- When I'm mixing tracks I didn't record, I find that a lot of times some of the drum edits are less than perfect. In my video Identifying Bad Drum Edits, I showed how to find some typical bad edits on drum tracks. In this video, I'll show you how to repair one of the most common drum editing mistakes, when sloppy drum edits cut off cymbal ambience. I created a bad edit and you'll hear it here on this drum track. (drum track plays) Let me solo the overheads as well.
(drum track plays) So you hear that drum cymbal, the cymbal on that crash just cut right off there. How do we fix that? We need to restore the decay on the cymbal. Sometimes the tracking engineer will have the drummer do individual hits at the end of a take for the purpose of edits like this or to use the samples when mixing. But no one ever seems to remember to do this for the songs I'm mixing, I'll tell you that.
Instead, I'll go looking for the end of a song, or a section where there's a nice cymbal decay all by itself. You have to make sure though it's the exact same cymbal that is being hit or this won't work. Many times I've done all this work only to realize that the pitch of the cymbal is incorrect. That doesn't work. On this song, I found a crash at the end of the part here. So I'll copy it.
(cymbal crashes and rings) Let's make a copy of all that. Now, I'll create another track to put this on. And I'll put it down here. Don't have to worry about this first paste here. Let's label it.
Now, let's figure out where... (cymbals crash) So it's right there. Let's line these up visually. Don't have to be super super exact but being really, pretty close is good. You'll see why. Okay, let's solo this. Now let's make sure those sound right (drum track plays) Now we got a loud hit there because it's obviously getting doubled.
Now what we do initially is just do this, so where the point where that decay is getting cut off, let's cut this. Just take a little audio away. Let's mute this section, save it just in case. And let's see how this works. (drum track plays) Catch that? We're hearing just a little bit more. Zoom back out. We're hearing a little bit of the decay now. (drum track plays) One thing we can play with is a little bit of finessing, so to speak.
Right now we have a hard edit, as well. Let's stretch this over a little bit. And let's do a fade in. Oops. Have a fade in here. See how that feels. Zoom back out of course. (drum track plays) That feels pretty natural, you hear that cut off there. Let's put a fade on the end. (drum track plays) Maybe it needs a little more volume? (drum track plays) That works pretty good.
Let's hear it in the whole mix. Zoom out a little more. (drum track plays) It totally works. May need to adjust the level a little more, sometimes I've even EQ'ed it. If there's kick drum hit under that last hit of the song, I might take the low end out. In this case I don't hear it being a problem because it's happening later where we're using the audio.
You know, you may need to massage it a little more how it comes in, how it goes out. Just like any part of a mix or any kind of edit you do. But essentially, this will always cover up the bad cymbal edit and now you can get ready and finish up the rest of your mixing.
Note: Because this is an ongoing series, viewers will not receive a certificate of completion.