How to Get Punchy Drums with Grand Channel

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Mix-engineer Ben Lindell shows you how to take a plain sounding drum loop and give it some life and excitement. Using just a combination of compression and EQ, Ben enhances not just the overall tone of the drums but also brings out more of the groove as well. All of this takes place using just one plugin, the Softube Grand Channel, which is the channel strip version of Softube's TLA-100F and EQF-1000 plugins. He'll take you through setting up the compressor, experimenting with different attack and release settings, using parallel compression, filtering, EQing, and controlling the saturation.

If you're wondering how to get your drums to feel better in your mixes be sure to check this video out.

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Ben Lindell

Ben is a NYC based producer/engineer who has worked with artists from MGMT to Soulja Boy, Bebel Giberto to Lloyd Banks, Ryan Leslie, Olivia, Tony Yayo, Red Cafe, Edie Brickell, Carole Pope and hundreds of other artists from around the world. He grew up in Iowa and then attended the University of Miami.

In addition to being a fantastic musician he is also a tremendous geek when it comes to anything technical, be it software, plug-ins, microphones or outboard gear. It's this marriage of musical creativity and technical know-how that makes him an in demand producer/engineer.


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What do you have to say?
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2017 Jun 11
This plug sounds great, but I know when something is louder it sounds better for the most part. Your before and after sounds great, but after possessing the db boost looks to me to be at least 10db hotter. Level matching would have been better for this example to really hear the possessing of the plug rather than the increase of gain. Don't get me wrong I can hear the difference and it sounds good to my ears.
2017 Mar 24
I love this plugin. For some reason this plugin is often overlooked. It's nice to see other people using it and realizing what a gem this plugin is. You did a great job explaining it too.
2015 Jan 13
Always fun to check out plugins! I have two questions... Without level matching between bypass and engaged, how can we really hear what the plugin is doing as opposed to what Fletcher Munson is doing to our ears? Because of the human echoic memory, would it be possible to hear future examples toggled with the track running rather than stopping between states? Thanks again Ben, you have a nice room to work in!
2014 Dec 28
It would be much better and more helpful if you were to concentrate on a single drum with a before processing and after processing for each process. I don't know what the original drums sounded like versus the final sound or why each enhancement was necessary. The compressed drum sound was OK but I had nothing to which to reference it. A before and after processing sound would have been much better. I still don't completely understand what is meant by "punch" as the finished sound is almost exactly what I get during a dry recording. I also found it difficult to distinguish the bass drum.
2014 Jun 17
Very helpful, Ben - thanks for this! I have a couple more things to consider.
2014 May 25
there's a ~6 db difference between the processed and unprocessed comparison at the end of the video, check out the meter at the bottom left! talk about product placement...
2014 Jan 01
2012 Dec 05
Yes I agree, I'am buying this Softube plugin , seems like this one plugin does so much
Sanche'z Music Studio
2012 Oct 23
Joseph Piccione
2012 Sep 22
Thanks Ben! Love your teaching style.
2012 Jul 13
Sounds Great! I am totally buying this plugin! Thks Ben!
2012 Jul 07
The vid is giving me a product placement vibe, I would use the Waves H-Dlay with some outside EQ to get the same, probably better effect. However, the tutorial video quality (sound/light) is great and nobody can beat that...