How To Improve The Sound Of Your Drums | Advice from Janus Rasmussen
The drums are one of the most essential parts of a song and so it is important to make the drums sound lively and catchy to keep the song interesting. In this article, we’ll go over the tips Janus Rasmussen shares with us in his “Make CRAZY drums with these tips” youtube video.
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In Rasmussen’s video, he’ll show you 7 cutting edge tips on how to make your drums better and lively, using only the sounds of Ableton. We’ll go over the tips below.
Note: Janus uses Ableton for video, but all of the tips can be applied in any DAW.
Tip 1 (kick)
Rasmussen starts off with a regular 606 kick that looks pretty weak from the start, then he adds an Ableton “Drum bus” plugin which allows to put a little analog character on the 606 while also shortening the decay of the kick.
Tip 2 (kick)
This trick also includes the 606 kick, but this time it duplicates the kick signal and shortens the decay to 1/8 bar. This time the kick works like a tom between the regular kick pattern to give the track some groove.
Tip 3 (Shaker)
Shakers are something that can really create an atmosphere that “things are alive” in a song. Rasmussen shows how he creates the movement of his shakers using an LFO that is assigned a release time of the vocoder, using auto panning, EQ, and reverb to create a different and constant movement.
Tip 4 (Claps / Snares)
By changing the timing of the claps with each step, you will get a different hit each time the clap hits, which can create a more humanized feel on the track. Rasmussen also mentions that putting reverb on some of the pattern’s claps makes it “come alive”.
Tip 5 (Charley rolling)
Make an interesting and unique hi-hat pattern using LFOs routed to different knobs. One of its LFOs is directed towards the decay of the hi-hat, and the other LFO towards the high frequency filter which creates constant movement. Using automatic panning, phaser, reverb, and compressor to sidechain the kick signal can also create some interesting movement on rolling hi-hats.
Tip 6 (loops)
This trick is to get creative with the loops, try to cut them out, starting from a different position than the first starting point of the loop and working with wraps as well as tight compression, etc.
Tip 7 (Inverted)
Try inverting various sounds, for example hi-hats, and placing them in different places to create an interesting atmosphere in the track.
After following all of the above steps, it is time for a group treatment. Send all instruments to a separate channel and start group processing by adding an EQ to remove or add specific frequencies, parallel saturation and compression is usually the basis of drum bus processing.
You can watch all of these techniques in action in the video below:
Credit: Janus Rasmussen
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