EQing Drums

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bingefellerbingefeller Frets: 5438
edited April 29 in Studio & Recording
I'm wondering, when you have a ready mixed drum kit, like with EZ Drummer 2, how do you go about EQing that to sit better with your other instruments?  

Do you EQ the instance of EZDrummer as a complete instrument, or do you split the snare, cymbals, kicks etc on to separate tracks and EQ it that way?

I use Logic Pro X.


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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 756
    I don't use EZ Drummer 2, but I have a bunch of other drums VSTi's. I mainly use Addictive Drums.

    I usually put the drums out to separate tracks in Reaper, so I can use a common bus reverb that I use in the other instruments, and tend not to use the reverbs in AD2. I find using a common bus reverb helps to make the various instruments sound like they're in the same space, unless I'm going for certain effects with the reverb.

    Putting the drums on separate tracks in Reaper allows me to vary the amount of bus reverb on the various kit pieces. For example, the kick is generally quite dry compared to the snare and toms.

    I do the actual EQ'ing within the AD2 VSTi, which allows the kit pieces to be EQ'd separately.

    It's not a competition.
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  • bingefellerbingefeller Frets: 5438
    I don't use EZ Drummer 2, but I have a bunch of other drums VSTi's. I mainly use Addictive Drums.

    I usually put the drums out to separate tracks in Reaper, so I can use a common bus reverb that I use in the other instruments, and tend not to use the reverbs in AD2. I find using a common bus reverb helps to make the various instruments sound like they're in the same space, unless I'm going for certain effects with the reverb.

    Putting the drums on separate tracks in Reaper allows me to vary the amount of bus reverb on the various kit pieces. For example, the kick is generally quite dry compared to the snare and toms.

    I do the actual EQ'ing within the AD2 VSTi, which allows the kit pieces to be EQ'd separately.

    So you split each kit piece then?  Do you have a preset EQ for each kit piece?
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 18479
    This is what I do with real drums:

    Kick:
    Kick mics get summed together on a bus.
    A bit of corrective EQ on each kick mic.
    The Kick bus is EQ'ed and compressed and bussed to a master drum bus.

    Snare:
    Snare mics get sent to a Slate Tigger 2 instantiation and a replacement snare is blended with the originals.
    Snare mics + trigger get bussed, corrective EQ and compression on the bus.
    Waves L2 or Elevate limiter put on snare bus.
    I am looking for a lot of 'splat' from the snare.

    Toms:
    Toms get eq'ed individually and bussed to a Tom bus.
    Tom bus has EQ and compression.

    OH's:
    OH's get bussed together to an OH Bus.
    OH Bus has EQ and compression on it.

    Room mics:
    Room mics get bussed together and slammed with a Distressor or API2500.
    Sometimes I use an EQ but not often.

    Then all the busses (Kick, Snare, Toms, OH, Rooms) are blended together.
    I like kick and snare up and the room mics quite low (because they are slammed).

    I use very little reverb, maybe a bit on snare, because the slammed room mics will give you a nice roomy sound that is better than reverb.
    I am the juice of four limes.
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  • bingefellerbingefeller Frets: 5438
    @octatonic why do you replace your snare?  Are you using a sample?



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  • bingefellerbingefeller Frets: 5438
    This video helped me setting up the multi output:


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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 18479
    edited April 29
    @octatonic why do you replace your snare?  Are you using a sample?
    I don't replace, I augment.
    There is something of the original snare in there but I use some sounds that I captured at a very good studio a few years ago.
    It isn't a commercial sample library.

    Really the key thing is crushing the room mic, often I use a single mono room about 2m from the kit.
    With a Distressor I might get 20db of gain reduction, quick attack, slow release.
    It sounds amazing.
    I am the juice of four limes.
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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 756
    I don't use EZ Drummer 2, but I have a bunch of other drums VSTi's. I mainly use Addictive Drums.

    I usually put the drums out to separate tracks in Reaper, so I can use a common bus reverb that I use in the other instruments, and tend not to use the reverbs in AD2. I find using a common bus reverb helps to make the various instruments sound like they're in the same space, unless I'm going for certain effects with the reverb.

    Putting the drums on separate tracks in Reaper allows me to vary the amount of bus reverb on the various kit pieces. For example, the kick is generally quite dry compared to the snare and toms.

    I do the actual EQ'ing within the AD2 VSTi, which allows the kit pieces to be EQ'd separately.

    So you split each kit piece then?  Do you have a preset EQ for each kit piece?

    I generally listen to preset sounds in AD2, (or whatever other drums VSTi I choose to use) until I find something in the general area of what I like. For me, the drum sound has a major effect on the mood/style of the piece. After that I usually remove the reverb from within the drum VSTi and split the sounds into separate tracks so I can use a bus reverb as described earlier.

    I usually tweak the settings in the drum VSTi so the individual kit pieces work in the track. That's not only EQ but also the other kit piece settings in AD2.

    It's not a competition.
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  • bingefellerbingefeller Frets: 5438
    I don't use EZ Drummer 2, but I have a bunch of other drums VSTi's. I mainly use Addictive Drums.

    I usually put the drums out to separate tracks in Reaper, so I can use a common bus reverb that I use in the other instruments, and tend not to use the reverbs in AD2. I find using a common bus reverb helps to make the various instruments sound like they're in the same space, unless I'm going for certain effects with the reverb.

