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My Mix of XXXV - and drum problems
Hi folks, here's my mix.

On the whole reasonably happy with it and I'm moving in the right direction, but one thing that's starting to bug me, both with this mix and the mix I did of Burial of Silence a few weeks back, is how much I'm struggling to get the drums to really slam and cut through the mix, and they've been going this way for a while. They don't sound bad, they just sound kind of muddy and lost, mostly the kick and snare, which in Deathcore is a huge no-no.

My set-up for drums as follows:

Kick - I beefed up the kick track with a sample. Both tracks high-passed around 60, slightly scooped around 2-300, and boosted around 8k for a bit of a click. Then into a compressor with a fast-ish attack and auto-release, 4:1 and getting around 4-6 dB of reduction. Reasonably pleased with the kick sound - I'm not a massive fan of exaggerated, fake-sounding clicky kicks.

Snare - I didn't use a sample to beef this up. I should've, I know. With all the rolls and softer hits, I reasoned that a sample track would stick out like a sore thumb. I gave it a LPF at ~180, a little boost around the 200s, scooped out a load of mud between 300 and 1000, and gave it a nice broad boost around 6k. HPF around 15k to get rid of the worst of the cymbal bleed. Compressor had medium attack (~10ms), auto release, 8:1, around 6-10dBs of reduction. Snare fed into parallel reverb track.

Toms - I was forced to replace one of the toms with samples as, to be brutally honest, it sounded like hot ass. Both had mids scooped - the higher tom between 200 and 1000 and the lower one from about 150 to 600. Both had low end shelf boosted, and high end shelf boosted. Compressor had medium attack, medium release, 8:1, 7-10dBs reduction. Also fed to reverb track. Not displeased with toms except for an awful resonant frequency around 2:15 that I missed.

All shells were fed to a parallel slam bus - ~10ms attack, auto release, 12:1, aiming for between 10 and 20dBs of reduction. Dialled in to taste.

Whole kit routed to a grit/distortion bus with gentle distortion from stock JS Distortion plugin (Reaper), and HPF to filter out the harsh hardware. Dialled in but only adding subtle effect.

Sorry for the life story but I'm really keen to get this sorted - as I've practiced my mixes have tended towards this not-bad-souding-but-lacking-real-punch-and-sparkle drum sound. I'm fairly happy with the rest of the mix, considering what stage I'm at. Would love to get your thoughts, ladies and gents.

Edit: after I did this mix I went back and watched some Jordan Valeriote videos on drum mixing, and what a fool I've been. My attack was set far too fast, especially on the slam bus (hey - fast attack means pumping drums right?!) and my compressors were squashing my drums to nothing. Mystery solved I guess. I might remix this at some point and correct my error.

.mp3    Headwound Harry - XXXV.mp3 --  (Download: 9.23 MB)