Home Forums ‘Dead To The World’ by Malamor Mix & Remix Contest Stefan Verster – Dead To The World – mix contest Reply To: Stefan Verster – Dead To The World – mix contest

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Hi Stefan,

I feel that the most notable aspect of your mix is the drums – by the sound of it you lost a lot of character during the sample replacement process. Consider the snare drum: if you solo the raw snare from the multi-tracks you’ll hear some very dynamic playing with hard rim shots, some center hits with the blast beats and the 1-2-3-4 stick clicks. All of those have been replaced in favour of a snare sound that is almost binary in nature (it’s either OFF and you don’t hear the snare, or it’s ON and you hear it clanging away.) The 1-2-3-4 sticks are completely missing and the decay on the snare reverb sounds a little unnatural, almost like it was gated, instead of augmenting the natural room sound from the room microphones.

The toms, in turn, sound very isolated in the stereo spectrum. What I mean by that is that yes, your ear can determine directionality in terms of left/right, but the hits themselves feel like they have too little context for your brain to determine their depth in the stereo spectrum. If you listen to your triggered tom close mic tracks (if you did indeed trigger them and not just aggressively gate the provided close mics) and compare them to the provided raw files you’ll notice that the main difference isn’t so much the tone as the fact that the close mics have loads of bleed. You have three toms, and each of these bleed into the other toms close mics (as they do into the snare close mic and the overheads), helping your ear to determine position. The flip side is, of course, that you can’t compress a close mic’d source very hard if there’s a lot of bleed on the track. (But then again, it’s not necessary to compress a well-recorded, well-tuned tom very hard.)

The kik sounds ballpark, maybe a little scooped but it’s fine for the material.

Given the issues on the snare and toms I’d guess that you didn’t really use the provided ambient microphones (either that or they’re really low in the mix). Especially the room microphones are incredibly important in any drum mix. For all practice and intent they’re the basic “image” of your drums – what they really sound like and how they’re played. So start with a room sound (doesn’t matter whether it’s stereo or the stereo pair collapsed to mono.) From there on we can start adding overheads and close mics, and make changes to additional close mic sources by hearing them in the context of the rest of the kit.

Here’s something to try: kill the reverb on the snare, and see what happens with the overall ambience of your kit (along with the tom close mic isolation) if you compress the room mics hard enough for the ambience of the room to be audible in the mix.

Hope you find something useful in here! Mixing a drumkit with all the different sources tend to be a challenging task.