How to Mix Drum Loops ft. UAD2 Cambridge EQ, UAD2 1176 Rev A UA1176LN Rev 3, Waves CLA76, UAD2 EMT 140

What’s up guys. I’ve got something new for you, I’ve got something a little different.

I’m going to look at processing a drum loop. EQing, compressing, I’m going to show you a whole thing. Effects. I’ve got an industrial kind of rock sounding track, and yeah. Let’s just get into it.

This is what the track sounds like. Listen to a little bit of it.

[mix]

Alright. A lot of stuff going on. Really we’re just going to look at these top four tracks. Solo these.

[drums]

Alright. So that’s the end result. Let me turn some stuff off back here. Okay, so this is the main loop. This is where it started at.

[drums, raw]

A little tubby sounding for me.

[drums, raw]

Again, we’ve got like, two bass tracks in this song, so we don’t really need a lot of low end coming off this thing.

I used the Cambridge EQ from UAD2. We’ve got some high pass filtering here. 60Hz or so, twelve dB per octave.

[drums]

Let’s just turn these off.

So here’s what our high pass filter on and off sounds like.

[drums, with and without high pass filtering]

Gets rid of that boom.

Then we have a stereo kind of rimshot track as well, and the snare drum on this one is kind of tubby sounding as well.

[drums]

Kind of boxy sounding.

[drums]

Pulled out a little 280.

[drums]

Right. And then this hi-hat — I’m going to compress after this, so this hi-hat is going to get real bright. I kind of pulled out a little 1.5kHz. This is pretty subtle.

[drums]

At this stage, it makes a little more of a difference once we compress.

So that’s the EQ on it. This is what our compressor is doing. UAD2 Rev A compressor. It sounds awesome.

[drums with 1176]

Going for kind of a punchy sound. Eight to one, all the way left on attack, all the way right on the release.

[drums]

Five dB of gain reduction or so.

[drums]

Makes it a little more punchy sounding.

Then we sent it to a little parallel compression.

[drums with parallel compression]

Which just makes it dense as fuck.

[drums]

A little louder.

[drums]

It just makes it a little more dominating, you know?

I’m using a CLA-76.

[drums]

Twelve to one, you can see the settings.

[drums]

So very important.

The stereo room track sounds like this.

[drum room]

That’s the raw. I compressed it.

[drum room with compression]

It’s got that — I wanted to bring up that reverb tail that’s on the sample.

[drum room with compression and without]

That’s without it.

Right. Medium attack, quick release, which we’ve got twelve to one.

[drum room]

A lot of compression going on.

Send that to our parallel compression track as well.

[drum room with parallel compression]

That with the drum loop.

[drums]

Right. Then we’ve got a couple of crash cymbals here, which basically, you’re just doing some high passing to 80. Then we’ve got our distortion, because again, just wanted to kind of crunch some stuff.

[cymbals]

Sent them to some room verb as well.

[cymbals with reverb]

Let’s see… Here we go.

[cymbals]

Here’s without.

[cymbals]

Kind of blah. Make them a little more angry sounding.

[cymbals]

It fits the song a little better.

[drums]

These are not being compressed. Well, the distortion plug-in is compressing them. That’s kind of what distortion does.

But as far as 1176s or anything, nothing like that going on. No parallel compression on them.

On a drum buss, I just have a limiter for safety’s sake, really. It’s not really doing anything. Then I sent it to some drum verb. This EMT 140 plate, which sounds awesome.

[drums with EMT 140]

Which totally brings it alive.

Here it is in the track.

[mix]

So there you go. I hope this helps you out.

Again, with the loop, with loops, you kind of have to be careful. A lot of this EQing, I do a lot of subtractive EQ. Again, if you start boosting stuff, you’re boosting everything in that loop, so you kind of have to be careful. I usually take things out in order to get the sounds I want.

Usually, I may boost 10kHz, 5kHz, 12kHz, 8kHz, something like that with a Pultec or a regular EQ or a Maag EQ, but this was already pretty bright. Then once I compressed it, it just got a little more intense up there, so if anything, I’d dial back a little 1.5kHz.

So maybe keep that in mind, but I’d look at high-passing, cutting out some mud, some boxiness, stuff like that.

Hope this helps you out, and helps you with drum loops. Try this out on your own stuff. Will definitely help you make stuff bigger and angrier sounding. Clearer sounding, work better with your track, and that’s all I’ve got.

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Mixnotes

Mixnotes

Mixnotes is a YouTube channel with tutorials on mixing, recording, business, plugins and more. We've partnered with them to feature some of their videos on The Pro Audio Files.
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