Parallel busses are a great way to incorporate audio processing without being too destructive to the original source. It’s currently extremely common use parallel compression busses, but parallel processing can be used for any type of effect. In this article, I go over a technique that can provide more low-end punch to your drum mix, with what I call a “parallel low transient bus”.
In the attached downloadable project file, you will see that I have sent all low-end producing instruments in the drum kit to a stereo buss channel that I’ve re-named Low Transient. This includes all Kick channels and the close microphones on the toms. I’m only using close microphones because I’m most interested in getting more of the initial transient of the sound and none of the room tone. Also, I’ve used a send because I want to leave the clean channel output signal unaffected and routed to the master (i.e. in parallel).
The first insert on this channel is an EQ that uses a low pass filter to focus in on the frequencies that I want to accentuate. In this case it’s a gentle high end roll off starting at 160 Hz. This slope and frequency of the roll off is crucial. I chose this frequency based on the low-end that is present in the selected Gretsch kit. If you set the roll off frequency too high, the sound will be muddy. I also found that using a gentle slope made the added low-end more transparent.
Next in the chain is the Transient plug-in. Here I have added attack and decreased sustain as much as possible. Keeping the sustain low will also reduce the muddiness of the added low-end.
Finally I’ve added a Valve Distortion Box to add some grit and harmonics to the low end transient. This will also increase its perceived volume and makes the effect generally less subtle.
To hear this effect, simply play the groove on the song track and then raise the Low Transient buss. It’s subtle, but when muted you will really notice! Also, since we are dealing with low frequencies, please make sure to use good headphones or proper studio monitors for listening, as laptop speakers are not going to cut it.
Happy mixing!DOWNLOAD PROJECT FILE