In the first of a series of three tutorial videos from iZotope on mixing with Alloy they start with the drums. That's because the drum sound anchors the groove, helps define genre, and provides a solid foundation for your other instruments. But after you've spent time and effort recording your drum tracks, how can you turn them into a solid starting point for your song?
Check out the following quick tips to learn how to build the perfect drum mix with iZotope Alloy.
- First some questions. What kind of attitude do you want your drum mix to have? Tight, punchy, and razor precise? Boomy, spacious, and resonant? Alloy's Transient Shaper lets you alter the attack and sustain of your drum mix to bring life and energy to your track. And for total control of your frequency spectrum, click multiband and control the levels for each part of the frequency.
- When you're happy with the drum sound, listen to the entire band mix to make sure it fits well with all the other instruments. Sometimes, an element can sound good isolated, but doesn't work with the rest of the mix. If so, isolate the problem through careful listening and make adjustments when necessary.
- Experiment with Alloy's Harmonic Exciter. It can help you achieve that elusive "warmth" and "glue" that mixing engineers talk about. Just send your drums through one of four different harmonic profiles—tube, tape, warm, retro—or create your own blend of all four to create full, vibrant drum sounds that hold up in the mix.
- Getting the perfect drum sound usually involves adding some compression and limiting for a noticeable boost in volume, dynamic range control, as well as a reduction in unwanted transients. Even add some extra character to the sound by choosing either digital compression for a more modern feel, or vintage for a warmer, more retro vibe. Just remember, while using the compressor and limiter can help you fine tune the sound you've been working on, overusing them can squash your tone and make the drums sound flat.
You can get more tips and tricks on mixing with Alloy on the Tips & Tutorials section of the iZotope web site.
Watch out for part 2 of this series where iZotope move onto the bass.