Drum tuning refers to all aspects of optimising the sound of a particular drum kit. Generally, the word tuning is used to refer to the setup and optimisation of any system (we can tune an engine, an algorithm and a musical instrument!). So, drum tuning refers to everything you can do to optimise a drum kit’s sound, from applying just the right amount of tension to each of the … [Read more...] about What is drum tuning? – Everything You Need To Know
There is much debate about high-resolution audio and it's a topic that some the world's most esteemed audio engineers disagree on. Many argue that high sample rate recordings sound better than standard resolution audio recordings, whereas others claim that the pure mathematical theories of digital-signal-processing show there is no benefit to sampling audio at frequencies above … [Read more...] about High-Resolution Audio: How True is your Playback?
In this article we unpick the key concepts relating to musical frequencies, and link these to the tuning of musical instruments and the creation of music, focusing particularly on drums and drumheads too. We cover all aspects of musical frequencies relating to notes on the piano keyboard and the intervals between notes. We also take a look at the concepts of the ‘equal … [Read more...] about Ultimate Guide to Musical Frequencies
Comb filtering is often a challenging subject to cover and understand, but its effects are significant when recording and mixing, so it is very much a topic that is worth learning about both theoretically and with respect to experiencing how sounds change when they are subject to comb filtering. Before discussing comb filtering in detail, we should first recap on the concept of … [Read more...] about What is Comb Filtering?
Drum replacement might be considered to be an advanced mixing technique, but, in reality, drum replacement can be quite simple to implement with the correct tools and approach. In this article we look specifically at the best approaches to drum replacement, and ask when to use drum replacement and how drum replacement can be implemented in DAWs such as Logic, Pro Tools and … [Read more...] about Mixing Drums with Drum Replacement
Recording drums is one of the most exciting days in the recording studio! Getting the drums tracked right can have a huge positive impact on the rest of the project, so it’s worth putting in some thought into what drum recording setup to use long before the session starts. But with so many drums, cymbals, bar chimes (etc!) in the kit, and so many different types of sound to … [Read more...] about How Many Mics do you Need for Recording Drums?
Drums are somewhat defined by the fact that they generate extremely dynamic and transient sound waveforms. As such, dynamics processing tools are fundamental to controlling and enhancing drum recordings in the mix. In many respects, the volume fader is the simplest form of dynamic processing tool, allowing us to manually adjust the amplitude levels of a track. We can either set … [Read more...] about Track, Bus and Parallel Compression for Mixing Drums
In this post we explore how to mix drums and a guide to understanding drum frequencies. One of the most commonly used mix tools is the equaliser (EQ), which allows us to manipulate the volume of different aspects of an audio waveform’s frequency spectrum. Beware, the equaliser is rarely used in mixing for making things “equal”, though! That was its original intended … [Read more...] about Mixing Drums? Know your drum frequencies!
It’s true, drum tuning can be quite daunting for a new drummer. It takes a number of years for most drummers to develop the required understanding and hearing skills in order to tune drums without help. Many drummers, even those with lots of professional experience, find drum tuning a challenge, and find it difficult to understand what changes in the setup or tuning will … [Read more...] about How to Tune Drums?
Drums are one of the most challenging instruments to tune, because they have so many different components which all affect the overall sound – a drumhead has 5, 6, 8 or 10 tuning lugs, doubled up on both the batter and resonant sides. Not to mention that each drum in the kit deserves to be tuned to its own particular pitch, so that drum rolls and phrases sound stylistic and … [Read more...] about The Best Drum Tuning Tips: How To Master Drum Sound
It’s a good question, but one most experienced drummers will be very aware of the numerous answers to. Drums and drummers often receive a hard time from other musicians, because they are so ‘straight-forward’ in comparison to many instruments – you just hit them and they make a noise! But, actually, drums are much more difficult to tune than a guitar or violin, for example. … [Read more...] about 1. Why Bother with Drum Tuning?
Drums generate sound through vibration, but what actually is vibration, how does that relate to the sound we hear when a drum is hit, and what does that have to do with drum tuning?Let’s start at the beginning… vibration is quantified by the number of times something moves backwards and forwards in a single second, i.e. its frequency. The measurement unit for vibration … [Read more...] about 2. Drumhead Vibration and the Science of Sound!
‘Cylindrical drums’ are those us drummers are most used to playing – cylindrical shells with two drumheads, one on each of the batter and resonant sides. No matter how they are tuned, all cylindrical drums have a sonic ‘pitch’, which basically means the frequency which the drum vibrates at and which we hear with the most prominence. If you make the drumhead tighter the pitch … [Read more...] about 3. Tuning the Pitch of a Cylindrical Drum
Lug tuning is sometimes called 'equalizing the drumhead' or 'clearing the drumhead' and ensures that the tuning is even at every point around the perimeter of the drum. We often evaluate this at each of the lug positions around the drumhead, and make adjustments with the tension rods that connect the hoop and drumhead to the lugs and the drum shell. Accurate lug tuning is … [Read more...] about 4. Lug Tuning and Clearing/Equalizing the Drumhead