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Your compression should preserve the character of them, not destroy it. The funny thing is, everybody wants to compress their drums… I try my hardest not to! The transients of the drums are out of control and need to be tamed. Personally in my own music production projects, I do not compress kick drums often in the mix because compressing it can reduce its power during the mastering stage. There’s not enough transient in the drums, or there’s not enough tone for my liking. The kick drum big three: boom, smack, click. The clean drum loop with no compression applied. One thing to note is that these time settings do have certain side effects (short attack time on a kick drum can reduce the low-end, etc.) On kicks and snares I hardly reach for compression at all unless one of these situations occurs: 1. Setting up parallel compression on drums is really that easy. Start by trying a few of these eq and compressor settings and tweak them in to suit your specific starting drum sound and desired results. Suggested Compression Settings for Kick. Good mixes need ups and downs in energy in order to be pleasing to the listener’s ear. Insert a compressor and an EQ on your stereo bus (this works in hardware and software), squash the drums, boost the highs at 10kHz, lows at 80Hz (leave everything else flat) and send the bus output into two open channels of your mixer. This is the same compression as used above, but with a fast attack. Here is the same drum loop processed with the standard Apple Logic compressor with a variety of settings. Compression can be a great tool to achieve your desired balance, especially with drums. 3.) A good way to use stereo bus compression is when you route drum tracks to a stereo bus (not the main L+R) to create a submix. Set compression ratio to around 4:1 2.) The best compression settings for your mix. Opto compression with a slow attack and release, 6:1 ratio and a very low threshold. These are three key elements that can be used to describe the sound of a kick drum. However if you need to compress kick drums, below are the suggestions: 1.) Set attack time to 70ms (e.g. You can use this technique on ANY instrument including vocals, bass, electric guitars, whatever! I shot a video and posted it below so you could see and hear how I set this up on my drum tracks. First off: a good rule of thumb for compression is “do no harm.” Remember those transients you just learned about? 75ms) … We’ve looked at three different ways we can affect the sound of a drum hit via the time settings on a compressor. This is the classic drum pumping sound. 2. All you need in your home studio is a four band eq to start shaping the kick drum sound of your dreams! Set release time to 100ms.


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