Drum Automation Masterclass with David Glenn

Watch the Drum Automation Masterclass with David Glenn from YouTube here

Drum Automation Masterclass with David Glenn

Hey, what’s up, guys?

David Glenn for theproaudiofiles.com and davidglennrecording.com,
home of the free VIP mix training bundle.

If you haven’t done so, go check out davidglennrecording.com
and get on the list.

You’re going to get instant downloads of two
free sets of multi-tracks.

You can mix these, practice your mixing, use
them on your resume.

You just can’t sell them.

You’ve got a couple – not even a couple,
a bunch of impulse responses that come with

it.

Some free video training tutorial stuff, and
then it gets you on the list for a whole slew

of free content that will be coming your way.

But in today’s video, we’re going to be taking
a look at an overview of some drum automation

on a track I’m mixing.

It’s called “Won’t Stop Believing.”

It’s from a super talented producer friend
of mine, Victor Encarnacion.

He’s working with a church out of Chicago,
I believe it’s called Marinatha church in

Chicago.

Forgive me if I said that incorrectly, but
I just kind of want to walk through, because

we talk about mixing kick drums, mixing snares,
mixing with parallel compression, and the

drum crush, and all of this kind of stuff
that we’ve got going on with the drum tutorials.

I mean, it’s endless what you can search for
and find.

I haven’t seen too many about drum automation,
so I figured I’d kick it off, do some drum

automation tutorials, and kind of walk you
through this.

So anyways, first up, I want to take a look
at the kick.

Now these drums are programmed drums.

My buddy Vic, he’s a big Native Instruments
Komplete Ultimate user, and so I think he

used Modern Drummer in this song, and they
sounded okay, but I did make the decision

to replace the kick, and I replaced the snare
with beautiful samples from our friends over

at That Sound.

You can check out iwantthatsound.com.

Best drum samples in the business.

Pulling those in with Trigger.

Still, with replacing the drums, I still felt
like it needed a little bit more movement.

Even if you’ve got live kick and live snare,
and the drummer played awesome dynamics and

he’s got the builds going on, it still can
help to have some automation.

Especially once we get in compressing and
doing our thing.

So, here’s a look at this kick drum without
the automation.

Let me turn it off.

I guess I could play some of the song for
you guys, that would be beneficial.

Here’s a little snippet.

[song plays]

Okay, so we’ll look at another section here
in a minute, but you can see this kick, without

the automation – come over here and turn
it off – you’ll just see the stale, steady

placement of this kick drum.

Here it is.

[kick drum plays]

Okay.

Pretty boring, right?

So, let’s throw the automation back in while
in solo.

[kick drum plays, with automation]

Okay.

It’s a little crunchy right there, but I like
it.

It sounds good.

Actually, it’s programmed drums, so it’s really
easy to go in – I created a kick/snare flam.

I’m going to show you that.

And the snare is doing the same thing.

It’s kind of got the build.

Now, the snare originally came to me with
it in playing that whole section there, but

I made a creative decision to not let it build
the same with the kick, and I let it come

in half way through.

It’s kind of a glitch gone good.

The trigger didn’t catch the snares here,
because I didn’t lift them up, but I actually

liked what it did.

Let me play that for you, you can hear.

[song plays]

Cool.

And then the kick/snare flam stuff at the
end there.

I automated the kick up and the snare.

The second hit in this flam up.

[drums play]

Okay.

So, anyways, just showing off kind of the
build.

Get a little crescendo there from the kick
and snare.

Come out to the right a little bit more and
you can see a similar thing going on.

Let me pull them out of solo.

[song plays]

Pretty cool, right?

And I’m going to show you in a minute where
I do some drum buss automation that complements

this, but also, if you – in my course mixing
drums, check out mixingdrums.com, you’ll see

me do this quite a bit with Trigger is to
go in with clip gain.

You can see there I’ve automated the clip
gain so that those snares come into play a

little bit more.

You can see as you boost the clip gain – kind
of doing a funky curve there – now those

snares will be triggered appropriately by
Trigger.

So, moving on out, let’s go back to volume
automation.

Click over here.

You can see again, there was some clip gain
automation on this snare.

Then we’ve also got the build.

So I’ve gone throughout the song at the different
parts where the drums just felt a little stale,

and I just added some dynamics to them.

Especially here at the end.

Check this one out.

[song]

Pretty sweet, right?

Okay, so the kick and snare are self explanatory.

One more thing with the snare, you can see
here there’s a nice groove going on.

Okay, but the drummer does a snare fill, and
so out here…

You just barely feel that snare come up.

It just kind of comes up in your face.

It has a nice vibe to it.

Pulling it up just a little bit.

We’re at -1.3, and I’m going to pull it up
to -0.3.

