On November 2nd 2018 I released my debut-album "Lorenz" celebrating my personal milestone with a concert in the Junction Bar Berlin.
After mixing, mastering and publishing the live-recordings of that evening as a live-record I got a request of showing how I achieved the powerful drum-sound.
Let's have a look at the toms now.
The recordings ended up fairly dark in sound and toms not rarely need quite an amount of mids to cut through the mix and to keep up with the presence of the snare and kick drum.
The biggest problem of the floor tom was its long sustain and even the snare hits let it ring endlessly. The gate helps to shorten the tom hits, although not perfectly, but if overdone (range/threshold) the gate won't open at all. So we have to live with the right cymbal triggering the gate as well, as the tom microphone was very close, possibly underneath, the cymbal.
As with kick and snare, a normal compression setting with a slow attack helps to control it and giving weight to the sound of the stick on the skin.
As mentioned above, boosting a lot in the mids makes the toms brighter and more present.
A high pass and low pass filter narrow down the frequency spectrum to only the most significant area of the toms.
Cutting quite a bit in the low mids removes the mud in the sound and reveals the brighter and darker sonics of the drum.
Depending on the tuning you want to compensate for the big cut in the low end.
The gate of the high tom works perfectly and since it is a high tom and the overall sound is very good we don't need to boost extra low end. Otherwise it is being treated similarly to the low tom.
As a side-note, by cutting so much, especially in the lower mids, even the bleed of the live recording gains a more pleasant and open sound which is very important in live recordings.
Learn my #1 mixing principle "The Art Of Overdoing And Backing Off" by downloading the free pdf-guide and also getting access to mini video course which will lead through the steps of the guide by mixing a lead vocal from start to finish.