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View Poll Results: How do you split your drums, regarding tracks?
I put all drums on one track. 2 18.18%
I put most drums on one track, but split off a few/several. 1 9.09%
I have a dedicated track for every drum. 8 72.73%
Voters: 11. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-02-2021, 11:33 PM   #1
138BPM
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Default Splitting drums over multiple tracks?

When I started using a DAW, I just threw the kick, snare, hi-hats, clap, tambourine and so on, all on one track. Way back in time, when we only had 16 tracks to work with, track 10 was always used for drums.

The thing is now we can have as many tracks as we want as long as our computers can handle them all, so what is the best way to do it now in 2021, when using a DAW?

After a while I started splitting off the kick drum, because I wanted it to have it's own EQ and put in mono, but I have seen some people split off every single drum hit to its own track, which to me seems like a lot of work but it would also give full control over everything.

I just wonder how other people manage their drums, because I want to make a gated snare, but if the snare is on the same track as other drums, it's not possible because the other drums will end up with the gated effect too - so it seems splitting every drum hit is the way to go?

Last edited by 138BPM; 06-03-2021 at 01:18 AM.
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Old 06-02-2021, 11:56 PM   #2
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I guess we're taking about "real" drums here? Many do one track per drum microphone, a couple for overheads, maybe a high-hat and a couple for "room". So for a 4 piece kit you might end easily up with 11 tracks.

More minimal drum recording techniques typically give you (a pair of) overheads, KIck & Snare
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Old 06-03-2021, 01:22 AM   #3
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It could be real drums or synth I guess because I was talking more about being able to put any effect you want on any particular drum without affecting other drums.

Grouping isn't what I thought it was so I edited out the line about it.

I know I saw someone in a video ages ago, group tracks together in a sense that they looked indented at the left side, but I don't know what that option is called in Reaper. I thought that's what grouping was, but grouping locks the sliders together which (in a sense) is the opposite to separating the drum hits to different tracks.
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Old 06-03-2021, 01:47 AM   #4
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I don't have the luxury of a real studio with a drum room and loads of mics but if I did, I would definitely record drums on multiple tracks with overhead and room mics.

Working in-the-box, I tend to use samplers and/or drum machine VSTis. I usually start with just the stereo outs from the VSTi to get the rhythm section parts going. Then, when the rest of the tracking is done, I (may) separate out the individual drums to their own tracks for further processing. These tracks will all go to a dedicated drum bus. I don't bother with folders.

So I guess to answer your poll question, it's all of the above
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Old 06-03-2021, 01:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 138BPM View Post
I know I saw someone in a video ages ago, group tracks together in a sense that they looked indented at the left side, but I don't know what that option is called in Reaper. I thought that's what grouping was, but grouping locks the sliders together which (in a sense) is the opposite to separating the drum hits to different tracks.
Foldered tracks?
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Old 06-03-2021, 02:25 AM   #6
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Foldered tracks?
Yeah that's it. I can't select certain tracks and indent them though, everything under the master track gets indented.
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Old 06-03-2021, 11:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 138BPM View Post
It could be real drums or synth I guess because I was talking more about being able to put any effect you want on any particular drum without affecting other drums.
Well, if you're talking about midi drums, it's probably best to keep the midi on one track, you can probably pick the sound you want for (say) snare in your drum vsti. Alternatively, your drum instrument probably allows you to route its various outputs usefully.

Re. folders, you might want to have a look at the excellent user guide - particularly
5.13.1 Drag and Drop Folder Management
or thereabouts
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Old 06-03-2021, 12:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 138BPM View Post
When I started using a DAW, I just threw the kick, snare, hi-hats, clap, tambourine and so on, all on one track. Way back in time, when we only had 16 tracks to work with, track 10 was always used for drums.

The thing is now we can have as many tracks as we want as long as our computers can handle them all, so what is the best way to do it now in 2021, when using a DAW?

After a while I started splitting off the kick drum, because I wanted it to have it's own EQ and put in mono, but I have seen some people split off every single drum hit to its own track, which to me seems like a lot of work but it would also give full control over everything.

I just wonder how other people manage their drums, because I want to make a gated snare, but if the snare is on the same track as other drums, it's not possible because the other drums will end up with the gated effect too - so it seems splitting every drum hit is the way to go?
You meant to say "bus" all drums to one track, right? (Or "route")

The L/R overheads and kick are still the main deal for me.
I'll record spot mics when I can (nearly always). Could have 12 - 14 drum channels recorded. I've done stuff like split a tom track out to 3 for control of attack vs initial hit vs sustain. Dynamic split and other tools to assist. (There's no 'labor of love' work going on here as I'm very impatient!) I might have 3 different drum subgroups for some "Hulk smash!" techniques.

Or the whole drum mix might be the overhead pair and kick and all the spot mics are muted!

It's nice. You can do whatever you want to get where you want to be now. But sometimes it still stays simple. Other times you notice you the board has climbed up to 400 tracks and you wonder what the hell is wrong with yourself!
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Old 06-10-2021, 08:22 PM   #9
Beat Machine
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Default its still problemaitic recording drums

for some reason i never seem to have problems with spacial issues mixing drums

but recording them gives me nightmares

4 mics is not enough but 16 is definately too many
even just getting the sound you want out of different mics is hard
getting a stereo spread without phasing problems?
i mean micing drums is a science
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Old 06-11-2021, 05:24 AM   #10
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For me the key point is not just the ability to process each drum separately (you can do that with a multiout plugins like Sitala), but the ability to compose drum patterns from midi-items. I don't like having a single midi-item for the whole drum line. Since I'm working in EDM genres, I prefer to have a dedicated midi-item for each drum and then arrange them as I like in the arranger.
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Old 06-11-2021, 06:08 AM   #11
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Since a lot of my favorite music smashes the whole drum kit onto a single mono track, I'm happy dropping Kontakt's 60s Drummer VST onto a single stereo track, and keeping it like that most of the time. Occasionally I'll want to emphasize the cymbal or the tambourine or some other random element, and in these cases I don't bother routing anything in the traditional way. I just put the cymbal or tambourine midi on its own track and use another instance of the Kontakt instrument. This works perfectly in Reaper, but when I have tried it in Studio One or Logic, it always ends up breaking -- eventually one of the duplicate Kontakt instruments will no longer play. But I digress.

My point being, I guess, that 60s Drummer comes already expertly recorded and mixed, so it would be highly anal to explode that out onto individual tracks and re-mix it.
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Old 06-11-2021, 06:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 138BPM View Post
...if the snare is on the same track as other drums, it's not possible because the other drums will end up with the gated effect too - so it seems splitting every drum hit is the way to go?
My recommendation is to only split off what you have to -- kit minus snare on one track, gated snare on a separate track. I wouldn't split everything onto separate tracks if I didn't have to.

Last edited by maralatho; 06-11-2021 at 10:05 AM.
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