Analysis of S6E09: DC Breaks – Dancefloor Drums & Transients

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    • #72352

      Second production tutorial this season from DC Breaks, this time featuring Dan from the duo.

      Part 1 (33:39)
      – Looking at how to keep drums sounding really big in the mix, keeping the transients punching all the way through to the limiting/clipping/mastering stage, making sure the kick & snare have a clean path to the limiter and are not fighting for space with other elements in the mix.
      – To demonstrate, using stems from “Swag (2017 Version)”.
      – Finds that having fewer elements used in a track helps with the mix process.

      02:40 – found that stemming tracks to be cathartic in the song writing process.

      03:40 – stresses the importance of drum selection.
      – This track uses a single kick, not a layered kick.
      – The snare consists of three layers: punchy vs. character vs. transient.

      06:00 – tuning the transient snare layer.
      – Uses Battery4 to modify, pitching down the sample and using an EQ cut.
      – A/B’s snares with two different versions of the transient layer.
      – Wants all three layers pushing the same fundamental frequency.

      08:50 – plays the rest of the drums.

      09:20 – states he is happy with the top end drums, sometimes uses a sidechain triggered by the kick, and sometimes triggered by the snares.

      09:50 – demonstration of swapping in new drums for the kick and snare.
      – Uses samples they provided to this season of Sample Genie.
      – Layering kicks in Battery, says once he is done picking layers, he then stems (bounces) each, and then processes.

      13:30 – moves on to new snares.

      16:15 – stemming out layers.

      17:05 – snare bus created.
      – EQ dip at main snare frequency, on the high layer snare.

      19:00 – touches on how low cut EQ can create phase issues.

      19:30 – brings up phase reversing, can sometimes sync up layers well.

      20:20 – favorite transient shaper -> iZotope Neutron2

      20:30 – defines a transient as the beginning of a sound, the initial burst of energy.

      22:30 – goes in to the process of transient shaping.
      — Recommends searching for YouTube videos by Michael White, the Mixing With Mike series (, says he has a great video on Neutron.

      26:00 – looking at the kick, first bounces a stem, then sends to a new bus.

      29:00 – parallel compression as another technique to shape transients.
      – Recommends a piece of software called Plugin Doctor (, allows users to analyze how plugins affect audio signals, e.g. extra noise added to the signal.
      – States that he prefers transient designers over parallel compression.

      Part 2 (34:06)
      – Transient retention, going over how to clear out space in other stems, in order to clean up the mix.
      – Sidechaining is the most obvious technique, but in the mix stage Dan shows how to chop the sub bass audio stem, aligning cuts with each kick hit.

      02:45 – fades on sub bass audio clips, also shows truncating the clips a tiny amount, so the sub comes in slightly after the kicks hit.
      – Subtle, but when A/B’d you can hear some distortion when the kick and sub bass are layered 100% vs. the slight changes.
      – Also describes using this technique during the mix stag, not during the sketch/development phase.

      04:45 – mid/side editing, going into the relationship between snares and mid-range bass.
      – First demonstrates the same chopping method, this time cutting the mid-range bass audio stem where the snares hit, then applies fades.
      – Dan actually likes the grit on the snare from when these sounds play together, so he wants to find another method to make space in the mix.

      06:10 – other methods of chipping.
      – Split mid-range bass audio in to two audio clips, a mid clip and a side clip, then bounced to stems.
      – Recommends the GHz Midside Matrix 3 (, a free plugin.
      – Drums occupy more of the mid frequencies, so focus is put on the mid-range bass’s mid stem. States that he uses this method on lots of other audio sources, e.g. horns, pads, etc.

      09:00 – a quick look & overview of Trackspacer plugin.

      10:50 – the stereo image.

      12:00 – another way to make sure the snare is mono up to a particular frequency (200~300 Hz range) is to low-cut out the side channel in an EQ.
      – Demonstrates using a gentle slop in FabFilter Pro-Q3.
      – Also does this on mid-range bass.

      15:15 – Grouping drums to one bus.
      – Sub-mix drum busses end up routed to the last drum bus.
      – Likes having iZotope Neutron2 on the final drum bus, to tighten the drums up.
      – Next does some parallel compression, just an insert with a mix of wet & dry signal.
      – Also demos some tape emulation to thicken the drums.

      19:30 – the master bus -> “the final stage of the process”
      – Gain plugin to take gain down a little.
      – Compressor that enhances high end, takes out some low end.
      – EQ with a sub boost.

      21:50 – limiter vs. transients.
      – Touches on a few different limiter options.
      – Focus on limiters that have some sort of transient features.


      – I found the technique of making sure all three snare layers are pushing the same fundamental frequency to be interesting. I think it makes sense in regards to phase relationship, have to test out myself.
      – Also want to try the mid/side processing techniques, as well as the kick/sub and snare/mid-range stem technique.

      "Knowledge kept is knowledge lost." - Bobbito Garcia

    • #82576

      Hi, why I have only 6 videos in the 6th season and there is no DC Breaks – Dancefloor Drums & Transients

    • #82592
      ,GENIE HQ

      Hi, why I have only 6 videos in the 6th season and there is no DC Breaks – Dancefloor Drums & Transients

      Hey, this is to do with when you signed up – drop us a line on our support (either email or messenger) and we’d be happy to discuss your membership etc.
      All the best,

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