Mixing Bass Drum with other instruments

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Mixing Bass Drum with other instruments

Postby drumweezer » Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:04 am

Hey folks! I have been recording the past two weeks my band. Currently, I'm using a Digidesign 001 (got it off of ebay used) and for drums am using Nady drum mics. Not the best quality drum mics, but all I could afford at the time. When placing the bass drum mic, I placed it about 2 to 3 inches away from the bass drum head. I wanted to get more of a slap sound rather than a boom sound. The bass drum, after Eqing and a little compression, sounds great! However, I have been having a hard time mixing it with the rest of the instruments. It seems to get overshadowed once the guitar is mixed into the song. Does anybody have any suggestions? I would certainly appreciate it!
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Mixing Bass Drum with other instruments

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Re: Mixing Bass Drum with other instruments

Postby earldrum » Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:26 am

Hi Drumweezer:

Here are few things to try to get the Kick to fit better mix in the mix. Please note these are starting points (rule of thunmbs) and would change to a degree when I am listening to the track to mix. Using a Parametric EQ in your DAW do the following:

1) Roll off the lowend on the E GTR and/or A GTRs at about 150 Hz. You may need to roll off the low-end up to 300 Hz or more depending on what you hear. The Low end frequency is not as important to the sound of the Guitar when mixed with the drums and bass.
2) Decrease the kick frequencies between 200 Hz and 500 Hz. Gentle cruve maybe -3 dB - -12 dB. This will help the snare and other instruments to to sit in the track better. You may do a similar EQ to the bass guitar as well. Use your ears.
3) Increase peak/notch the Kick drum EQ at 3 kHz from +3dB - +10 dB
4) Roll off the lowend from 50 Hz on the Kick drum
5) Boost the kick +3 dB - +10 dB around 80 Hz

Remember these are starting points and may not work at the exact frequencies I mentioned, but should get you to see how these frequencies can muddy up a mix.


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Re: Mixing Bass Drum with other instruments

Postby Alan_ » Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:56 am

good suggestions on the eq above. I've always thought it important when mixing to remember that you have a finite amount of space to fill with sound, and if you want more of something, you will have to compromise by having less of something else.

if you're looking for more punch, I would also suggest trying a wood or plastic beater over a felt one.
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Re: Mixing Bass Drum with other instruments

Postby drumweezer » Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:31 pm

Hey earldrum!

Thanks for the advice! It really helped! Sorry it took me awhile to respond back. I have been mixing for the past two 1/2 weeks and am absolutely exhausted!

Alan, I was actually using a rubber tama beater when I first started recording, but started having problems with the beater, so I went back to felt halfway through (kind of funny huh?) After listening to it, I actually like the felt sound more than the rubber. Sounds a little more snappy to me than the rubber.

Thanks guys for your help!
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Re: Mixing Bass Drum with other instruments

Postby drumur » Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:02 pm

This is the first thing I thought. I usually put a High Pass filter on the guitar at around 200-250Hz. Also, panning helps. Both of these things help to give the instrument it's own space.


for the kick drum
First, use a mic designed for the frequencies of a kick drum.
...at around 430Hz, I would cut to your own taste. This frequency tend to sound boxy.
Also a boost at around 4k will bring out the click.
At around 60Hz is where you get the boom.

I would start by getting the best sound you can on the drums first. Then bring in the bass. Then the other instruments. Compression helps too. Then increase the make-up gain.


I always compress the master and boost the make-up gain.
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Re: Mixing Bass Drum with other instruments

Postby dedrummervanrolf » Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:10 pm

A very simple EQ trick I use a lot when to instruments don't fit well with each other is to filter (cut) frequencies that you boost in the other (and vice versa). It doesn't always work, but very often it does; when two instruments are fighting for your attention, it's because they have similar salient frequencies: cut select frequencies in one and boost them in the other.
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Re: Mixing Bass Drum with other instruments

Postby AmnestysLowEnd » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:24 pm

Alan_ wrote:good suggestions on the eq above. I've always thought it important when mixing to remember that you have a finite amount of space to fill with sound, and if you want more of something, you will have to compromise by having less of something else.

if you're looking for more punch, I would also suggest trying a wood or plastic beater over a felt one.

THIS!!!!! Think of a mix as a cup, the more of one freq. you add without subtracting else wear the quicker it will fill up.

You should also decide very early on what you want to drive the song, the bass or the bass drum. They tend to fight for the same space sonically especially with a 5 string bass/low tuned bass. You need to use your ears to decide whats best for the song, don't think as a drummer when mixing. Think about the end result.
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Re: Mixing Bass Drum with other instruments

Postby DrummerJase » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:04 am

If you want a more clicky sound, the best place to mic is inside the drum, pointing towards the beater. Especially if you have an unported front head, micing from infront of the drum is a way to get maximum 'boom'.

If you roll along an EQ with a sharp Q on the kick channel, you'll find a place where the attack of the bass drum is most noticable. You can put small cuts on other instruments in a similar sort of range to give your attack a little space.

Lots of folks use Drumagog-type programs to boost their kicks as well. Some folks don't like it, but if your goal is to get a great sound I think it's a good tool. I often set up a couple channels of drumagog on my kick, and have different samples on each. For example one to focus on the body of the note, with the other perhaps EQ'd to be basically ALL attack. That means you can adjust the amount of each to taste.

Jus' my 2 cents :)
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