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Fred's Gratis Scores

Marathon - Request for drums feedback

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Hey guys! I'm in the final mix of my next piece that uses a drum kit as the main percussive element. Would you be so kind as give me some feedback on the sound and mix of the kit? I'm looking for a balanced as-realistic-as-possible mix that doesn't overpower the orchestra. Thanks!

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I'm listening on my phone so take that into account.  The drums sound a bit too out front to me.

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One good tip I learnt when doing drums and vocals....  maybe it works with orchestration?
Turn your volume down as low as you can then bring up slightly if your levels are good..  you should just hear the snare and the vocal (vocal being your main instrument).
 

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Sounds pretty good here - perhaps the drums are just a fraction too prominent, but not by much

Nigel

 

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What I am hearing @Fred's Gratis Scores is the drums do not sound to be in the same space as the rest of the orchestra. Do you use a global Reverb for glue? 

I find that using a global reverb for all instruments even those that have reverb already just sticks everything together.  You only need real subtle amounts. it does however put everything in the same basic space.

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man there are a number of you guys here that do outstanding recording jobs.i'm blessed to be here!!!!!!!!!!what vst plugins do ya use for mixing/mastering?jack c.

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Thanks for the listen and comments! I've got some good actionable feedback so far.

@kurt soderquist @Bajan Blue - I was concerned they were a little to hot. Good test on the mobile device Kurt. I can hear it too from the BandLab app. Even though I'm not making money on this, I still want it to sound good on different media - including mobiles and tablets. I've since figured out a way to get it on my phone using Google Drive so I don't have to post it somewhere.

@garybrun - I'd seen that tip when I first (re)started this musical journey last year but had forgotten about it. Thanks for the reminder! :)

@Wookiee - Yes, actually I use 2 levels of reverb (based on what I was taught in the orchestral template course I took last year). First, each instrument is fed to a Room Reverb that is supposed to place all the instruments in the same space and generally doesn't vary from song to song. It's output goes to the instrument section (woodwinds, brass, strings, etc.) buss. It's supposed to be a convolution reverb, but I can't afford a good one yet and haven't found an IR for Reaper's convolution reverb I like, so I'm using Valhalla Room (algorithmic) for now. Sounds like I need to adjust this (or have a separate one) for the drum kit on the Percussion section buss (choir already gets it's own reverb buss). Someone on BandLab also pointed out that the kit sounded like it was overdubbed in a studio rather than playing with the orchestra, and suggested I remove the panning. The second level of reverb is fed from each of the section busses into a main Finish Reverb that does the "glue" output to the master buss. This one is supposed to be algorithmic reverb, which I have covered again with Valhalla Room. This one varies from song to song depending on the sound I'm looking for.

@jack c. - Actually, this one isn't officially mastered yet, but I do have Ozone Elements on the master buss for this export using it's "Mastering Assistant" for volume maximizing and a general master EQ so I can evaluate roughly how it will sound in the final master. I think I picked up Ozone Elements last "Black Friday" for about $25 USD or so.

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Here's the latest revision, sounds better on my phone and Bose SoundLink but hoping I didn't reduce the snare too much.

Mono-fied kit, panned entire kit slightly left and raised Room reverb by +3.5db to place in orchestra, lowered kit volume by -3db, thickened kick drum (based on Two Steps From Hell reference track), lowered snare by -1db.

Thanks again for the feedback. :D

Edited by Fred's Gratis Scores

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It sounds a lot better to me. the drums aren't dominating and blend with the mellow vibe. Very nice orchestrations, many beautiful layers there.

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Unfortunately @Wookiee, I had to switch to Reaper for my orchestration template (CbB got very laggy with ~200+ instrument tracks + ~150 audio tracks + ~30 busses). I tried to load REMatrix in Reaper, but it knows who it's host is and will only run in CbB. I still use CbB for sketching and uploads to BandLab.

Thanks for the extra listen @kurt soderquist, and thanks again to all who had great feedback.

Here's the final master:

 

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I listened to all three, (boy I hope that top link is still the original mix, that or the jokes on me!🙃)

The final mix is lovely and probably worth the extra effort, although I found no "huge" issues with the original.

t

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