Distortion On Drums?

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Distortion On Drums?

Postby Alan » Wed May 25, 2005 10:35 pm

I have sent a copy of my own Cd to the mastering/mixing studio ( over here in W.A.) to a well respected and credited engineer of whom I know personally enough for some honest feedback ( and home truths ) on the progress of my mixes.
I was encouraged by his response, but he said some of my songs would benefit from having some distortion applied to my very pristine drums and sometimes smashy cymbals. Distortion on guitars and, at times, vocals is something I've done lots of, but to the drums is new to me and he explained it as follows:
Take the stereo busse of the whole drum kit, feed it through some tube distortion, then compress it, using fast attack and release settings, and carefully mix this new, distorted and pumping track under the original drum track keeping a close eye on phasing. I've tried this and, Wohhhh, pretty wild!
This process was apparently used quite heavily on Beck's "Overlay" album.
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Postby Adam Dempsey » Thu May 26, 2005 12:00 pm

"Odelay" ;)

Yeah, not a new trick - crunch to taste. Check out much of Radiohead's stuff.
Fast compression attack on drums easily kills its power (transients) & chokes the life out of it, but as an effect, mixed beneath the more open dynamics can be great - on a good kit!

It's more creating the impression of big-ness/overdrive/power, rather than the distortion itself or making it as loud as poss. Likewise in a really good room acoustically, blending in plenty of overcompressed drum room sound - generally not too bright - can be equally huge.

Mark and others can add to this, maybe some specific examples you were really pleased with?
- drummer having withdrawal symptoms..
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Postby mattfell » Thu May 26, 2005 4:33 pm

love distortion on drums.......sometimes

- on the bottom snr track, wind off tops, distort to taste. can sound like a cool, scratchy loop
- put it over the drum mix on the middle 8 or whatever to create an impact
- put it on the snare for a section of the song for something different

but don't listen to me. listen to any record that tchad blake's recorded. brilliant stuff!
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Postby everglass » Sat May 28, 2005 8:17 pm

What can you use to create this "dsitortion"?
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Postby Martinez » Sat May 28, 2005 10:48 pm

Digital clipping of corse!

MMmmmmmmmmmm.......sounds great.
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