In The Booth: Let’s Make A Track (Part 1: Drums and Sidechaining)

On this episode of Let’s Make A Track, we are going to dive into how I processes drums and the various methods I have used to sidechain my synths to my kick. You will see my EQ-ing method for kicks, snares, and cymbals as well as three methods that I have used throughout my time producing to make sure my kick punches through the mix and drives the song.



Some additional information that isn’t discussed in the video:

· The kick, especially if you have a very present sub bass or 808 but not exclusively just those elements, needs to be carefully mixed with all other elements, not just the low end, using EQ and sidechaining. If the kick is conflicting with anything else in the mix it will be extremely obvious.

· Snares should usually have (at least in the music I make) a layer that has a ton of reverb and delay but is mixed with the original dry snare to create a solid transient with a quiet fall off. Only do this if your original sample is extremely dry. If the sample is already significantly wet, consider not doing this, or if you want to do it, be very careful.

· Cymbals can be processed a multitude of different ways, and sometimes it is prudent to process each cymbal sample separately in order to get a good sound of each sample. I choose to process all of my cymbals together because I find that I can get the best results that way, but there are times where I will process a crash or a ride cymbal separately especially if I need something extremely specific at that point in the song.

· Sidechaining can also be used to create interesting rhythmical patterns. This will most likely be further explored in future videos.


Ryan O’Connor is a fifth-year senior studying physics at CWU. He is an avid gamer, nerd, and he loves to share and hear opinions about anything related to these and many other subjects. He is also the DJ on Electropolis known as LYNX.

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