Drum Mixing and Mastering

I’m trying to find the best way of mixing and mastering a drum kit. Unfortunately the house system that I’m having to use, all the drums are grouped in one channel. So when I’m doing the post production I’m having problems compressing the drums and I’m trying to get the best sound I can using EQ and the dual filter. Can you recommend any effects that can help thicken the drums especially the kick drum and make it sound more natural. What would be great is if I could run it through some kind of drum simulator a little bit like the the amplifier simulators for guitars and bass.


So the drum mix is a single (mono) channel? or a single stereo channel? no matter I suppose as the whole kit is already mixed down and you need to try and target the kik.

This will be a problem, a couple of things come to mind. This little plug in can be great on drums http://www.stillwellaudio.com/?page_id=18 is mucks about with the attack and sustain. Also passing the whole kit through a good short live room reverb before compression can help. Try Reverence on one of the live room type impulses, nothing to big.

I’m not a fan of multi band compressors but in this case it may also help to be able to compress specific frequencies to try and target the kik and bring out any life thats there.

Always try to look for whats good in the sound and bring that out and when using compression on drums a slow attack and fast release is a good place to start.

Also, Parallel compression can be good too, squash the hell out of the drums (watch for too much cymbal and eq down if needed) then blend into un-squashed drums to taste.

bump: heres some tips:

  • side chain overheads to snare at 200hz
  • eq snare with boost at fundamental frequency (~200hz)
  • remove mids from kick
  • high pass cymbals
  • remove mids and boost top end for toms

Bit hard when all the drums are mixed to one channel!