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Old 11th August 2011
Originally Posted by andersmv ➡️
Over the past year or so, I have been reading a lot of your posts on the approaches you take to micing drums and your compression techniques. It's been really helpful and has helped me to begin to create my own system when recording drums.

One shift that I've noticed is that I've been moving away from using any sort of effects or reverb when I mix drums and that I've started to do more heavy/parallel compression on room mics, or sometimes even on a whole drum bus. When added to the mix, I like the effect and space that heavy compression can add to a mix, a lot of timea it's almost like adding a bit or reverb to the set.

I've been listening to the new TBS album in the car for a few weeks now and have noticed that there is a good combination of both over compression in some songs that gives the drums a sense of space, and some artificial reverb. When adding in reverb to drum tracks, do you tend to play things by ear and just add it when necessary, or is there a somewhat more structured approach that you take and find yourself trying when you go about adding reverb to your drums? Do you favor adding it to the set as a whole or only individual pieces of the kit?

I guess what I'm getting at is, I've always liked how upfront and dry your drum recordings sound at time, but when you do add reverb to them it never seems to take away any of that force or upfront power that I've come to enjoy in your drums tracks. If there's any sort of method to your madness I would love to get a taste of it
I think the most important thing for keeping that upfront quality when adding artificial reverb is blending in the reverb before compression. This is how I think about it. If the reverb is being sent to the compressor with the drum sound that is being sent to it, lets say 10db of reduction on the significant hits, then what is really happening is that the reverb is being turned down 10db when ever the drum hits and then swelling back up to the audible volume in between the hits. Whenever you have multiple things sent to a compressor what ever the loudest element is will essentially be ducking all of the quieter elements in the blend. With drums and artificial reverb it makes it so the hits stay dry and you only hear the reverb tails in between the hits.