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Thread: Drum Compression Settings?

  1. #1
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    Drum Compression Settings?

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    What kind of music do you create and what kind of compression to you use on your drums (ratios, etc) and why?

    I did a little search on the FP archives and it seems like it wouldnt hurt to bring it up again, see if anything fresh comes out of it.

    Personally, I am still experimenting with the settings for compression, so I don't have a lot to add at this point.
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    There really isn't a right or wrong on this. Add compression and fiddle about to you find something that you find something that sounds good. If it ssounds good use it.

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    Originally posted by keano
    There really isn't a right or wrong on this. Add compression and fiddle about to you find something that you find something that sounds good. If it ssounds good use it.

    Exactly. For every song or project, its going to be different. Just play with it til you get something that sounds good.
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    thas my philos, if it sounds good then use

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    I agree with the others, but since you specifically said you were looking for tips, you can try the New York Compression trick. A little history; NY compression was created supposedly because studios in NY were generally in small spaces. (not talking about recent times, years ago) and producers were upset because they said the drums were coming out to thin or small sounding. So they created this to fatten up, or widen the sound of the drums. Because of its hard use of compression it also made the drums real punchy and aggressive.

    To do so: (DAW style)
    Buss the drums (assumed that each drum is tracked out separately) to 2 separate stereo tracks. Giving you 2 stereo tracks of drums with the same input. (PT users 2 st “Aux” tracks) If your drums are already on a stereo track then you would only have to use a send to 1 extra stereo track. Even if you have the drums tracked out, the routing is not gospel you could do it your own way just as long as you have a copied track of the same drum input. 1 of the stereo tracks your going to leave untouched. If you’re a PT user and you used the output of each track and just bussed it to the two ST channels, then you would leave that first channel at full through, or unity gain.

    On the second channel add a stereo compressor, and hit it pretty hard. At least a -10dB reduction, the ratio you can play with, but I use 4:1. Then add an EQ to the compressed channel. On the EQ add a pretty good amount of high end (6-10dB of 10k or so) and low end. (6-10dB at 100Hz or so)

    After the compression and EQ you can bring that channel up in the mix, “to taste” but it should be at a lower level than the dry track (whatever level you might have that at) to get the desired effect. You ideally want to bring the wet track up until it’s tucked just under the dry track, where you can just hear it. Then the rhythm section should sound bigger and more controlled without sounding overly compressed.

    Hope this helps you.
    Same principles work in a console environment, you just buss to unused channels as apposed to DAW channels.
    Last edited by dfltchra; 02-15-2008 at 01:28 AM.

  6. #6
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    It's always different... but a basic "compression guidline" to begin messin round with for drums would be a 5ms or so attack, 10ms or so release, with a hard setting..

    Again, it's always different.
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