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Björgvin | Audio Issues
But as soon as you import the tracks into your DAW you realize:
"Ugh...another shitty drum recording I have to fix..."
And it's not like you can do anything about the recordings themselves. You didn't record them in the first place!
So you think you yourself:
"I guess I have to make the most of these drums during mix down."
So you crack your knuckles and go to work trying to fix this messy mix.
You're immediately exhausted just thinking about how impossible it'll be to transform those crappy home studio drums into powerful and punchy beats.
But you try anyway.
You start with the kick drum and no matter what you do it just sounds flabby. The boominess overpowers the low-end and gives no room or definition to the bass guitar. You can't find the right compression setting to keep the kick under control without making it sound over-compressed and lifeless.
Once you finally have your low-end under control you still can't get the snap of the beater to cut through the high-end, leaving you with a kick drum that's all oomph and no punch.
When you turn to the snare drum you immediately hear tough problems jumping out at you. There's an annoying ringing resonance that you just can't find. Whatever you do with your EQ, the snare either sounds too boxy or too thin. The hi-hat bleeds into the snare drum mic so much that it's almost impossible to get the snare to sit well without the hi-hat dominating your drum sound.
All you want is a powerful snare that drives the song forward, but all you're left with is a ringing snare that sits on top of the drums.
When the drummer plays a fill you hardly hear it because the toms are drowned out. When you push the volume up they just get in the way and sound detached, like somebody added a weird tom sample from another drum recording on top of the mix!
When you work on the overheads you can't get a good balance between the kick, snare and the rest of the kit. The drums were recorded in a boxy-sounding room so you try your best to EQ out as much of that hollow room sound but it always feels messy in the low-mids.
Every track you work on has that obvious amateur room reverb tail that you can't get rid of!
When you try to get your drums to sit forward in the mix they just end up getting in the way of the rest of the arrangement. Adding reverb just makes it worse, muddying up the drum sound and leaves it sounding distant and under the rest of the mix.
It makes you mad as hell and you almost can't take it anymore!
I've been fixing shitty drum sounds for over a decade so I can relate to your story 100%
In case you don't know me, let me introduce myself. I'm Björgvin Benediktsson and I've been working in the audio industry since 2006. I started out doing live sound back home in my native Iceland, but since then I've transitioned into recording and producing. First in Madrid, Spain, where I went to audio engineering school, and today I make a nice side income from producing locals bands in Tucson, Arizona.
Throughout the years I've learned a lot about audio, and if there's one thing I truly love doing it's teaching musicians and engineers like yourself how to make a bigger impact with your music. I've taught thousands of up and coming home studio musicians and engineers through Audio Issues since 2011.
And one of the biggest problems home studio musicians and engineers have is the terrible drum sounds they have to deal with.
Luckily for you, throughout the years I learned a thing or two on tackling those drum sounds.
I learned how to fix muddy drum sounds with specific EQ cuts. I discovered how to add punch and dynamics to the drum bus with multi-band compression. I figured out how to gate the drums to get rid of unnecessary bleed (GOODBYE HI-HAT HISS!).
And I learned how to blend the right drum reverbs into the mix to keep the drums present while staying out of the way of the arrangement.
Transient designers allowed me to add attack to dull-sounding drums. They helped me get rid of the room reverb in my home recordings, and gave me tighter tracks to work with.
When all else failed, I turned to something more advanced. Drum replacement helped me layer samples into the drum sounds so I could sculpt the drums into whatever the artist wanted.
It's hard to make a bedroom recording sound like an Arena Rock Sound but with the right samples and layers of reverb I could make a tiny garage band sound like stadium rock stars.
Once I'd add the rest of the instruments into the mix it would be a breeze to control the low-end definition between the kick drum and the bass guitar. With a few EQ tricks and some side-chain compression, the kick and bass would drive the song forward together instead of fighting over the frequency spectrum.
After solving these problems for so long I realized that I had created my own type of toolkit to tackle each of these tricky situations. Whenever I ran into a specific problem I had a tool that would solve it.
These challenges were fun because I knew exactly how to fix them!
Those are just a few examples of the tools on my utility belt I've acquired throughout the years, and now I want to share those tools with you.
Kick the Habit of Crappy Home Studio Drums
Your Drum Mix Toolkit is your one-stop-shop to getting professional sounding drums from your home recordings. If you've been needing to learn how to mix acoustic drums or breathe new life into your programmed samples, you'll discover new techniques and a solid foundation of knowledge to do just that.
Peter Thompson of The Magic Es remixed one of his songs, "Headrush," after learning the techniques inside the Drum Mix Toolkit.
He made the entire kit sound punchier, more present and powerful after the remix.
Duration: 3m 33s
The quick and easy way to find those annoying resonant frequencies that are making your drums ring.
Duration: 27m 30s
Shows you a fast and efficient way of getting a great drum sound, in only 9 easy steps.
Duration: 9m 23s
A transient designer is the secret weapon of your toolkit. You'll learn to tweak, shape and transform your drum tracks.
