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Drum panning

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Re: Drum panning

Postby Danny_79 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:04 pm

gingertimmins wrote:I’m only just getting to grips with mixing myself but in my mind it’s all about balance if the stereo field so whilst the hat and snare are busy doing their thing on the left, I may fill the gap on the right not with the drums but accentuate a nice rhythm guitar part or lead melody or perhaps a reverb on a guitar to the left.
I don’t think the stereo spread on drums should be as wide as guitars so in comparison to them the drums appear relatively mono.

Of course I may be talking gibberish so wait for the experts to come along!

I'm something between a beginner and a pro when it comes to mixing. Possibly we are on the same level sorta :thumbup: Interesting thought about having one of the guitars panned opposite some of the drums. But perhaps i would use an envelope to change the panning of that guitar when the drums are silent.
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Re: Drum panning

Postby Danny_79 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:18 pm

The Elf wrote:I begin by panning overheads fully L/R, then panning all the other mic's to match what I hear in the overheads. Contrary to what some people seem to believe, doing this does not create an unnaturally super-wide drum kit - at least not one recorded with sensible overhead mic placement.

The trick is to open up the overheads fully, then fade the close mic's in slowly and hear where they seem to be poking into the mix. Using this method, tweak the close mic's pan control to make them sit naturally. At a rough guess most of the close mic's will sit in the middle third of the stereo spread. Often a floor tom may sit out at 80-90%, but that's fine.

Don't worry about balancing up the mix. A well-recorded drum kit will sound naturally 'balanced', even if some of the drums pull to one side. The important thing is to get the kick and especially the snare bang centre.

Not panning the overheads out fully leads to a narrow and uninvolving kit, IMO. In some contexts (e.g. jazz), this may be a benefit, but it's not my norm.

Others (as usual) will disagree - and that's fine! :D

I actually came up with the thought to pan the individual drums the opposite way to how they are positioned in the overheads. That way, the panned drums will sound double tracked sorta. But kick and snare will still be centre. Perhaps it's a crazy idea :D Don't know if anyone have ever done that.
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Re: Drum panning

Postby Danny_79 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:25 pm

DC-Choppah wrote:In order for your fans to play 'air drums' to your music, you are going to have to pan the drums from the drum player's perspective!

When you sit, as the player, so close to the kit, the panning is much more extreme than from the audience perspective. So making it sound like you are the player will be more involving for your fans!!

I mean, unless you want it to sound like a live performance on a stage.

I like drums that involve the listener as the player. Floor tom all the way over to one side. Drums go around the circle from the player's perspective. Panning is very localized and goes all the way around like you are at the center of a full arc.

Hi hat is 45 degrees to your left, snare is right and front and bass drum too.

Well, now you have to duplicate the actual drummer's kit arrangement. Maybe he was left handed!

Do it different every time. Keep it interesting. Keep it real. But have a geometry in your head and try to duplicate that real arrangement. It helps to sit at the kit and listen how it sounds from the drummers perspective. Then pan it there. So good sounding when you get this right!

You're right. When i'm at concerts, i can't localize the individual drums. They sound quite mono to me. Perhaps that depends on how close to the stage you are tho.
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Re: Drum panning

Postby Danny_79 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:35 pm

Moroccomoose wrote:Putting the drums to one side, and just a comment on balance...

I think it is a good idea to achieve a stereo balanced track, but that balance is achieved over the duration of the track and of the whole performance. The momentary imbalance in the pan field gives interest. I doubt most listeners will be so critical to realise the drum is slightly louder to the left or right... lets face it, the Beatles had their drums panned hard to one side which didn't do them any harm.

Anyway, my point is momentary imbalance is fine, its just another dynamic to the piece. Though overall balance might be desirable so you might want to fill a space with some thing else, not necessarily even drums.

Stu.

