Quantcast
Tips for mixing heavy four-on-the-floor drums? - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Tips for mixing heavy four-on-the-floor drums?
Old 22nd January 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 
bgrotto's Avatar
Tips for mixing heavy four-on-the-floor drums?

Hi, all. I'm mixing a punk record that makes heavy use of four-on-the-floor drum grooves, and it's wreaking havoc on my snare sound; choking it out and masking it. Any tips for keeping the low end pumping without losing the snare?

Thanks!
Old 23rd August 2009
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Did you end up figuring it out?

Swaff
Old 23rd August 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
bgrotto's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by swaff ➑️
Did you end up figuring it out?

Swaff
Heh...sort of.
Old 23rd August 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
I hate no one tried to help you when you were working at it. Maybe you can try some of this next time:

If you have some sort of frequency analyzer, try putting that on the snare and see which frequency in the low end the snare is peaking at. Take that frequency and notch it out of the floor tom with a very narrow band EQ. Try pulling out as much as you can until the tom doesn't sound big or how you want it to anymore. It might even help a little to pan the snare slightly off center away from the side you have the tom panned to only during the pattern that is clashing.

Hope some of this helps in the future!

Swaff
Old 23rd August 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
bgrotto's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by swaff ➑️
I hate no one tried to help you when you were working at it. Maybe you can try some of this next time:

If you have some sort of frequency analyzer, try putting that on the snare and see which frequency in the low end the snare is peaking at. Take that frequency and notch it out of the floor tom with a very narrow band EQ. Try pulling out as much as you can until the tom doesn't sound big or how you want it to anymore. It might even help a little to pan the snare slightly off center away from the side you have the tom panned to only during the pattern that is clashing.

Hope some of this helps in the future!

Swaff
Thanks, man!
Old 23rd August 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Shane Michael Rose's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
well it sounds like a crummy arrangement.

is everything LCR?
Old 23rd August 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
bgrotto's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaneoconnor ➑️
well it sounds like a crummy arrangement.

is everything LCR?
The arrangements are (actually, at this point, were) fine. The issue was finding a way to keep the kick big to maximize the four-on-the-floor feel, while keeping the attack present enough for the more punk rock parts of the tunes, all while keeping the snare big throughout to make it all rock (big snares are sorta my thing in this style, so it's a particularly tough compromise for me).

Anyway, I worked it out a few different ways to make it all work. Swaff's advice was one the methods, though in certain situations it wasn't quite enough to make it all come together.

For anyone interested, here are a few approaches I worked out (using bits and pieces of each in varying degrees yields the best results):

- what Swaff said, only I don't particularly care for frequency analyzers, and have better luck doing things like that by ear, as the fundamental isn't always the conflicting frequency

- a compressor on the inside kick mic fed by the snare. The only issue here is when the snare is a bit behind the beat and the kick is right on (or early). In this case, a nudged (to the left) snare track which isn't feeding the mix buss works well.

- pushing the room mics up, particularly useful if they're stereo. The stereo kick information can stay out of the snare drum's way, or, conversely, the stereo snare info can stay outta the kick's way

- similarly, use a wide stereo reverb on the snare; I had good luck with a short plate. Thin out the snare to leave plenty of room for the kick, and the 'verb adds the "size" back in.

- mix buss compression helps a lot; the pumping sensation can emphasize the kick drum without the need to crank it way up over the snare. Though for the project in my OP, I was avoiding mix buss compression because I planned on using a lot of stems, and stems don't work particularly well with that technique in action.

Re: LCR - ain't gonna help much one way or the other, since the kick, bass, and snare are all typically C, regardless of whether that approach is used or not.

