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Record Drums - A Beginner's Guide

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Mixing Your Drums
Digidesign Control 24

DigiDesign Control 24

Digidesign, Inc.
Now that we've gotten everything sounding how we want it, it's time to mix the drums with the rest of the song! In this tutorial, we'll be referring to panning, which is moving the signal left or right in a stereo mix. This allows your drum kit to have much better realisim to it. If you're a Pro Tools user, you may like my more detailed tutorial on mixing drums in Pro Tools!

Start by bringing up the kick into the mix, panned center. Once you have the kick drum at a comfortable level, bring the bass guitar up to match it comfortably. From there, bring up the overhead mics, panned hard right and hard left.

Once you get a good sound with the kick and overheads, bring up everything else. Start by bringing the snare up, panned center, and then the toms, panned where they sit on the kit. You should be starting to get a overall mix.

Another option is compressing the whole drum mix; for this song, I created an extra stereo auxillary input in Pro Tools, and ran all of the drums into one stereo track. I then compressed the whole drum group very slightly, at a 2:1 ratio. Your mileage may vary, but this helped the overall drum sound sit well in the mix.

Now that we've mixed the drums together into the song, let's take a listen. Here's what my final mix sounds like. Hopefully your results are similar, too. Remember, again, every situation is different, and what works here might not work for your song. But with these basic tips, you'll be up and recording drums in no time.

Remember, trust your ears, and don't be afraid to experiment!
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