Mixing 808s with SSL’s Drumstrip
This tip comes from the talented producer and YouTuber Sean Divine. In this video, Sean dives into the Solid State Logic Drumstrip and shows how he uses it to mix his drum tracks. The entire line of Solid State Logic plug-ins are designed to allow you to focus on the mix while giving you all the harmonics and tonal characteristics of the Solid State Logic mixing desk.
In this video, Sean Divine starts with a rather weak sounding drum loop and uses the Solid State Logic Drumstrip to enhance the low end, the high end, and work on the transients to have the drums cut through the mix. In this demo, Sean walks through the process using a kick, snare, and a clap track. Included at the bottom are links to presets using the same panel controls that Sean dialed in, which work for drums in all genres of music from trap drums to techno percussions.
With the kick track, we start with the low frequency enhancer and the transient shaper to add punch and control. Sean set the frequency to bet enhanced to around 70-75h, which you want to have tuned to the fundamental frequency that the kick is sitting at. Increasing the drive adds harmonics to the selected frequency range, which is why dialing in the frequency is so important. Adding harmonics to the low or high end enhancers via the drive knob makes the sound more full and impactful, especially with percussive elements.
Next Sean moves to the transient shaper module, which controls the timing of the drum hits and shapes the envelope of the sound. Sean left the speed near zero to keep the timing of the kick close to the original recording, but the amount of the transient shaper was increased to around 30% with a gain reduction of around -3db to keep the levels consistent with the recording.
For the snare track, again Sean we first dial in the low frequency enhancer module in Drumstrip. The low drive was set around 7 to really add harmonics and the effect applied was set to about 20% (which is essentially a dry/wet knob for the individual modules). The frequency selected was the maximum for the low frequency enhancement at 250hz.
For the snare, Sean also uses the high frequency enhancer to add sizzle. The high frequency enhancer’s frequency was set to around 8khz for the top end of the snare drum. The amount was set around 15% and the drive was increased to around 5 to have it cut through the mix. With the transient shaper, the speed was decreased by about 30% because there is already a snappy sound to the attack (increasing the knob towards 1 decreased the attack speed by increasing the envelope time). The amount was set around 25% with the gain was left as is.
For the clap track, Sean used both the low and high frequency enhancers again, but also using the very unique listen mic compressor module with everything set to max. The Listen Mic Compressor really squashed sound increasing the tail space. Laying that behind the main snare helps fill the spectrum of the mix.
Try out using this approach to mixing your drums to add impact and punch in the mix with the harmonic drive control, while at the same time using the transient shaper to space out the attack hits across the different instrument tracks. You can download the presets with the same panel settings that Sean Divine dialed in here! The Solid State Logic plug-ins are designed to be pushed to the limits just like the classic Solid State Logic desk. Get creative, try things out, and trust your ears!
More Audio Examples with Drumstrip