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Author Topic: Dealing with inconsistent tom hits  (Read 2956 times)

Offline adoucette

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Dealing with inconsistent tom hits
« on: July 19, 2012, 04:05:57 pm »
I'm mixing a project right now where the drummer is very fast and likes to do circular fills at 148BPM, he manages but I find that the hits on the toms are inconsistent, making it virtually impossible to expand or compress properly as the trigger points are all over the place. I'll use samples for layering resonance or something but I prefer to still use the original tom track for at least the attack. I'm finding myself cutting and cleaning every tom, fading them out, normalizing than each hit to say -8db. This creates a consistent input for my channel strip, but I wonder, IS THERE A SIMPLER WAY OF DOING THIS MASSIVELY ANNOYING AND TIME CONSUMING TASK?

Thanks :))

Been awhile since I've posted. Feels good to be back in the group. Love this forum!

Offline Fletcher

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Re: Dealing with inconsistent tom hits
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2012, 10:21:12 am »
Dealing with drums being played at 148 bpm at anytime generally sucks... unless the drummer is absolutely amazing, which is pretty rare as pretty much all of the amazing drummers I know find that stuff played at 148 bpm generally doesn't pay as well as stuff that comes in between 90 & 120 bpm.

Hopefully you're billing for this tedious pain in the arse by the hour... that thought [I'm getting paid for this shit] should help to mitigate the tedium of this kind of work... but that's about the only positive I could conjure at the moment.

Many moons ago I worked with a band that liked to play that fast and were really serious about their music.  We made the decision to set up all the instruments so they were tuned a half step lower, then slowed down the tape machine by a half step as well.  We laid a "click track" at regular speed so when the tape was slowed the band had a click track to help them hold tempo.  The net result was a much tighter performance and far fewer inaccurate tom hits. 

I have no idea how to do this with a DAW but I'm sure its possible... and it certainly isn't relevant to your current situation... but if you end up recording this stuff, and have a band that is amenable to giving it a shot... it did indeed help get the performances tighter [organically - the performance still felt like a performance rather than the "grid accurate" / "beat detective" / elastic audio" stiffer than a shirt with too much starch bullshit].

Best of luck mate... sounds like you're gonna need it.

Peace
CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

Offline John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Dealing with inconsistent tom hits
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2012, 12:28:03 pm »
The old tricks are the best, but it can get interesting if they try to perform physically impossible studio enhanced licks live...

JR
Circular Science     http://RESOTUNE.COM

"tune it or don't play it..."

Offline trondned

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Re: Dealing with inconsistent tom hits
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2012, 03:21:02 am »
Great tip, Fletcher!
It is absolutely possible in ProTools using elastic audio in varispeed mode. Engage Varispeed on all tracks (ticks-mode). Lower the tempo to your preference, record, and bring the tempo back up.

I sometimes use this trick for backing vocals (when I have to sing all parts myself) to get to the higher notes without pushing too much. Really helps getting those airy voices high up there as opposed to the pushed male falsetto. It can also give a great ABBA-ish sound to the backing-vocals, or Prince/Camille-vibe (Like on U got the look).

Would love to try it on a full band, though. Should make a really tight drum-sound as well.

Offline Fletcher

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Re: Dealing with inconsistent tom hits
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2012, 09:56:35 am »
The only bitch of doing it with backing vocals is you have to be really careful that it doesn't come out sounding like "The Chipmunks" were the backing singers...  :)
CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

Offline trondned

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Re: Dealing with inconsistent tom hits
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2012, 01:21:13 pm »
Hehe. True.
I usually do it on the highest part, and I also record a non-pitced version (more "power-falsetto" to be able to reach the high notes). No more than a whole-note pitch-shift. I blend in the pitched voices underneath the "power-falsetto".

The idea is to give a "richer" quality than the "one-man-choir" you usually hear these days.


By the way... Anyone have the number for the Chipmunks' agent?

Offline Fletcher

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Re: Dealing with inconsistent tom hits
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2012, 08:36:19 pm »
Hehe. True.
I usually do it on the highest part, and I also record a non-pitced version (more "power-falsetto" to be able to reach the high notes).

Interesting thought... do you have an example you can post?  I'm just curious as I'm having a difficult time [lack of imagination] hearing this concept in my head.

Peace
CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

Offline trondned

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Re: Dealing with inconsistent tom hits
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2012, 07:09:46 pm »
Patience. I'm having a couple of crazy weeks  :o Will post examples soon.