In this video on snare drum treatment, Brian Malouf demonstrates a special side-chain technique he uses for live snare drum recordings. Useful for manipulating the sound of the two snare mics (top and bottom), typically found in good drum renderings, and involving special use of gating and EQ, this mixing technique is an important skills for anyone dealing with live drum tracks.
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- [Voiceover] Besides the vocal, there's probably…nothing more important than the back-beat of a song.…The song won't groove if you don't have the back-beat…in the right place, and I really want to spend more time…on this video talking about that placement…than I do about some processing.…But, I thought you might like to see…a little snare drum processing that is maybe…a little unique to you, you haven't seen before,…and it can be quite useful.…It occurs when you have both a snare top…and snare bottom mic with a live drummer…like we have here, and it's a way to control…the rattle and ring of the bottom snare…with the top snare.…
So let's demonstrate for a second.…I'm going to open up this Pro Expander,…which is strapped across the snare bottom insert.…I want you to notice that I've got the side chain on…and I've got the external source selected.…It's being keyed from a buss.…In this case it's called Buss Key Left.…And here is Buss Key Left.…I'll open it for you.…It's emanating from the top snare mic.…
So every time that top snare mic plays,…
Brian starts with the basics of creating a mix template and getting a good raw balance of the instruments in the mix. He then dives deep into signal processing techniques on many types of instruments, including drums, bass, guitar, keys, vocals, percussion, strings, and brass. He'll pick out and treat individual tracks with compression and EQ, add space with reverb and echo, and modulate the sound with flangers and phase shifters. Pro Tools is used throughout the course, but the techniques will work equally well with the DAW of your choice.
- Customizing a mix template
- Understanding the interplay of volume, panning, EQ, and dynamics
- Processing drums
- Processing lead and background vocals
- Gain processing
- Treating the bass guitar and synth guitar
- Placing piano in the mix
- Treating strings and brass