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Thread: Hard Drums and FL Studio

  1. #1
    DJJB is offline Producer from the Future
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    Hard Drums and FL Studio

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    SO.. I have been taking music very seriously lately and learning as much as possible. I have a recurring problem that my mixing and sound separation has yet to fix, and I need your advice on it. I use FL Studio and I cannot get my drums to hit hard enough. I am not using studio quality headphones/speakers, so this is a large part of it.. but there is definitely something else missing. As soon as I get a job I'm going to buy some real nice headphones that are relatively flat in sound output to use for mixing, but for now I need mixing tips.

    I use bass boost, eq boosts in sub range and peaks around 250 - 500 - 3k, and compression on my kicks. and I layer kicks and run them all through this fx channel and they still sound puss. When looking at the meters on FL mixer everything is hitting at the 100 peak (not above threshhold where it clips) but still they should be banging at that level and they are not.

    I love bass and I want my kicks to be extremely punchy... and I want my snares to be really tight and full...

    I can't seem to produce hard drums and my db meters are telling me that the levels are maxed out when they still sound like crap!

    help?

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    digiskunk's Avatar
    digiskunk is offline Registered User
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    I have this issue pretty often too so I know where you're coming from.. Try your hardest to really bring them out, but still, something is missing: that real hard-hitting snappy tone in the mix.

    You said that you use some EQ + compression on the kicks, but you never mentioned doing any EQing for any of the other drum samples. If you don't use EQ on hats and snares, the dull, lacking quality of those samples will likely take away from your hard-hitting kicks.

    If you don't already use EQ on your hats, make a channel for them in the mixer and boost around the 2khz-8khz ranges so it brings out some raspy clarity. For your snares/claps, use the EQ to boost around the 750-1500hz range to make them stand out more, and maybe boost some of the higher end for more hiss. If you still sound a little dull, a small tight boost around 300-400Hz can give them more "weight" so they hit harder. But of course, it all depends on the samples you're using.

    Can you provide us with an audio clip? I wanna hear!

    Also, I have one last piece of advice, but take it with a grain of salt:
    I highly suggest not using stereo separation on your drums because beats tend to sit in the middle of a mix. A little bit of separation (3-12%) can't hurt, but it's more important to utilize stereo separation to bring out leads and expand strings/pads.

    Hope this helps! Cheers, bud.

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    Cash_Daily is offline Registered User
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    Use banging drums to start with.
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    noblewordz's Avatar
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    You don't want to be boosting your kicks much in that range 250-500 ranger its not going to sound great, its going to take clarity away not enhance it.

    I wouldn't even think of mixing in terms of Eq'ing and compression, I'd start with finding better drums, setting the correct volume and using panning to open up space for things to breathe a little, and to add some artistic flair. But keep any thing with bass/low end more or less center.

    Visualize your mix, think of the space between your speakers and an imaginary line between them, thats the center, use panning to place your instruments/sounds, left of right, like you may have your snare closer to the right speaker and your hi hat a little off right of center, your bass in the middle. With the level (volume) visualize your higher up instruments as the loudest, things like your kick and snare your bass just below them, etc.

    That might help, or confuse you lol.. I dunno, give it a try. I'm no expert, but its helped me.

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    digiskunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cash_Daily View Post
    Use banging drums to start with.
    What's that supposed to mean...?

    No offense, but that's not exactly constructive feedback. No matter how good your drum samples are, somewhere down the line you're going to need to know how to mix them appropriately so they fit tighter in the mix.

    ---------- Post added at 07:40 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:38 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by noblewordz View Post
    You don't want to be boosting your kicks much in that range 250-500 ranger its not going to sound great, its going to take clarity away not enhance it.

    I wouldn't even think of mixing in terms of Eq'ing and compression, I'd start with finding better drums, setting the correct volume and using panning to open up space for things to breathe a little, and to add some artistic flair. But keep any thing with bass/low end more or less center.

    Visualize your mix, think of the space between your speakers and an imaginary line between them, thats the center, use panning to place your instruments/sounds, left of right, like you may have your snare closer to the right speaker and your hi hat a little off right of center, your bass in the middle. With the level (volume) visualize your higher up instruments as the loudest, things like your kick and snare your bass just below them, etc.

    That might help, or confuse you lol.. I dunno, give it a try. I'm no expert, but its helped me.
    Very good advice, I am happy to see somebody else supporting my panning suggestion.

    And of course, I guess it all depends on the quality of the samples he's working with.. If they're poor though, you can definitely try and improve their quality.

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    ednom is offline XTC the XT-at-i-C
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    DJJB...dude

    give us a .zip file, i need to here whats up and i will give u feedback 4 ur song

    otha than that, just google eq & compression

    also, banging drumz just means those that have been eq'ed & compressed already from a sample company...and also fit relatively well 2 ur mix...like croup drumz or ultimate soul drumz

  7. #7
    WatchWhatHappens1204's Avatar
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    Ehhh f* it, toss up an audio snippet so we can hear. B4 that...

    In order:
    1) Start with good drums and instruments. Make sure even with the drums that the samples don't sound too muddy. If some are muddy, you'll have to know how to fix some of these problems with
    2) Proper mixing. Meaning EQ, and not always compressing your drum set. Once again, it pays to read up on this a little bit, then go ahead and dive in. Also,
    3) Pan them damn sounds, and ALTERNATE THE VOLUMES. Let us know you're doing this with an audio clip, so we can hear exactly what's wrong. My mixes were different characters once I started raising and lowering bars...

    What do you use, kick, snare, hi-hats...? You shouldn't have to add bass boost and EQ to death for the kick to knock, and maybe your problem IS that you need good headphones and/or speakers. Sometimes the sound outlet makes all the difference, trust.
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    In FL Studio do this(from memory, could be off a little).

    Make one mixer channel for all of your bass and drums to go thru. Load up the "FL Compressor" and set it to the preset "Drums".

    Then load up the 7 band EQ(not to use all 7 bands, but for all the functions). Cutoff everything below 31hz with band 1. Put a low shelf at 64-78hz(64 for more thump, 78 for more "pop")with band 2. Turn it up 1-2db. It should be a sharp wave to the far left and then go flat across.

    Make sure anything you want low end presence from goes thru that channel. you're welcome.
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    WatchWhatHappens1204's Avatar
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    Compression works better with samples that have varying frequencies, like a full drum set instead of just kicks, I think... the compression just might be killing the bass. Also, if you layer the wrong way, some sounds might cancel each other out or f* up the mix.

    ---------- Post added at 11:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:52 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by deRaNged 4 Phuk'dup View Post
    In FL Studio do this(from memory, could be off a little).

    Make one mixer channel for all of your bass and drums to go thru. Load up the "FL Compressor" and set it to the preset "Drums".

    Then load up the 7 band EQ(not to use all 7 bands, but for all the functions). Cutoff everything below 31hz with band 1. Put a low shelf at 64-78hz(64 for more thump, 78 for more "pop")with band 2. Turn it up 1-2db. It should be a sharp wave to the far left and then go flat across.

    Make sure anything you want low end presence from goes thru that channel. you're welcome.
    Thanks, lol. Bout to try that ish.
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  10. #10
    Purple Sippa is offline Senior Member
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    You could raise you mids in the eq included in the actual mixer track. It gives my drums that punchy sound as well as Fruity Parametric EQ1 Bass Drum Punch Preset
    Last edited by Purple Sippa; 10-29-2010 at 11:52 PM.

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