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How to Approach Your Drum Mix In Different Genres

This last week I’ve been working on a few different mixes.

One was a hard-hitting stoner-punk song like QOTSA meets Rancid.

The second was a spacious country ballad like old-school country meets Norah Jones.

You wouldn’t believe how differently I processed these mixes, especially when it came to the drums.

For the stoner-punk song:

  • Drum replacement on the kick
  • Heavy parallel compression and lots of EQ and compression to tame the overall drum sound (guy hits the cymbals like the Hulk smashes stuff).
  • I put the primary emphasis on the kick barely noticeable in the background.

For the country ballad on the other hand:

  • Most of the drum sound came from the overheads and room mics.
  • The instrumentation was sparse in the arrangement, so there was more space for the drums to sound bigger without getting in the way.
  • I did much less processing to the overall drums, instead opting for character compression from certain compression models while leaving the gain reduction to only a few dBs.
  • The EQ’d much differently because of the style of the song. The punk song needs that snappy, scooped kick sound while the country ballad should have a more rounded, live-sounding kick. Therefore, less EQ and much less compression.

The lesson here is that there’s no one way to mix songs, it’s all dependent on the genre, style and what you’re looking to get out of the mix clic.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach because no song is the same.

However, having the tools to help you get to that sound you have in your head is invaluable. That’s why my Drum Mix Toolkit will help you take your home recorded drums and make them sound like professional studio drums.

Check out the techniques you’ll learn to get better sounding drums, read about how other subscribers have improved their drum mixes and listen to a real-life drum transformation from a Drum Mix Toolkit student right here.

Have a great weekend,



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About Audio Issues and Björgvin Benediktsson

At Audio Issues you’ll learn simple and practical audio production tips you can use right away to improve your music from your home recording studio.  Björgvin is the best-selling author of Step By Step Mixing and the founder of Audio Issues. He helps musicians and producers turn amateur demos into professionally produced records they can be proud to release.

We help home studio musicians and project studio producers make a greater musical impact in their lives by teaching them the skills needed to grow their hobbies and careers. We do this by offering simple and practical music production and success skills they can use right away to level themselves up – while rejecting negativity and gear-shaming from the industry. A rising tide floats all boats and the ocean is big enough for all of us to surf the sound waves.

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