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Equalizing the rack toms

From: Audio Mixing Bootcamp

Video: Equalizing the rack toms

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.

Equalizing the rack toms

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.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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Audio Mixing Bootcamp

103 video lessons · 18708 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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