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Mixing & Adding FX to Drum Loops

After you've created your entire drum track, experiment with EQ, Reverb, and other effects to mix the drums appropriately for the song. Since the most Smart Loops collections were recorded dry, you have the flexibility to mix the drums the way YOU want.

Just because a kick drum has a lot of low-end, don't think you must boost the lows to make it stand out more. Actually, chances are by doing this you will lose the attack of the kick drum and it will just sound mushy in the mix. Usually cutting a good amount of low-mids (500-800Hz) is good. If you want more "click" to the kick, then boosting a narrow band of mids (somewhere between 2.5-5kHz) usually works. You can usually tell if you have way too much ultra-lows if your speaker cone goes nuts when you hear the kick drum. In this case try a Low-Cut filter that will cut everything below around 40Hz. If you really need more bottom, try boosting a little somewhere between 80-200Hz.

Some people like a darker drumkit, with more of a garage-sound, in which case you Roll-off the highs so you can hear more of the drums in these tracks. Then you could add a reverb to these tracks to put the whole drumset into a bigger space, or make it sound more distant.

Experiment! Make sure to spend some time with your drum tracks experimenting with any ideas you may have. Experimenting is a big part of the learning process, not to mention it’s fun!

Don’t over-mix the drums! In other words, don’t feel like you have to EQ, compress, and use every processing FX you have. We’ve found for most projects that just adding a touch of reverb of your choice to the snare is usually all you need.

I know, I know, I said experiment with your drum tracks. Yes, I still think you should, but more for the learning-process of it.

TIP: The most common beginner’s mistakes during a mix is to add too much high-end EQ to the drums, along with too much reverb.

For more control over your drum mixes try using SL MultiTracks for multitrack drum loops.

Related Information

Adding Reverb to Just the Snare in a Stereo Drum Loop

Getting Started With MultiTracks in SONAR

SL MultiTracks

Loops & Sample Tips and Tutorials