    Putting the drums on separate tracks in Reaper allows me to vary the amount of bus reverb on the various kit pieces. For example, the kick is generally quite dry compared to the snare and toms.

    I do the actual EQ'ing within the AD2 VSTi, which allows the kit pieces to be EQ'd separately.

    So you split each kit piece then?  Do you have a preset EQ for each kit piece?

    I generally listen to preset sounds in AD2, (or whatever other drums VSTi I choose to use) until I find something in the general area of what I like. For me, the drum sound has a major effect on the mood/style of the piece. After that I usually remove the reverb from within the drum VSTi and split the sounds into separate tracks so I can use a bus reverb as described earlier.

    I usually tweak the settings in the drum VSTi so the individual kit pieces work in the track. That's not only EQ but also the other kit piece settings in AD2.

    Cheers man.
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  • CirrusCirrus Frets: 3520
    I tend to start at the bus and work backwards. I also mostly record my own kits/ performances, so I don't really know how relevant my experience will be. If the kits are already "mixed" (or, pre-processed would probably be a better term)... I'd probably spend quite a lot of time looking for the right samples that already pretty much work for the sound I'm after. Reason being, it's easier than fighting against EQ/ Compression that's already been applied.

    I'd probably still split the kit out onto separate tracks, because typically I'll want to send different balances of the kit to different busses - The whole lot to the drum bus, obviously, but then if I wanted a parallel distortion or a hyper-compression bus, I might well want a different kit balance going there or to only send certain elements.

    As far as EQ... again, having tracks split out at the start just makes things easier, no matter what you plan on doing. EQ'ing the drums on the bus is a nice way of shaping the whole kit together (EQ shifts phase, so if the high end of the kit sounds nice, tight and snappy but you want slightly more of it, +2dB of high shelf on the bus will maintain that snap better than +2dB on just the overheads, for example). On the other hand, if there are boingy resonances on the close mics, deal with them on the individual tracks because quite often the same frequencies on the overheads/ room mics are quite tasty.
    Captain Horizon (my old band);
    Very (!) Occasional Blog
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  • flying_pieflying_pie Frets: 423
    I don't use EZ Drummer but use MT Power drum kit 2 which is supposedly "mix ready" samples. It apparently can split the kit to different tracks but I haven't explored that function. I have a saved EQ which I think shapes the low end, boosts the overheads and subtracts harsh higher frequencies and a little compression/reverb on the whole kit. 

    I'm trying to concentrate more on writing (including composing drum tracks) and getting better at multitracking guitars, and less on messing around with sliders.

    To me the drums sound "OK" but I'd be grateful for any honest feedback based on my ROTM/comp challenge submissions as to whether I should learn to process the kit more.


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  • bingefellerbingefeller Frets: 5438
    I don't use EZ Drummer but use MT Power drum kit 2 which is supposedly "mix ready" samples. It apparently can split the kit to different tracks but I haven't explored that function. I have a saved EQ which I think shapes the low end, boosts the overheads and subtracts harsh higher frequencies and a little compression/reverb on the whole kit. 

    I'm trying to concentrate more on writing (including composing drum tracks) and getting better at multitracking guitars, and less on messing around with sliders.

    To me the drums sound "OK" but I'd be grateful for any honest feedback based on my ROTM/comp challenge submissions as to whether I should learn to process the kit more.


    Yes me too, I would like to get more into writing riffs, creating drums etc.  I've widdled long enough.
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  • bingefellerbingefeller Frets: 5438
    edited April 30
    Well, I was experimenting with drums and managed to get the multitrack drums working for me.  I also added a little reverb, compression and noise gate, via a bus, to the snare and I'm getting closer to the sound I'm after:

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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 18479
    If you are using Logic then send me your logic session and I'll show you how I would approach it slightly differently.
    Not saying you haven't done a good job but there are a couple of tricks that might help.
    I am the juice of four limes.
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  • FezFez Frets: 200
    I have a template in Ez drummer with the drums split into separate tracks. I use it for serious stuff but I don't bother if I am just knocking up a quick demo. I have ez mix which has some good eq chains for individual drums.
    Don't touch that dial.
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  • bingefellerbingefeller Frets: 5438
    Fez said:
    I have a template in Ez drummer with the drums split into separate tracks. I use it for serious stuff but I don't bother if I am just knocking up a quick demo. I have ez mix which has some good eq chains for individual drums.
    How did you automate this is EZ Drummer?  What DAW do yo uuse?
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  • flying_pieflying_pie Frets: 423
    @bingefeller I'm sure there will be templates available to download on forums. Since my last post I found a template for my drum plugin on Reaper and have been using it. It makes a subtle but big difference having greater ability to tweak each part. Having used out a few times is not too time consuming. 

    I'd also point out that the most useful information I found was a tutorial by Nolly off of Periphery, which pointed out that is important to use the velocity setting to get the sound you want and ignore the volume.  Don't think of it as playing a real kit but as a means to get the best from the samples.

    For example too hard on the kick can cause it to sound short and weak whereas overheads might benefit from being walloped. Snare can be hit fairly hard as can toms. Once you have the sound you want you can adjust the volume for each part.
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