Aaron Rubin’s Drum Processing Secrets

“Soundtoys were the first ‘non-stock’ plug-ins I got. Going from a stock delay like Mod Delay II to EchoBoy was like going from a scooter to a Benz. Decapitator, Devil-Loc, and a Radiator (a bit later) then came out and have still stayed in my work flow to this day.

These tools are amazingly versatile for adding color, vibe, size, aggression, or just full on destruction. It can make the most boring sound and make it into something interesting. Drums are my favorite thing to mix. Here are some comments on a few of the presets I created for Soundtoys that will hopefully help you next time you’re looking to put these tools through their paces.”

– Aaron Rubin (Angels & Airwaves, The New Regime, Ilan Rubin, Night Riots, Tom DeLonge)


Aaron certainly knows his stuff when it comes to mixing drums! Check out his insight on how he uses each of these presets in his sessions:



Drum Crush – “Put this on an AUX and send your close drum mics like Kick, Snare, and Toms to it. If the song is mid-tempo or slow, I tend to add more “crush.” If it’s faster I’ll have less crush. Use it to taste. Then blend this AUX bus with your drums. Mine tends to be about 8-10 db below my drum bus.”

Clap Helper – “This is the first thing I reach for when I see claps in a session. Talk about something that will make your claps sounds larger than life and alive! Press play with the mix knob at “0” and slowly
bring it up. When it sounds over bearing, stop and dial it back. Sometimes barely hitting “1” is
just enough.”


Snare Top Stretcher – “This is a great way to add some length and subtle drive to a snare top that sounds “meh” and dull. If you need more snap, bump the treble. If you need more body, add some bass. No two snare drums are alike!”


“Did you know you can use EchoBoy as a color box? Keep the delay time at 0, mix at 100% and then use the Style & Style edit to get weird. I included some ideas in the presets for you do get started on. I’ve also included a drum delay I used in the first half of Verse 2 for Angels & Airwaves’ “Losing My Mind”. Delay on drums is A LOT of fun and sometimes you can make the simplest beat sound complex and groovyyyy.”



Snare Bus SIZZLE – “Sometimes you get sent a snare the just needs more SNARE. This will
help you dial in that missing sizzle.”

Overheads 60’s – “This preset can take your boring digital sounding overheads and put them in a
time machine to the 60’s. Make sure to check the phase. Anytime use use a low cut things can



“Sie-Q is definitely a color EQ. Its top end is so nice and open without getting harsh. The mid bands in conjunction with the Drive knob can give you that little push to make things stick out in a non-annoying way.”