Hi guys I’m writin with a very genre specific question: I am wondering if anyone knows good techniques to make a kick drum sound really beefy and subby like on avicii’s “my feelings for you” or " super love"? I’ve started experimenting with decapitator and pro C 2 which definitely helps, but my kicks still don’t fully occupy the sub range like some of the pros do so well. Any tips would be much appreciated!
A great way ti achieve a nice is kick is by layering different kicks. For example a kick which has more of a clicky attack and character and then another kick which has the sub you are looking for. By EQing them properly and glueing them together you can achieve a nice kick.
Just throw some kicks together and see what sounds good or look in the sample library of SPLICE since there are a lot of kicks you can click through very fast. And a lot of them already have been processed so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel everytime
I love splice. thanks for reminding me! Maybe it’s my poor sidechaining that makes my low end sound like a prius running on diesel…lol
Layering kicks is good definitely, but make sure you tune your kicks to the root note of the key you’re playing in. Tune the individual layers first (otherwise you will get phase issues and major frequency conflicts).
Guys, I have been bugged by this from day one. I have bought countless ‘fixes’ from Big Kick, Punchbox, Sample packs for Battery, a few ‘perfect emulations’ of 808 and 909’s. All trying to find the answer. I have over processed the channel in so many ways, layered kicks, everything and still frustrated. I think i may now have the answer. For the first time have i loaded up a VST and when i press the key, it sounded just like the Demo MP3 they used to sell the thing. It is Kick2 and you can tune the kick in there. A good mate of mine also suggested another which is very good. The only difference really was one (Kick2) has a ‘pretty’ user interface!
Yeah kick 2 is really good. I have it but don’t know how to use it to make it sound as good as some of the pros.
I was watching this video of avicii where he basically says he just uses processes samples that he has acquired for all kicks. Lol.
Hey Elton I listened to the revolt. Very Cool song. It sounds very cinematic and the layering of melodies is awesome.
Jacob M Friedman
I’m not convinced when a lot of people tell you ‘how they do it’. The only person i have ever seen (online) who wants to give you every trick, secret, technique etc. is Danny. A lot of others either skip bits unintentionally or they deliberately dont tell all.
What I have found with Kick2 is that the sound you get when you press a key is the sound you heard in the demo. Now that is a first…
Thanks Jacob, it needs mixing and mastering, but the general idea of the track i am happy with.
Try wave bass plug in its nice
One really important thing to remember about kicks, snares, other sounds is they will sound very different in the context of the mix, and that is what counts. Sure it’s optimal to have well produced banging samples (if not making your own) right from the start, but even their ‘sound’, tambre, sonics, will change as you build the track. When I ran a small label there was one producer who would build his tracks by starting out with just about any kick so long as it had a nice thump to it, then he would build the track and while building the meat of the track, i.e. drums, bass, weight, he would then use a sampler bank of like 40 kicks and he would just audition them while the track played until one sounded good to him. Well, what sounded good to him was what sonically fit the track. This way of producing is the tits because then there wasn’t even that much processing needed to ‘make’ the kick fit the tune. He would then do this with the snare, hats, etc., even building his bass, pads, and leads the same way. This is excellent sound design and when done properly gives one a very sonically and good sounding balanced track. Of course he knew how to mix his tracks but mostly he used his ears and most importantly ‘IN THE CONTEXT OF THE MIX’. Producers will spend days looking for the ‘perfect’ samples, but really this is like chasing a mirage. The ‘perfect’ sample is the one that fits the sonics of the track. No plugin is the magic wand, rather the magic resides in the cohesive sound of the mix.
some samples that sound good to me on splice are mike hawkins collection and progressive house kicks. on kick 2, i also like the default settings as well as audi and damage control.
So like a lot of others have already stated, this situation does depend to an extent on the context of the given specific mix and also the source sound recording/kick sample you select. With that said, I do think I still have some suggestions for you that will help!
First off follow Danny’s channel strip work flow strategy/approach because well, it works, and it makes sense!
Secondly, to be more specific to your point of getting the proper sub energy out of your Kick: While the entire channel strip flow is important, I think the majority of this problem comes down to how you are using compression and eq. You don’t want the sub energy of the Kick to be overbearing as that will cause a whole new set of issues with your mix, but you still want to feel more of that sub energy/power than you’re currently achieving, yes? Don’t be afraid to cut frequencies more aggressively before compression if necessary. I find sometimes if I cut more sub energy off of my Kick prior to Compression, that I actually end up with better sub energy presence and importantly more controlled and focused sub energy. Now another thing is cutting enough high end off of your Kick. This is just as important to me as cutting lows sometimes. If there is too much high frequency content in the Kick sound, your ear is going to hear that first or more prominently than we want and typically the important content of a Kick that we want the listener to focus on is not at the tippy top of the spectrum. You’ll find as you start to roll off the high end on the Kick, that your ear will shift and focus more and more on the low mids, lows, and sub areas. Again, thats because as we shave off the top, we allow the content below what we are cutting to be pushed out by the monitors easier and we hear it clearer and from a new perspective. You’ll start to hear/feel the low/sub energy more present in the Kick from cutting those highs. Unless you’re doing a very hard hitting aggressive dubstep type of track, we don’t need all that high end content on the Kick. It sounds better without it. It sounds more like a Kick without it! Haha! We also don’t want the sub of the Kick to clash with the Bass/Sub Bass. So when you are compressing, (recommend using multiple compressors in serial) have a goal in mind as to what you want that compressor to do for the sound and how it relates to or affects your mix as a whole. For example: Do you want more transient focus to cut through? Or maybe theres too much transient emphasis and you want to balance that out a bit while adding fatness to the bottom end? Etc etc. There could be many possible goals that you might have in mind but try to assign each compressor just 1 or maybe 2 goals max to accomplish rather than trying to get everything where it needs to be with only 1 compressor. Once you have the power, focus, and definition you want from the compressors, then move on to additive EQ’s and possibly even more reductive EQ again to re-shape/mold the sound after compression. Use your ears! Play with different frequencies that make sense, different Q’s, different EQ’s, etc. I think you’ll find Pultec and SSL style EQ’s very beneficial for what you’re trying to accomplish here! Layering Kicks works for a lot of composers/producers out there, but to be honest at least in my experience I find that tends to lead to more problems. I advise you try to find 1 excellent sounding Kick sample rather than trying to piece together several. Keeps things simpler, and to me usually ends up sounding better too. Don’t settle for a sample/recording that you think is just ok. Find one that already sounds amazing and that has the qualities and characteristics that you’re listening for before you even start treating it.
I hope that helps you out somewhat! Please don’t hesitate to reply and get more into the nitty gritty of the problem you’re having with this. Very happy to discuss further and try to help you solve this dilemma!
Kevin, I wish I had this advice before I spent so long layering Kicks. I can’t see me ever layering another kick. Although you could say Kick2 is doing that for me I guess.
The other thing Jacob is Parallel Drum Compression. Although this is about the ‘power’, I spent so much time trying to get the ‘subby’ and feeling like I was losing the power. Parallel drum buss sorts that out (or did for me). I feel like I have opened up a whole new world just with that.
I hear you 100% Elton, and its funny, because I used to spend a ton of time trying to layer the perfect combo of Kicks and other drums together too, only ending up in frustration every time. Kick2 is AWESOME! I use it sometimes myself. Capable of generating really great sounds. Great point you made about Parallel Drum Compression. Definitely can add power, grit, additional texture, etc. I usually try to do as little bussing as possible and focus on making every individual channel as good as it can be, but I have to admit there are times when bussing is called for. If I do it though, I tend to wait until the stem mastering session. Not sure if a lot of folks do it that way but it works well for me!
Try designing a hardstyle/rawstyle kick.
Let me back to you and check what’s it is call I know it’s from waves
Is it the MaxBass one? That is good…
Yes that’s it smooth but you feel it do you work with a sub
No, I dont have a sub. I took a load of advice and it seemed to be that you needed very good room acoustic treatment to have one or you would create more harm than good. With the cost of all the room work and the sub etc. and especially given that my room is roughly a 10x8x9 (not much off a cube!), i went for Audeze headphones instead which give really good low (admittedly not sub) accuracy. One day, I would love to create a really good space (treatment and monitors/sub). Better start saving!!! It would save my neck because those Audeze weigh a tonne!
Well not really sub just let’s you know how sub or bass sounds if it’s too much or just right if you are going work on track that have bass a sub well help you level it just right
its worth adding that some people use subwoofers in the studio and love them but most professional studios don’t use them at all. they are tricky and really hard to dial in. i used to mix in a 9x9x8 box but a few years after I tore it down and rebuilt a 17x13x8 studio with complete with control room, bass traps, a cloud, and full sound treatment to specs. with that being said though its still not “perfect” and even multimillion dollar studios have said the same. I used to use a sub in my monitor setup and while it does give a nice reference of the “sub freq” response I found it more problematic over time than ti was helpful. everyone Ive know with a sub came to the same conclusion. not to say it doesnt work great for some, but I wouldn’t sweat acquiring one in the hopes of it aiding your mixing. most of the music you listen to was most likely not mixed in a studio utilizing a sub. more importantly is dialing in your sub bass freq response in your home studio space. make it the best you can with what you’ve got. that’s what we do right : )