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bonesinc



Joined: 17/06/11
Posts: 34
Loc: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
How do I reduce the level of an open hi-hat in a stereo drum mix?
      #1070347 - 14/10/13 08:24 PM
I'll start with the question and I'll explain it afterwards for those interested.

How do I?
I have an 80 minute, live, stereo drum mix where the open hi-hat sits too loud in the mix.
I want to lower the level of the hi-hat, while preferably keeping the snap of the snare.
They sit around the same 2k20Hz center frequency. The bandwidth of the snap is bit smaller than the bandwidth of the open hi-hat. I think I need some sort of construction that compresses that range UNLESS there is a snare hit. Or reconstruct a snap for the snare that's triggered by the fundamental of the snare and sounds 'real'. Or...? I'm lost.

Can anyone steer me into the right direction? Name me a tool or a combination of tools? Or is it even possible to do at all?
(B.T.W. I'm using Reaper on OSX)

Background
Every now and then I do a live multitrack recording of a band, playing in the same bar, that consists of (ex-)professional musicians who are part of some regional collective. The band's members are usually the same three but regularly they add to or change the line-up. Sometimes this results in an amazingly good performance. I mix and faux-master these unique recordings at my home studio to cd.
Because of the frequency and nature of these events I can try different recording techniques if I think that's needed.
The only thing I can't change to my liking is the sound of the drums. The reason is that they're always using a Roland TD-9 electronic drum kit. The TD-9 kit itself doesn't sound particularly bad and I know how to adjust it's settings to MY liking for recording but what the band needs live is more important. So let's say that I can't change what comes out of the TD-9 module and what comes out of it is only a STEREO mix. That's what I have for drums to use in the mix. Next time I'll try to record the midi output of the module as well. Then I have the option to completely change the drums if I need to.

Cheers,
Matt


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Mixedup
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Posts: 4858
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Re: How do I reduce the level of an open hi-hat in a stereo drum mix? new [Re: bonesinc]
      #1070363 - 14/10/13 10:39 PM
Go back and do it again! Just kidding...

There are various but compromised approaches you could try. Eg if you can separate out a snare trigger signal you can use that to key a multiband comp/expander/dynamic eq. Or find a clean snare hit or three and load into triggering software, eq out the hat and trigger your snare. Or try spectral editing with eg Spectralayers or Wavelab. Or automate sn EQ plug-in to dip that freq in between snare hits.

Like I say, all these processes are compromises, and what may or may not work will depend on the track in quedtion. Are you able to post a snippet?


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bonesinc



Joined: 17/06/11
Posts: 34
Loc: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
TD9 sample new [Re: Mixedup]
      #1070374 - 15/10/13 01:09 AM
Here's a 44 second sample which works (more or less) as a loop.

Download it from DropBox (11 MB, WAV / 44.1 kHz / 24 bit / -18 dBfs = 0 VU):
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/22759565/TD9-44s-loop.wav

Or listen to it on SoundCloud (you can download the original WAV file there as well):
http://snd.sc/170stfZ

One could argue that there's too much of ALL cymbals instead of just the open hi-hat. However, the open hi-hat really irritates me and I have to deal with it as is. In the end it might not even sound so bad on it's own, but mixed in with the rest it's grabbing too much attention and I just don't like it.

Thanks for responding.

Matt


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Ruaridh



Joined: 31/01/08
Posts: 101
Loc: Central Scotland
Re: How do I reduce the level of an open hi-hat in a stereo drum mix? new [Re: bonesinc]
      #1070388 - 15/10/13 09:20 AM
No use for work already in the can, but next time, could you record the Roland's MIDI output, rather than the stereo out, and edit that?

R.

--------------------
Ruaridh (Pronounced "Rory").
Cubase 5.5 Guitars & Beer.


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Ramirez



Joined: 24/10/06
Posts: 510
Loc: Llithfaen, Cymru
Re: How do I reduce the level of an open hi-hat in a stereo drum mix? new [Re: Mixedup]
      #1070394 - 15/10/13 10:19 AM
Quote Mixedup:

Eg if you can separate out a snare trigger signal you can use that to key a multiband comp/expander/dynamic eq.




