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Need help getting BIGGER sounding drums? Use parallel compression

#1 User is offline   Lzi Icon

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 10:24 AM

http://en.wikipedia....lel_compression

This is a technique which I use quite often, and not just on drums. It reminds me of having a big fancy wet/dry balance knob on a compressor, and it performs almost exactly like this.

I use this ALOT on vocals.

The above link explains how to achieve the technique as well as some of its uses. It's simple enough.

Funny, the article also dubs this New York compression (New Yorkers are funny). LOL this works equally well in California (and the weather sure is much better)!

If you don't like reading...Make copies of everything you'd like to compress this way. Leave the original without compression...Compress the copied track...Find the wet/dry balance between the two tracks.
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Posted 18 April 2012 - 10:29 AM

I usually put all the drum tracks except for the overheads into a bus that I do parallel compression on, because I find the cymbals often end up getting washy if I compress them too much.

My first thought, though, was this.

Want bigger drums? Make your guitars and bass smaller.
Seriously, this works. Want bigger guitars? Make your drums smaller.

#3 User is offline   FunkDaddy Icon

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 07:01 PM

View Postm24p, on 18 April 2012 - 11:29 AM, said:

My first thought, though, was this.

Want bigger drums? Make your guitars and bass smaller.
Seriously, this works. Want bigger guitars? Make your drums smaller.


Hmmm, the whole "turn everything else around it down, before you turn it up" doesn't really apply to shaping the sound of an instrument though. It really only works for volume and competing frequencies. Making your guitars sound smaller will just make the overall sound small, the drums won't sound bigger in comparision.

Sorry if I missed the joke, it's been a long day lol
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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:49 AM

View Postm24p, on 18 April 2012 - 10:29 AM, said:

I usually put all the drum tracks except for the overheads into a bus that I do parallel compression on, because I find the cymbals often end up getting washy if I compress them too much.

My first thought, though, was this.

Want bigger drums? Make your guitars and bass smaller.
Seriously, this works. Want bigger guitars? Make your drums smaller.


You are speaking of "BIGGER" in terms of volume, which is fine but, I am not speaking of volume here. The guitars should be panned out hard right and hard left so, even if there are aome overlapping frequencies they are not piled atop each other in the center.The bass is more of a potential problem with the drums than the guitars are, especially due to the fact that they are both in the center plane. The bass should be louder than the guitars, so should the drums. Guitar cuts through more easier than low end info does so, it doesn't need to be as loud although guitarists usually will not agree (I'm one who does though).

View PostFunkDaddy, on 18 April 2012 - 07:01 PM, said:

View Postm24p, on 18 April 2012 - 11:29 AM, said:

My first thought, though, was this.

Want bigger drums? Make your guitars and bass smaller.
Seriously, this works. Want bigger guitars? Make your drums smaller.


Hmmm, the whole "turn everything else around it down, before you turn it up" doesn't really apply to shaping the sound of an instrument though. It really only works for volume and competing frequencies. Making your guitars sound smaller will just make the overall sound small, the drums won't sound bigger in comparision.

Sorry if I missed the joke, it's been a long day lol


I'm with you Funk. People tend to forget (espeially guitar players)...The drums will always be louder than the guitars (hey I'm a guitarist too, don't throw rocks at me, I'll just throw them back at you lol).

Tone and amplitude (volume) are two separate topics...Totally with you on this. I tend not to use compression as a volume boost, not saying, I've never or, will never do this but, I know how to distinguish "LARGER" from "LOUDER." "LARGER" can be frequency-based but, frequency only involves the vertical plane. "BIGGER" is a subjective term for our purposes here (sorry to use it but, it gets used all of the time. "BIGGER" can mean in a vertical sense or, a horizontal snse or, an overall sense. I'm not speaking about cranking the make-up gain either. Compressors work in the realms of ADSR (Attack Decay Sustain Release). Sustain is what I am speaking of here. How a drum hit sustains makes all of the difference in the world as to how "BIG" it sounds. Of course, the attack and decay settings will have a great influence on this. By "BIGGER" I do not mean "LOUDER". That's why there is a make-up gain (it does work in reverse as well). Once I have the size I want, I bring the gain back to where it should be. If my compression move increases the original volume, I use the make-up gain to correct this (that is what it is for).
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Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:23 PM

View PostFunkDaddy, on 18 April 2012 - 07:01 PM, said:

View Postm24p, on 18 April 2012 - 11:29 AM, said:

My first thought, though, was this.

Want bigger drums? Make your guitars and bass smaller.
Seriously, this works. Want bigger guitars? Make your drums smaller.


Hmmm, the whole "turn everything else around it down, before you turn it up" doesn't really apply to shaping the sound of an instrument though. It really only works for volume and competing frequencies. Making your guitars sound smaller will just make the overall sound small, the drums won't sound bigger in comparision.

Sorry if I missed the joke, it's been a long day lol

Sorry, I was oversimplifying.

When listening to reference tracks, it's tempting to hear the drums in on album and think they are awesome and the guitars in another and they they are awesome and try to meld the two sounds together, then you get frequencies fighting, and it doesn't work. I AM talking about overlapping frequencies. A really full, broadband guitar sound can be great, but you need to thin out the drums a little to make it fit. A really full, heavily compressed, big drum sound can be great, but it can end up taking up a ton of frequencies, limiting what guitar sounds you can do.

I didn't just mean you can make the drums quieter to make the guitars sound bigger or make the guitars quieter to make the drums bigger, and to an extant you can get guitars, bass, and drums to all sound big and aggressive. But if you're going for a huge, pee your pants bass sound and really push the limits of your bass sound, it's going to limit what you can simultaneously do with drums and guitars

#6 User is offline   Lzi Icon

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 05:45 PM

View Postm24p, on 19 April 2012 - 01:23 PM, said:

View PostFunkDaddy, on 18 April 2012 - 07:01 PM, said:

View Postm24p, on 18 April 2012 - 11:29 AM, said:

My first thought, though, was this.

Want bigger drums? Make your guitars and bass smaller.
Seriously, this works. Want bigger guitars? Make your drums smaller.


Hmmm, the whole "turn everything else around it down, before you turn it up" doesn't really apply to shaping the sound of an instrument though. It really only works for volume and competing frequencies. Making your guitars sound smaller will just make the overall sound small, the drums won't sound bigger in comparision.

Sorry if I missed the joke, it's been a long day lol

Sorry, I was oversimplifying.

When listening to reference tracks, it's tempting to hear the drums in on album and think they are awesome and the guitars in another and they they are awesome and try to meld the two sounds together, then you get frequencies fighting, and it doesn't work. I AM talking about overlapping frequencies. A really full, broadband guitar sound can be great, but you need to thin out the drums a little to make it fit. A really full, heavily compressed, big drum sound can be great, but it can end up taking up a ton of frequencies, limiting what guitar sounds you can do.

I didn't just mean you can make the drums quieter to make the guitars sound bigger or make the guitars quieter to make the drums bigger, and to an extant you can get guitars, bass, and drums to all sound big and aggressive. But if you're going for a huge, pee your pants bass sound and really push the limits of your bass sound, it's going to limit what you can simultaneously do with drums and guitars


Drums center. Guitars L&R, What's the problem? Watch the contents of the frequency soup (shouldn't we always be doing this?) and you're fine. :)
"Digital? is that the thing where they take a good old sine wave and chop it into bits?"
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