How do I mix these drums? (project files included)

Hey forum,

I noticed that after reading a few books about mixing and mixing a few melody instruments I’m only capable of really “clean” and good recordings of standard instruments which I got as examples from the books…

Now I don’t know how to go on. I’ve got this drum track and I’m trying to make it “harder” and a bit more “heavy metal”. Thats a real problem and I know I’ll get statisfied because of the rather poor recordings.
Is it possible that you can give me some advices how to make this drum sound more direct and more like a basedrum (in Heavy Metal for Example)?

Here is an Ardourproject to download, its saved with version 2.1. (~70 MB, fast Server!) and some Facts:

-Its not a drum set, Its a big drum with 2 sides like this here:
-This is what I’ve got. I know there will be some advices like “Record it again” but I’m not able to do that myself :slight_smile:
-Its a stereo recording. Don’t know why.

Maybe you are so kind and help me how to use the LADSPA plugins or anything else.



The terms “harder” and “heavy metal” are a bit ambiguous. That can mean all kinds of things.

The best way to control how it is going to sound starts with mic placement, what type of mics you use, room characteristics, and to some degree what type of preamp you use.

I assume you want a close mic-ed sound, with a lot of punch to it. To make it sound more close mic-ed you can try compressing it. Compression tends to reduce perceived distance or field depth in a recording.

Next you might mess with the EQ. It sound like you want to raise the low end with a shelf between 60 and 120 Hz so it has more of the low end that you feel as much as you hear. Of course this depends if the mic and placement even picked up frequencies that low. You can’t adjust frequencies that aren’t there. Then you might pull down the stuff between 400 and 600 Hz to get rid of the muddy rumble. And then turn up the mid highs between 2k and 4k to enhance the attack or the “tap” sound and make it seem more punchy.

This type of drum also has a longer decay than a kick drum from a kit used in heavy metal, so you may also want to add a gate or expander to make it sound less boomy.

if you cannot re-record, compressor and EQ are your friends here :slight_smile: you have to judge with your ears. I hope you have good monitors for that (avoid headphones …).