For many music producers and audio engineers, audio frequency ear training is key to helping them tune that perfect mix. Percussion (drums, cymbals, etc.) is generally the basis of a good mix, and getting just the right punchy sound from your percussion audio frequencies is essential.

Note: If you’re not familiar already, start by getting to know the different parts of a standard rock drum kit.

Learning about percussion frequencies breaks down into a number of steps:

Characteristic drum and cymbal frequencies (Hz)

First up, you need to know where each part of the percussion section “lives” in terms of frequencies. There’s no point adjusting the EQ in one band, if the target instrument doesn’t have any presence there! So step one is to learn the characteristic frequency presence of each part of the drum kit, from kick drum through snare, on to the crash cymbals and hi-hats.

Impact of frequency adjustments on percussion

How do you change your kick drum frequency to make it “thud” harder? How can you make the snare have punch without dominating the mix? What