Duration: 11m 13s
Depending on the type of sound you're looking for, you can approach the EQ process of your overhead sound very differently. In this video I compare the two approaches and when to use each.
Duration: 7m 13s
Replacing your drums with samples can be scary. You don't want your drummer to sound like a robot. In this video you'll learn how to get the best of both worlds.
Duration: 1m 34.s
A quick hello and thank you from me with a few quick tips on how to use the Drum Mix Toolkit most effectively.
Duration: 12m 38s
You'll learn the versatility of the multi-band compressor and when to choose it over the traditional full-band compressor.
Duration: 8m 36s
You'll learn exactly what to listen for when you're finding the perfect attack and release settings for your kick and snare.
Duration: 31m 55s
If your toms sound boxy and buried in the mix, this video will teach you to make them big, punchy and powerful.
Duration: 4m 11s
The kick drum and the bass guitar will clash and clutter up your low-end. This video will teach you how to easily separate the two with a simple compression trick.
Duration: 1h 9m
This video combines every trick in the book, taking a boring home recorded drum sound and transforming it into an exciting and powerful drum mix.
Duration: 10m 41s
This video expands on the previous one, but this time you'll learn to replace the kick and snare and mix the samples back into the drum mix.
There are multiple ways to mix drums of course, but knowing how all the tools work will help you create a killer drum sound regardless of style or genre.
Here's What You'll Learn:
9 Steps to a Greater Drum Mix
How Your Polarity Switch Can Mean the Difference Between "Thin and Weak" or "Thick and Tight"
How to Simplify Your Drum Sound to Make Your Mixing More Efficient
How to Use Bus Processing and Parallel Compression to Glue Your Drum Sound Together
How to Use Sample Replacement to Save a Shitty Drum Sound From Itself
How to Use the Secret Weapon of the Transient Designer to Shape Your Drum Sounds Into What You Hear in Your Head
How to Blend Multiple Reverbs Together in Your Drum MIx, Making the Drums Sound Larger than Life
How to Fit the Kick Drum and Bass Guitar Together in the Low End
How to Use the Volume Faders to Get the Correct Balance From Your Drums (WHAT A NOVEL IDEA?!?!)
How to Take Full Advantage of the Phase Relationship Between Your Tracks to Make Every Track Sound Tighter
4 Different Ways of Grouping Your Drums for Easy Mixing
What Processing to Use When You Don't Have Drum Replacement or Transient Designers at Your Disposal
Where to EQ Drums to Get Rid of Boxiness, Muddiness, and Harshness
Why Your EQ is Kind of Like the Jedi's Trusty Lightsaber
Your 6 Step Process for Using Drum Compression for Tighter Drums
A Behind the Scenes Look at How the Ratio of Your Compressor Affects Your Drum Sound
When to Choose FET, OPTO or VCA Compression Styles
How to Use Multi-Band Compression for a Tighter, Yet MORE Dynamic Drum Sound
How to Use Gates to Get a Cleaner Drum Sound
What to Avoid When Gating the Kick and Snare
Why You Should Use Analog Summing and Saturation to Add More Warmth and Depth to Your Drums
Why Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" is the Reason I Use This One Plug-in on ALL My Mixes
How to Use Parallel Compression to Add Power to Your Drums
Specific EQ and Compression Guides for Kick, Snare, Toms and Overheads
How to Side-Chain the Bass to Get the Kick to Cut Through
How to Get a Thunderous Tom Sound in Three Steps
The Difference Between a Drastic and Subtle Overhead EQ (And When to Choose Which)
Adding Space to Your Drum Mix Without Making Your Drums Sound Distant
How to Use Two Separate Reverbs on the Snare to Get it to Stand Out
How to Select the Right Reverb Mode For Your Song
How to Use Gated Reverbs Without Sounding Like You're an 80's Cover Band
"Drum Mix Toolkit is a fantastic resource. Not only is it a well written book full of tips, tricks, and workflow methods that you can implement today, but to me, the best part is that it also contains video examples by Bjorgvin himself so you can actually hear the techniques in action! It's one thing to read about audio, but it's another to see exactly how to use these techniques in a real session, and more importantly, to hear the differences made through the process. To top it off, Bjorgvin has provided the practice tracks he used in the videos for free as well! Absolutely fantastic and highly recommended! What I've learned in this package will be used on my bands/brothers drum tracks for years to come!"
"I've just finished reading the book and I found a lot of tricks and tips for mixing drums. I also realised that I had totally misunderstood what compression ratio is. Now everything is clear. I think that the book is easy to read. You did a serious and really good work...it helped me understand the way of thinking when mixing drums. And I think that was the most important. Every detail was helpful because I had previous knowledge for mixing drums but I was missing some important information on EQ and Compression which is now clearer. Transient Designers rock!!! I honestly can’t find something that I did not like. From the book and the way the content is presented in clear chapters to the incredible videos. Everything was great. Really good value for money.”
