Evan breaks down his philosophy on routing drums and other busses while mixing.
- [Instructor] One thing I'd like to talk about is something that I see in a lot of peoples sessions, and something that I get asked about a lot. And that is how do you set up your routing for your drums? Where do they go? And this is something that comes up with a lot of different types of music, and a lot of different scenarios. But here's one approach that I think works really well at least for a mixer. So the way that I have things set up right now, is that in Pro Tools, I have all of my drums going to what's called Drum Group right here. If you're not initiated with Pro Tools, then don't worry. Basically what Drum Group means is that it's going to this track that's called Drum Group. This is just an aux track, and that's basically just a through put for the drums. What it gives me is actually an extra gain stage, because what I have here is all of my drums, and they're doing their processing, and then all of those are getting sent to this Drum Group. That's going to be my drum sub mix. Now sometimes processing will go on there, it can be handy, it can be nice. But at the same time, it's also just a great way to be able to adjust the overall gain of your drum sounds. The Drum Group is to be used sort of, in tandem with other groups. So maybe you have a vocal group, maybe you have a bass group, maybe you have a horns group. Something like that. Anything you want to split. Some mixers like to do it so that all of these different groups are set up for different stems that they may have to print, like for remixers. Other mixes like it just purely for it's convenience, and the way that we can change the gain stage right here of all of our drums. And by the way, we're going to route all of our effects, so this is my drum parallel compression bus, and this is my drum parallel distortion bus. I'm actually going to send that to the Drum Group as well, right here. So both of these things, and all of our original sounds, are going into the Drum Group. That way, you can keep an eye on your gain stage, make sure that you have enough headroom. (upbeat music) Now that's probably a little high for a mix type situation, but if we have all of our drum effects, and all of our individual drums going to this bus, then we can just turn them down a little bit. (upbeat music) And it's going to be the exact same sound, because all of our compression and stuff that we're hitting is happening before this gain stage. So essentially, if we change the overall level of our kick or our sub or whatever, it's going to throw off the balance that we have with our kick distortion, or our drum parallel bus. But, what we can do is we can have this guy, and then we can say hey, here's our vocal bus as well, or some mixers like to use what they call a music bus, which has all of the non drum sounds going to it. And they can just make small tweaks to the overall balance of their track. Now from there, we go to the mix bus. The mix bus is right here. This is like my master fader for this particular session. Generally I'd have an audio track that it's going to that I would print my mix to. But essentially, everything then goes through there. And this right here, is the gain stage where I can see how much actual headroom I have for my particular mix, and how hot I'm getting. (upbeat music) Right now that's a pretty good place for where my drums are sitting. The other thing is that I have the ability to add processing in my inserts to the entire mix. So we have all of these different points where we can add inserts, and add different types of processing. It's not an invitation to over do it, but you have all these different places where you can make little changes, and let a lot of different processors do some lighter lifting as opposed to having just one or two do a lot of heavy lifting, because that can create some issues. So, again, the Drum Group, it's just named Drum Group, if you were in Logic you could do a track stack, if you're in Ableton Live, you could do a group. These things are very, very handy for me personally, and they help to keep me organized when I'm doing my mixes.
- Tuning programmed drums
- Layering drum sounds
- Using parallel distortion
- Synthesizer programming
- Working with MIDI FX
- Layering synth parts with hardware
- Tracking vocals for maximum impact
- Helping elements sit in the mix with EQ
- Combining additive and subtractive EQ
- Taming peaks and resonances with multiband compression
- Prepping tracks for mastering
- File management for the modern producer