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Drum Overhead EQ / Compression

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by Studdy, Jul 3, 2015.

  1. Studdy

    Studdy Member

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    There are thousands of threads regarding drum eq/compression but usually regarding the close mics, or the room mics. How are you guys processing your overheads? Obviously there are no hard and fast rules or 1 one way of doing something but what are some common eq and compression moves that you do. Cheers.
     
  2. Sloan

    Sloan Sounds like shit!

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    i typically high pass aggressively and then try to reduce as much 'harsh' shit as i can. i usually don't put any compression on the actual overheads, but they might hit a drum buss compressor. i have used compression for a 'swell' sort of effect where the attack of the cymbals are ducked a bit and then the release brings in the decay of the cymbals...

    overall i find compression on overheads can get nasty real fast. by the time you are slamming other shit and then compression on your master/during mastering, there's already more than enough fucking with your overheads.
     
  3. He's Dead, Jim

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    HPF until the body and "whoosh" zone around 400-600 hz disappears, or at least is gone as much as possible. Do one narrow, deepish cut of gross resonance per cymbal or so. Add a small high shelf to compensate if need be. I also reduce 3-5 db where the snare snap and kick click are located. Then I sidechain them to the snare for max 2 db of gain reduction. I kind of use the overheads as a marble block that I turn into a reverse sculpture to fit everything else in. Whatever is left at the end is what the overheads are.

    Bit of reverb can be nice now and then too, but very little.
     
  4. Random3

    Random3 Member

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    I have done this before although now I tend to just use a limiter to squash the snare down. Is there any particular reason to use the side chain method or are they just two ways to do the same thing?
     
  5. He's Dead, Jim

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    Limiter to squash the snare? I mean I compress the overheads when the snare is hit so the snare is easier to hear.
     
  6. Machinated

    Machinated Member

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    Just throwing a different approach out there - for years I took the advice Andy posted on here years ago where essentially you're trying to get rid of everything that isn't cymbals (HPF quite high, possibly limit to quieten the snare etc). While there's nothing wrong with that approach, I MUCH prefer trying to build the drum sound out of the overheads.

    When I'm mixing I'll start with just the OH tracks and I'll try and make them sound as good as possible, as if they were the only drum mics I was allowed to use. Usually just a few cuts to remove muddiness or harsh sounds and maybe I'll add some body. I also tend to HPF but not anywhere near as high as a lot of people here do - somewhere between 100-200hz, and what I'll do is bring in the kick close mic and then sweep the filter so the low end sounds solid. The filter will affect the phase so just make sure it's in a nice sounding place. Sometimes I'll use a little bit of compression to level out the volume of each drum, the playing, or erratic strong cymbal hits, if needed. I don't usually compress these too hard in terms of amount reduced but sometimes a fast attack's needed to contain loud/harsh sounds

    Mixing like this means when you bring close mics in, they'll compliment the sound and they'll all work more coherently. if you bring the overheads in after the close mics, you're always fighting to make them sound good and usually they'll make the close mics sound weird.
     
  7. Machinated

    Machinated Member

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    you can reduce the snare volume by limiting with a fast attack and release slow enough that it contains all the snare decay. if overdone it can make the cymbals sound pumpy/washy.
     
  8. He's Dead, Jim

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    Sorry, I misunderstood- he was talking about the snare in the overheads, I was talking about the snare close mic vs overheads.
     
  9. Random3

    Random3 Member

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    Yeah what I meant was as a fix for the snare being too loud on the overheads I use a limiter to control it. What I have tried previously, and what I thought you were talking about, is side-chaining a compressor to the snare track so that it clamps down the snare on the overhead track whenever the snare is hit.

    I was asking if there is any reason to choose either of these methods over the other or if they both simply achieve the same thing.
     
  10. ArsMemoria

    ArsMemoria Member

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    I need to give this a shot. Currently, I build the drums starting with kick-snare-toms-then have no clue where to really go with the overheads. Your way seems to make more sense to me.
     
  11. Studdy

    Studdy Member

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    Can u elaborate on this a little more, the parts where u make cut to solve mudiness and I'm not quite clear on the part where u are bringing in the kick mic and sweeping. Cheers dude, thanks.

    Some great stuff here guys.
     
  12. Machinated

    Machinated Member

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    It's literally just EQing to make them sound the way I want my drums to sound. The EQ depends on the sound of the kit/room/cymbals etc but usually a cut around 300-500hz and something around 3000-7000 if there's harshness on the cymbals. sometimes I'll notch out whistly sounds but I find I usually prefer the sound of taking them a little with a wider q than deep notches.

    once I'm happy with how the OH tracks are sounding, I bring in the kick or snare next. it's important to eq the snare with the OH tracks playing too or even processing everything together on a drum bus. EQing on a bus=less phase shift between tracks.

    With the kick just bring that in with the OH playing and sweep the HPF on the OH tracks until it's sounding good, there's usually a region where it combines nicely.
     
  13. ~BURNY~

    ~BURNY~ Member

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    I like to build from the OH too whenever I can, meaning EQ until it sounds great without close mic, then add close mics.
    It's nearly impossible with fast double bass kind of music unless the playing is stellar though.
     
  14. nezvers

    nezvers Beast

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    I tried most of approaches that are described here, but now I'm experimenting using transient designer on overheads. I'm using it after EQing (HPF removing below snare, cutting muddy and harsh hz) with reduced attack, so snare and toms aren't hard hitting (more like flat feeling) and add sustain (to imitate bigger room), maybe add touch of compression. Than close mics will give clearer smack, because OH doesn't compete there thanks to transient designer, but sustain really make up bigger room sound.

    Got idea here
     
    #14 nezvers, Jul 4, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  15. kaomao

    kaomao Member

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    Well to my ears the "real" drums sound resides in the OH's ....
    Unfortunately with metal I have to use more close mics and samples..
    But if I have to work with a rock band I'd raise the OH's, eq 'em and duplicate the stereo track and compress it a bit (with no eq) and use it as a bass boost to the overall drums sound (it will bring up the snare toms sound).
    I did it once for fun and I liked it... I should try it again
     
  16. Mago

    Mago Austrian Blech Machine

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    I like a bit of soft compression (opto style) to bring out a bit more of the tail. makes the cymbals sound bigger.

    Hi pass, but not so hi that I filter out all the body of the cymbals as well. and then some de-ringing of the cymbals. and usually I pull out around 3k to make a bit of space for guitars and vocals.
     
  17. metaldiecast

    metaldiecast Metal Manager

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    Thanks for the comments, I've learned a lot! But I'm having problems giving my snare a better sound mixing OH and close mics, maybe it's the room where i'm recording. Don't know what I'm doing wrong.
     
  18. Machinated

    Machinated Member

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    what sounds wrong with the snare in the overheads? engineering is about identifying problems and finding the most appropriate solution.

    make sure it sounds good in the room and then adjust mic positions to capture what you like most with it....not much more to it than that. if you're having to fight a lot to make it sound good there's probably an issue elsewhere....
     
  19. Mago

    Mago Austrian Blech Machine

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    maybe some phase issues in the overheads from the snare? try flipping the close mic to see if it gets better. or aligning it with the transient of the overhead to see if it's better then.
     
  20. yava

    yava Member

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    +1

    i always start with the overheads and add the close mics and samples...in the end it sounds and feels more natural to me. (try to boost the 100hz area to get a nice "weight")
     

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