So a dB, and it makes that big of a difference.

So kick and snare.

We talk about that a little bit.

Let’s see.

Moving on to the toms, this one was pretty
exciting.

I was talking to my buddy Joey.

He’s my mastering engineer, and I’ve got more
coming from Joey.

We’re going to do an interview here in the
next few weeks talking about some stuff that

we’ve been doing together.

But I was talking to him, and he was giving
me some pointers, he was listening to my mix,

kind of, “Hey, at 3:30, drop it 0.7 dB,
and at 1:40, do this,” and he was like,

“Hey, you know, I really love the toms,
but why don’t you do some of that Bob Horn,

Andrew Scheps drum automation, and just kind
of push it around and vibe to it?”He was

dead on.

So what I did, these were programmed toms,
let me show you the before and after of these.

I’ll click through and turn off my processing.

Here’s with no automation and no processing.

[toms play]

Okay.

So, not bad, but let’s get some stuff going
on here.

[toms with processing]

You gotta have these big toms, right?

So, we’ve got the processing going on.

You want to know about that, e-mail me.

David@davidglenn.com, or I walkthrough that
on Mixingdrums.com, so check that out.

But that still wasn’t good enough for me,
so I’m going to show you the automation.

If you zoom in, I’ve got this Presonus FaderPort.

I don’t know if you guys can see it.

There you go.

Presonus FaderPort.

This thing is awesome for pushing things around
and adding some movement to the mix.

So, you can see here I’ve done that manually.

You could have drawn this in, you can use
your mouse.

The Presonus FaderPort is a godsend.

That thing is amazing.

It’s only like, what, $150?

I got mine at sale.

It was at Sam Ash, a used thing for like $70.

Anyways, you can see, I’ve ridden these toms.

I got crazy processing, so they change the
sound quite a bit, but then, watch the difference

between off and on.

Here’s off.

[toms]

It’s one level, right?

Okay, now let’s put them in.

Just see the movement, and then beyond the
movement, I did what, 150 beats per minute?

I did like, a quarter note pulse.

[toms play with automation]

Okay.

But more importantly, check this out.

So in that vertical movement, I also created
a little bit of a dynamic between the sections.

So right there, if we average that out, we’re
at about what, +2dB or something like that?Watch

what happens when we transition out of the
intro into the verse.

[song plays]

So, the toms are still there, but we’ve backed
off a little bit and given a bit more room

for that lead vocal.

By the way, I have to mention, I was told
I can share this song, as long as I clarify,

this is a scratch vocal.

The vocals are being sent to me today.

The backgrounds, the lead, everything is scratch.

So there, I clarified it.

[laughs]

Then, listen – just give a little bit of
a lift at the end of the first section of

the first verse, we’re going to the B section.

[mix]

Just a little bit, right?

Then that builds again.

Here we go.

Get the toms on top.

And then big time.

Pretty sweet, right?

So I’ve done that throughout the entire song.

I’ve done that vertical movement, just to
get a bit of a random velocity type vibe,

but then also volume up and down throughout
the entire track, then out here, there was

one where it was pretty cool.

I did a little clip gain automation, but then
I’ve also got the volume cranked, because

the drummer’s just got this – the virtual
drummer – has just got this tiny click on

the toms, but it creates this cool resonance
with the processing that I’ve got, so I pulled

that up like crazy.

[song]

And you can feel those crescendos again with
the kick and snare.

I did the same thing for the toms there.

Okay, moving on from the toms, I’ve talked
about that enough.

The next bit of automation I’ve got going
on is from the Room Stereo.

Now, I love doing this, I do this on just
about every mix when I have drum rooms.

I’m trying to find, “Hey, what’s a sweet
level to kind of kick things off, or what’s

a good level on the chorus, but then let me
change that level between sections.”I’ve

done that here.

You go out of the intro, and I’m going to
solo this drum room.

Let me show a before and after real quick
of the processing.

[room plays]

Okay, then with the stuff on.

[room with processing]

A little darker, a little meatier, a little
fatter.

There’s the – my new favorite compressor,
the Plus 10 dB from David Bendeth.

This thing is incredible.

Smash it, hit it hard, it’s got the limiter
built in, so you can compress and limit.

I actually didn’t compress here, it’s 1:1.

I used the limiter and drove that pretty good,
and then brought in some of the dry signal.

I have VMR.

Slate just announced the whole update to VMR.

You’ve got the Lift and whatever the EQ was.

Some good additions, some more coming soon.

I took a little bit of the top out with the
SSL, filtered up to about 100Hz.

No compression on this, but a little bit of
Revival.

I can’t help but using Revival on just about
anything.

Then after that, I’ve filtered out some stuff
in there that was getting in the way of the

direct mic toms.

