Boomy bass drum track????

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by mindseye, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. mindseye

    mindseye Member

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    Ok Guys and Gals is there a way to cut off some of the boomyness of a bass drum track????
    It has a real nice initial sound to it but with a boomy decay to it, almost like an 808 bd.

    EQ, Compression, limiter????

    Any help would be awesome!!!!
     
  2. bmorelli

    bmorelli Member

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  3. jammybastard

    jammybastard "I'm losing my edge, but I was there..."

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  4. UnderTheGroove

    UnderTheGroove Supporting Member

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    Use an EQ to find the frequency that sounds boomy and take that frequency down in level. First, turn down the volume on your monitors so they don't get damaged. You can set a narrow Q on a parametric EQ and boost (yes, boost it for now) and sweep up and down the low to low-mid frequency range until you find the frequency (or frequencies) that are causing the problem.

    Also, make sure it's not a room mode issue. Try moving around the room as you listen to the playback and see if you still hear the boominess as you move around.
     
  5. mike80

    mike80 Member

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    I don't know if it's the best advice, but since you said the attack is okay, just not the decay, you could try a gate on it, and set it to close shortly after the attack.
     
  6. elambo

    elambo Member

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    Is the kick boomy all the time or only when it's competing with bass guitar or some other low end instrument?

    If it's not a constant problem, you might consider eq'ing the other competing instrument(s) and let the kick stay intact.

    If it's always boomy, go with eq. Compression is always thrown out as a repair device but it can give you more trouble than it can fix in this case. This is an issue of accentuated frequencies and eq can make it right. If you decide that you have to compress, make sure it comes AFTER the eq. This is very important.

    If it's 808 or 909 boom that you're hearing, you're talking about very low frequencies, like 40 to 100 Hz. Start low, sweep higher until you're eq is most effective without killing the sound of the kick otherwise.

    Also, make sure that it's not a problem with your room. EVERY room has rising and falling low frequencies throughout the whole spectrum - these are nearly impossible to fix. Check a similar type of song from a popular artist in the same genre whose sound you'd consider great (sonically speaking, not the material itself) -- if their mix has the same low end problem, it's not you but the room.
     
  7. elambo

    elambo Member

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    Unfortunately, that would only hide the problem, not fix it.

    The decay of a kick usually has different (lower) frequencies than the initial attack, which would explain why you like the attack, not the decay. The attack has the primary sound of the kick with the mallet hitting the skin, and the decay has the vibrations. Higher frequencies will dissipate in the room faster whereas the low stuff hangs around for a bit. It also vibrates other parts of the kit and other things in the room.
     
  8. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

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    High pass filter...you'd be surprised how much low frequency content you don't need for a full sounding kick drum. Start with the filter around 30hz and sweep up until you eliminate the subsonic rumble. Then compress the track to get a little more punch.
     
  9. Jan Folkson

    Jan Folkson Member

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    There's a great box by SPL called the Transient Designer and there are several plugs that try to achieve the same result. Reducing the sustain will help temper the boominess. Combine with EQ for taste.

    I often use it to bring out attack on bass or make kicks less ringy and more punchy.
     
  10. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

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    Is it a track your trying to fix or is this an ongoing thing? How and where was it recorded? If it's an ongoing project, start with the drum and make sure it's tuned and sounding as good as possible with a damper of some sort in the drum. There are other tricks for bass drums. But if your just trying to fix one track thats already been recorded, i'd think EQ is about all you can look at besides replacing it. I'd think compression will only bring out more of whats there already.
     
  11. mindseye

    mindseye Member

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    Thanks for all the input guys!!!, just about got it sounding good!
    You guys are the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  12. kludge

    kludge The droid you're looking for

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    It helps to make sure your sound is happening BEFORE you ever commit to it. Do soundchecks and listen carefully. You can retune the drum, move mics around, move drums around the room (VERY important for bass drums and low toms), anything you can to make sure you're getting a good drum sound from the start. It's a lot easier and more fun to make a good sound great than to make a bad sound tolerable!
     
  13. JamminJeff

    JamminJeff Member

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    Removing what is already there is much harder than taking the time to get it right before recording. I mean this respectfully. It take time and experience to track drums. They are noisy bastards when it comes down to it.

    Compression might make it worse and limiting is not the solution. Try using different eq's, plugs or outboard, and experiment with shelving and bandpass filtering.

    Your goal is to remove something post tracking but when you remove something, it often changes something else.

    If you want to get brave, re-fire the kick signal against the batter side using a monitor, no eq. Keep it pure. This will allow you to address mic placement, internal dampening, etc. The floor and room where the tracking takes place plays a HUGE part with a kick drum. It's an art form in and of itself.

    Kicks and Snares are muthas at times.
     
  14. kludge

    kludge The droid you're looking for

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    Kicks and snares and cymbals, too. Man, drum kits are a PAIN to record! Between room nodes screwing with your kick, and reflections screwing with the cymbals, and snares rattling at the slightest noise... ugh. It's a pretty straightforward exercise to get at least a decent sound out of a guitar, but if you don't put real effort into the drums, they are gonna sound like crap.

    I DREAM of the day I get a truly SLAMMING drum sound in my studio. But as is, my next major investments in recording quality aren't mics or plug-ins or whatever. I'm investing in a big bass trap in the corner behind the drums, reflection control for the walls beside, and a ceiling cloud above. Get the room around the drums under control!

    I'm also thinking of doing at least a couple of the drum tracks for upcoming songs totally in mono - one microphone for the whole kit. I've been listening to songs that did that lately, and it can sound really good, with the kit in mono panned hard to one side and enough interesting stuff to balance it in the other.

    And at least I won't spend hours on end wrestling phase headaches causing weak kicks and fuzzy-sounding cymbals.
     

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