Anyway, this project proved to be a really good one for wrapping my head around approaches to that kind of mix, as it turned out to be a "worst case scenario" for four-on-the-floor. Forced me to use the ol' bean.heh

Thanks for responses, better late than never!
Old 23rd August 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Shane Michael Rose's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
i was asking on in that closed in L/R could blur C.

all of those techniques sound reasonable.
Old 23rd August 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Shane Michael Rose's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
oddly enough, i will be mixing something like this tomorrow, although more in a killers sort of dance rock vein.
Old 23rd August 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
bgrotto's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaneoconnor ➑️
all of those techniques sound reasonable.
Ummm...thanks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaneoconnor ➑️
oddly enough, i will be mixing something like this tomorrow, although more in a killers sort of dance rock vein.
That style's a bit easier to manage, as the snare can be sacrificed a bit to make room for the kick. Hopefully one of those "reasonable techniques" (heh) will be prove useful in some way.
Old 23rd August 2009
  #11
Lives for gear
 
allencollins's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto ➑️
Any tips for keeping the low end pumping without losing the snare?

Thanks!
I think you use eq

kidding.......................................
Old 23rd August 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
bgrotto's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins ➑️
I think you use eq
Except that sacrifices the tone of one drum or the other during sections that aren't four-on-the-floor. Unacceptable for a punk rock record.

EQ alone just doesn't cut it. In any event, the question's been discussed, and, to some degree, answered (at least I hope), so sarcastic input (despite its typically-allencollins cleverness) isn't necessary.
Old 23rd August 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
bgrotto's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins ➑️
kidding.......................................
Yeah yeah yeah. I know.
Old 23rd August 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Shane Michael Rose's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
by reasonable, i think i meant that those are all awesome ideas. i wasn't trying to be rude.
Old 23rd August 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
allencollins's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto ➑️
Except that sacrifices the tone of one drum or the other during sections that aren't four-on-the-floor. Unacceptable for a punk rock record.

EQ alone just doesn't cut it. In any event, the question's been discussed, and, to some degree, answered (at least I hope), so sarcastic input (despite its typically-allencollins cleverness) isn't necessary.
honeslty I don't think a little carving will sacrifice. Second hard pan the floor tom out of the space of the snare? I mean are you boosting 100hz on your snare or something? Not that that isn't done all the time but maybe give more of that to a floor tom
How were the drums tuned? is the floor tom not super low? what was the size of it?

I find a properly tuned 20 or 22 incher never screws with the snare it's just to damn low
I've seen/heard jazz kits fight a little bit but I assume this guy had a big rock kit?

throw a 26 inch kick on it's side and bang it with a stick an overdub it as a floor tom with a d12
that will get out of the way
Old 23rd August 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
bgrotto's Avatar
Oops, maybe I was unclear: I didn't mean four-on-the-floor-tom. I meant a good ol' fashioned, disco-style kick-on-every-beat with snares on two and four.

No floor tom necessary.
Old 23rd August 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
bgrotto's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaneoconnor ➑️
by reasonable, i think i meant that those are all awesome ideas. i wasn't trying to be rude.
Old 23rd August 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
This might be left-field, but it's important for the kick decay time to fit in the pocket for a track. If the decay portion of a kick drum is obscuring the snare, judicious use of gating might be the key. Don't turn the GR to -infinity, try anywhere from -9 to -20. First set threshold. Then, initially, set the decay to 0, and adjust the sustain until it's still long enough, but not walking all over the snare. Adjust the decay until it doesn't sound clipped off at the end (and roll sustain back accordingly, if necessary). This should allow your snare needed space to breathe.

If you're using multiple mics on kick, send their outputs to a buss and apply the gate there (I know this might be obvious, but don't kill me for mentioning it).

I've had to do this with full mixes, using a multiband before. It's a good thing that you still have all the raw tracks.

Hope this helps!
Old 23rd August 2009 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
HOTC's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Kick and snare on every beat can be so annoying
Im doing similar kinda drum sound at the mo
Old 24th August 2009 | Show parent
  #20
Here for the gear
 
AnalogFreq's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
This is more-so a question than a statement, since I don't really have the credits to be telling other people how to track/mix:

Couldn't you scoop out a little from the kick at 250hz or so, give that room to the snare?

Same with snare, roll off some low end, etc....?

I'd think that it would still hold true to those big drum sounds with punk rock. - unless of course, you were already planning on doing this....

my 2c.
Old 24th August 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
bgrotto's Avatar
The real issue isn't so much in the bottom end, but the midrange attack. The clicky, modern kick doesn't play real nice with the big, bright modern snare sound, especially in contemporary punk rock.
Old 24th August 2009 | Show parent
  #22
Moderator
 
psycho_monkey's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaneoconnor ➑️
oddly enough, i will be mixing something like this tomorrow, although more in a killers sort of dance rock vein.
Me too - just finishing up a whole album of the stuff.

