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Audio Mixing Bootcamp

Adding reverb to the drums


From:

Audio Mixing Bootcamp

with Bobby Owsinski

Video: Adding reverb to the drums

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.
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  1. 1m 16s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
  2. 8m 20s
    1. Determining the listening position
      2m 27s
    2. Fixing acoustic problems
      2m 5s
    3. Setting up your monitors
      3m 48s
  3. 20m 17s
    1. Setting up your session
      5m 52s
    2. Setting up your subgroups
      7m 50s
    3. Setting up your effects
      6m 35s
  4. 8m 45s
    1. Developing the groove
      3m 46s
    2. Emphasizing the most important elements
      3m 44s
    3. Knowing what to avoid
      1m 15s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. Learning the principles of building a mix
      1m 1s
    2. Assigning the drums to a subgroup
      3m 55s
    3. Building the mix from the kick
      10m 8s
    4. Building the mix from the snare
      8m 46s
    5. Building the mix from the toms
      5m 25s
    6. Building the mix from the overhead mics
      3m 53s
    7. Checking the drum phase
      4m 44s
    8. Balancing direct and miked bass channels
      3m 36s
    9. Building the mix from the bass
      3m 26s
    10. Building the mix from the vocals
      4m 19s
    11. Balancing the rhythm section
      2m 44s
    12. Balancing the rest of the instruments with the rhythm section
      5m 22s
    13. Making a mix without building it
      4m 20s
    14. Balancing the harmony vocals
      2m 35s
  6. 23m 2s
    1. Looking at the three main panning areas
      9m 23s
    2. Panning the drums
      6m 9s
    3. Avoiding pseudo-stereo
      7m 30s
  7. 1h 17m
    1. Understanding compressor parameters
      3m 42s
    2. Setting up the compressor
      14m 44s
    3. Compressing the drums
      7m 53s
    4. Compressing the room mics
      4m 9s
    5. Compressing the bass
      5m 24s
    6. Using the New York compression trick
      4m 23s
    7. Compressing the clean electric guitars
      4m 40s
    8. Compressing the distorted electric guitars
      4m 48s
    9. Compressing the acoustic guitars
      8m 7s
    10. Compressing the piano
      6m 35s
    11. Compressing the electric keyboards
      4m 32s
    12. Compressing the vocals
      4m 34s
    13. Compressing the horns
      3m 55s
  8. 25m 36s
    1. Learning noise gate basics
      9m 23s
    2. Using the noise gate on guitars
      3m 57s
    3. Using the noise gate on drums
      7m 38s
    4. Learning de-esser basics
      2m 15s
    5. Using the de-esser on vocals
      2m 23s
  9. 36m 4s
    1. Understanding equalizer parameters
      10m 16s
    2. Learning subtractive equalization
      8m 57s
    3. Learning frequency juggling
      8m 28s
    4. Using the magic high-pass filter
      7m 39s
    5. Learning the principles of equalization
      44s
  10. 49m 46s
    1. Equalizing the kick
      6m 7s
    2. Equalizing the snare
      2m 57s
    3. Equalizing the rack toms
      5m 4s
    4. Equalizing the floor tom
      4m 32s
    5. Equalizing the hi-hat
      4m 56s
    6. Equalizing the cymbal or the overhead mics
      6m 49s
    7. Equalizing the room mics
      5m 13s
    8. Equalizing the bass
      3m 59s
    9. Editing the bass rhythm
      4m 21s
    10. Equalizing the rhythm section
      5m 48s
  11. 47m 58s
    1. Equalizing the electric guitar
      8m 15s
    2. Equalizing the acoustic guitar
      4m 55s
    3. Equalizing the hand percussion
      3m 28s
    4. Equalizing the lead vocals
      6m 5s
    5. Equalizing the background vocals
      4m 14s
    6. Equalizing the piano
      4m 46s
    7. Equalizing the organ
      6m 49s
    8. Equalizing the strings
      6m 4s
    9. Equalizing the horns
      3m 22s
  12. 30m 47s
    1. Learning the principles of reverb
      1m 59s
    2. Understanding reverb parameters
      6m 49s
    3. Timing the reverb to the track
      6m 6s
    4. Equalizing the reverb
      2m 51s
    5. Using the two-reverb quick setup
      5m 35s
    6. Using the three-reverb setup
      7m 27s
  13. 59m 8s
    1. Adding reverb to the drums
      7m 56s
    2. Adding reverb to the vocals
      11m 59s
    3. Adding reverb to the guitars
      5m 17s
    4. Adding reverb to the piano
      4m 19s
    5. Adding reverb to the organ
      3m 43s
    6. Adding reverb to the strings
      5m 36s
    7. Adding reverb to the horns
      2m 57s
    8. Adding reverb to the percussion
      4m 46s
    9. Using reverb to layer the mix
      12m 35s
  14. 46m 8s
    1. Learning delay principles
      1m 40s
    2. Understanding delay parameters
      6m 54s
    3. Timing the delay to the track
      1m 28s
    4. Using delay timing variations
      2m 51s
    5. Equalizing the delay
      4m 23s
    6. Understanding the Haas effect
      2m 51s
    7. Using the three-delay setup
      7m 23s
    8. Adding delay to the vocals
      8m 43s
    9. Using delay to layer the mix
      9m 55s
  15. 21m 35s
    1. Understanding the types of modulation
      2m 43s
    2. Understanding modulation parameters
      4m 13s
    3. Modulating the guitars
      4m 7s
    4. Modulating the keyboards
      3m 17s
    5. Modulating the vocals
      4m 17s
    6. Modulating the strings
      2m 58s
  16. 12m 22s
    1. Mixing with subgroups
      5m 5s
    2. Using mix buss compression
      4m 21s
    3. Understanding the evils of hypercompression
      2m 56s
  17. 39s
    1. Goodbye
      39s

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Audio Mixing Bootcamp
8h 53m Beginner Nov 11, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Optimizing your listening environment
  • Setting up sessions, subgroups, and effects
  • Understanding which mixing elements to avoid
  • Understanding the principles of building a mix
  • Panning instruments
  • Setting up the compressor
  • Using noise gates and de-essers
  • Understanding the concept of frequency juggling
  • Using the magic high-pass filter
  • Timing reverb and delay to a track
  • Using reverb to layer the mix
  • Understanding the Haas effect
  • Modulating guitars, keyboards, and vocals
  • Mixing with subgroups
  • Tweaking the final mix
Subjects:
Audio + Music Mixing Music Production Audio Effects
Software:
Pro Tools
Author:
Bobby Owsinski

Adding reverb to the drums

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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