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Mixing Drums in Pro Tools

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An Introduction to Mixing Drums in Pro Tools
Drum Kit With Microphones

Recording The Drum Kit

Joe Shambro
Getting the perfect drum sound isn't easy, and for most home studios, practicing on a real drum kit was a rare occurrence -- until now!

In my previous article about recording and mixing drums, I took on the basics of recording and mixing drums. But now, let's take that a step further, and work on a more in-depth project, mixing drums in Pro Tools. Of course, you can use these same methods in whatever software you prefer using.

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to pan your drums, how to compress, gate, and EQ, and how to make sure the overall mix is balanced.

Let's take a listen to how the drums sound naturally, to compare to your final mix. Here's an mp3 file of the drums as they are naturally, without any mixing done.

Click here to download the .zip file of the session for Pro Tools 7 users, or if you're using Pro Tools 5.9 through 6.9, download the above session and unzip it; then, download this session file, and place it in the unzipped directory alongside the other session file. It should find the audio files necessary.

Open the session. You'll see individual tracks for the kick, snare, toms, high-hat, and a stereo file with the overhead mics. The recording uses industry-standard microphones on everything - AKG D112 on kick, Shure SM57 on snare and toms, Shure SM81 on high-hat, and AKG C414 stereo pair on the overheads.

Let's get started!
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