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Beef Up Your Drums

This article explains how to quickly beef up the sound of your drum mix using Parallel processing.

We also included a video tutorial as part of this article to help illustrate the technique.

How to Record Drums
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How to Use Parallel Processing to Beef up your drums

Author: David Hogan
Published: November 2011

Beef Up Your Drums

If you want to compete in the big leagues you’ll need to learn ways to beef up your drums so they shake the walls.

One sure-fire way to do so is to use parallel processing on your drum tracks.

What is Parallel Processing?

It sounds like something fresh out of a sci-fi flick.  Just say the term Parallel Processing aloud and you’ll see that it fits right in with a conversation about Doc Brown and the Delorean’s Flux capacitor.

In actuality, it’s much less complicated.  The idea is that you take a sound, create a second feed for it, and process those signals independently of each other before they make it to the master output. 

With that being said, lets take a look at how to duplicate a drum feed and use this technique to beef them up.

So in this case, we took a drum feed, created another feed for it, processed that feed differently, and blended the two feeds together. 

If you’re more of a visual learner this diagram should help clarify what it means to Parallel Process an audio signal.

Parallel Processing Flow Diagram

Now, I only covered compression and EQ in the processing part of this video, but you could process your parallel feed with effects to get some cool results as well.

Here’s a snippet of the drum loop as-is.

Now listen to my duplicate feed after its been processed with phaser effects.

Lastly, I blended the two feeds together to get a light phaser effect on the overall sound, while still preserving the original sound dynamics.

Essentially we could use any effect or processor we wanted to!

Summary

Parallel Processing is a great way to get more out of the drums in your mix.  You can beef them up or use this technique to gracefully layer in FX.  If you haven’t done so already, be sure to try it out – as it will definitely give your productions that extra boost they might need.

If you found this tutorial helpful please be sure to like our Facebook page where we post freebies, updates, and sales from time to time.

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