Propellerhead Software
Old 2006-08-08, 16:38
Posts: n/a
Solid Kick Sound

How would I achieve an optimal kick sound? I like the kick sounds that I use, but find them to be a little pale in the final mix and missing, well...the kick that they should give to a song.

I've heard many ways to make the kick stand out, but I'm not trying to destroy the sound, I just want the kick to actually KICK the song.

Any suggestions?
Old 2006-08-08, 17:15
jzeigler jzeigler is offline
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 0
Re: Solid Kick Sound

: Any suggestions?

in dance music as you may know everything hinges on the kickdrum actually being the most prominent low end sound.

3 things to think about.

1.Strength: for raw strength of a kick, layer kicks and pitch them different (in good harmony of course) most people stick to a couple of octaves (a hard hitting octave where you here even the 6-9hz hiss range, and a sub octave beneath it). I personally will pitch another one at about a 5th or 7th down from the high kick to give it some color.

2. Dont compete with the bass:

I like to low eq my bass at about 55-75 khz, use the m-class eq for a low cut (30khz), low shelf the kick at aroun 50-60khz, but no low cut at 30khz. This cuts out any low end dissonance, rumble, etc.

3.Sidechain, sidechain, sidechain. Learn how to use the m-class compressor and redrum send to create the pumping effect we call sidechaing. crucial to any club mix.

you will do fine with these three tips in mind. also there is a site called plp or free loops or something, anyways they send out a free newsletter every month that usu has some tips on bass/kick relationship and how crucial it is to a good pro mix. if you are in the dark, listen to what they are telling hip hop producers.

Old 2006-08-08, 20:49
KineticG's Avatar
KineticG KineticG is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 20
Another way

Kick drum 0db +3 eq at 50 Hz +1 db at 3khz -3db 275 hz No FX except maybe subtle ambience You will tweak the kick again, this is just to get you going. In an instrumental piece, the kick is the first and last tweaked. It's got to be just right.
Old 2006-08-08, 21:37
lofi1990's Avatar
lofi1990 lofi1990 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 755
Re: Another way

jzeigler has some good insight for you...

one of my suggestions for you is to ANALYZE your kick, AND your bass... by this i mean use a vocoder and do the little analyzer trick (seach if you don't know)

find out what the strong frequencies of the kick are, and cut the rest, best you can.

do the same for a bass sound, try not to pick a bass and a kick with clashing frequencies.

with surgical eq you should be able to get them both to stand out and hit hard without clashing.

with proper compression you should be able to get the bass and kick real loud and real transparent against each other.
Old 2006-08-09, 14:02
blkphoenix blkphoenix is offline
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 318
Re: Another way

My suggestion is to layer another kick or two that has diffwerent nuances that your original drum.....then eq it. This can be acjieved either by any wav editor program or in company by using midi notes in the sequencer. Just export the loop and cust the sample of mixed various kicks. i've made some very unique claps and snares by using this method. I hope this helps....if not I will give you a step by step instruction. Just hit me on email
Old 2006-08-10, 17:14
oldhamfc oldhamfc is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 0
Re: Another way

I agree with Phoenix,

Basically, I always use 2 kick sounds together. Slap them in Redrum, find two that contrast well with each other (different timbres), and then EQ the sound before putting through a compressor. That should do it.

And when you've finished your track, don't be scared of going back to tweek the kick against the rest of the track.
Old 2006-08-10, 23:17
jappe jappe is offline
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 54
Re: Solid Kick Sound

: Make the kick drum yourself so you get much better control and tweaking possibilities.

Create a Combinator containing:
(use default settings for parameters not found below)
Malstrom-- Maximizer-- Compressor-- Combinator output

Malstrom setting: Osc A & B have "Sawtooth*16" waveform.
ADSR: A10, D86, S87, R42

pipe Osc A to Shaper(disabled)
pipe Shaper to Filter A(enabled)
Filter A: LP12, Env=enabled, Freq=0,Res=45

Pipe Osc B to Filter B(enabled)
Filter B: Lp12, Env=enabled,Freq=0, Res=32. Motion=8, Index=68


Filter Env ADSR: A2, D57, S48, R81, AMT62

Mod A: 1 Shot, Curve=9, Pitch=63
Mod B: Curve=7, Vol=15

For Malstrom settings: Set slightly different settings between Osc A & B on chosen parameters to create movement and richer sound.


Maximizer settings:
Attack: Mid, Release: Auto
Compressor: Ratio=44:1, Attack=1ms, Release=58ms. Tweak the treshold to attentuate the gain around 12-16 dB

Finally...find some nice parameter combinations to link to the Combinator rotaries!
Old 2006-08-13, 07:45
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 211
Re: Solid Kick Sound

Do you give the kick it's own audio channel in your main mixer? If you don't, that's one you could try. In other words, don't sub-mix it with the snare and the hihat and whatever other percussion instruments you have, take it straight to the main mixer as if it were it's own instrument.

Then add the eq's and compressors as insert effects as others have suggested.

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