let's put this out to the first reverb. This is our short reverb.
Let's have a listen. (Music playing) Let's listen in the track. (Music playing) Now if we have a drummer or an arrangement that has a very intricate hi-hat part that's featured, sometimes we really want to have that in its own individual space.
In this particular case, it doesn't matter all that much because the hi-hat really isn't featured and it's just keeping time, so we don't hear that much of a difference. But that's what you do if in fact you wanted to have multiple layers just within the drums themselves. So to sum it up, reverb on the snare and toms are usually all you need to place the drum kit in its own environment. But they might need to be different-sounding reverbs. Make sure that the reverb is timed to the track and experiment with different EQ and pre-delay settings to tailor the reverb sound to the drum kit.
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