We continue our crash course in editing and mixing drums.
Last month, in my SOS July 2023 workshop, I outlined some of the techniques and methods I use to organise and prepare live drum tracks. While those steps may seem a bit tedious, they are essential to ensuring an efficient workflow further down the line.
It should be noted that, even if working with live drums isn’t in your immediate future, the techniques and concepts I’m sharing here are applicable to many other audio editing tasks.
Let’s assume that you took my advice and your live drum tracks are now grouped, gain‑staged, and in the correct polarity, and that you’ve created Track Alternatives for each of the different drum takes.
While assigning buses and aux tracks to your drums may fall more under the umbrella of mixing, there are indeed some editing tasks that benefit from it. It’s not unusual to have several tracks for the kick drum (in, out, sub), snare drum (top, bottom), toms, and ambience (room mics, mono overheads), so it makes sense to bus each of these groups to their own aux track. Processing the individual tracks is still possible, but now we have an easy way to process them as subgroups, and to quickly mute and solo them.
Start by busing the drum tracks to one master drum bus. Select all of your drum tracks in the Main window, right‑click (or Control‑click) on any of the tracks and select Create Track Stack. Select Summing and hit Create. If all of your tracks were already bused to an aux track, Logic preserves this in the Track Stack output.
Newer versions of Logic Pro allow you to create nested Track Stacks that would do most of this work for you. Simply apply the same steps to each group of tracks as we did for the main Track Stack.
While we are at this stage, let’s create those aux tracks I mentioned. In the mixer, hit Control+N multiple times to create between eight and 12 auxes. We won’t only be using these aux tracks for our drum routings: we will also use some for effects, reverb and parallel processing. As you add each one, they will pile up on the right side of the mixer. Let’s Shift‑click to select all of the new aux tracks. While holding down the Option key, click on the input of the leftmost aux and select a bus (preferably one with unused buses after it), and Logic will assign each aux’s input consecutively.
We now need to get our aux tracks into the Main window and into...