Ep 23 | Building Your Drum Mix (The Overheads)

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DrumsAre you making the mistake I often made when mixing drums? Get this wrong and your drums will be weak at at best. Get this right and they will be live and full. In this episode, I'll tell you exactly how I avoid choking the life out out of my drum tracks.

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About The Author

David

David is a 15 year veteran of live and recorded audio. Today he is a consultant in this field and conducts technical, musical, and creative arts conferences for volunteer organizations. He is also the author of the podcast and blog http://www.homemusicstudio1.com where his passion is to teach people how to create professional audio on any size budget. David has been a singer/songwriter and musician for more than 20 years now. His passion for recording started in the early 90's when he was asked to manage a small studio for the local non profit group, ACM. Today David has logged thousands of hours in recording sessions for both his own projects and those of others. He has developed a simple yet effective mindset for building a professional mix called the 4-3 Framework. Here is what one community member says about the 4-3. “Just shared your great video on 4-3 framework on my FB page. Dave.. this is a brilliant, well thought out structure. You should make a poster of it... I'd hang it in my studio for sure!” - HomeTracks David's desire and ability to produce professional audio, even on a small budget, has lead him to create the podcast and blog, Home Music Studio 1 Through this resource he has been able to help thousands of people create professional audio projects in their own home studios.

13 Comments

  • Lucas VG

    Reply Reply November 30, 2013

    Hi David – Thanks for taking us inside the mixing process. When you set out to create a mix, what is your objective (Keeping 4/3 in mind)? Creating something that sounds great on a A-Class stereo or an iPod?

    • David

      Reply Reply November 30, 2013

      I am for as many systems as possible knowing that in the end, most of the time today, it will be listened to through headphones or earbuds. The real factors that make the largest difference here come in the overall balance of the mix. This show ups most when you focus on the mastering phase. The more accurate your monitoring setup (room acoustics included), the more a mix can be tweaked to sound better in more playback setups.

  • Dan Updegraff

    Reply Reply July 31, 2013

    It won’t hurt to keep your computer speakers when you get studio monitors. You will want to check your mixes on them to make sure they sound okay on cheap speakers.

  • Question

    Reply Reply July 6, 2013

    is this normal that my left speaker making biz sound? at the moment they working well,just making sound. But few month ago the left speaker was Switching off some time but when I unplug my panel and the plug it again it just fix, after few weeks they start to switching on and off during listening to something but they just fix again by funny unplug and plug job. :D. I’m sure that my jacket are plug perfectly all the time in back of my pc. now i only got problem with my left speaker that making bizzzzzzzzzzz sound. i mean i don’t think the problem is relate to my jacket or panel. plz help.thanks

    • David

      Reply Reply July 6, 2013

      What speakers are they? Can you plug something like an iPod or CD player directly to them and see if the issue is still there?

      • Question

        Reply Reply July 6, 2013

        they are just the normal standard pc speaker 3.5 jacket.

        • David

          Reply Reply July 6, 2013

          Ya, I’d try plugin them into something else like an mp3 player or smartphone that has that same jack. See if you get the same issues and that will tell you for sure if your speaker have blown or their cord is bad. Often that is a likely problem with simple computer speakers. Hope this helps and keep me posted.

          • reply

            July 31, 2013

            thank you very much, ya I try them with the MP3 player as well and problem were still there. should I change them? technical question:” Do you think simple computer speaker get damage more often than monitoring, during using audio software?.”

          • David

            July 31, 2013

            I would replace them for sure when you can. Computer speakers are not really created to handle to peaks of frequencies that are produced by mixing. There are several other reasons why computer speakers are not the best for mixing either. This post may help to explain those reasons. http://homemusicstudio1.com/what-is-frequency-response/

            Also if you do get a budget together and are able to buy studio monitors, lets me know and ill point you on the right direction for whatever budget you have. Keep in touch!

  • Dan Updegraff

    Reply Reply June 11, 2013

    Good stuff. I just finished a mix of a live band, so this will help point out things I can do better next time. Love the tips on centering the snare in the OHs and setting their level based on the cymbals.

    Looking forward to the next part. I’m eager to see how you deal with phase and/or track alignment.

    Thanks for doing these videos!

    • David

      Reply Reply June 11, 2013

      Your most welcome Dan, thanks for the feedback.

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