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Compressor on entire drum kit?

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Re: Compressor on entire drum kit?

Postby DC-Choppah » Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:17 am

From my point of view,trying to get a good dynamic real drum set sound, compressing the whole kit is counterproductive.

When the bass drum hits, the whole kit goes down when the compressor is on the drum buss.

On a real kit, the drummer hits the bass drum together with a crash. They go together.

So why reduce a cymbal crash right when the bass drum triggers the compressor? That will sound very unnatural, pumpy and squashed and cheap. Like listening on a cheap radio.

I use compression on the individual drum elements to shape their sound and tone, but never on the whole kit. Or maybe just a little to limit the few peaks - but nothing you can hear.
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Re: Compressor on entire drum kit?

Postby The Elf » Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:55 am

Danny_79 wrote:Im curios about the benefit of compressing everything but the hats and cymbals...? Never tried or even heard of it before. But again, still learning.
My approach with real drums is also to avoid compressing the overheads - this will retain a convincing sense of dynamics, but since I'm often rolling off most of the low end it does less damage to my available headroom.

I'm also of the persuasion that I'm wanting to retain, and even emphasise, the dynamics of a kit - not squash it.
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Re: Compressor on entire drum kit?

Postby Danny_79 » Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:58 pm

The Elf wrote:
Danny_79 wrote:Im curios about the benefit of compressing everything but the hats and cymbals...? Never tried or even heard of it before. But again, still learning.
My approach with real drums is also to avoid compressing the overheads - this will retain a convincing sense of dynamics, but since I'm often rolling off most of the low end it does less damage to my available headroom.

I'm also of the persuasion that I'm wanting to retain, and even emphasise, the dynamics of a kit - not squash it.
My "overheads" is a reverb plugin....would you treat it in the same manner as real overheads?
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Re: Compressor on entire drum kit?

Postby The Elf » Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:48 pm

Danny_79 wrote:
The Elf wrote:
Danny_79 wrote:Im curios about the benefit of compressing everything but the hats and cymbals...? Never tried or even heard of it before. But again, still learning.
My approach with real drums is also to avoid compressing the overheads - this will retain a convincing sense of dynamics, but since I'm often rolling off most of the low end it does less damage to my available headroom.

I'm also of the persuasion that I'm wanting to retain, and even emphasise, the dynamics of a kit - not squash it.
My "overheads" is a reverb plugin....would you treat it in the same manner as real overheads?
No, your reverb plug-in is your 'room mic's'. And no, I wouldn't compress them either, unless i was going for a very 'roomy' sound.
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Re: Compressor on entire drum kit?

Postby Danny_79 » Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:03 pm

The Elf wrote:
Danny_79 wrote:
The Elf wrote:
Danny_79 wrote:Im curios about the benefit of compressing everything but the hats and cymbals...? Never tried or even heard of it before. But again, still learning.
My approach with real drums is also to avoid compressing the overheads - this will retain a convincing sense of dynamics, but since I'm often rolling off most of the low end it does less damage to my available headroom.

I'm also of the persuasion that I'm wanting to retain, and even emphasise, the dynamics of a kit - not squash it.
My "overheads" is a reverb plugin....would you treat it in the same manner as real overheads?
No, your reverb plug-in is your 'room mic's'. And no, I wouldn't compress them either, unless i was going for a very 'roomy' sound.
True, but as far as i know, there are no overhead simulations out there. At least none that i have found. So reverb/ambience might be the closest thing to overheads unless you have real such...?
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Re: Compressor on entire drum kit?

Postby The Elf » Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:52 pm

Your reverb is really just a 'room' in this context. 'Overheads' in a synthetic kit might be construed as being your cymbal and hi-hat signals, and I often group these and call them 'overheads' myself.
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Re: Compressor on entire drum kit?

Postby Danny_79 » Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:39 pm

The Elf wrote:Your reverb is really just a 'room' in this context. 'Overheads' in a synthetic kit might be construed as being your cymbal and hi-hat signals, and I often group these and call them 'overheads' myself.
Ok...what genres are you mixing? I might as well ask everyone in the thread that question to.... Cause my understanding is that it may depend on genre whether you compress kit, overheads, reverb etc or not.
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Re: Compressor on entire drum kit?