I felt like the mud from the – well, I call
it mud, but the stuff in the midrange from

1-3kHz even it looks like.

I just kind of felt that out and brought some
down.

Then Pi is on there from keeping the drums
in phase, but then check this out.

From section to section, here’s the toms stereo
mic coming out of this section into the verse.

[toms play]

Okay.

It’s subtle there, but check this out in the
mix.

It really makes a difference.

One more time.

Pretty cool, right?

So, it’s subtle, but then out here, we’re
going to lift it back up.

[song]

Then a crescendo.

Pretty sweet, right?

So, we’ve got that going on.

Next up, I want to take a look at – well,
I guess I can show you.

I’ve blended some samples from That Sound
for the cymbals.

What’s a good section to show that off…

Probably right here.

Not really automation as much as putting some
samples in, but let’s check out before and

after.

Here’s with no crash samples.

[song plays]

Okay.

So, the original overhead crashes, you know,
from the programmed drums, I thought they

sounded good, but I wanted to have a little
bit more sustain, and a little bit more action

on the left and the right, so I threw in a
left and a right crash, and then I sent it

to a Sunset Chamber.

Then I also sent it to a delay that I’ve got
that’s more like a crazy reverb type thing

going on.

So check this out right here.

[song]

Pretty sweet, right?

Cool.

And there’s some other automation for some
of the sections where I turn the big delay

on and off, but moving on from there, we’ve
got down here, I send the shells of the kit

– the kick, snare, toms – I send this
to a buss called “all drums.”

I treat those with a little bit of compression,
I’ve got the VMR on there, a Clariphonic.

Just doing some basic processing here.

Then I have the drum crush.

Kind of – man, years ago, I think it was
a Kenny Gioa tutorial where he had a parallel

1176.

That thing was even the Bomb Factory stock
Pro Tools 1176, and he would send the drums

to both a drum buss, and a parallel drum compression
buss, and he would smash it, blend it in to

taste, or the other way around.

I can’t remember how he used to do it.

But for the longest time, I ran with that.

Then I saw Dave Pensado, and he used a more
– at least, in the tutorial I saw – He

used parallel compression on the kick, and
then he used it on the snare independent of

just sending everything.

I’ve kind of taken that in my mix template.

I have the option to do it for just the kick
and just the snare, or toms or whatever, but

then I’ve also got a setup with the drum crush.

I watched the Bob Horn tutorial over at Pro
Studio Live.

It was a good time.

Some good stuff, and he used the Drum Crush.

I saw some cool stuff from him, and then also
Andrew Scheps had a tutorial with PureMix.

Hey, man, I’m teaching and doing my thing,
but I’m a student first.

I’m always watching these guys and what they’re
doing.

But, he had it setup with a dbx 160.

I went a little further and threw the UAD
Culture Vulture on there.

Pretty sweet preset, I can’t remember what
it was, but I dialed back the mix percentage

– I think it was like, crunchy drums or
something like that.

FabFilter Saturn would be great here.

All kinds of things you could throw on to
add a little bit of crunch to the drums, but

that’s blended in with the original signal.

I’m automating these as well.

So let’s take a look at that.

Here’s the first one where you’ve got some
stuff going on.

Check this out.

[song plays]

Pretty sweet, right?

So we’ve got that first hit that just smashes
the drums and the cymbals to start the breakdown,

and then they build, and I’m actually even
hearing that kick snare combo out here could

be a little bit more…

[song plays]

You know, what it is, that kick right there
is kind of an underlying – okay.

And let’s go kick, there…

Up, paste.

Then, I’m going to take this one out.

I don’t need that.

Then I’ll back it up to there.

There’s a gate on that, so I’m not worried
about that little…

Okay, then I’ll see what that sounds like.

[song]

Still felt like I needed a little bit more
from that kick, so I’m going to put a marker

there.

Just kind of trial and error to get this kick
to come forward a little bit more.

We’ll see what we can make happen here.

[music]

A little bit better.

We could probably use something maybe at the
buss.

So let’s come back down, take a look.

[music]

Pro Tools errors while I’m doing these videos.

Let’s put that on the grid, maybe bump it
up a little bit more.

[music]

Much chunkier.

So anyways.

[laughs] Writing automation to the all drums.

That’s throughout the song at a couple of
spots.

Let’s take one more look at this one.

[song]

Cool.

So just helping out that build a little bit
more.

There was a section where I automated the
Drum Crush a little bit.

Let’s check that out.

[song]

Nice, man.

Just little, subtle changes to help the mix
not just sit still, we also had this.

The high end is where the metal of the kick
goes.

Overheads, crashes, that kind of stuff.

Sometimes room mics, because I don’t necessarily
want the room mics to be compressed with the

drum buss.

Parallel compression.

