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Bass Drum Sound Which Will CUT

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  • Bass Drum Sound Which Will CUT

    Newbie here, first post.
    I have a bunch of questions about various things, but I'll start with this one since it's one of the bigger issues at hand for me right now.
    I have a TD6 kit, and I've been loving it. I've only had it a couple months now, but I've already started recording tons of songs/song ideas with this thing using my Powerbook G4 and Garageband. The only problem I'm having right now is that I'm recording mostly Metal stuff, and once I start layering guitars, my bass drum sounds are getting buried in the mix. I'm recording the drums by using the 1/4 outs, and I'm recording them stereo onto one track. So if I layer tracks and/or bring up the volume of the kit, I start losing guitars in the mix, while getting really loud overall kit sounds. What bass drum sounds are everyone using for recording this way, and what volume levels are you using as well? Seems like I could probably just crank the bass drum volume, but I really have no reference for what level will work once the sounds are recorded and guitars are being layered over top of them. The trial and error method I've been using is becoming quite frustrating because I'm laying down good tracks only to have to redo them because the bass drum doesn't cut through guitars. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

  • #2
    You may want to look into recording the MIDI output from your TD6 and use that to create separate audio tracks for bass drum, snare, hats, etc.. I have Garage Band, but I don't use it, so I won't be able to explain how to do it.

    I did a quick search and found a link to what looks like a helpful article on MIDI and Garage Band:
    http://www.macjams.com/article.php?s...40128064923856

    I use Logic Studio, but I think GB will also let you record MIDI. You can also replay the MIDI performance (through your module) and change kits until your happy with the sound.
    Last edited by lopan; 04-21-08, 12:48 PM. Reason: More info
    TD-20, SPD-S, TAMA '82 Superstars
    http://www.outawhack.net/drumming ___ http://www.zendaddyband.com ___ http://www.myspace.com/353238983

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    • #3
      Thanks, lopan. I do have a midi cable, but I only tried recording via midi one time without really educating myself how to do it properly. It was obviously not as easy as just plugging a cable into my computer and recording sounds, so I ditched it and decided to come back to it another day. I think that day may be upon me, but what searching I've done on these forums so far hasn't turned up much in relation to Garageband. I would very much like to do exactly what you're saying-record in GB via midi and then run back through the TD6 to get my sounds but I just can't find the info on how to do this in GB. The one time I tried recording my drums midi, the sounds (GB drum sounds) were extremely low in volume and I couldn't figure out why.
      Is it possible to record via midi and hear sounds from the TD6 while recording rather than GB sounds?
      BTW, I'm at work right now and cannot get to the link you provided. I'll definitely check it out this evening. Thanks again!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Mikkey Dee View Post
        Seems like I could probably just crank the bass drum volume, but I really have no reference for what level will work once the sounds are recorded and guitars are being layered over top of them. The trial and error method I've been using is becoming quite frustrating because I'm laying down good tracks only to have to redo them because the bass drum doesn't cut through guitars. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
        It is always trial and error, it is just a matter of how convenient it is for you to make the adjustments again and again.

        You really want to get certain drums on separate tracks to have mixing flexibility. There really isn't a universal mix for any one instrument as it depends so much on the frequencies and content present within each full recording. Volume of any one instrument is hard to generalize. I could say the kick should peak at so-and-so level above bass guitar (etc.), but that ignores the frequencies present in the kick and bass themselves, which determine the peak to begin with (EQ adjustments are also volume adjustments, and a track's peak can follow a certain established trend and still not sound well mixed.).

        Or in relation to the guitars ... how the guitars are panned and fx processed makes a big difference.

        When you do experiment with EQ'ing the bass drum either in the module or on a separate track, if you want more attack in the bass drum (which is one aspect of cutting through a mix), you generally will boost around 5 kHz with a narrow band. Boom is added below 80 Hz. Or you can also start by lowering (cutting) a mid frequency instead of boosting the extremities, then raise the overall volume to compensate. EQ adjustments are normally followed by volume adjustments until you get the sound and level you want, it all goes pretty much hand in hand.

        | Argos | Your Cloud | Lost In Germany | Life Wasted | Identity Crisis
        | The Xerophyte | Red Barchetta | Subdivisions or Drums Only |

        Superior Drummer w/ Metal Foundry, dfhS samples and Platinum Samples Evil Drums.

