Author Topic: Where do YOUR drums sit on the stereo field?  (Read 8218 times)

led

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Where do YOUR drums sit on the stereo field?
« on: August 24, 2016, 06:43:35 pm »
Where do YOUR drums sit on the stereo field? Super wide? Or not so much.

Mussar

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Re: Where do YOUR drums sit on the stereo field?
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2016, 07:47:48 pm »
Depends on if I'm going for a realistic drumkit or something more synthetic.

For realistic drumkits, I stick to the "traditional" mixing mindset where you pan the drums like a physical drumkit - kick is center, snare is slightly to the left of that, hi hats are slightly to the left of that, hi tom is between the snare and the kick drum, low tom is to the right of the kick drum, the floor tom is even further to the right, and then you have your ride cymbal on the right and a crash cymbal somewhere (traditionally on the left, above or next to the hi hat and hi tom). Then I'll decide if I want the listener's perspective to be up on stage with the band (so the drums would be panned the way I just mentioned) or in the crowd looking up at the band on stage (so the drums would be panned inverted to the way I just mentioned).

If I'm making some synthetic drum machine beat or something very unnatural in composition, the kick and snare tend to remain centered and mono, though elements of the snare might be processed to be wider. I play with the panning on hi hats a lot either manually through automation or with an autopanning effect - same with shakers, tambourines, and other percussion; otherwise they get pushed super wide (i tend to make liberal use of the haas effect, which might not be a good thing  ;D). Rides get panned and crash cymbals tend to get spread super wide, so they're kind of out of the way of everything and just tingling the edges of your ears.

As long as you don't have everything sitting on top of each other (no matter where they are in the stereo field) and your decisions follow a consistent pattern, you can pan things however you want. I've been listening to a lot of early 00's hardcore and post-hardcore lately and the way they mix their drums can get really crazy. On one record I was hearing  every element of the drumkit except for the kick and the snare hard panned left or right! In the context of the mix as a whole, however, it made sense.

attila

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Re: Where do YOUR drums sit on the stereo field?
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2016, 08:02:42 pm »
Here, there and everywhere. My drums usually comprise 30-40 tracks

Miles Dominic

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Re: Where do YOUR drums sit on the stereo field?
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2016, 07:25:12 am »
My kick is normally 100% mono. The snare will be mono under like 500-1000 hz and depending on the track I may stereo delay my clap  or stereo image it

Arktopolis

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Re: Where do YOUR drums sit on the stereo field?
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2016, 09:57:36 am »
Here, there and everywhere. My drums usually comprise 30-40 tracks

Damn! Terry Bozzio would be proud!  8)

I follow pretty much exactly the same formula as Mussar... In electronic stuff, kick and snare centered, hats and cymbals wherever they sound good. For example, I might have a hat groove with three samples, where two of them are panned hard to different sides, and one (fairly) centered sample plays quieter offbeat hits. When the side hats hit at the same time, you get a nice stereo effect, and alternating them makes the groove a bit more interesting.

Marrow Machines

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Re: Where do YOUR drums sit on the stereo field?
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2016, 11:35:04 am »
Depends on if I'm going for a realistic drumkit or something more synthetic.

For realistic drumkits, I stick to the "traditional" mixing mindset where you pan the drums like a physical drumkit - kick is center, snare is slightly to the left of that, hi hats are slightly to the left of that, hi tom is between the snare and the kick drum, low tom is to the right of the kick drum, the floor tom is even further to the right, and then you have your ride cymbal on the right and a crash cymbal somewhere (traditionally on the left, above or next to the hi hat and hi tom). Then I'll decide if I want the listener's perspective to be up on stage with the band (so the drums would be panned the way I just mentioned) or in the crowd looking up at the band on stage (so the drums would be panned inverted to the way I just mentioned).

If I'm making some synthetic drum machine beat or something very unnatural in composition, the kick and snare tend to remain centered and mono, though elements of the snare might be processed to be wider. I play with the panning on hi hats a lot either manually through automation or with an autopanning effect - same with shakers, tambourines, and other percussion; otherwise they get pushed super wide (i tend to make liberal use of the haas effect, which might not be a good thing  ;D). Rides get panned and crash cymbals tend to get spread super wide, so they're kind of out of the way of everything and just tingling the edges of your ears.

As long as you don't have everything sitting on top of each other (no matter where they are in the stereo field) and your decisions follow a consistent pattern, you can pan things however you want. I've been listening to a lot of early 00's hardcore and post-hardcore lately and the way they mix their drums can get really crazy. On one record I was hearing  every element of the drumkit except for the kick and the snare hard panned left or right! In the context of the mix as a whole, however, it made sense.


Tradition and experimentation.


My electronic drums typically have kick and snare mono, and my hi hats (open and closed)panned in the same sense of direction and area.

I rarely use toms, but but i tend to spread them out wider than what is suggested in the traditional way noted in the quote.

crash and rides are typically panned hard left and right respectively.

