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Old school death metal drum mixing techniques

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by guitar123daniel, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. guitar123daniel

    guitar123daniel New Metal Member

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    Hi guys,

    This is my first post on here so I dunno if this has already been answered.

    I am currently working on a death metal album with a friend and we have no drummer and after long debate we came to the conclusion that we're just gonna have to programme our drums, much to my dismay.

    So, I wanted to ask you guys is there any mixing techniques to get that old school death metal drum sound? Think Death's Leprosy or Spiritual Healing. I like when the kick is audible but not too clicky, kind of like a thud you know? I love those boomy toms too. Is there any EQ's I should know about? Compression? Reverb?

    What way should I pan each piece of the kit and what levels should I set them at?

    Just some starter points would be cool then I think I could take it from there and just go with what I think sounds good.

    Oh and we're running EzDrummer DFH through Cubase 4.

    Thanks in advance! :wave:
     
  2. John_C

    John_C formerly Skeksis268

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    I don't want to be rude and I generally avoid these sort of topics but here goes.......

    If you're asking the sort of questions like "what levels should I set them at" then it doesn't seem likely that you have a great deal (if any really) experience in mixing. It's very unlikely that anything anyone will tell you in this thread will be able to directly help you achieve the sound you're looking for, instead you would be better off doing a lot of reading around the forum and doing a lot of practice mixing.
    Use your ears, the most important skill in mixing is recognising what needs to change, with knowing what to do to enact the correct change a close second.

    Feel free to post your attempts in the rate my mix subforum and hopefully you'll get some useful specific feedback.
     
  3. guitar123daniel

    guitar123daniel New Metal Member

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    I have zero experience in mixing haha that's why my questions sound retarded. I literally have no clue what I am doing. I'm just looking for tips.
     
  4. Jarkko Mattheiszen

    Jarkko Mattheiszen The FU guy.

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    Unfortunately there aren't easy answers for your questions, since mixing is a form of art that takes years to get the grasp of and forever to master. Hire a mixing engineer for the album and start your journey into the wonderful world of audio production by spending a lot of time reading the stickies of this forum and training your ears and skills with the free multitracks that are available here! :)
     
  5. guitar123daniel

    guitar123daniel New Metal Member

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    I guess it's just gonna be a trial and error process!
     
  6. rfahey86

    rfahey86 Death Be Not Proud

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    I would start with mixing some of the songs available in the forum. It is going to take quite a long time before you can mix something that you are satisfied with. If you've never done this before you need to learn the differences between a good and a bad recording. With no basis of experience, what sounds like a good recording to you, might actually be a POS. You will beat your head against the wall and ask stupid questions here in the forum and still not get the sounds you want. I'd definitely hire someone else to record and mix it, and hire someone to program the drums for you too so they don't sound mechanical. IMHO
     
  7. Sacha

    Sacha Throbbing Member

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    Getting it to sound old school might be harder than getting it to sound clean / modern, depending what library you use. Maybe start with something more vintage like the Custom and Vintage from Toontrack or the NI Abbey Road stuff. Then if you don't have access to hardware lots of tape simulation, noise, and filtering etc. to dirty it up even further might help get it towards that era.
     
  8. jackbraglia

    jackbraglia Member

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    Yea, I'm going to have to agree with John C on this one. Honestly dude, metal is by far the hardest type of music to mix. So if you have no experience mixing at all, then metal, let alone death metal, is certainly not the place to start off...

    You'll learn wayyyyy more by reading up as much as you can about mixing, particulary compression and EQ, rather than asking specific questions about mixing metal.

    Sorry Buddy
     
  9. guitar123daniel

    guitar123daniel New Metal Member

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    Ah no worries. Cheers for all your help anyway guys!
     
  10. Toxic_Lord

    Toxic_Lord Member

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    Insert "Cassic Death Metal Drums" (VST) pluggin on every drum track... Not!

    I can help with classic thrash metal sounds... but you need a real drum set!!!

    My tips: First a Good Drummer, a good backline, a good preamps, good mics (NO TRIGGERS), analog console, etc etc.

    :yuk:

    ( if you want a 90,s death metal sound with virtual drums... its hard but try "Platinum Samples - Evil Drums" or "EZX Classic" and forget "Drum kir from Hell" o "Ez Metalheads" , we dont want a pefect drum sound!! Then, eq the snare and the Kick, and some reverb, etc )
     
  11. guitar123daniel

    guitar123daniel New Metal Member

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  12. Jarkko Mattheiszen

    Jarkko Mattheiszen The FU guy.

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    When you put those drums in the context in a DM mix, all you'll hear is probably some low-end mud, a little bit of snare and some OH's. If you listen closely to Spiritual Healing, Leprosy, Storm of the Light's Bane, Tomb of the Mutilated and such, you'll notice that even though the drums sound kinda old school and lo-fi, they still have lots of punch and smack, while the clip you posted is really muffled and lacks clarity.

    Keep at it, it's by no means easy! :)
     
  13. Uros

    Uros Sonic Incision

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    FWIW, not using triggers or samples is not the only way to do it - it doesn't automatically say 'this is old skull', especially when we know that a lot of classic DM records had them employed, especially on the kick (I remember for example that on Blessed are the sick they'd manually put sample on every kick hit).
     
  14. Toxic_Lord

    Toxic_Lord Member

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    Cool :loco:
     
  15. Mikaël-ange

    Mikaël-ange Member

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    Sorry to be that guy but how this can be possible when using tape?
     
  16. Fama

    Fama Member

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    Razor blade and glue? :D
     
  17. -Noodles-

    -Noodles- 3 Initals Mixer

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    Track -> output -> midi sampler -> sample -> midi sampler out -> new channel.

    Easy. There are other ways to do it using tape, but that's the way I've done it using 'old school' gear.
     
  18. Uros

    Uros Sonic Incision

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    It's pretty interesting and unusual (I am talking about Blessed are the sick, where they had used samples for snare and kick, and blended them with original drum kit recording).
    Here goes:
    They would take audio signal-trigger signal off the tape, and run in through the gate, so they could get rid of the bleed. Then, they'd send it do digital delay which had an option of recording samples. So, they'd record samples in that delay. Then they'd take signal from the erase head which the tape got to before it got to the replay and record head, which had given them a few ms of pre-delay for the trigger, which allowed them to trigger the sample within a ms or two, in order to be in sync with the acoustic kick and snare drum.

    All of this you can hear in that Tales of the sick bonus dvd, look it up on youtube.
     
  19. Mikaël-ange

    Mikaël-ange Member

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    Ok, same as old MB trigering method. Sound more logic now...
     

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