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Mixing the drums

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Mike151, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. Mike151


    Dec 22, 2008
    Sherman Texas
    We recently purchased some really nice subs for our PA.
    Our sound board just has the basic eq knobs on it.
    Since making this change, I've noticed that the drums are walking on my bass frequency quite a bit. Can someone make some suggestions on how to EQ the drums (kick and toms mainly) so that they don't cover up my bass so much? :confused:
  2. kalle74


    Aug 27, 2004
    first, give us something to work with, please...

    "basic eq knobs"...

    tone pot (deep/bright)? 2-band shelving? 3-band w/sweep mid? 4-band semi-parametric? 5-band parametric w/LPF? all basic...

    second, depends...

    are the problems frequency-related (drums and bass colliding in the low freqs? mids?) or are the drum heads humming/possibly feeding back and rumbling via the subs (in this case it could be tuning matter)?
  3. yamaha


    Apr 7, 2006
    I would first add a touch of mids if you scoop your bass tone. Also, changing tone of the drums is next to impossible (IMO). It's hard enough to get a good tone from the kick and floors, even harder to keep a good tone while changing the voicing. I have played with many drummers, miked or not, and never really had this problem. Even if the frequency is sometimes similar, the quality of a bass note compared to the hit of a drum is, in my ears, very different, and easy to distinguish.

    I don't think I've helped you much. Sorry.
  4. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    i don't know techy stuff but the kick drum (and maybe floor tom) should sit under your bass freqs, in their lower register.

    for live work with both kick and floortom, try and get a nice combination of full lows and smack-ey high mids. i guess you could try scooping them a bit around this?

    you (bassist) should be in the mid/low mids, and not the bass frequencies. ironically enough.

    *waits for someone who actually knows about this to tell him off*
  5. Mike151


    Dec 22, 2008
    Sherman Texas
    Here's what we're currently using.
  6. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Are your new subs active or passive? What are you using to manage cross-over duties? Do you know the cross-over freequency and slope you're using?

    What are you feeding to the sub(s)? Bass drum? bass? What else?

    If you aren't utilizing all of your mixer's aux-outs for separate monitor mixes, you might want to use one for aux-fed subs; that's what I'm doing, and it works very well.
  7. Mike151


    Dec 22, 2008
    Sherman Texas
    Passive subs.
    2 power amps (one running the subs bridged mode and one for the mains and monitors)
    To be quite honest, I'm kind of out of my area of understanding when it comes to all of this so I hesitate to throw the wrong answer out there for a couple of your questions. Apparently, I need to learn some basics about live sound systems. I don't necessarily need to learn but I would like to be able to contribute something to our overall sound.
  8. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    If you don't have a dedicated sound person, you at least will have to spend a few rehearsals getting things tuned up.

    1. Set the mixer up out in the room for the process.

    2. Record a bass track for several songs and patch that into your bass amp. Have the band play along with it. (This will be a challenge; they're going to have to really listen.) You could play from the mix position, but you'd constantly be stopping and starting; you'd never get more than a few bars of true listening.

    3. Now spend some time at the mix position trying to make things work. You'll never be able to do it from the stage. Rewind the bass track and keep trying till you get it to sound right.

    If you can hire a good sound person for a few hours to help with the process, it will be well spent.
  9. nixdad


    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    I agree with knumbskull. Don't try to compete for the bottom with the kickdrum. Low-mids is where your bass will sit above the kick, but will be below the high-mid guitars and below the sizzle of the cymbals. You'll also find that this is where your bass tone will kick you in the chest, and where it will carry in most rooms.

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