That's what came to my mind as well. Perhaps duplicate the drum track, apply severe low and high pass filtering, and perhaps a substantial peaking boost where the snare is most prominent. Use this then to trigger (or untrigger, I think, in this case!) an EQ or multiband comp. You'd never have to hear the heavily EQ duplicate track, as it's only used as a trigger.

--------------------
Bill Withers while Tom Waits, and Stan Getz


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bonesinc



Joined: 17/06/11
Posts: 34
Loc: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Re: How do I reduce the level of an open hi-hat in a stereo drum mix? new [Re: Ruaridh]
      #1070406 - 15/10/13 11:25 AM
Quote Ruaridh:

No use for work already in the can, but next time, could you record the Roland's MIDI output, rather than the stereo out, and edit that?




That's exactly what I'm planning to do. And I'll probably record both the MIDI output AND the stereo output, just to be sure.

Matt


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bonesinc



Joined: 17/06/11
Posts: 34
Loc: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Re: How do I reduce the level of an open hi-hat in a stereo drum mix? new [Re: Ramirez]
      #1070414 - 15/10/13 12:04 PM
Quote Ramirez:

Perhaps duplicate the drum track, apply severe low and high pass filtering, and perhaps a substantial peaking boost where the snare is most prominent. Use this then to trigger (or untrigger, I think, in this case!) an EQ or multiband comp. You'd never have to hear the heavily EQ duplicate track, as it's only used as a trigger.




I've been thinking about something along these lines but to untrigger something seems quite a bit trickier then to trigger it. But perhaps that's also a bit dependent on the options of the EQ or multiband comp plugin in use.

On the other hand, I can try to trigger an EQ bump at the necessary higher frequencies of the snare. If I use a high shelf filter at, say, -6 dB, the bump's initial state would be 0 dB gain and when triggered by the snare could go up by something like 6 dB. Hmmm. In the end it's a sort of untriggering.

I would prefer a multiband comp because then I can set it up so it reduces the hi-hat only if needed but I have no idea how to untrigger it at a snare hit. Oh, perhaps I can make the snare hit move the threshold of that band out of harms way.

At least, sharing opened up my mind for new solutions.

Thanks and let the suggestions flow...

Cheers,
Matt


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Ruaridh



Joined: 31/01/08
Posts: 101
Loc: Central Scotland
Re: How do I reduce the level of an open hi-hat in a stereo drum mix? new [Re: bonesinc]
      #1070429 - 15/10/13 01:13 PM
Quote bonesinc:


That's exactly what I'm planning to do.

Matt




Curse my sloppy speed reading!! I feel shame.

R.

--------------------
Ruaridh (Pronounced "Rory").
Cubase 5.5 Guitars & Beer.


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Ron Snijders



Joined: 03/09/12
Posts: 121
Loc: Netherlands
Re: How do I reduce the level of an open hi-hat in a stereo drum mix? new [Re: bonesinc]
      #1070463 - 15/10/13 05:32 PM
If you record the MIDI, you could always run it through the module again and adjust the mix on that to taste. Then you'll have the same sounds, just with a more CD-compatible mix


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bonesinc



Joined: 17/06/11
Posts: 34
Loc: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Re: How do I reduce the level of an open hi-hat in a stereo drum mix? new [Re: Ron Snijders]
      #1070464 - 15/10/13 05:50 PM
Quote Ron Snijders:

If you record the MIDI, you could always run it through the module again and adjust the mix on that to taste. Then you'll have the same sounds, just with a more CD-compatible mix




You are right, Ron. I can't believe I never tried recording the drums as MIDI before. I thought about it but I feared it would take a lot of extra time getting it to sound right.

OT:
I previously tried to record some drum tracks as midi (I own a TD9 myself as well) but I had problems with the velocity values coming out of the TD9 being generally too low. Putting it back into the TD9 makes it sound like it should. I think I'll have to change the triggering, curves and such for each individual element of my TD9 to doing that.

