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electronic MUSICIAN

Beefing Up the Beat (Bonus Material)

By Michael Cooper | August 31, 2009

FORECAST: WET

One of the most important aspects of mixing close-miked drums is adding reverb to the snare and toms. Follow these simple guidelines and you can''t go wrong.

The faster the tempo of your song, the shorter the reverb decays should generally be on traps. A plate reverb algorithm usually works best for barn-burners because plate algorithms produce more densely spaced reflections that don''t draw attention as much as the more widely spaced ones produced by room and hall algorithms. Using short plate reverbs on up-tempo songs will help keep the groove crisply defined.

Room and hall reverbs can often be used to great effect (no pun intended) on ballads. The more widely spaced early reflections of these algorithms won''t throw off the more sparsely articulated drum groove that populates a slow-tempo song. And because fundamental beats of the song are spread further apart in a slow-tempo song, you can usually get away with using longer reverb decay times than you can with an up-tempo number.

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