Post by automatedhero on Aug 11, 2022 6:02:53 GMT -5
I think my skillset is more in composition and, dare i say, sound design. Mixing less so.
I tend to stick all the drums on one track, usually because they come from one source/synth (usually the m1 or emulator vsts I have). This would seem not the thing to do. Even so, I'd like to get better at making drums sound beefy. Like a good gut punch
Compression is key for punchy drums. Low Ratio (whatever the lowest the compressor offers above 1:1) -- start with very slow Attack and very fast Release, then season to taste. Keep the Threshold pretty low so that basically the entire drum signal is triggering compression at any volume. Basically compress the hell out of each individual drum track, and then compress all the individual drum tracks onto a drum bus as well, for good measure.
You can certainly get away with that -- I will sometimes just use a single track if all the sounds are coming from the same patch. If it works, it works. However, if you're unsatisfied with the punch or weight of the drums, it would definitely be wise to separate each sound onto its own track to be compressed individually (and then compressed again on a bus).
Let's say you are using an orchestral kit patch from the M1, and you're using 4 different 'hits' from that patch, say a timpani, 2 different toms, and a tambourine. Make 4 different tracks, each with the orchestral kit patch loaded on the M1, and have each one be dedicated to just one of the 'hits' or individual drum sounds. Now you can apply compression (and additive EQ if you want to make any of them have more low end weight) to all 4 of them individually, and you can get them each to the precise presence, punchiness, and weight you want. Then send all 4 tracks to a bus (or make a group that you can apply effects to as a whole containing the 4 individual tracks -- the method can be slightly different depending on your DAW) and compress again to 'glue' the individual drum sounds into your own assembled 'kit.' And don't be afraid of slapping a limiter onto that drum bus and letting it get a good workout -- drums are meant to clip (with a limiter). You can use the limiter to pump however many dbs you need into the drum bus to make the drums as loud as you want them to be in the mix (don't do this with synth sounds though, haha, only percussion).
Generally speaking, you should be fine with that being the final source. You should be able to pump that as much as you need, but if you really needed more oomph you could try parallel compressing the bus with the original tracks.
A bitcrusher is quite a bit different than distortion, an amp with high gain, or an analog preamp. Bitcrushing is changing the actual sample rate of the sound (essentially making it more lo-fi), not just applying an effect on top of the sound. They can all achieve similar sorts of crunchy noise, but are fundamentally different and have different applications.
I'm afraid the answer to that is much the same as one I've already given: it really just depends on the application, what you're trying to do. It sort of goes without saying that if you only want the effect to affect one drum, say the snare, but not the others, then you would need to add those effects to the snare only before it gets sent to the bus. Very generally speaking, you will have more control and room to tweak and finetune with the effects on the individual tracks rather than the bus; for instance, even if I wanted a phaser on my entire drum 'kit,' I might want the frequency to be slightly different on the snare than the cymbals, or something like that.
Sounds are going to interact differently when they are all receiving the same effect on a bus or when they are all individually effect'd and then sent to a bus. Think of reverb as a room -- you could either record 10 guitars all playing at the same time in one room, or make 10 different recordings of a single guitarist playing in that room. With the former, all the sounds are going to be reflecting together in that room, and that's going to make things sound a certain way; whereas with the latter, you're going to have 10 separate recordings, each one containing only a single guitar that isn't reflecting about a room with 9 other guitars, and that's going to sound a certain way. In the former case, you have one recording that contains all the 'space' or 'air' of the room (the somewhat imperceptible 'hum' of the room, it might be easier to understand it that way) with several different sounds clashing and reflecting about, so there's going to be more 'sound' (or reflected sound) than 'air'; in the latter case, the 'hum/space/air' of the room is going to be duplicated 10 times over, so it's going to take up a lot more of the room in your mix than the former, and the 'sound' is going to be less of the reflected sounds and more of the actual, initial signals of the guitars.
Replace the word recordings above with tracks and you can apply the same logic to how you think about adding effects to your mix, and whether to apply them to the individual tracks or to a bus/the master. And you can really think of any effect, not just reverb, as a 'room' that your 'recordings'/tracks are in or being fed through. At least that helps me make better sense of it.
That's a really long way of just saying what I'd already said: that it just depends on what you're trying to do. There is no definite right or wrong method. The best advice I can give is to try both ways and determine yourself what is closer to your desired results.
As I said earlier, you can definitely mix the dry kick signal with your compressed bus if you're still not getting the right amount of oomph.