Postby The Elf » Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:57 am

Danny_79 wrote:
The Elf wrote:Your reverb is really just a 'room' in this context. 'Overheads' in a synthetic kit might be construed as being your cymbal and hi-hat signals, and I often group these and call them 'overheads' myself.
Ok...what genres are you mixing? I might as well ask everyone in the thread that question to.... Cause my understanding is that it may depend on genre whether you compress kit, overheads, reverb etc or not.
I mix any genre that I'm paid to mix. My approach is my own, and I bend to serve the music. I don't really subscribe to this idea that things are 'right' or 'wrong' for certain genres - that way lies stagnation, IMHO.

I'm open to anything I can learn and I'll apply anything I know to any genre if it serves the music.
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Re: Compressor on entire drum kit?

Postby Danny_79 » Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:21 pm

The Elf wrote:
Danny_79 wrote:
The Elf wrote:Your reverb is really just a 'room' in this context. 'Overheads' in a synthetic kit might be construed as being your cymbal and hi-hat signals, and I often group these and call them 'overheads' myself.
Ok...what genres are you mixing? I might as well ask everyone in the thread that question to.... Cause my understanding is that it may depend on genre whether you compress kit, overheads, reverb etc or not.
I mix any genre that I'm paid to mix. My approach is my own, and I bend to serve the music. I don't really subscribe to this idea that things are 'right' or 'wrong' for certain genres - that way lies stagnation, IMHO.

I'm open to anything I can learn and I'll apply anything I know to any genre if it serves the music.
I see...sorry for the quick off topic, but i got kinda curious of your way to create an "overhead" on synthetic drums. You mean you put the cymbals and hats on the same stereotrack(but differently panned), and it has no signal from kick, snare or toms...am i right?
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Re: Compressor on entire drum kit?

Postby The Elf » Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:31 pm

Danny_79 wrote:i got kinda curious of your way to create an "overhead" on synthetic drums. You mean you put the cymbals and hats on the same stereotrack(but differently panned), and it has no signal from kick, snare or toms...am i right?
Essentially, yes. I create a Group Track, and into it I route cymbals, hat, cowbell... It's all a bit artificial, but since I also often work with real drum recordings it gives me a bit of consistency.

Don't forget that some of the more sophisticated drum sample sets (including my favourite Steven Slate kits) *do* include an 'overhead', that contains the spill from other drums. This allows me to pretty much work with these 'synthetic' kits in exactly the same way as I would a 'real' one.
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Re: Compressor on entire drum kit?

Postby adam_w » Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:29 pm

Danny_79 wrote:Im curios about the benefit of compressing everything but the hats and cymbals...? Never tried or even heard of it before. But again, still learning.


Well, sometimes you don't really want to have those pulled down by the compression especially if it's quite aggressive, and it sounds more natural to route them elsewhere. It's really a case by case thing, and especially if you're not doing parallel compression ( like using my hardware 2500, for example) on the drum bus
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Re: Compressor on entire drum kit?

Postby Danny_79 » Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:44 pm

adam_w wrote:
Danny_79 wrote:Im curios about the benefit of compressing everything but the hats and cymbals...? Never tried or even heard of it before. But again, still learning.


Well, sometimes you don't really want to have those pulled down by the compression especially if it's quite aggressive, and it sounds more natural to route them elsewhere. It's really a case by case thing, and especially if you're not doing parallel compression ( like using my hardware 2500, for example) on the drum bus
Cheers m8....all ideas and opinions are useful :thumbup: . But if your hats and cymbals are acoustic, won't they be to dynamic without a compressor? Or perhaps it depends on how the drummer plays it. I do side compression from my kick to my hat. Everytime the kick hits, the hat ducks a little. But my understanding is that alot of people don't do this. Since some people don't even close mic the hat, letting the overheads be the mics for it. Then you don't really have that option unless you want to side compress the overheads and everything in it...
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