Toms!

redking

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Working on a drum track and have tried a few things compression and eq wise on the toms, but they don't quite feel right. Any tips or tricks on mixing toms (esp in a dry drum mix)? I've used a UA Distressor plugin to open them up a bit (attack 9, release 1) and then a bit of eq to knock down some 400k. Still sounds like a stick hitting a cardboard box lol. There aren't many tom hits in the track, but they come in noticeable places. I've been using the Sweetwater Instrument frequency cheat sheet but there are no toms on it.
thanks in advance :)
 

dro

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When was the las time you changed the heads?
 

redking

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When was the las time you changed the heads?
I didn't record my own kit - this is a pro drummer recording in his project studio and sending me the raw tracks. Now that I hear them alongside some rough guitars they sound better, but I will try Tazzboy's trick above to see how much better I can make them.
 

Freddy G

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That's a trick? Clickbait title I guess. That's just EQ 101. As you can see the classic freq to dump in toms and kick is around 500hz. I would also suggest that you do these EQ adjustments with the entire track playing....sure, quickly rough them in with each channel soloed, but then refine them out of solo mode. Everything is relative. The overheads might add enough stick attack, so you may not need to boost it that much if at all on the individual tom tracks. Also, play around with HPF on the toms. I know it sounds counter-intuitive because you want toms to sound deep, but subsonic rumble is not useful. For the high tom try somewhere around 80-100hz for HPF....for a big tom try around 40-50hz. All depends on the slope of the filter etc...
 

redking

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That's a trick? Clickbait title I guess. That's just EQ 101. As you can see the classic freq to dump in toms and kick is around 500hz. I would also suggest that you do these EQ adjustments with the entire track playing....sure, quickly rough them in with each channel soloed, but then refine them out of solo mode. Everything is relative. The overheads might add enough stick attack, so you may not need to boost it that much if at all on the individual tom tracks. Also, play around with HPF on the toms. I know it sounds counter-intuitive because you want toms to sound deep, but subsonic rumble is not useful. For the high tom try somewhere around 80-100hz for HPF....for a big tom try around 40-50hz. All depends on the slope of the filter etc...
Will do! Quickly learning that everything in the track impacts how you hear everything else in the track! Noob-ish realization for sure, but also a fun puzzle to figure out. Now I just need to get my bass player on this track to get a real sense of what it is going to sound like.
 

MarkusAurelius

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Working on a drum track and have tried a few things compression and eq wise on the toms, but they don't quite feel right. Any tips or tricks on mixing toms (esp in a dry drum mix)? I've used a UA Distressor plugin to open them up a bit (attack 9, release 1) and then a bit of eq to knock down some 400k. Still sounds like a stick hitting a cardboard box lol. There aren't many tom hits in the track, but they come in noticeable places. I've been using the Sweetwater Instrument frequency cheat sheet but there are no toms on it.
thanks in advance :)
Over-using compressors will do what compressors are supposed to do, reduce dynamic range. That's why they sound like cardboard boxes. In the past they were used with sample-based / drum machine drums to make them pop more by over-compensating with the output gain. It doesn't work much with real drums and comps are used to CONTROL wild dynamic range fluctuations and to modify the sound by distorting the signal. It best works with parallel compression. Always make sure you use longer attach (to let the initial part of the ADSR through to keep punchy dynamics) and then control the sustain with the compressor. Then blend them together with the clean sound.
With electronic drums you can squash toms (individually) to make them tick more and not stand out much.
Some distortion is always beneficial, but in moderation, to keep the noise floor down.
Very light, mastering type, compression is usually beneficial on the drum bus (or maybe tom drum bus - but do watch stacking too much comp), with medium attack, in order to "glue" the drums together. Light compression is the key, or you will end up smearing your cymbals, and mush the recorded reverb in the overheads, rooms and individual mics, losing punch
Hope this is of some help
 

Mr Insane

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Produce Like a Pro on YouTube has a great video on YouTube about drum eq basics. I think somewhere in it is a part about toms.

 

MarkusAurelius

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Working on a drum track and have tried a few things compression and eq wise on the toms, but they don't quite feel right. Any tips or tricks on mixing toms (esp in a dry drum mix)? I've used a UA Distressor plugin to open them up a bit (attack 9, release 1) and then a bit of eq to knock down some 400k. Still sounds like a stick hitting a cardboard box lol. There aren't many tom hits in the track, but they come in noticeable places. I've been using the Sweetwater Instrument frequency cheat sheet but there are no toms on it.
thanks in advance :)

EQ will not help in this case. However , in relation to the frequency chart, you can use any drum chart as a guide. The vid attached sound more like meandering to me .
Curdboard" in between 350Hz and 450Hz
 

redking

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Realized shortly after digging into the details that the overheads were causing the problem, not the toms, so I'm gonna strip it back to the bare mic signals and start from scratch again on the drums as 1 instrument as a starting point and go from there. Otherwise, it feels like I'm chasing my tail.
 
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redking

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Realized shortly after digging into the details that the overheads were causing the problem, not the toms, so I'm gonna strip it back to the bare mic signals and start from scratch again on the drums as 1 instrument as a starting point and go from there. Otherwise, it feels like I'm chasing my tail.
I got into the details of the "boxy" sounding hits - I think the issue is that the kick and 2 toms were both hit on the same beat in 2 places in the song, so 10 different mics picked up the same beat and it was just too many "hits" going on all at once. My solution so far is to cut out 4 of the hits and it leaves a nice balance in those spots now.

My next drum tweak is around the snare - there are some parts of the song where more of a "crack" sounds better, and some parts of the song where more of a "pop" sounds better. Am I crazy to consider dividing the song into parts and blending my snare top and bottom mics differently in different parts of the song to achieve subtle differences between "crack" and "pop"?

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