How To Get Punchy Drums In Your Mix [Video]

| Audio Example, Mixing, Plugins, Pro Tools, Tips, Video

Are your drums sounding OK but are just not cutting through the rest of the mix? Wish you could get more punch out of the kick and snare without just cranking up the volume? Today I have a classic technique that will help you get those drums pumping while still sounding natural.


Get Better Mixes By Simply Changing How You Start

The first 60 minutes of your mix will affect everything. Here's my proven method!

12 Responses to “How To Get Punchy Drums In Your Mix [Video]”

    • Luke

      I would say usually, probably not. But in this case, with the parallel channel being there for more grit and beef anyway, a touch of distortion might be just what the doctor ordered. Experiment with a bit of distortion of the parallel comp buss. It’s nice sometimes, especially with a compressor like the ones from Variety of Sound with built in saturation.

      On top of that, you may notice that it only goes red from time to time. And in reality, those are probably very, very short peaks that trigger the clipping light, and most likely aren’t noticeable.

  1. tim

    Its extra good because its pumping in time, accenting the off beat. Im glad i watched this because my stupid brain thought that attack was fastest to the left for some reason, and i was thinking you made a mistake, but no, it was i. Thanks Graham.

    • Graham

      It’s backwards with the 1176 compressor, most other compressors attack is fastest on the left of the knob.

  2. NaviRetlav

    We can combine that with side-chain compression for more pumpy dance music? It is good to make the parallel side-chained ?

  3. Jeff

    Funny, I just started doing this with EQ when I was finding the bass drum did not have the snap I liked. I should be honest, back in the ‘previous life’, I did spend time in a studio or two watching mixes (long story) but I remember that we (meaning the studio guys) were taking 2″ down to a DAT and starting to build the mix. The bass guitar was nice but a little lifeless. The guys ran the signal out to an Ampeg in the booth and re-recorded a new track of bass but with a little brighter tone…layered it and voila…

    So really, I remembered that and stole it digitally years later.

    I don’t try to force a sound where it won’t happen on a single channel. I have found that it is very easy to overcomplicate at the same time….You find the new trick of the day and use it over and over and over…

    Since I like more open mixes, doing the trick in this video makes that easier for me. I find it easier to fill the gaps.

    What I liked in this video was how to use compression with it. I am illogically fearful of compression…Seen too many mixes killed by it so I liked the compression tips used here.



  1.  How To Get Punchy Drums In Your Mix (Recording Rev Vid) | therecordinghomepage

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
Are You Using All Those Plugins?

Let me ask you a question: how many plugins do you have installed on your computer? I'm talking EQs, compressors,...