I like to crush those independently and individually,
and then know what I’m getting from them.

So then, I’ll send those to high end as well
sometimes.

I’ve got a little lift here at the cymbals.

[mix]

Just a little bit of automation to help the
song kind of stand out.

Then a lot of times on the 2buss, I’ll automate
everything down a dB, then let the pre-chorus

come up half a dB, then let the chorus go
up back to zero – another half dB to create

some impact there.

But, I felt like the arrangement was so good
on this one, that it probably doesn’t need

that, but who knows.

I’m still mixing it, so we’ll see.

Anyways, I blabbed, a couple of rabbit trails
in there, but I hope you dig it.

Go check out mixingdrums.com if you want to
learn more on how I’m mixing drums.

This is a fun song.

This is going to be part of a mix contest
coming up, so if you’re interested in that,

stay tuned.

Keep your eyes peeled and join the list.

You’ll get updates.

Davidglennrecording.com, theproaudiofiles.com.

I hope you’re doing well, and I’ll talk to
you soon.

Thanks again.

Drum Automation Masterclass with David Glenn

Instant access to every in-depth mixing course from David Glenn: http://theproaudiofiles.com/members
Free mix training bundle: http://bit.ly/mixbundle
Mixing Drums: http://mixingdrums.com
Mixing with Reverb: http://mixingverb.com

Mixes that sit still are boring. Drums within mixes that sit still are even worse. In this video, Producer/Engineer David Glenn walks you through his process for creating excitement and adding dynamics to a set of programmed drums.

Transcript Excerpt:

Hey, what’s up, guys? David Glenn for theproaudiofiles.com and davidglennrecording.com, home of the free VIP mix training bundle. If you haven’t done so, go check out davidglennrecording.com and get on the list. You’re going to get instant downloads of two free sets of multi-tracks. You can mix these, practice your mixing, use them on your resume. You just can’t sell them.

You’ve got a couple – not even a couple, a bunch of impulse responses that come with it. Some free video training tutorial stuff, and then it gets you on the list for a whole slew of free content that will be coming your way.

But in today’s video, we’re going to be taking a look at an overview of some drum automation on a track I’m mixing. It’s called “Won’t Stop Believing.” It’s from a super talented producer friend of mine, Victor Encarnacion. He’s working with a church out of Chicago, I believe it’s called Marinatha church in Chicago.

Forgive me if I said that incorrectly, but I just kind of want to walk through, because we talk about mixing kick drums, mixing snares, mixing with parallel compression, and the drum crush, and all of this kind of stuff that we’ve got going on with the drum tutorials. I mean, it’s endless what you can search for and find.

I haven’t seen too many about drum automation, so I figured I’d kick it off, do some drum automation tutorials, and kind of walk you through this.

So anyways, first up, I want to take a look at the kick. Now these drums are programmed drums. My buddy Vic, he’s a big Native Instruments Komplete Ultimate user, and so I think he used Modern Drummer in this song, and they sounded okay, but I did make the decision to replace the kick, and I replaced the snare with beautiful samples from our friends over at That Sound. You can check out iwantthatsound.com. Best drum samples in the business.

Pulling those in with Trigger. Still, with replacing the drums, I still felt like it needed a little bit more movement. Even if you’ve got live kick and live snare, and the drummer played awesome dynamics and he’s got the builds going on, it still can help to have some automation. Especially once we get in compressing and doing our thing.

So, here’s a look at this kick drum without the automation. Let me turn it off. I guess I could play some of the song for you guys, that would be beneficial. Here’s a little snippet.

[mix playback]

Okay, so we’ll look at another section here in a minute, but you can see this kick, without the automation – come over here and turn it off – you’ll just see the stale, steady placement of this kick drum. Here it is.

[kick drum]

Okay. Pretty boring, right? So, let’s throw the automation back in while in solo.

[kick drum with automation]

Okay. It’s a little crunchy right there, but I like it. It sounds good. Actually, it’s programmed drums, so it’s really easy to go in – I created a kick/snare flam. I’m going to show you that.

And the snare is doing the same thing. It’s kind of got the build.

Now, the snare originally came to me with it in playing that whole section there, but I made a creative decision to not let it build the same with the kick, and I let it come in half way through. It’s kind of a glitch gone good. The trigger didn’t catch the snares here, because I didn’t lift them up, but I actually liked what it did. Let me play that for you, you can hear.

[truncated]

About The Pro Audio Files

Tutorials on mixing, mastering and producing music in Pro Tools with plugins from Waves, FabFilter, SoundToys, Softube, Sonnox, PSP, Slate Digital and more. Learn how to mix using EQ, compression and effects like reverb, delay, saturation and distortion on vocals, drums, guitar, bass and more.

Drum Automation Masterclass with David Glenn

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