Mixing Drums and Groove Shadows - Any experience?

I was reading musicradar the other day, because I actually get some really good mixing tips out of their articles every now and then. And, sure enough, in an article about how to program drums in interesting ways, one of the things they suggested is to use what they called a Groove Shadow - a different drum loop/sequence from your main one, which you send through “effects” (they didn’t specify any in particular) and then mix only the wet effects output of that secondary loop in with your main beat.

I tried it with a techno loop in a house track I’m working on and I’m pretty pleased with the results of running it through a dirty early digital reverb and then turned down and filtered so that just some of the louder percussion hits are audible. But I was wondering if any of you have tried this kind of thing before. What kind of effects would you try this with? How do you bus the wet output of the groove shadow into your track? How loud do you let it get?

I just had the groove shadow go out to the master, so it isn’t mixed directly with my drums, but would you give that a shot?

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I do it sometimes when I’m making glitch beats…or glitch idm breakcore.

I don’t know if I’ve done it exactly this way but I’ve used percussion loops that get FX/filtered or EQd so just some of the hits are present. I also quite often use delay to create more organic hand drum sequences. Care to link to the article if possible?

Last tip in here.

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I do this a lot. It can be a lot of fun to do this with percussions, hats or top layers in general. The FX for me mostly depend on how you want it to fit in, as fill-in type stuff or as a part of your percussions or even the main beat structure? If it is just for fills or you want something interesting, try out some granular effects and spectral morphing. In general this layer might also be a good target for all those glitch-type effects, but not so much for most house genres ^^

If the layer works as a constant part of the beat, I usually use less crazy effects, or at least less modulation, and do more heavy EQing, filtering and/or multiband compression and some mid/side/panning work and transient shaping to make it fit better.

I always fit all my drums into a drum group and mostly put all beat FX layers in there, or even into the kick/snare/top drum subgroup. I always mix everything down to main beat, bass, melody and vocal layers, or something similar - it helps me to keep it simple allowing for quick changes to the overall sound and tonal “grading” of groups.

You shouldn’t listen to me in any case, I still often arrogantly bounce complete drum groups down for further processing not expecting me to hate myself for it later lol… A big thank you shoutout @TvMcC for making me do that less by asking me for highly specific elements buried in some group stem in all collab projects :smiley:


I do this w acoustic kits in electronic music. Often I’ll take a simple break, band pass it and then apply some subtle tempo synced delay and lay it in behind the main kit to create movement and make the acoustic kit sound less out of place in the production.



Quick example from today:

Duplicating the main beat, EQing out lower frequencies and more, then sending it through a glitch plugin for some fast gating effects and slight modulated distortion, then some saturation, lots of transient shaping to make it extremely sharp and to neutralize some of the longer transients introduced by glitching and accentuated by distortion, then making it wider since the signal was very centered, some multiband compression to equalize all a bit and finally more transient shaping…

Edit - here is the track:


exactly how i do it … the izotope imager is one i use the most on ghost drums … loads of Eq after the imager so you can’t even notice these ghost drums, then you fx shape this wide image so it’s not " out of phase " too much.

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