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Rack toms have a wide variety of sounds and are usually an effective part of the song's turnarounds. Sometimes you want them to sound big and fat, but sometimes you just want to hear them in passing. But you always want them to sound good. Here is how to get them that way. Remember again, no matter what you do with EQ, you can't make a bad sounding drum sound great. EQ just doesn't do that kind of job. It has to start all in the studio, the drum has to sound great acoustically, and then you can improve it from there. Just like with the other drums, there is a few points in the frequency spectrum that really makes the sound, that makes it sound bigger, makes it sound fatter, takes out some of the beach ball sound, and we're going to get to those right now.
Let's listen to a drum fill that's right at the beginning of the song. (Music playing) So there are two drums here. It's a rack tom and a floor tom and what we're going to concentrate on right now is the rack tom. Let's have a listen to it just by itself. (Music playing) So there is a whole lot of leakage in that, but we can still make it sound pretty good. First thing is we'll get our native EQ up and in this case, what we'll do is we'll go to a couple of frequencies that really make a difference first of all.
The one thing that always works at rack toms, believe it or not, is somewhere around 200 cycles or so. If we dip some out, it actually sounds a whole lot better. So let's listen to this just by itself first, and then we'll dip a little of 200 Hz out. Let's listen to it with a little bit of 200, removed. First of all we're going to make a peaking filter, we don't want a shelving filter. (Music playing) That's good, we'll do more. (Music playing) Listen to the difference.
(Music playing) Just bring a little bit more out. (Music playing) Next thing we're going to do is we're going to add somewhere around 400-500 Hz and just add a little bit there and that's going to add some fullness, some body. Once again, this tends to work on a rack T\toms. It doesn't necessarily work on floor toms, but in rack toms, it works great.
(Music playing) Now, the next thing we're going to do is add some 5K or so. 5K is the stick sound, so this gives you the definition on the drum. We'll add a few Db here. Have a listen! (Music playing) Now here is without the EQ. (Music playing) With EQ. (Music playing) Without. (Music playing) With it. (Music playing) Now, it might seem a little bright, but you put it in a track with all the leakage and all of a sudden, it will jump right out.
Let's have a listen. (Music playing) Listen with a Bypass. (Music playing) With it in. (Music playing) So it just jumps out a little bit and it sounds pretty good. One thing we're going to do there is we're going to back this off a little, because you can see it peaking up here. So we're going to back our output off, so we don't overload anything. (Music playing) There we go! Okay, last but not least. If we add High Pass Filter, we can actually make everything sound a little bit better and a little more crisp and more defined, and that's because we can get rid of some of the low-end that really isn't adding too much of the sound to drum.
So what we're going to do is come over here. Once again we will solo it up and we're going to bring in a 1-Band filter and come over here and we'll say High Pass, 12 Db/octave and we'll bring it down to somewhere around 50 or 60. Have a listen! (Music playing) Here is without it. (Music playing) Now you might not hear a whole lot of difference in this. If you have big speakers and you listen, it will sound very defined all of a sudden. There will be a lot of low-end that will go away, but it's not adding so much to the sound of the drum.
You can even lower this to 40 cycles or so if it sounds like you're losing too much low-end. But it really makes a difference. It gets rid of things like truck rumble, maybe even helicopter is going over. Sometimes you can get rid of things like that. Footsteps, any kind of heavy machinery that's working outside the studio that's just giving a low rumble. That's why Low Pass Filter here is really, really important and I try to add it whenever I can. Let's listen to the drum kit on the fill now. (Music playing) So to sum it up, the rack toms will sound different because they each have a different size, different heads, or construction of the drum is different.
Remember that the rack toms gain their fullness at somewhere around 400-500 Hz and if you get rid of 200 Hz, sometimes you can get rid of the bouncy beach ball effect and make it sound that much bigger. Remember that the attack or the definition comes at somewhere around 5 to 7K.
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