01-30-2013 03:17 PM
Know this isn't really the place for this kinda question, but not really sure where to post this exactly, and also the tech forum doesn't seem to get as much replies/views as this one where I normally hang out.
We recorded a demo last year to help our mates at college out - studio is state of the art and we were really hoping for an awesome EP to come out of it, but we've found that as they are students and still learning a lot, that there's a lot of issue's with what the recordings sound like. Nothing seems to have been mic'd or EQ'd properly at time of recording, and now it's all sounding a bit dull and flat.
We've sat with one of the guys attempting to mix what we have, but having real bother with the last track. The kick drum is not very punchy and we feel that it's the main thing that may be giving the track it's dullness. I've added a link to let folk hear it. You'll probably notice that parts of the song seem to "pulse" slightly. As I say, since these guys are students, they don't have the answers of how to fix this. We have one last session with the dude tomorrow, so really want to be able to go in and try and get this track sounding as best we can, so I'm posting in the hope that someone can give me some advice on what we can try. We're using Pro Tools, latest version I'm sure.
Would be great if anyone can offer some help (and hopefully it's not too complicated!)
Cheers in advance
01-30-2013 04:20 PM
From my experience, if something doesn't sound right the best solution is usually to re-record it. I'm no expert with drums, but when i try to get a nice bassy sound out of my cajon i put an SM57 right in it and then a condensor farther away, and i use the default kick drum EQ, then tweak it until it sounds right. That's not Pro Tools though, i use Studio One.
Hope that helps.
01-30-2013 06:38 PM
01-30-2013 09:46 PM - edited 01-30-2013 09:47 PM
Listen to each drum track separately. If the soloed tracks sound good but the drum mix sounds like it was recorded in a cardboard box it is probably a phase cancellation problem due to mic bleed. The good news is that you can fix phase issues relatively easily with some basic time correction. The bad news is that if the person doing your mixing doesn't know how to do that already they probably aren't going to be able to figure it out in one day.
There's a lot that could be done with EQ and compression to make the overall mix better too, but again those are subtle techniques that are not something that can be easily learned over the course of one mixing session.
02-01-2013 03:44 AM
The pulsing sounds like badly applied compression.
Unfortunately, the recording stage is much more important than the mix stage. And this song has been badly recorded. Also the feel of the drums is a bit push and pull. I honestly think you'd be better off retracking it if you want something that stands on its own merit. I liked the song from the clip I heard.
You could probably salvage what you've got and get something passable, but is that what you want?
02-01-2013 03:54 AM
The good news is that you can fix phase issues relatively easily with some basic time correction.
I'm not so sure about that. If you've got a tom mic that you really want to use, but bringing it up makes the snare and kick sound worse, how do you move it in time in a way that puts it in time with the snare AND the kick? Unless they're both equidistant from the mic (and how could they be, given that they're each three dimensional volumes producing sound?) you can move it to fix the snare sound or the kick, but not both. It's always a compromise "fixing" phase after the fact and the only way to properly deal with it is to position the mics in a way that sounds good in the first place.
When you've got multiple mics each picking up multiple sources, there are always going to be varying phase relationships between everything. That's not inherantly a problem, you've just got to move the mics until it happens to sound good.
02-01-2013 10:56 AM
Cirrus wroteIt's always a compromise "fixing" phase after the fact and the only way to properly deal with it is to position the mics in a way that sounds good in the first place.
I should have said that time correction could "improve" rather than "fix" the phase issues in this drum mix. Everything you said about good mic placement is right, but it is too late to move mics once the tracks are recorded.
02-01-2013 12:12 PM
HarmonyCentral.com is the leading Internet resource for musicians, supplying valuable information from news and product reviews, to classified ads and chat rooms.