Matt


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bonesinc



Joined: 17/06/11
Posts: 34
Loc: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
This is what I did. new [Re: bonesinc]
      #1070466 - 15/10/13 06:20 PM
So, I tried three things:

1. EQ: High shelf -3 dB to reduce cymbal level and a 0 dB bell around the snap frequency of the snare that is triggered to go up 3 dB (max) whenever the snare hits. Playing with the attack and release times of the triggering I can make the effect sound bad or just a little less bad. The difference between untriggered and triggered is too obvious. DOES NOT WORK*

2. Multiband comp: About 3 dB compression of the highs with the right threshold level makes it kick in only when needed. However, using the triggering to dial back the threshold so it doesn't compress when the snare is hit gives it too much of a pumping effect. DOES NOT WORK*

3. EQ + layering: High shelf -3 dB (or whatever it takes to make the cymbals work in the mix). I used the snare triggering with a snare sample that fits the music in a whay that it responds to level differences as well so it sounds rather natural.
This is by far the easiest and fastest way to get what I want. WORKS GREAT*

* = for me

Cheers,
Matt


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iceman
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Re: How do I reduce the level of an open hi-hat in a stereo drum mix? new [Re: bonesinc]
      #1070496 - 16/10/13 01:38 AM
yeh defo record the midi consider investing in superior drummer 2.0 its superb imho ive used this for recording from my td6 and my alesis dm5pro as well with very usable results

--------------------
as metal as your nanna`s new hip


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alexis



Joined: 10/01/03
Posts: 1853
Loc: San Antonio, TX USA
Re: How do I reduce the level of an open hi-hat in a stereo drum mix? new [Re: bonesinc]
      #1070499 - 16/10/13 05:13 AM
Since you had a MBC set up in one of your options above, it looks like you were able to separate the snare vs hat frequencies to some degree?

If so, I was wondering whether it would also work if you ++ boosted the hat frequencies and used that as a side chain key that would open a gate allowing a phase-reversed signal to come through back to the mix? I think this would act as a duck of the hat, maybe kind of an "untrigger"?

If you automate the gate's output level back into the mix, controlling how much the hat frequency is ducked (or just forget that part and have that hat ducking vary w/ its loudness)?

I did something like this to duck a piano to make room for vocals, not sure how well it translates to this situation, though?

--------------------
Alexis -Cubase7.5.20 64bit;i5-4570 3.2GHz,16GB RAM;W7SP1 64bit on Samsung SSD840 Pro256GB;Seagte 1TB SATA600 Audio;UR28M;Motif8;UAD2Solo;Jamstix 3.3;BCF2K;TC Helicon VoiceOne;RevoicePro2.5


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Richie Royale



Joined: 12/09/06
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Re: How do I reduce the level of an open hi-hat in a stereo drum mix? new [Re: bonesinc]
      #1070502 - 16/10/13 07:48 AM
If you have access to a PC or an old PPC mac this might help

http://www.smartelectronix.com/~koen/KTDrumTrigger/


You can then create a midi pattern from the parts and overdub or replace with new dum hits.

I used it ages ago and I can't recall how well it worked, but it does have filters to separate the sound into different trigger bands. There are other paid for ones out there, some discussed here.

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/may07/articles/cubasetech_0507.htm

--------------------
http://soundcloud.com/richie-royale
http://www.mixcrate.com/richieroyale


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bonesinc



Joined: 17/06/11
Posts: 34
Loc: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Re: How do I reduce the level of an open hi-hat in a stereo drum mix? new [Re: iceman]
      #1070520 - 16/10/13 10:02 AM
Quote iceman:

yeh defo record the midi consider investing in superior drummer 2.0 its superb imho ive used this for recording from my td6 and my alesis dm5pro as well with very usable results




Did you need to change anything in the TD6 or DM5pro to make it work properly with Superior Drummer?

Do you think you can send me a little piece of a midi drum track that came straight out of your TD6 and works without problems in Superior Drummer 2.0? I'd like to find out if it works better then what comes out of my TD9.

Thank you and cheers,
Matt


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bonesinc



Joined: 17/06/11
Posts: 34
Loc: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Re: How do I reduce the level of an open hi-hat in a stereo drum mix? new [Re: alexis]
      #1070523 - 16/10/13 10:33 AM
Quote alexis:

Since you had a MBC set up in one of your options above, it looks like you were able to separate the snare vs hat frequencies to some degree?




'To some degree' is correct. If this was a paid gig and I wasn't allowed to layer the snare I'd cry.

Quote alexis:

If so, I was wondering whether it would also work if you ++ boosted the hat frequencies and used that as a side chain key that would open a gate allowing a phase-reversed signal to come through back to the mix? I think this would act as a duck of the hat, maybe kind of an "untrigger"?

