Music Production

Avoid these five common mistakes to get the best results from drumatom²

5 tips to maximise drumatom's performance

In the balancing game that is drum mixing, successfully isolating the different elements of a drum-kit is crucial. It allows for more focused processing (eq, compression, saturation), tighter sounding kits (less cymbal wash) and easier mixing. For example, you don't have to worry about how a 3-5db boost at 4-6khz in a snare (to get a snappier sound) will affect the overall tone and harshness of your hi-hat. This saves you time from trying to find the best compromise for that harsh cymbal sound (de-esser, dynamic eq etc.) and also improves your overall drum sound.

Drumatom is the world's first microphone leakage suppression tool for multichannel drum recordings. But, despite it's simple, clean looking interface it can be used in ways that will yield inferior results. In this blogpost we present the five most common mistakes you should avoid in order to maximize drumatom's performance and save time.

1. Long recordings in one group

When working with long recordings, like for example a recording of a whole gig spanning over one-two hours, make sure you break down the recording in tracks or in shorter segments and load them in different groups. That way you can get superior separation and avoid unstable behaviour.

2. Leakage only tracks/Strip silence

Avoid including tracks in which the close miked drum element is not played at all throughout the entire recording in your group, as is often the case with toms. Doing so will make drumatom classify pure bleed as a tom, resulting in inferior results. The same applies to tracks where strip silence has been applied.

3. Ambience tracks

Not all tracks in a group are useful for drumatom's algorithm. Create drum groups with different combinations of tracks to better guide drumatom's analysis engine. Loading a session with room tracks and/or other ambient tracks can be overkill. These tracks are too ambient to provide meaningful information. On the other hand, overhead microphones are useful but you only need to use one them.

4. Over-processing (i.e not using fine-tune!)

It should be noted that overprocessing a track is not a good idea. Small changes at a time will make a great difference at the final result. Start by exaggerating the bleed suppression (focus) and use the fine tune knob until you get natural sounding hits. The cymbals might not dissapear, but 20db of suppression for example, will give you enough headroom for compression and EQ. Balanced decisions will yield a few dBs of additional dynamic range in some key tracks, further ‘polishing’ the sound and making a big difference in the final result.

5. File naming

Drumatom automatically selects the drum type according to the name of the audio file you imported. This is customisable, for example if you usually write kik instead of kick or snr instead of snare. In the settings menu you can enter multiple, separated by colons abbreviations for each drum type.

April 10, 2017