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Drum leveling help

Hey guys! Looking at you audio experts! I need help. I am new to recording and I need to know what you think of these levels I have set on my drums. There is one snare, one kick, one small tom, and one floor tom. Thanks. Im aiming for the best sound possible. I know my drum heads are old so dont mention anything about that. This is simply just a leveling I need help with.


  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,627Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    The toms sound pretty good, but I would bring up the floor tom relative to the rack tom. The cymbals are at a good level for the toms. The snare is at a good level, but I would try to get it a little more crisp on the high end, more snare snap, maybe a little less ringing. The kick needs the most work, and should be the most dominant in the mix. The kick sounds distant, but needs to be in your face. You may want to dampen it with a pillow or a blanket, but it really needs to be dominant and capable of being heard through a mix of other instruments, besides the other drums.

    So I would say get the kick sounding beefy and giant, and then bring in the other drums that are presently overpowering it. Kick and Snare need to be huge. Then if you can bring in giant toms that don't bury the kick, you'll be in good shape.

  • JoshBJoshB Posts: 100Pro
    Thanks Bob for the help. :)
  • JoshBJoshB Posts: 100Pro
    I know I was a little frustrated after a long day from meeting up with a guy on Kijiji for mics and then tuning drums and doing levels and scrambling for every last xlr I could find so I didnt want to talk about tuning. What can I do to make my drums sound better for the tuning of them? I know new skins would help hahaha
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,627Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    You've already said what would help. New GOOD heads. It depends on what sound you want. The toms sound pretty good already. I would focus on the Kick and snare, because they are the meat and potatoes of your recording sound. You probably want a clear head on the kick batter side. Maybe no head at all on the front. Blankets or pillow inside the kick and lay the mic inside... That's what I would do, anyway. Put the best-sounding mic you have on the kick. Experiment with how close to the batter head you place the mic. Sometimes you put it about an inch from where the beater hits. Other times you may prefer closer to the outside rim. See what you like. Also, try felt beaters vs hard plastic or wooden beaters on the kick pedal. You may like a pad where the beater hits, to get some more thud from the drum.

    If you have a compressor available, see what you can do with the kick and/or the snare and some thick compression.

    For the snare, I would recommend a white-coated ambassador head to get a little ring, but not too much. Try different tensions on the snare strainer. You might like it tight, or you might like a little bit of sustain by loosening the snare wires. You might even experiment with muffling the snare, and if you want more thump than ring on the toms, put some duct tape and pads of different sizes and thicknesses on the toms and see what you like and don't like. You might like some dampened drums with a little bit of reverb on them.

    Experiment, record, rinse and repeat. See what you can get out of the kit.


  • JoshBJoshB Posts: 100Pro
    Alright sounds good! :)
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