How to Produce Music – Drum Kit Panning

I am going to be giving out some music mixing tips and recording tips that will improve all of your recording and mixing a lot and get you on your way to learning how to produce music and how to make things in your song sound like you want them to.

Making a programmed drum kit sound like a real drum kit can be a little bit of a chore but not once you put a little bit of common sense into play and start to exercise your music mixing techniques you will catch on pretty quickly.

A live drum kit sound is what we are looking for so, the first thing we must do is pan the drum set up to mimic how a drum kit would be arranged. Then a drum kit would of course be playing in one room at one time, so we send all the drums to the same bus channel with a reverb unit on it.

You might want to send the bass drum to its own bus channel to cut out a boomy sound that can come from adding reverb to a bass/kick drum that would not normally be affected by reverb when being recorded. Also send another snare hit to a different channel as the snare would be mic above and below normally and the mic below would get more bass and therefore would hard be affected by reverb.

I would suggest the following panning settings, you can alter the amounts at which the drums are panned but I would advise you keep distance between each panned hit to keep the sense of space and realism.

Right or left means the direction you should pan the drum track to and the number in brackets is the amount you should turn it by.

Bass/Kick Drum: – Centre

Small Tom:- Right (3)

Snare: – Right (8)

Crash Cymbal:- Right (11)

High Hat: – Right (14)

Medium Tom: – Left (3)

Low/Floor Tom: – Left (7)

Crash Cymbal: – Left (14)

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