E19 - Percussion

When it comes to mixing percussion, I feel not a huge amount of attention is required to achieve a great result. However the attention that is needed is really quite important. 


In Graffiti the percussion used helps drive the rhythm of the song, and as a result I look to enhance the qualities of the percussion that will achieve this best.


As you can see, each of the shakers and tambourines receive an eq, then an instance of smack attack to shape the transient somewhat. 


Starting with the high shaker, I look for the cleanest high end portion of the signal and boost it to help the shaker cut through. For the mid shaker I do the same, but due to its lower pitch the boosted frequency is lower. With shakers I use smack attack to increase the transient and reduce the sustain to help it cut through and drive the rythym. Without the EQ the shaker sounds dull and lacks presence, without the transient shaping it sounds washed out and flat. So with minimal processing, we have completely transformed the shakers to help them be heard without having to make them much louder.


With the tambourines, the same processing is used when it comes to EQ. Finding the cleanest high end and boosting it to shape the tone. Then with the transient shaping, the goal is to increase the sustain to help the hits hang around lower than the snare that it re-inforces. As with the shakers, the EQ helps boost the clarity of the Tamborine. However with the transient shaping the result is somewhat less obvious and a little more subtle.


Finally, to be sure that the processing has the desired effect, lets check the percussion out in the mix, with and without processing.