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If you've never heard your music professionally mixed and mastered, you've never heard you're music.
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The Recording Drums Series
The Real Secret to Great Drum Tracks Cont'd
The Power of Timing
There are lots of drummers out there whose timing to the casual listener is right on the money. For that matter, there are lots of drummers whose timing is perfect to the trained ear.
While this may be adequate to some, those who wish to achieve a recording that can compete with the million or so other albums on the market need to use a metronome no matter how tight they are live. The reasons for this has almost nothing to do with the drummer's ability as a player. What is important here is the drummer's responsibility to the other musicians on the record, to the other professionals working on the record, and to the songs on the records.
When a drummer plays to a metronome (click track), he gives the song a reference by which all the other instruments can be lined up. In a top level editing session, the drum tracks will be checked hit by hit to make sure they line up to the click. Then the rest of the tracks on the album will be lined up to the drums (usually the snare). This is called "pocketing".
Pocketing coupled with a great performance gives a record that perfect sound. It is important to note that I'm not talking about a mechanized sound. The producer or mixer has control over how perfect the timing is.
HERE'S THE KICKER. When all the tracks are lined up, YOUR MIX WILL COME OUT CLEARER. That's right, the better the timing, the better you will be able to hear the guitars, the bass, the vocals, etc... Often this is the culprit for a muddy mix.
But that's not all. Sonically, drums sound their best when hit with 90-100% of the drummer's power. Click the link below and I'll explain.