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Old 2012-08-24, 12:40
BlueSmurf BlueSmurf is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 17
Spread For Drums?

When dealing with drums, do you keep the spread dial turned up (stereo) or do you bring it all the way down (mono)??? And can you explain why?
I am a bit confused with this one, because I thought drum and percussive sounds are mono.
Old 2012-08-24, 18:19
kerngrutzky kerngrutzky is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
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It depends. Stereo samples are stereo. Mono samples are mono. In my humble opinion, keep low frequences mono. Stereo spread on low frequences muddies up the mix.
Old 2012-08-24, 18:42
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Lunesis Lunesis is offline
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Well, you want to keep the spread dial up since the drums are panned, unless you are working with each drum part in a single channel.
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Old 2012-08-24, 20:19
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guitfnky guitfnky is offline
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each individual piece is in mono, so for example, your kick, snare, toms, and cymbals will all each be mono sounds. the reason there is a "spread" function for these in the mixer is that when you're using a drum unit (Redrum, Kong, or maybe an NN-XT), whichever unit you're using will have the capability to allow you to choose where to pan those individual mono sounds within the stereo spectrum. so you're using a Redrum with 10 different sounds, and each of those sounds can be panned to a different spot in Redrum. messing with the spread on your mixer track will just allow you to fold all that down to mono, spread it out to the edges, or anything in between.

of course, if you have everything in your drum unit panned to the same spot anyway, it won't really make a difference how wide you have your spread setting.
Old 2012-08-24, 22:46
BlueSmurf BlueSmurf is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 17
What would you recommend for this setup:

Each drum has its own mix channel.
Then I have a drum group mix channel also.

I would think for each individual drum channel to keep the spread all the way down (mono). And for the drum group channel, leave that all the way up (stereo).
Old 2012-08-25, 00:13
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tincture tincture is offline
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If we're talking about the 'width' knob I would still keep it at full. It's about how much of the stereo field you are allocating. Even if there's not much panning I'd still keep it at full. Why cut down on your field of sound?
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Old 2012-08-25, 02:03
MayorMcCheese MayorMcCheese is offline
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Just in case anyone might not have seen this "Record U" page here onsite: . A great article on placement and panning, and this dude is in it:

Man, he’s got big ears.
Old 2012-08-25, 02:30
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Benedict Benedict is offline
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There are as many ways to handle stereo-ness of drums as there are mixes.

Sometimes a mono drum mix slap band in the middle of a broad mix can help it to have an anchor. Generally a bit of panning like the image above will help with naturalness as well as allowing instruments to sit easier in the mix.

Of course you can do what was done in the early days of stereo and pan drums, bass and rhythm instruments (oven even the whole music be) to the left and the vocals to the right. Sounds like a really bad idea but actually quite easy to listen to.

Listen to mixes you like and copy that in your mixes. Listening to and 80's Elton John record right now: metalwork seems hard panned with a fairly stereo snare and kick. Toms of course travel (god bless the 80's). Bass is nailed to the center along with the lead voice. Lots of space for everything.

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Old 2012-08-25, 03:23
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Bretstradamus Bretstradamus is offline
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Originally Posted by BlueSmurf View Post
When dealing with drums, do you keep the spread dial turned up (stereo) or do you bring it all the way down (mono)??? And can you explain why?
I am a bit confused with this one, because I thought drum and percussive sounds are mono.
This totally depends on the genre and style of drums you're mixing. I've been mixing some metal songs recently, the drums are very unique so I'm going to use that as an example. These metal drums are very in-your-face so there's no reverb on them except for the room sound that's already in the samples. The toms are panned very wide, there's four of them and the outer two are hard panned. I have the width knobs at zero so there's no smearing of the sounds and where they are panned.

The snare and kick both have a healthy amount of stereo information, and I like it, especially on the snare it sounds huge in the mix. A lot of times I'll put a stereo imager on the end bus to make the lowest frequencies mono but in this case I think I'll leave it off.

If I were mixing an indie rock track or an electro track, this process would be completely different so always take into account the genre you're mixing for and what you want the end result to sound like.
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Old 2012-08-26, 10:20
BlueSmurf BlueSmurf is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 17
I apologize, I meant to say "width dial" not "spread" no wonder I couldnt find anything when I searched the forums lol
Well I search forums, read manual, and tested some things out.

I think I had a misunderstanding on what the "spread" dial actually does.

So the "spread dial" turned all the way up does NOT make things more stereo. When the dial is turned all the way up it is just giving you the full mono sound and when you turn it down you are making the mono sound smaller or more mono. Would this be correct?

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