"Reading this guide from the perspective of wanting to learn some new things, a couple of ideas that you raised were new learning for me - the sections on gating I liked and learned something, and particularly the section on creating a gated reverb; also, the section on ducking the bass to the kick drum was a good read. I already know about ducking, but I got a lot out of your simple 6 steps - the process of setting up the bass to duck with the kick - was very clearly defined and well laid out."
Learning to mix quickly is incredibly important. Customers need great results fast and time is money. In Quick Mixing I’ll show you how to take a song from a two-dimensional recording to a quality mix that jumps out of your speakers.
You’re with me every second of the way as I mix a song all the way through. You'll learn to make your mixes better by getting a workflow that helps you crank out great mixes fast and efficiently.
Best of all, I stop every 10 minutes throughout the video to tell you exactly what’s on my mind and what I’m trying to accomplish. It's like sitting next to a professional mixing engineer at work and getting to see all the tips and techniques in action.
In Quick Mastering we take the mix we did in Quick Mixing and add some mastering processors to the master bus to get it release ready and competitive while staying dynamic.
In the editing and comping section we'll be using a few different songs to show you the importance of making your tracks ready for mixing by creating the best multi-tracks that enhance the performance of the song.
Although I will be using the comping capabilities of Logic Pro X you don't need to be a Logic user to learn how to make the most of your multi-tracks.
It's all about the mentality of getting the best performance from multiple takes and editing all the instruments together to create a great multi-track to mix. If your DAW allows you to do easy comping and editing you'll definitely learn something from this video.
Learn how to create an efficient workflow that will make you a faster and better mixing engineer.
Along with the Productivity Playbook, you'll learn to create a mixing template that takes all the guesswork out of mixing, helping you make more musical decisions while you mix.
There was so much that I learned, from where to boost and cut certain instruments in the EQ, and that I've been misusing compression all this time. How to set up the interface to show the stereo out plus the master track was a huge thing I got out of it too, and how to use the reference tracks.
The Drum Mix Toolkit includes practical, easy to use tips that you can apply right away to improve your mixes. You won't have to listen to hours of video to get to the good stuff. You can jump right to the section you need the most work on, whether that's using transient designer to shape your drums or EQ tips to create separation and power in your mix. The complementary videos show you exactly how to apply specific tips found in the eBook if you want further, in-depth information without any drawn out filler videos.
You can use the tips and tricks inside the Drum Mix Toolkit for every genre. I mostly mix rock, folk, punk and metal. If you're an electronic music producer that only uses loops and samples you might not get as much out of the videos, although the practical production tips will help you improve the sound of any drum, electronically sampled or otherwise recorded.
The Drum Mix Toolkit included the whole spectrum of knowledge I've learned from mixing drums for the last 11 years. It's designed to be a comprehensive guide for whoever wants some extra tips to improve their drums sounds. Whether you need simple help on balancing your drums, EQ'ing and compressing, or more advanced techniques like finding the right reverb, using transient designers and sample replacement, the Drum Mix Toolkit is for you.
You sure can! But it'll mean a lot of searching for the right videos, wading through poorly explained techniques and watching a bunch of ads. Instead, with the Drum Mix Toolkit, you'll get the most valuable techniques I've learned in the last 11 years of mixing drums, all in one place! With both your reference book and complementary videos (that are quick, concise and immediately practical), you'll get your one-stop-shop of drum mixing techniques so you don't waste your time on Youtube.
Absolutely! The same processes apply when it comes to using EQ, compression, transient designers, reverb and other processors to make a good drum mix. I use some one-shot kick and snare samples in one of the videos as well. In addition, sample replacement is pretty close to making things midi or using samples in a way. I use the home recorded drums analogy and that type of recording in the tutorial because it's maybe a little harder to get a good sound from them than midi drums or samples. So if you can do that, you'll definitely be able to really level up your midi drums and hip-hop samples.
Complete Drum Mixing Training
Drum Mix Toolkit eBook PDF
Practical Drum Mixing Videos For Visual Training
Drum Mixing Video Walkthrough
Free: Resource Sheet
Free: Practice Tracks
Free: Percussion Toolkit
Drum Mixing and Quick Mixing Training
Drum Mix Toolkit eBook PDF
Practical Drum Mixing Videos For Visual Training
Drum Mixing Video Walkthrough
Free: Resource Sheet
Free: Practice Tracks
Free: Percussion Toolkit
Quick Mixing, Mastering, and Editing ($59 Value)
As with all of the Audio Issues products, if Drum Mix Toolkit doesn't live up to your standards I will happily refund your money, no questions asked.
You try all the tricks and even keep the tutorial for a full year before deciding whether you like them or not.
Here's what Yanni Caldas learned with the Drum Mix Toolkit:
"A better ear in the sense of knowing which frequencies to listen for, whether it would be for kicks, aux percussion, cymbals. Knowing which frequencies to listen to have made a huge impact in my productions by creating a more crisp drum section that drives the piece."
"Looking forward to show you how you can drastically improve your drum mixes by sharing all of the tools and tricks I've learned throughout the years. Learn from my countless hours of mixing drums and get right to the good stuff to create killer sounding drums!”