low end lag in the kick drum

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low end lag in the kick drum

Post by permanent hearing damage » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:47 pm

so i've been pretty fond of the kick drum tones i've been getting these days, often involving quite a bump in the low end via UAD Pultec emulations. however, in some cases, the low end that i love that really makes it sound nice and round seems to lag a little bit too long and i'm curious if folks have suggestions on fighting it and tightening it up.

sometimes these things help, but not always:
backing off the low end boost - though this can make it sound comparatively anemic
grabbing the lows with a multi band comp after the EQ

how do you folks get rid of this if/when you encounter it?

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Post by digitaldrummer » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:56 pm

gate?
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Post by RoyMatthews » Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:20 pm

Is there a particular frequency that's resonating that could be notched out?
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Post by Theo_Karon » Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:30 pm

Start at the drum. Try muffling it more, tuning it differently, different head, different beater. Try a different drum, even. Then try moving the mic around. Then try a different mic. Do all of that stuff before trying to 'fix' the sound with processors. Get it to a point where it doesn't need to be fixed in the first place.

It seems like something is already weird if you're having to drastically boost low end to get enough - if there's a lot of low end in the kick drum you're recording, any reasonably suited mic close to the drum should be picking up a ton of it.

Also supplementing your close mic with a speaker mic for low end might help you get some crazy exaggerated lows if that's what you're after...

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Post by jgimbel » Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:10 pm

Personally I'm using cutting some low end out of kick more than boosting it, so I'm not sure what kind of setup you're using and I'm sure it's not exactly the same as here. But regardless as Theo said that's something pretty easily tamed right with the drum. But if for some reason that won't work for your situation, a plugin (or hardware) like the Transient Designer could be perfect for this. Not as extreme as a plugin but can lessen the sustain a bit. I use Cubase's Envelope Shaper which is the same idea, and I've sometimes lengthened the sustain of a drum a bit for more sparse tracks where a drum mic need to breathe a little more.
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Post by Mike's Mix Room » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:04 pm

That lag happens when you do those big Pultec boosts mostly because you are accentuating a resonance in the drum that exists at the boost frequency. It's not as noticeable in the drum until you boost it, obviously, but it's still there. You can certainly muffle the drum a bit more but I would move the mic around first (as Theo said). There is always enough low end in a kick drum that is not over-muffled, you just have to capture it properly. Over-muffling effectively decreases the volume of the cylinder (er...the drum) which raises the lowest possible frequency that the drum will produce. Nobody wants that.

I do encounter this type of problem when I am mixing other's tracks that were not well recorded. That's the only time that I resort to more extreme boosts and cuts to achieve something suitable for the mix. There's nothing like using tons of EQ to point out all of the problems with the source or the mic placement. Woohoo!

I also agree with the last post when it comes to using the Transient Designer to gain some control over the situation. They're great for allowing you to get the exaggerated low freq boost from a Pultec while keeping the sustain/decay under control.

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Post by Theo_Karon » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:05 pm

Nice first post!

Yeah, TD is an excellent tool... you can take it pretty far without sounding manipulated or 'weird.' Definitely worth a shot.

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Post by cale w » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:23 pm

I do that same Pultec thing and get the same low end tail. I just gate it out. Really fast attack, and set the threshold and release just so and you can control the sustain however you want :) Yeah, a well-prepared and well recorded kick shouldn't take drastic processing to attain a "good" sound, but there's a million reasons why one might find themselves tweaking it out with drastic processing. Sometimes that Pultec lump hits just right...

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Post by Gregg Juke » Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:09 pm

Welcome Mike (as in "Mix Room"), +1 on the "post evaluation."

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Post by Mike's Mix Room » Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:28 pm

Thanks Greg. Happy to be here.

I look around here now and then but don't usually feel compelled to comment. This post, however, sounded too familiar! I should try and participate a bit more, huh?

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Post by permanent hearing damage » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:04 am

Thanks, folks.

I guess I always discount gates because I only owned terrible hardware ones. That might do the trick.

Perhaps it is worth noting that these big low end boosts are usually when shooting for a somewhat hyper-real kick that seems pretty common on hardcore and metal recordings. I've never managed to get that happening without a good amount of EQ. I can come a little close if I have an LDC in the mix with a pretty steep low pass, but it doesn't get me to the same place. Maybe a subkick would do the trick?

As for transient shaping, I have tried Dominion on occasion, but it never seems to knock down the lag enough if I reduce the sustain. Maybe I'm crazy?

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:07 pm

Mike's Mix Room wrote:I should try and participate a bit more, huh?
please do!

phd, what frequency range are you usually boosting?

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Post by LowG » Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:37 pm

There's a "transient designer" type thing in izotope Alloy too. If you check out demo videos of it on drums it can tighten or loosen stuff pretty nicely.

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Post by drumsound » Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:35 pm

Occam's Razor: the simples answer is often the right one.

Sometimes its as simple as turn up the lows and turn down the fader a tad.

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Post by permanent hearing damage » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:09 pm

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:
Mike's Mix Room wrote:I should try and participate a bit more, huh?
please do!

phd, what frequency range are you usually boosting?
30 Hz, according to the knob, with a relatively wide bandwidth.

I've tried the other freq points on the outlet but they rarely do the trick the way 30 does. Fortunately, I don't always have this dragging.

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