If you automate the gate's output level back into the mix, controlling how much the hat frequency is ducked (or just forget that part and have that hat ducking vary w/ its loudness)?

I did something like this to duck a piano to make room for vocals, not sure how well it translates to this situation, though?




That is a good way of ducking, especially when the ducking is needed to make room for something more important. With drums there's not really anything to cover up the ducking of the highs. I think the ducking will be too audible because I can't think of anything that will draw the attention away from it. That being said, I might try it in the future but for now attenuating all cymbals and layering a snare sample with a decent snap is a pretty fast and decent solution for 80 minutes of material.

Thank you for your suggestion, Alexis.

Matt


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Mixedup
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Re: How do I reduce the level of an open hi-hat in a stereo drum mix? new [Re: bonesinc]
      #1070525 - 16/10/13 10:43 AM
Quote bonesinc:

Did you need to change anything in the TD6 or DM5pro to make it work properly with Superior Drummer?




I used to do the same thing with a TD6K and BFD. I found the best way to work was to monitor the TD6K rather than BFD. That way, latency was never an issue. Then to use the recorded MIDI to play BFD. You do nee to get a kit that's broadly similar in style, otherwise you're just not playing right.

In terms of tweaks, I used to record into Cubase and have a drum map set up for V-drums>BFD. You might want also to adjust the sensitivity of different drums sounds — either the pads on the V-Drums (not recommended if you're going to monitor the V Drum sound), or BFD/DS or whatever you're using.


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bonesinc



Joined: 17/06/11
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Loc: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Re: How do I reduce the level of an open hi-hat in a stereo drum mix? new [Re: Richie Royale]
      #1070526 - 16/10/13 11:17 AM
Quote Richie Royale:

If you have access to a PC or an old PPC mac this might help

http://www.smartelectronix.com/~koen/KTDrumTrigger/





Only Intel Mac here. It does seem like a handy piece of software. Too bad there are no similar freeware options for OSX.
I could filter the different instruments in my drum track and have them replaced by some trigger software. I'm just concerned that it's going to generate lots of work to get it right and natural for the full length of the performance. I'd do it if it was just one song I had to deal with. But I'm sure others welcome your link to this piece of Windows software.

Thanks,
Matt


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Richie Royale



Joined: 12/09/06
Posts: 4409
Loc: Bristol, England.
Re: How do I reduce the level of an open hi-hat in a stereo drum mix? new [Re: bonesinc]
      #1070531 - 16/10/13 11:39 AM
It is a shame it didn't get moved along. It wasn't perfect, but had its uses in replacing the simple parts of a drum beat, mainly the kick and snare.

--------------------
http://soundcloud.com/richie-royale
http://www.mixcrate.com/richieroyale


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Mixedup
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Re: How do I reduce the level of an open hi-hat in a stereo drum mix? new [Re: bonesinc]
      #1070549 - 16/10/13 01:33 PM
Quote bonesinc:

Too bad there are no similar freeware options for OSX.




What DAW are you using? There might not be a dedicated trigger for free, but certainly Logic and Cubase allow pitch to MIDI conversion... and you can then force the MIDI notes all to one note.


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Richie Royale



Joined: 12/09/06
Posts: 4409
Loc: Bristol, England.
Re: How do I reduce the level of an open hi-hat in a stereo drum mix? new [Re: bonesinc]
      #1070559 - 16/10/13 03:09 PM
He is on Reaper.

This might be of some use then

http://wiki.cockos.com/wiki/index.php/Use_Reatune_to_write_audio_to_midi

--------------------
http://soundcloud.com/richie-royale
http://www.mixcrate.com/richieroyale


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bonesinc



Joined: 17/06/11
Posts: 34
Loc: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Re: How do I reduce the level of an open hi-hat in a stereo drum mix? new [Re: Richie Royale]
      #1070602 - 16/10/13 08:31 PM
Quote Richie Royale:

He is on Reaper.

This might be of some use then

http://wiki.cockos.com/wiki/index.php/Use_Reatune_to_write_a...




Great link, Ritchy! I'm going to look into that. I used to use Logic Pro but have fallen in love with Reaper about a year ago and use it exclusively now. I guess I'll have to read the Tips&Tricks section again to see what other nifty methods people have come up with.

Thank you all very much for your help. You all gave me (and hopefully others) some really valuable tips.

Cheers,
Matt


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