Academy Dashboard Forum Production Mixing Tuning Drums?

  • This topic has 2 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 2 years ago by Tim Hewitt.
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    Tim Hewitt

      How many of you tune your drums to the key of the song?  I've recently been reading about this technique, and it struck me as a little odd since my live-band days back in the 70s, where the drums were never tuned between different songs in different keys.  Is this just an artifact of mixing in the box, where we can do something so we do?  I just looked back on my most recent mix, and the kick was Eb where the song was in E...  I tuned the kick and could hear a difference, but I'm not sure it made the song better.

      Aaron C Willman

        Hey Tim,

        Not sure if you've seen this or not, but it may help:

        Rick Beato also has a video discussing this technique.

        I worked with a producer/engineer who liked to tune drums to the song. It's very subtle on the ears but makes for a tighter, more cohesive sound.

        Tim Hewitt

          Thank you, Aaron. First one to reply to any of my posts :). Thanks.

          I did end up tuning the drums. Since they were already recorded, I used Waves Torque to do so and it worked well.  One interesting side effect. The kick disappeared behind the bass after tuning.  I ended up side-chaining the kick and ducking the bass using Trackspacer (since I could easily control exactly what I wanted ducked) and this brought the kick back out.

          I do think the drums sound tighter this way for this song.  The client loved it.

          I did see the FAQ Friday post as well as Rick's videos on the subject.

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