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Thread: to Add or Subtract?

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    Codeseven is offline Senior Member
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    to Add or Subtract?

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    When recording drums is it generally the goal to subtly add Eq and Effects, ie add more lows to the bass or is it to subtract from the sounds, ie lows from the cymbals to get the desired sound? Once your kit is correctly tuned and your room is correct acoustically shouldn't, generally speaking, the goal be to capture the great sound of your kit and only make subtle use of EQ and Effects?

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    Dogbreath's Avatar
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    Ideally, you wouldn't need to add or subtract.

    But in my case , I add or subtract as much as I need to get the mix to sit well together.
    Sometimes it's adding a skosh of bottom to my kick and scoop the mids, at times cutting the bottom outta cymbals.
    Whatever it takes.

    which usually means me getting another drummer.

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    Codeseven is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks Dog.

    I know when I first started messing around with recording I wanted to use all the cool bells and whistles so I would generally only add Reverb, Compression, High's and Lows . But it seems I read allot of 'less is more' like just subtracting things such as lows from cymbals and highs from bass's with just subtle amounts of Comp. & Reverb. Relying more on a well tuned kit and properly conditioned room as opposed to using allot of EQ and Effects to mold what you have into a decent sound.

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    Yeah, it is whatever the song needs. I occasionally boost the hell out of a tight area around 90HZ on a kick drum. Usually not. It just depends on what the kit needs for any particular tune.
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    mixsit is offline Been Here, Posted That
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    Quote Originally Posted by Codeseven View Post
    Thanks Dog.

    I know when I first started messing around with recording I wanted to use all the cool bells and whistles so I would generally only add Reverb, Compression, High's and Lows . But it seems I read allot of 'less is more' like just subtracting things such as lows from cymbals and highs from bass's with just subtle amounts of Comp. & Reverb. Relying more on a well tuned kit and properly conditioned room as opposed to using allot of EQ and Effects to mold what you have into a decent sound.
    The question -er answer? would seem to revolve around- Go your best effort to setup/play/track towards your best guess as to what might be needed.
    That's your first shot. Then, windage, elevation.
    A little? A lot? How many more shots before you nail it?
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    The reason to subtract is there is only so much space in the sound spectrum. When more than one instrument hit the same frequency, the sound is added (volume). Certain instruments don't need the entire spectrum, just a part of it, so you use EQ to subtract all the unnecessary frequencies. I add only occasionally, when I need something in the vocal or guitar, bass etc. to power a frequency.

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    If you're having to boost lows in the kick, your drum might not be tuned right or have the right mic placement, or even the right mic. In my experience, that's one drum that don't need no low end enhancement.
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    Codeseven is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks guys. I'll remember that about the bass Greg.

    Wash, thanks for explaining it that way. Now I understand 'why' to subtract sound.

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    Another way that I was taught when to cut or boost: cut when you want something to sound better, boost when you want something to sound different.

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    Codeseven is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Potsy24 View Post
    Another way that I was taught when to cut or boost: cut when you want something to sound better, boost when you want something to sound different.
    Interesting, thanks Potsy.

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