How To Open Up Your Drums In The Mix [Video]

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

Getting a great drum sound is paramount to getting a great mix. Today I want to share my simple four step process to getting a tighter, fuller, clearer, and more punchy drum sound in your DAW. Anyone can do these four simple moves, they’re that simple. Let’s jump in!


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15 Responses to “How To Open Up Your Drums In The Mix [Video]”

  1. Chris Janton

    Thanks. Good to have a reference point for basic settings of EQ and compression. Saved me adding
    channel EQ on all of the drum tracks (already bussed) to get the same effect.

  2. Jordan

    I have a plugin that does parallel hi-band EQ, and it opens my drums up so nicely, it’s unbelievable.

    It’s good that I was able to guess all of the 4 tips you have. I must be doing something right ­čÖé

  3. Gareth

    Brilliantly simple, worked really well on a fairly muddy drum track . Now the drums sound listenable

    Thanx Graham you are the man!!!.

  4. Mark Liebrand

    Graham – would you ever consider doing a short video of how to record drums? When I say this… I don;t mean how to mic drums and mic placements, etc… I mean… How do you start from scratch with a real drummer in a band? Do you record the drums to a metronome?

    I think it would be cool if you could give us a short video showing us how this is achieved? What is the best approach to recording real drums with a band? Record the instruments first? Drums first? Methods for keeping the drummer in time so that the edits can be made in the DAW in sync with the time line, etc…

    This has been something that has always been on my mind and never really found a good approach.

    Before I left the USA I had the opportunity to record a band and I just took the ‘wing it’ approach. I tracked the drums first in Ableton Live and then I used ‘warp’ to get things in time. From there I recorded the bass, then the guitars and finally the singing. It worked out but I would like to see how others do it and what other approach options we have as producers? Hopefully you can kick some knowledge? Cheers and keep us the excellent work! Love your blogs, videos and information.

  5. steveonbass

    Graham, I just saw this post come up on Facebook.

    I’ve just tested it out on three drum loops from a well-known loop library.

    The results are stunning. Yes, the sound is subtle but once you get used to hearing the improved version, turn off the processing and listen to the original sound of the loops… wow! Just goes to show how the ear gets used to a sound either way.

    Thanks for another wonderful tip. This eq/compressor chain now lives in my presets as ‘Graham Cochrane Drum Buss Default’.

    All the best,


  6. Kurt

    Nice tip. really useful and practical, as it’s easy to do, but extremely impactful. Very helpful.


    Hi Graham… I just want to thank you, you with all your knowledge help me to finish my first job as a producer, engineer and mixer. This is the result, I recorded the drums on a rare room with beautiful reverb and all the other things in my home studio.

    Thanks again. Saludos from Guadalajara Mexico



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