kick processing

Production | Feb 6, 2012

  1. 65L



    12 posts
    Since Jul 18, 2010
    apologies beforehand if there is another thread pertaining to this, but the search function is a little dodgy... imo

    I'm just interested in what everybody's techniques for kick processing are? what does your effect chain look like/order of effects/reasons etc.

  2. dontworry



    416 posts
    Since Nov 19, 2010
    a good sample
  3. djlouisb



    69 posts
    Since May 21, 2009
    There are quite a few tutorials for making good kicks but the general consensus is something like the following for making a contemporary DnB kick drum.

    Find a sample with a good low end, usually between 80-120hz
    If it doesnt have a nice top end/click then layer another on top, bypassing any frequencies which clash with your low kick. (sometimes people just use a hi hat for the top end)
    Use compression with a reasonably fast attack and release to give the combined kick some punch!

    But imo a good kick drum is what works best in your mix, if it sounds fat on it's own it might sound muddy or dull in the mix if you don't give it enough space.
  4. mr meh

    mr meh

    mr meh

    568 posts
    Since Jan 10, 2011
    yeah a good sample + eq boost around 100hz area

    if im layering kicks ill use a bit of compression via a group or send to glue em together

    dont forget to mono your kicks too
  5. T_Jah Zound


    T_Jah Zound

    107 posts
    Since Sep 7, 2010
    what kick do you need?

    i would make a hardcore kick VERY different compared to a dnb kick or a house kick.....

    the hardcorekick i process (most times) out of a 808 or 909, (pitchautomations volume automations, with distortions, much red, equalizers, resampling compression and much more stuff...)
    if i have have then a kick wich like i just create a sample and save it to a folder

    later if i make a track i browse this folder, pick a kick wich i need.
    then i put it on 3 tracks, put an eq(if u dont have an eq with a filter put a filter too on it) and a gainer. then i root them all together on a send track.
    then i setup the filters so that u have bass mid and highs seperated. (for each of the 3 tracks)
    in the next step i eq everythink like i want to have it, put volume automations on each different , then distortions compressors anyhting i want to have.....
    finally you can use distortion/eq/compression-------anything on the send track.
    after you touched each fader 700 times you should have the kick wich you like ^^

    when i make a dnb or housekick i just layer what i need (like 10 different kicks sometimes) give it pitch automations volume automations, equalizers and then i compress them all at once.

    but everything goes different always ^^

    just sample everything you make, or each jazz fun cd you have, when you hear a single kick or snare striking alone without sax.....
    then you will get a library wich you can use.

    regards t

    € wall of text yeah
  6. joemaki



    1,234 posts
    Since May 15, 2010
    eq compression and transient shaper
  7. dontworry



    416 posts
    Since Nov 19, 2010
    you're all cunts

    i like to run my kicks thru a mid side encoder so I just get the side signal. sounds trippy.

    and don't forget to smash it thru a limiter like noisia!! :rolleyes2
  8. Goodsound



    1,550 posts
    Since Sep 12, 2006
    eq and compression realy, find a good sample and you shouldn't have to do much,

    first adjust the amplitude envelope so you've got the kick sounding how you want, making it nice and tight,

    make sure you're adjustsing the levels at each stage, say you want your kick peaking at -8db, get the level right, add maybe some saturation first if you like, get it back to -8db making sure that what the saturation is doing is actually beneficial,

    then eq as needed depending on what you want, i find taking as much bass out as you can whilst keeping it beefy enough is the best way to go, again make sure after your changes you adjust the level back to -8db

    then compress it, you want a really tight punchy kick these days in dnb, so set your ratio at about 4:1, then you'll need an attack of at least 30 m/s but play about making it slower, you need this to really get the transient slamming, using a fast attack as people always suggest for kicks will never give you a punchy sound, release around 50 ms but again play with it to see how it changes the sound, adjust the threshold so you're really slamming it, something like -12db, or whatever makes it sound good, then adjust the level back to -8db again

    then i find a free plugin called gclip works wonders to give it a little bit of a raw edge,

    i know that's a bit more than eq and compression, but those two should are the main ones, have to be very subtle with the others,

    this normally gives me the bass to start from on moast tracks, layering it with a kick from a break to change the flavour make it unique then gives the final touch,
  9. Kizza You have been summoned to my quarters. You rascal


    Kizza You have been summoned to my quarters. You rascal

    997 posts
    Since Oct 21, 2010
    I make my own low end with a sine wave a pitch mod. Then I layer a nice kick sound which fits over it for the top end with a bit of stereo widening. Sound lush and is the easiest way imo
  10. joemaki



    1,234 posts
    Since May 15, 2010
  11. SevZero



    78 posts
    Since Sep 7, 2009
    As others have said, it really depends on the tune.

    If you want a loud kick, I've found nothing works like compressing in such a way that you squash the transient and pump up the bits after the transient.

    What works for me is very fast attack (ie you want the compressor to kick in before or right about the time the transient hits) and fast release (<20ms) as well as a high-ish ratio. How high really depends on the type of snare, tune and sound you want. Then you pump up the overall volume to emphasize the rest of the drum sound (ie the tail behind the transient)

    I guess the idea behind this kind of compression is that you want to hear **all** of the kick. Imagine you're standing 10m away from the kick drum. You can probably hear the transient but not much else. Now if you placed your ear right against the skin of the drum, you'd be able to hear the transient and all of the tail as well. You want that feeling of having your ear pressed against the skin of the drum to come through in your sound :)

    I've found that by using this technique, I've been able to turn pretty weak,puny kicks (ie acoustic, real drums for example) in to pipe-hitting mega kicks, dramatically increasing the arsenal of kicks that are useable in tunes. Especially if you EQ and bring up some of the lower freq's even more (or rather, EQ down the mid and high freqs and then apply gain afterwards)

    Same applies to snares too, by the way.

    I think the industry term for this is brickwall compression. I don't profess to be an expert but am just highlighting what works for me.

    Also, pitching up/down helps. Again, it will depend on the tune. Amen/Breaks based tunes I find call for snares in the higher freqs (ie. 100-150Hz) whereas tunes with more minimal-sounding drums call for lower freq kicks (80-110 Hz)
  12. Soulstice



    745 posts
    Since Jan 18, 2010

    Why would you need to boost around 100Hz if you already have a 'good sample'? Alos,m why not cut 100Hz from other sounds instead? That would be a better option than boosting.

    Also, why do kicks have to be in mono? You're just regurgitating what other people have said, but these are just potential ways, not saet in stone. What is wrong with haveing the lowest part of your kick in mono and the higher part in stereo? What if you are making tracks that will not be cut to vinyl (most people) and wont be played in a club? Then you dont have to consider mono.

    Limiting can be also be just as effective as compression.
  13. Kizza You have been summoned to my quarters. You rascal


    Kizza You have been summoned to my quarters. You rascal

    997 posts
    Since Oct 21, 2010
    After some further thought... I mostly agree
  14. jayjaybee



    391 posts
    Since Jun 27, 2004
    best way ive found....ive tried many different ways of doing this, and used to obsess with it a little.

    pick a break with a mid range sounding kick, make sure it has character and space.

    then i isolate the kick and slap a gate over it to shape it ( important ), this brings out the transient, mess with the threshold and release. I use the psp gate for this. try to keep a little of the decay to keep the space and character.

    now i have a live sounding snappy kick

    time to layer in the bottom end. Pick a suitable bottom end kick, not too clean tho.

    layer it with the other kick and tune it untill it gets loud, or untill the bottom end dissappears then invert the phaze. If this proves difficult eq out some of the bottom end of the break kick. I hardly ever high pass drums, i just eq out the frequency i dont need, this is the key to phat breaks imo ( leaving in low end rumble( not too low ), take a dnb break from a record and cut out the hats and hear how much low end is on them.

    nearly forgot, give the bottom layer a 15ms ish attack so the transients dont conflict.

    also when im layering ill buss the 2 tracks and put a limiter on it, just so i can get the maximum power from it .

    i never have my kicks hitting to toppy, as my hats usually fill up the space, usually a crash or ride.
  15. NOLIAN say what?


    NOLIAN say what?

    176 posts
    Since Mar 30, 2011
    only low end of kicks go mono.. dont fuckin leave that crunchy high end goodness be in mono :(
  16. VirtualMark You do not have my permission to read this.


    VirtualMark You do not have my permission to read this.

    1,145 posts
    Since Aug 23, 2010
    Agree with the boosting, every sample should be treated differently. If you start with a great sample, then there's no need to do anything to it. I've spent many hours eq'ing the shit out of a sample when i could have just grabbed a better one to start with.

    Disagree with the mono comments. It's not just regurgitating info, this is just good practice. I've read numerous books and they recommend keeping some things in mono. Fair enough you could have the high end of the kick in stereo, but the low end will have more power in mono. Its mainly due to the way we hear bass vs treble, treble is very directional, bass is more omnidirectional. You're not going to get amazing panning effects with bass the way you do with treble, you'll get phase cancellation and lose power.
  17. jayjaybee



    391 posts
    Since Jun 27, 2004
    i never mono my kicks or snares but go out of my way to make them stereo.

    im not talking 9:00 & 3:00 more like half 11 and half past 12 for the two kick/snare layers, you still keep the power but create much more space and depth this way.

    ive listened to a few tracks with stereo kicks, people would always mono stuff years ago to save space, mixer channels and more important so the vinyl wouldnt skip when its pressed.

    for example the funky mule kick has way too much stereo width on it, i usually just reign it in a little but i never mono it as it looses its lushness. that kick is just bad ass, fuck sample cd's.
  18. majin Psyker


    majin Psyker

    111 posts
    Since Sep 19, 2011
    Don't forget to use

  19. roringtonsmithe



    691 posts
    Since Feb 1, 2010
    :laughing: so true, so true.
  20. dontworry



    416 posts
    Since Nov 19, 2010
    2 pages on kick drum processing?

    welcome to the grid.
  21. Wu Lala

    Wu Lala

    Wu Lala

    11,546 posts
    Since Feb 7, 2007
    while I must admit I have a thing for layering a click at the start of a kick drum, its all about just getting good samples and not fucking them up with effects.

    Layer kicks, saturate, boost at 80z, cut at 300hz, compress, bus with drums then new york, yeah its all good sometimes, by the time you know how and when to do those properly you probably wont need to ask, until then do yourself a favour, find a good sample and move on with your life, youll thank yourself for it.

    Thats why drummers usually write fuck all in terms of their bands output. While ringo was busy tuning his kick drum to his room the other 3 were making music. You dont want to be that guy in the interview

    "so how do you feel looking back on the beatles music all this time later?"

    "Im never happy when I listen back to our old records, I dont think we ever really got the kick drum sound right"

    worth noting Ive spent the last 3 days fighting kick/snare vs sub sounds till my ears hurt :teeth:
  22. roringtonsmithe



    691 posts
    Since Feb 1, 2010