Waves Plugins That Will Bring Your Drum Mixes to Life

Waves have been a staple in the audio community because they launched the Q10 Paragraphic Equalizer in 1992. It changed into the primary commercially to be had recording plugin that went directly to spark a virtual revolution it is nevertheless taking location to this day. Waves have on account that emerges as synonymous with digital audio and mixing “in-the-container.”

Today we’re taking a examine some of their most iconic plugins—all faithfully performed emulations of traditional studio hardware—and how they allow you to obtain a killer drum sound. We’ll be the usage of the Scheps seventy-three, an SSL E-Channel Strip, the dbx-a hundred and sixty compressors, API 2500 compressor, the InPhase segment corrector, and the PuigTec EQ to deliver this consultation to life.

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Waves’ SSL E-Channel Strip—modeled after the authentic filter and EQ strip on SSL’s 4000 series recording consoles—is extraordinary at getting rid of extra drum bleed. By using the plugin’s noise-gate, we’ve set slower attack instances to permit the low-stop of the kick to bypass through and speedy launch times to keep it tight and punchy. Try to time the discharge of the gate to the pace of the kick sample.

You can listen how a good deal cleaner this makes our kick demo tracks in our first playlist below, which also consists of our isolated “kick sub” track, where we have treated the kick drum’s sub-harmonic frequencies. We used the E-Channel Strip’s excessive-skip clear out to get rid of the bottom sub frequencies. While each song you blend may be distinct, this is a good way to go away area at the bottom of the frequency spectrum for an extremely low bass guitar or synth sound.

Since this particular track is a little heavier, we used the strip’s EQ to hype the highs and lows and scoop the mids. For this particular song, we wound up boosting with a bell around 90Hz, creating a large, huge-Q reduce around 450Hz and adding a widespread boost with a high-shelf around 8kHz.

Next, we pulled up the dbx-a hundred and sixty compressors for a little greater punch, applying between 5dB to 10dB of gain reduction at a 4:1 ratio, in addition to 10dB to twenty dB at a ∞:1 ratio in parallel. (Check out our basics of compression guide in case you want a little extra steerage here.)

Snare Drum: InPhase, SSL E-Channel Strip, dbx-160
Since this session includes mics at the pinnacle of the snare drum and one snare backside mic, step one must be checking the segment courting. InPhase through Waves helps you to reveal waveforms and make changes to accurate for segment problems. Thankfully, Glenn is a terrific engineer, so all three tracks of these tracks were already in-section and did not require any modifications—but checking any comparable multiple-mic’d drum is easy with InPhase.

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Next, we unfolded the SSL E-Channel Strip once more and removed any excess drum bleed the usage of the noise-gate. Snares have much less low-quit and longer tails than kick drums, so we used a quicker attack time and slower release time.

To dial-inside the timbre of the snare the use of the EQ section, we started out by rolling off any needless low-end with the high-skip filter. Rock snares tend to have a meaty bottom-stop, so apply a slight improvement to the low-mids the usage of a bell. Next, permit’s scoop out some of the midranges with a hefty cut around 500Hz.

To carry out the snap and “sizzle” of the snare, try a beneficiant raise using a shelf around 10kHz. If you’re nevertheless now not getting the assault you need from the snare, try a mild increase with a bell around 3kHz to 5kHz.

Next, we used the compressor to help manipulate the dynamics of the snare and upload a little nap while we are at it. We’re aiming for 3dB to 6 dB of advantage discount at a ratio around four:1. Slower attack times allow extra impact, even as faster attack instances can help tighten up a performance. Release times must be set to the tempo of the song, with quicker times including greater “punch” and slower instances including extra sustain.

Finally, for a little extra “oomph,” we could send the snare channels to a dbx-a hundred and sixty for some parallel compression. Just like final time, we’ll use a ratio of ∞:1 to apply 10db to 20 dB of gain discount and mix it into the flavor.

Toms: SSL E-Channel Strip, dbx-160
Toms can be virtually difficult to document well. They generally tend to sound muddy and seize a variety of bleed. Some tracks are downright unusable—in which case you may want to update them with samples. If you pass that course it’s critical to ensure the samples are in song with the unique kit. Torque with the aid of Waves is the perfect tool for dialing for your drums. Thankfully, Glenn did an awesome job recording this session, so there is no want for samples.

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To start, we loaded up our SSL E-Channel Strip and eliminated the drum bleed using the gate. We took a comparable technique to what we did with the snare, the usage of a fast assault and sluggish release.

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