Drums are unbalanced?

Hello everyone, still very new to cubase… I have a problem with my drum tracks. Upon recording tracks, it apears to sounds just fine…However I quickly realize that the cymbals (crash and ride) are too loud and the snare and kick too quite…so once i have guitar tracks, 95% of drums i hear is just crash… Has anyone else experienced this? And how to fix? The drum kit dose sound fine on it own by the way… Heres my setup

Yamaha dtx420k to Yamaha mg10xu to computer and cubase 7 (using audio track)

It’s possible that the guitar tracks are interfering with the drum tracks. You could try adding a high pass filter on the guitars to allow that kick space in the low end. As far as the snare drum, you could do a slight EQ cut where the snare centered but do the cut on the guitar track.

Maybe need some compression on the kick and snare. I often find that the kick, snare and toms need some compression to poke through.

I’m inferring that these are recorded live. How did you record the drums, i.e. how many mics and in what positions? That’s probably a good starting point.

Actually Foolomon, the drums are an electric kit (Yamaha DTX). thanks for all replies btw!

How did you record the drums? Each drum/ cymbal on a separate channel? If so, I guess you can use the mixer…

Also, route all drum tracks except kick drum to a group track and put some sweet compression over the drum group. To get the kick better coming through the drums, you can fiddle around with some side compression, driven by the kick, on the drum group.

The end result is what counts btw… you can do so many things with a mix, as long as it sounds right for you.

Do you have a drumkit VST? If so, I’d record the MIDI coming from the Yamaha set and have the VST render the audio. Usually the sound is better because it’s been treated with compression, EQ, etc.

Plus, you can then use the MIDI Transformer insert to separate out the drums into separate audio tracks. I prefer to have kick, snare, hi-hat, cymbals, and toms on separate audio tracks that are then routed into two group channels: one has a HPF (snare, hi-hat, and cymbals are sent here) and this one gets routed to the other group channel which also has the kick and toms sent to it.

Then you can EQ the individual tracks separately and the final group channel can also be treated with reverb or anything else you wish. The point is that you have a great degree of control over the drum sound to help avoid the EQ collisions that it sounds like you are having.

So the workflow would be:

  1. Play drums on kit and record to MIDI
  2. Insert Transformer on MIDI track and configure it to filter out all MIDI notes that aren’t the type you want to capture
  3. Solo and export the drum VST with Import on Audio Track checked
  4. Repeat 2 and 3 for all 5 drum track types
  5. Create two group channels (A and B)
  6. Route A to B and insert a HPF on A with a cutoff at 100Hz or thereabouts depending on how dense you want the sound
  7. Route kick and toms to B; route the snare, hi-hat and cymbals to A
  8. Insert a LPF on the individual hi-hat and cymbal tracks with a more gentle rolloff at about 2000Hz to reduce some of the sibilance. You may be able to use a de-esser as an alternative, but that may be too aggressive
  9. Insert reverb on B (if you aren’t using a more complicated reverb system like I’ve published before)

If you’re using Cubase 8 or higher, you may want to investigate the use of Magneto II on the channel strip for each of the 5 tracks along with the presets that come with Cubase. You’d be surprised what this does to brighten up the drums without making them sound brittle.

Hope this helps.

I very much appreciate the advice Vinnie and Foolomon!
Unfortunately im fairly new to this and understand less then half of these directions :laughing: curently i have my drums only on one track…didnt know i could split up into multiple…ei. Kick, snare. I guess what im asking if theres an easy way to dampen the crash and bring up the snare:)

If you’re recording the drums to 1 track, then no, not really. You can use EQ on that track to influence the balance a bit, but this is not as ideal as recording the different parts of the drumkit to separate tracks.
What I do (I have a DTX 750, which only has a stereo output like your drumkit), is recordin my playing on a MIDI track. The midi track is played back to the drumkit, but now I have full control of my playing so I can correct any mistakes easily. To achieve a multitrack recording of my drumkit, I usually record 5 tracks: kick, snare, hihat, cymbals and toms. So I play the part and record it in midi, correct any mistakes in the midi, and then mute all the midi notes except the ones you want to record, and repeat that 5 times, once for every track. Works a treat, but it’s fairly time consuming, especially if your song is long :wink:

However: in your case, I’d start by looking on your drumkit. I’m sure it has some options to change the relative volume of different voices. That should be easier and quicker to get the balance of your drumkit at least mostly right. Once you are really happy with the rest of your track you can always rerecord the separate parts of your drumkit from the midi if you want, for further mixing, but because that’s relatively time consuming I only do that after I’m sure the rest of the song will stay as it is. Whatever you do, I highly recommend you record your playing to MIDI instead of directly to audio. Midi gives you much more freedom for combining takes and correcting mistakes, and you can always play it back to the drumkit and get a perfect audio reproduction of your playing.

Another alternative, is record midi from your drumkit, and instead of playing that midi back to your drumkit, use it to trigger drumsamples in Groove Agent (which comes with Cubase) or any other drum plugin of your choosing. That gives you full control over every voice. That does of course mean that you can’t use your own drumkits’ sounds, so if you want them specifically you’ll have to sample them first… Which is even more time consuming, unless you intend to work like this very often.

Hi, good thread.

The new production grooves have some very nice routing set-ups and I’d recommend exploring some of those and then using similar set-ups for the kit you have. Of all the content updates that came with Pro 9, the Production Grooves have been a really good part of the package for me. I use the stock kits as templates for some of my own and like a few of them as is.

Groove Agent, even the basic SE version I use, is amazingly flexible in terms of routing the outputs. A single MIDI drum track with multiple instruments (a full kit) can be routed so that each sound corresponds to an outpurt bus (up to 16). One can then render each track for individual stems or the entire set of outputs may then be sent to one or more Group tracks. I’d recommend using GA in conjunction with the Yamaha kit if possible. If possible, assign the kit’s trigger pads to match notes in a GA “pre-wired” kit from Production Grooves. This might yield some very useful and interesting sounds.

By using Dissolve, By Pitch, you can take a full kit MIDI drum track and have Cubase automatically create individual MIDI tracks for each Pitch. It will take time to get used to all the routing going, but stick with it and you’ll find it becomes easier.Cubase is a high-end DAW and as such it does have a rather daunting learning curve. However, the effort in learning it will lead you to being able to make some great sounds.

Lastly, there’s the issue associated with mixing sounds of in very different frequency ranges. A drum kit has one one of the widest set of frequency ranges for the engineer to deal with. From deep bass drums and toms to high sizzling cymbals, to the challenges of the sharp transient peaks, which we love but can be very tricky to control, the drum kit is one of the most challenging of all the instruments to record well. So, some of the overly loud or overly quiet issues may have to do with the non-linear response of human hearing. Investigate the Equal Loudness Contour, which is also sometimes called by its older name, Fletcher-Munson curve. Monitoring at low levels, 90 dBSPL or less may help.

There’s some interesting worldflow ideas in the thread and I’d try to incorporate some of what’s been suggested and see how works out.

Good luck and, again, thanks to all for the posts.

This should have been what I mentioned first and I hope someone did. Your drum unit might be set-up to send a Fixed Velocity for some of the pads. This would result in some pads playing very loudly and others playing with less than full velocity. That you’ll have to find in the settings of the kit’s hardware.

Thanks guys! very appreciative of all your help!
I went into the kits hardware settings and changed some levels around fixing most of the issues…not perfect yet but getting there

Glad to hear things are working better for you. :slight_smile: