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Old 2011-09-07, 23:17
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eightecs eightecs is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 52
Modern house top kick

Hi all,

I've been trying to figure out how to make the kind of top kick that many house artist uses these days. They are crisp and hit really hard with very little bottom end. Example of such top kicks can be heard at the beginning of the following tracks:

David Guetta - Little Bad Girl (Instrumental)
Laidback Luke - Timebomb
Alex Morph - Find (This one is insane and one of my favorites)
Avicii - Fade Into Darkness (Vocal Club Mix)

I've tested some ideas in Record/Reason and try to come up with something similar and here is what I've got. Of course, it doesn't sound as any of the songs above but just so you get the idea on how to approach it.

First, listen to this shot. I've made some simple tweaking on the master section but the samples used for the kicks are dry themselves. This is not really what I want:
Loading SoundCloud…

This second shot has the same master section but the kicks has been eq:ed and compressed:
Loading SoundCloud…

Here you can hear that the top kick is very different. What I've done is basically four steps to the specific sample. First, cut almost everything below 100 Hz. Second, make a big boost around 150 and 250 Hz AND another lighter boost with the hi shelf. Third, compress the signal quite heavily with a low threshold and quite a bit of input gain. Fourth, add a new eq after the compressor and boost again 3 db with the hi shelf around it lowest frequencies.

Finally, listen to this shot. The kick samples are still processed but the master section is bypassed. It sounds a little flatter but you can still hear the top kick hitting fairly hard:
Loading SoundCloud…

Hope you'll find this small tip useful. There surely are many (better) ways to do this but this is how I approached it. I can share the record file if you like, it only uses factory sounds so anyone would be able to use it.

Have fun
/ Louis

Last edited by eightecs; 2011-09-08 at 00:26.

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