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Equalizing the cymbal or the overhead mics

From: Audio Mixing Bootcamp

Video: Equalizing the cymbal or the overhead mics

Cymbal mics are usually placed fairly close to the cymbals, while overhead mics are placed higher in attempt to capture more of the overall drum sound. In this video I'll show you examples of both and the EQ points that work for both instances. First thing to remember about cymbals is the thinner the cymbal, the brighter it is and the crisper it is. So most drummers if they play live a lot, will usually have heavier cymbals and those tend to clang more and aren't nearly as crisp. We can actually make them sound pretty good with some EQ, but remember that thinner cymbals usually sound better under microphones.

Equalizing the cymbal or the overhead mics

Cymbal mics are usually placed fairly close to the cymbals, while overhead mics are placed higher in attempt to capture more of the overall drum sound. In this video I'll show you examples of both and the EQ points that work for both instances. First thing to remember about cymbals is the thinner the cymbal, the brighter it is and the crisper it is. So most drummers if they play live a lot, will usually have heavier cymbals and those tend to clang more and aren't nearly as crisp. We can actually make them sound pretty good with some EQ, but remember that thinner cymbals usually sound better under microphones.

That being said there's a couple of magic frequencies that just about work for any kind of cymbal in any instance. So let's listen to our overheads first of all just soloed. (Music playing) There are actually two crash cymbals and a ride cymbal. The ride is sort of in the middle and the crashes are on the outside, sort of hard left and hard right.

In this case the ride cymbal is important to the song and it's a little lower in the mix. In fact, the ride had a separate microphone on it and let's listen to it what it sounds like when we add that ride. (Music playing) Let's listen in the track now. Listen for the cymbals and especially the rides. (Music playing) Now they sound pretty good in the track, but we can make it sound even better.

First thing is we'll listen to the left overhead and we'll add some EQ, and once again, we'll go to our 4-Band EQ. First thing we're going to do is go to a high pass filter and get rid of a lot of the low end, because just like with the other drums, there is a lot of low end that's happing with cymbals and with the overheads that we don't really want. It doesn't add to this overall sound and just kind of muddies it up. So the more of that that we can get rid of, the crisper everything will sound. So what we're going to do is go to about 12 DB per octave.

Let's bring this up to 100 cycles or 120 or so have listen. (Music playing) Now depending how big our speakers are, you can either hear that very distinctly or you can't hear it at all. If you have fairly bigger speakers, suddenly you'll find that low end doesn't really add anything, is gone. As a result everything is a little crisper and has a lot more definition and that's what we want.

I'm going to exaggerate this, I'm going to bring it up to four or five hundred here and now you'll really hear it. (Music playing) And you can hear what happens. The kick drum especially is attenuated a whole lot and that's kind of what we want, and the high end of the cymbal isn't really affected at all. So now we want to make that little crisper and the way we're going to do that is we're going to add a little, somewhere around 10K or so maybe 8. , Let's go to 8 because we can hear it better.

And once again I'll exaggerate it so you can really hear it, but we might not use this much in a real mix, have a listen. (Music playing) I can really hear how crisp it is. Now what we're going to do is we're going to hit the Option key and we're going to click and hold the EQ plug- in with the mouse or we're going to move it over to the right overhead, and now what happened is we copy that whole EQ with all the settings over there. Now let's listen to both the left and the right overhead.

(Music playing) Let's listen in the track. (Music playing) I can hear how crisp it is and actually for me there is too much of low-frequency that we're missing, so we're going to bring it back down to 150 or so, because a little bit of it actually has some body in fullness. It just sounded a little too thin to me. Now let's listen.

(Music playing) That sounded pretty good. Now we'll do the same thing with our ride cymbal, so listen to the ride cymbal by itself. (Music playing) That really need some crispness. That's very dull sounding. So once again we're going to get that somewhere in the 8K range, have a listen. (Music playing) And in this case it's very dull sounding cymbal and we have to bring the frequency down. Have a listen.

(Music playing) That sounds better. Now if you take notice up here, the output is peaking and that's not a good thing, because even if we can't hear it it's one of those things that enough of these overloads add up and eventually they become cumulative and you can be able to hear it, so we always want to keep the peaks from happening, so let's back off by a couple DB in the output. Let's watch it now. (Music playing) There we go. Now we're going to the same thing. We're going to roll off some of the low end using a high-pass filter, because there's lots of low end that isn't adding anything to the sound and all it's doing is mudding up the mix, so let's go to 150 like with the other ones, have a listen.

(Music playing) It also gets rid of some of the leakage as well. Now let's have a listen with the other cymbals. (Music playing) You can hear how defined the cymbals are, how sparkly they are, and that all came from just a little bit of EQ.

Now remember that I'm over-EQing here, so you can hear the difference, but usually I would back off and maybe do about half as much and the way EQ works is just about the time we start to hear it is when you should stop from increasing it.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Audio Mixing Bootcamp
Audio Mixing Bootcamp

103 video lessons · 19000 viewers

Bobby Owsinski
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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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