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Percussives in the mix.

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Ragamuffin
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Percussives in the mix. Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 08:59 AM Reply

I've recently been getting into the art of mixing much more heavily, and I have a question.
When I mix by ear (into a gentle BUSS compressor) I tend to make my percussive transients quite loud.
Assuming the sound I'm going for is a large Rock or Electronic sound, they tend to peak at about 3-6db over the melodic instruments, after setting them by ear.
Now I have a question. Is this a bad practice? Is it better in the long run to duck other tracks slightly, and not have the drums peak as high? With the buss comp, the theory is the same in the long run, just done differently.

TL;DR:
How high do your drums peak.
Inb4 -0db.


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seel
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Response to Percussives in the mix. Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 10:25 AM Reply

See gain staging

Ragamuffin
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Response to Percussives in the mix. Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 10:54 AM Reply

At 2/14/13 10:25 AM, seel wrote: See gain staging

Thanks, but nothing relevant came up.
Only stuff I've already learned.


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Ragamuffin
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Response to Percussives in the mix. Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 10:56 AM Reply

At 2/14/13 10:54 AM, ATTW7-Envy wrote:
At 2/14/13 10:25 AM, seel wrote: See gain staging
Thanks, but nothing relevant came up.
Only stuff I've already learned.

Should probably elaborate.
While I prefer to mix with a gentle compressor on the bus, I keep all of my levels down at a natural -6, limiter free.


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SourJovis
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Response to Percussives in the mix. Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 11:35 AM Reply

When the ear says it's right then it is. Mixing by ear is the best way to go I think.
It helps to compare your mix to other songs when you're done with your mix, to see if it's up to par. If not you'll have to make some adaptations.

When I mix drums in a dance, rock or pop song they too are louder than the other instruments. That's the way to go. But it's just the attack that's louder, and mainly or only the attacks of the accents. That's where the pulse and rhythm of your song comes from. The trails of the percussion instruments should be less loud to not interfere with other important instruments.

What I do is I put a compressor with a slow to medium slow attack on the drum track, and a rather low threshold. This is to keep the attacks of the drums loud, but decrease the volume of the trails.
Because your drums are so loud, much of the higher volume peaks in the song come from the drums. You want to get rid of exeptional high peaks because they bring down the total volume of your song. So after the first compressor I often place a second compressor with a fast attack but a high threshold. This compressor won't do anything unless your drum attack peaks are exceptionally high.


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Ragamuffin
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Response to Percussives in the mix. Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 11:40 AM Reply

At 2/14/13 11:35 AM, SourJovis wrote: Because your drums are so loud, much of the higher volume peaks in the song come from the drums. You want to get rid of exeptional high peaks because they bring down the total volume of your song. So after the first compressor I often place a second compressor with a fast attack but a high threshold. This compressor won't do anything unless your drum attack peaks are exceptionally high.

This looks like great advice, reading it. Thank you, I'll play with this method a bit.


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seel
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Response to Percussives in the mix. Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 11:45 AM Reply

At 2/14/13 10:56 AM, ATTW7-Envy wrote:
At 2/14/13 10:54 AM, ATTW7-Envy wrote:
At 2/14/13 10:25 AM, seel wrote: See gain staging
Thanks, but nothing relevant came up.
Only stuff I've already learned.
Should probably elaborate.
While I prefer to mix with a gentle compressor on the bus, I keep all of my levels down at a natural -6, limiter free.

So all your tracks are peaking at -6dBfs individually, but your drums are peaking 3-6 dB higher? If you know how it affects most simulated "analog" plugins (if you use any to begin with, if not gain staging becomes less of an issue) and more importantly know how to prevent clipping at such levels, you're not really doing any harm.

Ragamuffin
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Response to Percussives in the mix. Feb. 14th, 2013 @ 11:51 AM Reply

At 2/14/13 11:45 AM, seel wrote: So all your tracks are peaking at -6dBfs individually, but your drums are peaking 3-6 dB higher? If you know how it affects most simulated "analog" plugins (if you use any to begin with, if not gain staging becomes less of an issue) and more importantly know how to prevent clipping at such levels, you're not really doing any harm.

Yes, I am very familiar with true analog and analog modeling, I have loads of it. I didn't get into software DAWs until I'd been into recording for a few years.

My master track floats around -6, not my individual tracks.


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