The listeners probably won't notice it to much. But the mastering engineer might have opinions. I sent mixes to an engineer once and he narrowed them down a little. He thought it was to unbalanced. But that may not have been because of the drums. I had two guitars panned quite far from each other and it was not like double tracked guitar. It was more like rythm to one side and lead to the other. And i went by ears instead of the meter when i adjusted their volume levels. Perhaps that was a mistake, haha
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Re: Drum panning

Postby Danny_79 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:38 pm

Alot of interesting answers and thoughts here. Thanx Fellas! :)
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Re: Drum panning

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:36 pm

Danny_79 wrote:You're right. When i'm at concerts, i can't localize the individual drums. They sound quite mono to me. Perhaps that depends on how close to the stage you are tho.

Many live PA rigs are run in (dual) mono simply because the stereo image, if there, would only be audible those in the the audience seated in the middle of the auditorium. Those seated to the right would not hear things panned to the left and visa versa. And yes, even if the rig is running stereo, and you have seats in the central part of the venue, the stereo spread will be much wider close to the stage and will more or less disappear long before you reach the cheap seats.
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Re: Drum panning

Postby DC-Choppah » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:35 am

Balance Shmalance

Just make it sound good and engaging and fun.
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Re: Drum panning

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:44 am

MOF wrote:I was talking about the basic drum instruments Hugh, it was the "all real-world rules go out of the window" bit I was referring to, e.g. an electronic bass drum on the right, snare drum on the left and a hi-hat in the centre would be somewhat disconcerting to most listeners, what Sir Humphrey Appleby would have said was a "brave decision". :)

I totally agree with you MOF.

When I made the comment that "all real-world rules go out of the window" with electronic drum sounds I wasn't advocating such radical panning as kick left, snare right and hi-hat centre.

Although who's to say whether or not this tactic might not work in the occasional project, it does make sense to stick mainly with generally centralised kick, snare and hi-hat (I normally pan those three slightly apart, but essentially they all remain in the central area).

However, I may on occasion use wide ping-pong delays to punctuate a few snare patterns, while other percussion sounds might be full-width stereo, or mono but auto-panned by level or with tempo-synced movement.

That's the sort of thing I was referring to by "all real-world rules go out of the window".


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Re: Drum panning

Postby blinddrew » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:12 pm

For what it's worth, I do this all wrong. I don't like my drums panned fully L-R, they sound unnatural to me if I've got my front-to-back spacing right. Likewise I pan them from the audience perspective because it seems really odd to go to the effort of creating a credible soundstage for a band only then to position the drummer at the back facing away from you...

I accept that this is my hobby horse though and not many people wish to join me on it. ;)
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Re: Drum panning

Postby ManFromGlass » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:52 pm

so what do you do if your drummer plays a left handed kit?

To not consider this must be some form of discrimination these days . . . . . :think:
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Re: Drum panning

Postby MOF » Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:49 am

so what do you do if your drummer plays a left handed kit?

To not consider this must be some form of discrimination these days . . . . . :think:

You excuse your bias by saying you mixed from the audience’s perspective. ;)
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Re: Drum panning

Postby Wonks » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:56 am

ManFromGlass wrote:so what do you do if your drummer plays a left handed kit?

There is no such thing. A drum kit arranged for a left-handed drummer, yes, but no specific left-handed kit in the same sense that you have left-handed guitars.

Can I sell you some very expensive left-handed drum sticks? ;)
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Re: Drum panning

Postby blinddrew » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:00 am

Wonks wrote:Can I sell you some very expensive left-handed drum sticks? ;)
That's not expensive, you wait 'til you see what I'm charging for my left-handed microphones and cables... ;)
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Re: Drum panning

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:24 am

Left handed cables are easy to DIY, just take the plugs off and resolder them onto the opposite ends of the cable. :D
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Re: Drum panning

Postby blinddrew » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:43 am

Thanks for destroying my business model Mr Spoons. Next you'll be saying that people don't need left-handed monitors and they can just swap them over. :headbang:
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