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5 Tips For A Better Drum Sound

5 Tips For A Better Drum Sound

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1. The number one tip for mixing drums I can give you is to compress, and to compress intelligently. For sharp, punchy kicks, put the attack time between 3-6ms and a short enough release that the compressor is able to return to full volume before the next hit.

2. If possible, it's always useful to have all the drums on seperate tracks, even if you do plan to send them to a group or bus for more processing. You can then still adjust the relative levels and process each drum individually, making it a much more controlled mix.

3. For that Phill Collins-style gated reverb effect, try inserting a big reverb after your toms, and then insert a gate after it so that the reverb tail is quickly cut short.

4. You can give sharper and punchier attacks to all the different drum kit elements, snare, toms and kick by inserting a gate and then setting the threshold higher than it needs to be. With the attack set as fast as possible, the signal will burst through very quickly, and at a very high level, making the sound that bit punchier.

5. If you find that your rhythm section (drums, percussion and even the bass guitar) isn't gelling properly, you can try sending all of the different elements  to a separate group and compressing them all together. This will give you a much more coherent sound. Usually the kick drum will affect the compressors action, so try leaving it separate.

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