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Assigning the drums to a subgroup

From: Audio Mixing Bootcamp

Video: Assigning the drums to a subgroup

Whenever there are two or more instruments in a mix element like a drum-kit, it's best to assign them to a subgroup in order to make any level adjustments easier. In this video I'm going to show you how to assign your drum channels to a subgroup and why using one can be helpful. So the first thing we're going to do is insert a subgroup, but in order to do that, we'll first go to the last channel in the group of channels that we want to go into that subgroup. So in this case it's Room, and this is the Room mic, and you'll see why we do this in a second. Now we come up to Track and we say New.

Assigning the drums to a subgroup

Whenever there are two or more instruments in a mix element like a drum-kit, it's best to assign them to a subgroup in order to make any level adjustments easier. In this video I'm going to show you how to assign your drum channels to a subgroup and why using one can be helpful. So the first thing we're going to do is insert a subgroup, but in order to do that, we'll first go to the last channel in the group of channels that we want to go into that subgroup. So in this case it's Room, and this is the Room mic, and you'll see why we do this in a second. Now we come up to Track and we say New.

We want this to be a stereo subgroup, and the reason why is we want to pan the drums across the stereo soundstage; therefore, we need a stereo subgroup. So we don't want an audio track. We want an aux input track. Now watch where the subgroup is created. It comes up right after Room. If you didn't select Room, it would have randomly selected a place to put it, and it probably would've been down at the right-hand end of your mix window, so you would have had to move it. This is just saving your next step. So now this is called Aux 1. What we want to do is rename it.

I'm going to right-click on the mouse, which brings up a window, and say Rename. And we're going to call this Drums, but I'm going to put this in caps. What I like to do is put all of my subgroups in caps to make it easier to differentiate between input channels and the subgroups. If we take notice, in this case there is a lot of input channels; in fact, the description is already in caps. And probably what I would do normally is go through those and actually re-title them so they would be in small case, so with just a glance you'd be able to see what was a drum subgroup in this case.

The next thing we want to do is select an input path. I'm going to come up to the Input section of the channel, which is here, and now it says no input. What we're going to do is select an input. In this case, it says Drum Sub. The reason why it says that, it's because it was already pre-titled in a layout. Now, normally this would say something like Bus 1 and 2. Or you can select any bus you want, Bus 23 and 24, Bus 12 and 13, whatever you like. Now we want to go to all of the input channels and select the signal path so they are sending directly to this drum subgroup.

So we'll come over here and we'll select our first channel, which is the kick-in. Now we're going to select all the other channels as well. And the way we do that is we do Shift+Click. These are all of the other channels that are going to be sent to that subgroup, and there is a reason why we do this. We can assign all of those channels all at once. And the way we do that is we hit the Option key and the Shift key, we go to our output assignment, we're going to say Bus, and in this case again it says the Drum Sub, but it could very well just say Bus 19-20, Bus 1-2. Click it.

And now if you take notice, everything that was selected has changed, so all of those channels are assigned to that drum subgroup. The reason why we want the subgroup in the first place is it makes it very easy for us to change the whole drum kit with just one fader. By moving this fader up and down, we're able to change the complete balance of the drum kit against everything else in the mix, and that's what makes this very, very powerful. The other thing that makes it powerful is we can insert a EQ or a compressor into the signal path of the drum subgroup and it will affect everything that's assigned to that subgroup.

So with just one EQ, we can EQ the whole drum kit if we'd like, or with just one compressor, we can compress everything if we like. It's not necessarily the best way, but it is a way to do it. So that's how you create the drum subgroup. In a subgroup all the channels of the group were assigned to a subgroup fader which is then assigned to the master mix bus. This gives you a lot more control over the level of the drum kit.

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This video is part of

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Audio Mixing Bootcamp

103 video lessons · 19392 viewers

Bobby Owsinski
Author

 
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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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