"I just don't get it!"
Compressing drums can get pretty frustrating, right?
You know, the way some controls seem to do nothing at all, while others are just plain confusing, so you spend hours tweaking settings without knowing whether you're actually improving things.
And what is it you're supposed to be listening for anyway? Are you missing some sneaky side-effect that's sabotaging your mix behind the scenes?
Presets don't seem to help much either. Somehow, they either seem to do nothing, or else go way overboard!
Honestly, I've been there myself.
I don't know about you, but I always felt so self-conscious overhearing other engineers casually discussing arcane stuff like 'sidechain triggering', 'parallel processing', or 'multiband compression', when I had no idea how and when to use those things — or indeed how and when not to use them!
And don't get me started on those 'wine-tasting' forum threads about the latest boutique plug-ins... Was I the only one who couldn't hear what all the fuss was about? I already found it intimidating enough just choosing between the handful of plug-ins I already had, and wasn't even sure the few third-party compressors I had bought were actually improving my mixes much at all.
What I find so infuriating about all this is that now, after more than 20 years of mixing experience, I know that drum compression does actually make sense!
It doesn't have to be confusing.
It doesn't have to be frustrating.
It's just that too many people try work in reverse, obsessing about plug-ins, presets, and settings without properly identifying what they're trying to achieve.
That's why presets so seldom work, for instance. Your 'Rock Snare' patch can't possibly know what you want to hear, or what's right for your specific mix, so how can you expect it to achieve the right amount of attack, sustain, evenness, 'detail', 'glue', or whatever?
Youtube's really bad for this too, with loads of tutorials just diving straight into the settings without explaining why they're using compression at all, or what they're listening for.
I'm Mike Senior, and since 2008 it's been my mission here at Cambridge-MT to help project-studio users get professional-grade mix results. It genuinely pains me to see drum-compression difficulties undermining so many talented independent musicians and producers.
Which is why I've decided to create my own online course to tackle the topic head-on:
Join me for my Drum Compression Demystified online course, where I'll guide you step-by-step through a series of practical drum-mixing tasks, showing you how to maximise the impact of your compression in real-world project-studio scenarios.
Through this course, you'll...
- Find out how to achieve commercial-grade mix results in your existing DAW without spending big bucks on extra software.
- Uncover the logic behind all those different plug-in controls, so you'll spend less time tweaking and more time actually making music!
- Learn to compress all types of drum tracks confidently: one-shot samples, drum machines, sampled loops/breaks, virtual drummers, live multitracked drumkits...
- Develop the expertise to decode complicated processing setups, so you'll know what's genuinely useful — and what's just overkill!
- Build real hardcore mixing experience in your own studio with my own purpose-designed practical exercises.
- Discover what you should listen for while compressing drums, and how to properly weigh processing benefits against unwelcome side-effects.
- Understand when compression isn't the best tool for the job, and which alternative production techiques will better deliver the desired results.
- Save time and money by identifying those plug-ins that really make a difference to your mix — so you can avoid all the fads and hype!
But I would say all that, wouldn't I? It's my baby, after all!
So don't just take my word for the quality and depth of Cambridge-MT's course content — check out what some of my hundreds of existing students have to say...
"This is genius! I'm laughing out loud at what a difference this makes."
"W—O—W—!!!! Overflowing with information, ideas, perspective... Will take weeks to absorb!"
"Thanks for this course sir! No doubt it's THE BEST I've found."
"I'm literally in awe of the volume of really, really useful info you've made available. The value you've provided is worth ten times the price of the course itself."
"Thank you for all the great stuff you are presenting. Your lessons and techniques are so clear and understandable."
"I have to say that this whole course is exactly the kind of training I've been looking for — one that allows and encourages actual studio 'practice', in the same way we practice playing our instruments."
But there's more!
Sign up before 11am PST on Sunday October 1st and you'll also get access to a special 'Bass Mixing Hacks' group-coaching livestream, where I'll be sharing some of my favourite tricks for getting your mix's low end just right. And I'll also be answering direct questions about the course content — or indeed anything else you'd like my help with!
...so don't miss out!
Core Bundle ($107)
- Hands-on video tutorials packed with real-world audio demonstrations.
- Step-by-step course gradually introducing new techniques on a need-to-know basis to tackle progressively more demanding drum-mixing tasks.
- Project downloads for every video, plus screenshots of all plug-in settings.
- Audio exercises with specimen answers to compare.
- Extensive additional resources: bonus videos, tutorial podcasts, in-depth articles, road-tested plug-in tips...
- Self-study course with lifetime access — learn at your own preferred pace!
- An exclusive Cambridge-MT community where you can share questions and advice.
Premium Bundle ($133)
Everything in the Core Bundle, plus these additional video tutorial modules...
- Negative-ratio compression for sustain enhancement.
- Maintaining punch under heavy compression.
- Maintaining punch during loudness processing.
The Cambridge-MT difference:
what makes these courses special?
We all know there are loads of online audio courses available these days, so why should you choose mine here at Cambridge-MT? It's a fair question, and I think you're entitled to some straight answers...