I layer up my drums, but it typically revolves around 3 layers kick, 3-4 for snare, 2 for cymbals
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Amrith

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Re: Where do YOUR drums sit on the stereo field?
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2016, 08:26:32 pm »
Here, there and everywhere. My drums usually comprise 30-40 tracks

Are you a magician? and if not can I get a rough explanation? I would be infinitely greatful.  ;D
Some emo kid couldn't start a band, so he picked up a computer instead. That's going pretty well.

attila

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Re: Where do YOUR drums sit on the stereo field?
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2016, 01:03:17 am »
Here, there and everywhere. My drums usually comprise 30-40 tracks

Are you a magician? and if not can I get a rough explanation? I would be infinitely greatful.  ;D
Yeah of course. So let's this track I'm about to track vocals for


What takes a lot of time for me on drums is the number of kits I have to design for any given song. I always have at least two-one really punchy acoustic and one full electronic kit.

First, I sequence all my drums in Battery on the acoustic kit to get the idea down. Then I split Battery into several channels to have more control over every sound individually. That'll usually be my first 10-15 tracks or so. After everything's split I'll always reinforce the acoustic drums with some electronic ones to fill it out a bit and give em dat pop sparkle (with additional harmonic excitement of course). Then I'll split off a couple extra channels to have control of overhead mics. It's admittedly kind of an old school approach. Usually this take me to 20-25 tracks.

Then I make my electronic kit like most others. Just sample hunting and finding what works. I have a lot of little percussive sounds and accidental shit that I pepper around. I come from 10 years of live drumming so it's a very obsessive approach for me. For example, the rim clicks that come in at 0:45 are 4-5 channels of rim samples that are all subtly messed with. There's just a lot of stuff like that throughout. The claps during the chorus are the same kind of situation. Honestly, this song was probably closer to the 50-60 track range for drums. Once you start chasing a believable acoustic drum sound with samples you have to pay really close attention to everything. You either get it right, or terribly, terribly wrong.

tldr; acoustic drums design with one shots is really time consuming to pull off convincingly and will bloat your project.

edit: also not to sound high and mighty, but if anyone actually wants a serious in depth explanation I'd be happy to talk one-on-one or like on a skype call or whatever
« Last Edit: October 03, 2016, 01:08:41 am by attila »

toughenough6

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Re: Where do YOUR drums sit on the stereo field?
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2016, 07:08:59 pm »
Kick is always mono for me, clap/snare is center but with some width, hats I tend to give some decent width and pan them around (Pancake is a good plugin, and keep in mind I'm not just putting them on one side I dynamically move them around), but then toms I generally put higher ones more left and lower ones more right, a little subtly but still noticeable. This way tom fills really move around the stereo field.

However I make edm (as I'd assume most of us do), where if you're mixing more realistic sounding drums you'd want to pan them according to a drum kit setup but that's been talked about in this thread already.

Marrow Machines

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Re: Where do YOUR drums sit on the stereo field?
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2016, 08:25:34 pm »
Kick is always mono for me, clap/snare is center but with some width, hats I tend to give some decent width and pan them around (Pancake is a good plugin, and keep in mind I'm not just putting them on one side I dynamically move them around), but then toms I generally put higher ones more left and lower ones more right, a little subtly but still noticeable. This way tom fills really move around the stereo field.

However I make edm (as I'd assume most of us do), where if you're mixing more realistic sounding drums you'd want to pan them according to a drum kit setup but that's been talked about in this thread already.

yea but you could always pan your electronic stuff like a real drum kit.

It really just comes down to what you want your "image" of the mix to be.

I'd just look into all the techniques available and see how things come across. But definitely, certain ideas work well with in a specific context.
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Paco Robles

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Re: Where do YOUR drums sit on the stereo field?
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2016, 06:21:02 pm »
I base their position loosely on how a real drum kit is laid out. It really depends on what you're trying to achieve.

6side

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Re: Where do YOUR drums sit on the stereo field?
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2016, 05:31:48 pm »
Depending on the feel .. I usually have a layered mono kick, as well as a stereo 808 hovering in the background. Snares and claps are usually mono with me, but I did experiment with Finger clicks in stereo and it sounds amazing. My Hats are usually stereo .. It all depends in my opinion .. like .. When I'm producing for a Dj I use a lot of stereo imaging, and L/R panning of things like precessions and hats .. But when I'm producing for Underground artists they like the drum sections mainly in Mono to create more of an authentic vinyl feel … It also depends on the kick itself. The golden rule is: One microphone was shoved into the kick drum, so, kicks should be in Mono … But that concept was bred when analog recording was the ONLY option .. You can do a lot to your drum sections with a lil' stereo imaging, some fattening plugins and such. With me though - I produce with a lot of synth, so, sometimes there's just TOO MUCH coming out of the Center with the synth, and bass, and a kick .. So I tend to stereo image kicks ..
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