Adding effects to drums


New Member
Jan 1, 2013
Gear owned
hola everyone! I am brand new to recording in general, and have had an SX-1 for a couple months now. I've been able to figure out the basics, but for the life of me can't figure out a way to (easily) EQ tracks and add effects.

I have recorded drums and want to fatten the sound up, adding reverb/etc to make them sound bigger. There's not that many screens to scroll through, and I admittedly hate digging through manuals.. so if someone could be a kind soul and point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it!
you can add Dynamics (EQ, Compression, etc) to individual Tracks/Channels from the Channel screen...there are a bunch of presets and you can also create and save your own settings...the reverbs and other effects are on the Effects page...
I see where it seems like you can edit EQ, but I can't figure out how to actually apply it to the track. is there some sort of "preview"? messing with the EQ while it's playing doesn't make an audible difference.

And with the Effects, I can't figure out how to apply that either.. the manual says something about 4 areas (I forget the terminology) to send the effect to, but shit if I can figure that out either.

I am coming from a Soundforge background where everything was "highlight and hit enter", so my brain is having a hard time adjusting.

some videos would be mighty helpful if someone would be so inclined :D
I'm not sure why you can't hear the Dynamics when you're playing a Track back...are you turning the EQ, Compression etc on? there's a "Bypass" button that acts as a tool to compare the signal with and without the added dynamics...
I also use Sound Forge and I'm not sure what you mean by highlight and hit Enter...mine doesn't work that way...
anyway, the Effects are broken up into 4 "quadrants" you can use only one effect per quadrant (Tracks 1-4, 5-8, 9-12, 13-16), only one Track can have an effect per have to make sure you have the effect routed to the Track you want to use it also have to Insert the effect and make sure the Aux Sends and Returns are turned up (there are several places where you can do that)...if you have drum tracks on Tracks 1-8 (eg), then only 2 Tracks can have an internal Effect on it...I'm pretty certain that's how it works...
I had a really tough time with the Effects when I started out on the SX and must admit that there are some things that still confuse me...I mostly use extenal effect units, so it's not so much of an issue, but I do like to use a few of the SX effects when I'm laying down the initial Tracks...some are actually pretty decent...
as far as any videos of the SX (tutorials), there was talk about doing some several years ago, but sadly, none were ever made...
The Soundforge way to add effects/etc is highlight the area, click "effects" or "EQ", and then hit enter.. that's all I meant. I guess it's just hard for me to adjust to how this machine thinks.

So if I wanted to add reverb to all of the tracks, I can't do it? That doesn't make sense to me.. I have 6 drum tracks and I most definitely will want to add effects to the 4 separate drum tracks (the other 2 are overheads). I'll mess around with the bypass tomorrow when I get back in front of it.

I really appreciate you chiming in!
I forgot to ask if you're using the LCD screen or do you have a VGA screen set up?
I do almost everything from a VGA...
LCD screen.. my buddy's buddy has one (he's who recommended it), so he's been emailing me help and I am slowly figuring it out.
I am not sure about the "quadrant" thing....I can add any effect anywahere at anytime. If you wanted to put reverbs on all the drums and all the tracks, you can do it. There are tricks to this that are easy too. Make the mix of your drums the best you can.....THEN send the drums as a whole to a set of Busses. THEN send the busses to a reverb.....
hey Merlin...can you walk us through how to do that? I think that using Busses is my biggest "stumbling block" to learning the SX...thanks
I am not sure about the "quadrant" thing....I can add any effect anywahere at anytime. If you wanted to put reverbs on all the drums and all the tracks, you can do it. There are tricks to this that are easy too. Make the mix of your drums the best you can.....THEN send the drums as a whole to a set of Busses. THEN send the busses to a reverb.....

Would this work if I wanted to put more/less reverb on a certain drum? Or once they are mixed and sent to a set of busses, you are essentially adding effects as if the tracks are one?
I never get this for some do you send a set of Tracks to the Busses??? it must be so simple and yet I don't understand it :cry:
and once you have the Tracks sent to the Busses, how do you bring them back into the main mix???
can someone help me with this VERY simple procedure???
if I can actaually understand the Busses and Aux's. maybe I can finally understand the SX...I never had any hands-on with a mixer, so the Buss thing always was a problem for me and nothing I have ever read really explains HOW to do it, just that you CAN do it...
For internal effects on my slave SX-1 (which is used for my drum room). I put a compressor in quadrant 1, a delay for effect two, and a reverb, for effect three.
I gate or compress the drums and eq, separately on each track. The on the channel screen I send the signal to the 3 effects I set up by turning up the 3 aux sends each channel has. This way I can send each channel to a compressor (if gated it helps loads), a drum delay, or a reverb.
I keep the effect at 100% mix and adjust it at the channel with the Aux.

I also can use the 4 quadrant effect as an insert if needed. I believe you can insert it to a Buss too so it can be used by all channels. But I'm not sure on that.

Of course Merlins way will work just fine as he said. And maybe the best way?
I really am not sure on the merits of doing effects one way verses another. I'm just a creature of habit, if it isn't looping and seems to work...good enough:)
Hope that helps.
Unfortunately I don't have as much time as I used to post and follow up....sorry guys...

Let's say that you have thirteen tracks of drums.

Kick 1, kick 2, snare 1, snare 2, Hi-hats, 3 toms, 2 floor toms and then two overheads and one on the ride.

You want a reverb on the drums but not the cymbals or the kick.

What you would do is go to the snare 1 track and bring up aux 1 and 2....let's say to -5db.

Go to the OVERVIEW screen (everything I am doing is on my larger screen, not the LCD.)

Then, you take the RTN 1 and 2 and make sure they are at 0 db.

Link the returns, so they react together.

now, go to the EFFECTS screen.

pick the REVERB you want.

When you start a project and you haven't added any effects, the aux sends and returns will AUTOMATICALLY be send 1 and 2, with the returns being 1 and 2, when you add your first effect.

You CAN change where they go if you need to, but for this example, let's keep it simple.

Now.....while the track is playing you can work with just the snare and get the REVERB to sound the way you want it.

NOW...this is where you can add to the other drums............

Once you like the snare's can go to EACH drum track, and in the CHANNEL screen, raise up AUX 1 and 2 for EACH drum that you want the REVERB applied to.'s the COOL keep stereo imaging......if you have drums panned a bit, then make sure you use AUX 1 (left) and AUX 2 (right) the same way....more reverb in AUX 1 for drums panned left and more REVERB in AUX 2 for drums panned right.......
Yes, Greg! :) Here's a fun little thing to try.....

once you have the drums as a whole....mixed the way you want them....assign all the channels to a buss...let's say busses 1 and 2.

NOW...take the compressors in both busses and run them up to 10:1 compression (or more.....) AND put the threshold (where the COMP becomes active) at let's say -10db......

NOW........ pull the facers down to -40db......

Play the track.......

Bring up the BUSS tracks slowly until you hear the difference.....

If you like it..keep it, if not.......modify the EQ as well in the busses....exagerate the higher and lower frequncies....... sounds amazing......

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