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        • #5
          Gotcha on all counts, Joe. Thanks for the reply.
          I agree that it's always a matter of trial and error, and yes, in order for me to just make adjustments without having to re-record entire drum takes just to get sounds would be ideal. I've tried doing a little research on recording my drums via midi into Garageband in these forums and in the Apple forums, but information was limited. I guess generalizing and trying to use a bass drum sound with more attack than some others isn't going to give me the kind of flexibility I am craving. I think it's time to go midi.

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          • #6
            One more question in regards to midi. When recording via midi, will all of the sensitivity information be recorded as part of the "events?" I noticed that the first time I tried connecting with midi that the Garageband sounds I was triggering were all even in their attack/sensitivity with no variance when I would hit softer or harder. This made everything sound pretty awful. Did this occur simply because I was triggering sounds which weren't capable of seeing the difference, or is it that the midi connection can't carry that information as part of the recorded event?

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            • #7
              You need a compressor. This is exactly what they are for, to separate the peaks and valleys of the mix. The TD-6 Has some nice bass drum sounds and even better with VEX and they tend to get lost in a mix. The module does not have a built in compressor like the TD-12 or 20 so you need to run through a rack compressor unless garage band has a digital unit ??? Try a soft knee configuration with a ratio between 2:1 and 4:1. you will hear the difference...nice loud crisp bass drum pushing nicely through. You will also even out ghosts, guitar, bass or anything that will get lost with the frequency differences of each instrument. Just be careful not to over compress making it sound too squashed and processed.

              Good Luck
              Unified Past
              http://www.unifiedpast.com/unified_past/Home_Page.html

              http://www.youtube.com/user/Vdrummer17

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              • #8
                With A's thye usually put a mic near the bass drum head to get that clicky beater sound. I suggest trying to find a tone that sounds clicky, then maybe EQ some bass into it to giive it some oooompth. WHat sounds good by itself sounds totally different in the mix. Usually drums that sound good in a mix, sound tinny and clanky by themselves.

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                • #9
                  http://www.tweakheadz.com/compressors.htm
                  Unified Past
                  http://www.unifiedpast.com/unified_past/Home_Page.html

                  http://www.youtube.com/user/Vdrummer17

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                  • #10
                    Compressors help but I really don't think it will solve the problem if the poster is using a BD sound that is not suitible for a mix. Like I said what sounds good by itself sometimes gets lost in the mix. I have heard drum tones by themselves that sound like crap..but in cetain mix depending on the other instruments and how they are mixed sound great. One suggestion that I discovered, my fav drum sounds do not work in live applications. If you can try some live run throughs of the tunes with the specific instruments and the sounds they will be using in the recording process, chances are you can find your basic drum sounds that will shine when it comes time to record.

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                    • #11
                      One thing I have discovered through trial and error is that the sound "Solid 2" seems to cut through pretty much anything. It's just not a sound I really like.

                      Garageband does have compression, and you can adjust it manually; but without being able to isolate the drums on separate tracks it's not very useful.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mikkey Dee View Post
                        One more question in regards to midi. When recording via midi, will all of the sensitivity information be recorded as part of the "events?" I noticed that the first time I tried connecting with midi that the Garageband sounds I was triggering were all even in their attack/sensitivity with no variance when I would hit softer or harder. This made everything sound pretty awful. Did this occur simply because I was triggering sounds which weren't capable of seeing the difference, or is it that the midi connection can't carry that information as part of the recorded event?
                        Yes, MIDI should contain all of the information as you would hear when playing the kit. However, the software sequencer that you record to can employ MIDI filters that restrict the data. I'm not very familar with Garageband though. The expectation with a proper MIDI configuration is that you'll get an exact duplication of your performance. And then you will be able to separate the instrument audio to continue with your mixing.

                        | Argos | Your Cloud | Lost In Germany | Life Wasted | Identity Crisis
                        | The Xerophyte | Red Barchetta | Subdivisions or Drums Only |

                        Superior Drummer w/ Metal Foundry, dfhS samples and Platinum Samples Evil Drums.

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