Very different to what bgrotto's issues were - I'm finding that because there's a lot of sample augmentation, and also the kicks are much dancier than a clicky punk kick, they don't tend to conflict really. I'm sometimes finding I'm ducking the live kick on the snare hits in the busy sections, and letting the dance sample kick drive it at these points.

have also taken the approach in the live-er sounding tracks of keying the electronic loops and percussion from the (pretty tight) live playing (long live massey DTM!), and on the dancier tracks chopping the drums to the programming.

At any rate, it's the biggest 3 piece band I've ever mixed...
Old 24th August 2009 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
XAXAU's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Lots of distortion and compression is needed. UAD Fatso and Maximizer is great for this. Or slam the snare with a UAD 1176LN and blend. Lots of layering will help. A short clap or similar sound 10 ms pre the snare is cool. Parallel multiband compression is killer too. If youΒ΄re doing it right you wonΒ΄t have to compress more than 2dB on the drumbus.

There you have it
Old 25th August 2009 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Cool thread! Some nice tips here.
4-on-the-floor is definitely one of the trickier sounds to get right.

I've had some success making the kick super tight with gating and compression and making the snare pretty sloppy sounding (a little ring can actually help) with lots of bottom snare mic and a short room reverb with a decent pre-delay. Then a limiter working just the kick and snare. I think it's easier to make work if the room is pretty dry.
Old 25th August 2009 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
allencollins's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto ➑️
Oops, maybe I was unclear: I didn't mean four-on-the-floor-tom. I meant a good ol' fashioned, disco-style kick-on-every-beat with snares on two and four.

No floor tom necessary.
blast beat?
Old 25th August 2009 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I would have suggested a short delay on the kik or triggered by the higgh end of the kik..kind of a false presence and maybe letting the snare stay softer when they are together. Honestly I've never had that problem unless I tracked it improperly or maybe if the song was ultra fast
Old 25th August 2009 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Bounce's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I just mixed a song like this where in certain sections the snare could seem thin in the "no kick on the snare" sections based on the sound carved out for the 4 on the floor sections. One option is to address these as separate sections whereas the kick+snare is one sound u are trying to achieve and the kick or snare are their own sound in the other sections. Using this method, you can (if working from a DAW) copy only the kick or snare hits that need eq only in one particular section of the song to its own track and have the carving eq or additional treatment there.
This works well for most anything including vocals that are, for example, only strident in the bridge where the vocalist hits a different register.

Alternately, you could automate an eq (or two) on kick or snare to only be active for the section where carving was needed. Simple to do and gets the desired result :-)

Hope that's useful to someone...
Old 20th August 2019
  #28
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
I've recently discovered dynamic eq and I think it might be useful for this situation. You need a dynamic eq with a sidechain (fabfilter q 3, waves f6...). In this case, you'd set the dynamic eq on the bass drum to attenuate the frequency that collides with the snare, either around 200hz for snare body, higher it its the kick click (or both) ... That way the snare cuts through but the kick sound is unaltered when no snare. You could achieve the same with sidechain compressor, or more precisely with multivamd compression. But I find the eq is just easier and more transparent.
Im using this quite a lot on bass, to filter out low freqs when the kick comes in.
To tell you the truth I can't see how dynamic eq is different from multiband compression. I guess it's just basically the same behind doors. But attack, release and such are set automatically (at least that's the case with fabfilter proQ 3). Another benefit is you do all these eq things with an eq, rather than separate processing so it's easier to see what's going on.
Old 20th August 2019
  #29
Lives for gear
 
XAXAU's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Drive the snare hard (see my sig) and pull down it’s level and compress drums hard in parallel before kissing the main drum comp(s)

We do it all the time in electronic music
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 606 views: 140394
Avatar for HotCoffee
HotCoffee 27th June 2014
replies: 15929 views: 1533242
Avatar for Ragan
Ragan 11th January 2019
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump