How do you make your kicks?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
fx23
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Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:23 pm

Re: How do you make your kicks?

Post by fx23 » Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:14 pm

very true, but sometimes some componments cannot be created with a single synth instance, really depends on wanted results/music type.

there are lot's of commercial track kicks where attack is not only a sine sweep but have some extra mid/high infos hard to
recreate with a synth (i think of those hh/sd) can add noise of extra fm but not realistic .
so this mainly depends if you are after a more synthetic or live sample feeling.

ie i will use only ulta clean sine sweep for a Psy trance kick, but DnB kicks would benefit more from layering or at least starting from real samples, jazz would keep nearly unprocessed full dynamics, harcore techno will have heavy compression, satutation ect, there are no general rules fititing all kinds of music, the best is as always to experiment..

Der_Makrophag
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Re: How do you make your kicks?

Post by Der_Makrophag » Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:55 am

Dr. Fluffenstein wrote:
Der_Makrophag wrote:
leedsquietman wrote:Then again, certain sounds, especially 808/909 kicks based on sine waves, sometimes need a little extra help from a sample etc. to cut through.
Hm.. normally on the 909 kick a little saturation does the trick...and...BAM in your face (love the 909 sounds)! :-D


At the moment I am also experimenting with bassdrum-synthesis (also in reaktor) and its really tricky to get a good sound out of it. On simple pitch modulated sines (sometimes triangle also works), saturator is always nice (but not too much unless you want some hardcore). With this method, it is relatively easy to get some ploppy stompy goa/psytrance kicks. Using a compressor can give you nice sound, but to play it rythmically you need to sample it, because the compressor can make it sound weird when played fast.

If you are into Harcore/Harstyle Kicks, the only rule is to apply lots of distortion and play around wth pre nad post filtering. Also I am a newbie to this, I got nice ones out of a simple pitch modulated sine, splitting its signal in live: the first just clean, maybe a bit of saturator and the other one for the newschool heavy distortion into guitar rick (transamp distortion effect sounds pretty cool there). then the mix of both into the saturator (feel free to tune up the drive!) to give heavy punch. The mix of both is really important. Also play around with every parameter (also importand the envelope settings of the sine wave) and introduce filtering where it sounds good. just trust your ears here.
Do you use multiband dynamics to split it? I find it changes the sound too much so an alternative would be nice.

You should try layering 3 sine oscillators with different frequencies and pitch envelopes instead of just using one, just make sure all the attacks are different so the transients don't happen at the same time. It's a lot of work but the result is a lot better.

Tanks for the hint, will check it out (as I said, I am quite new to this complete synthesizing kicks).
For splitting: I do not use any linear phase filters (anyway I think, that heavy distortion as done in guitar rig effects the phase, so linear phase filtering wont give the desired result). If you hear, that everything collapses when splitted, just implement some phase invert (simply using utility) or a simple filter. A little resonant highpass in the dirty pathway can give you the sound you are seeking, maybee. Because pre-(heavy)-distortion filtering gives sometimes unexpected results (jou might know this from the color function of saturator).
I would recommend linear phase filters only for normal layering of different sounds. Also, if the frequencies of your 3 sine oscs differ enough, this shouldn't be a big issue. And as you say you get good results, don't mind anyway ;-)
My English is not perfect, I know... Sorry about that.

Greetings from Germany!

P.S. to wishlist forum users: Please search for former requests. Otherwise they will be splitted into many small ones and we are loosing impact!!!

Dr. Fluffenstein
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Re: How do you make your kicks?

Post by Dr. Fluffenstein » Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:04 pm

funken wrote:well, I was chatting to a pro the other day (makes house music), and he listened to my latest, and said the kick wasnt phat enough. It was made in Massive. Was a bought preset actually. He said he recommends just get a decent sample, or take one off a record. So I layered and EQ'd two Deamou5 kicks.
I've been trying to figure out how to give my kicks that kind of shape (the really snappy attack with the swelling bass tail). I've gotten close but I just can't seem to figure it out fully, I use an EQ cut on the low mids and a transient designer but it's still not quite right.

Anyone have some success with getting them to be that way?


Was also wondering what opinions are about surgically editing kick waveforms in audio editors. A lot of the kicks I make have some wild peaks/cycles that have too high or too low an amplitude (from frequencies adding or canceling). I use volume automation in audacity to change the amplitude of some of the half cycles (basically like compression but only where I want it). Are there any problems with doing this?

evon
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Re: How do you make your kicks?

Post by evon » Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:55 pm

Simbosan wrote:I get mine on Route 66
You sound like the doud I kicked off the bus on that same route awhile back. But if I remember it was only just one kick.

Well that is how I get my kicks.
fe real!

fx23
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Re: How do you make your kicks?

Post by fx23 » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:15 pm

Dr. Fluffenstein wrote: I've been trying to figure out how to give my kicks that kind of shape (the really snappy attack with the swelling bass tail). I've gotten close but I just can't seem to figure it out fully, I use an EQ cut on the low mids and a transient designer but it's still not quite right.

Anyone have some success with getting them to be that way?

Was also wondering what opinions are about surgically editing kick waveforms in audio editors. A lot of the kicks I make have some wild peaks/cycles that have too high or too low an amplitude (from frequencies adding or canceling). I use volume automation in audacity to change the amplitude of some of the half cycles (basically like compression but only where I want it). Are there any problems with doing this?
(mind you i make psytrance kicks, might not apply for other styles, but may help:)
I try to separate the two componmant the attack, and the body, so on each one you can work a more accurate way of
controlling each pitch envelope, or amplitude, frequencies ect.. than only one global.
So once your body is good, you can sculpt the attack without messing your body.
however the hard trick is then to make the link between the two parts, cause by default it
will generally sound messy. the goal is to phase them right. so the ending pitch of tick, and
start of boom should be the same, and in phase. there should be a control of amplitude so
first Tick will go down and boom body will have a slow attack so the link is more or less lowered, depending on style.
what i do is use a very short note on (20-30ms) for hi/med attack, followed by a note for the body.
the attack is way up pitched, with a short envelope, in my case from +48 to 0, with a hp to roll off
any low feq on release. this will give the snap (also can play with
phase of sin so it start cut, or add extra hi noise oscillator or fm for extra punch, then the body will go
from 0 (or same as attack ending pitch )to -12 or -24 to finish maching the bass fundamental note.
Checking with an oscilloscope and tweaking booth tick and boom until the two are phasing right. reducing with EQ the portion that corespond to the link, around 1k here, that is cool to also let room for the SD/CP in this exemple.
then it's a long job of shaping pith enveloppes and amp/ compression for the right amplitude.

you can do what ever you want to shape your dynamics, in fact most synths enveloppes don't give enough accurate control to shape
right, so editing 'offline' in a wav editor is a good choice, lot of pros in fact make there kicks only in wav editors,
much more precise work on pitch and amplitude, layering, and phase checking than any existing synth, where enveloppes
are tricky and generally variable over time so not sample accurate (especially in such high pitch bends use or quick amp shaping.
but i find it a bit long and not very trippy, so my method is kind of in between in my cases often giving closer to what im after
results..
Last edited by fx23 on Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MPGK
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Re: How do you make your kicks?

Post by MPGK » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:38 pm

Thanks for the long explanation fx23.

When sculpting sounds, whether it's additive or subtractive, an oscilloscope can be a really helpful tool.
I discovered s(M)exoscope a few months ago. It's free and works well, thought I'd share it with you: http://bram.smartelectronix.com/plugins.php?id=4

fx23
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Re: How do you make your kicks?

Post by fx23 » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:50 pm

you're welcome

yeak that's what i use it's great and free the only thing i miss is here midi controlled version crashs :(
i like it to be retrig on beat to check a static wavform. ( i don't want to retrig on peak, not generally the start of kick)
and so i need to find the nearest tempo to retrig on bar, and adjust time until the wav display don't drift
). so i need to go to to 150 when my music is finally at 145, so there are slight difference...
searched a new challenger for long, but never found it..

MPGK
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Re: How do you make your kicks?

Post by MPGK » Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:07 pm

fx23 wrote:you're welcome

yeak that's what i use it's great and free the only thing i miss is here midi controlled version crashs :(
i like it to be retrig on beat to check a static wavform. ( i don't want to retrig on peak, not generally the start of kick)
and so i need to find the nearest tempo to retrig on bar, and adjust time until the wav display don't drift
). so i need to go to to 150 when my music is finally at 145, so there are slight difference...
searched a new challenger for long, but never found it..
For me the features are quite enough, your way to work sounds a bit like rocket science. I guess Psytrance is serious business. ;)

fx23
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Re: How do you make your kicks?

Post by fx23 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:47 am

lol yeah im probably too much focusing on 'science' than my ears sometimes ;)

indeed i find psytrance to need such precision it becomes intolerant, it's much harder to get on than anything else i made previously (DnB,acid,HC,tekno), and my fellow custom 'beat retrig' s(M)exoscope definitely helped me to progress relating the
psy kick/bass mystery, and can be probably extended to more music kind where strong phasing or peaks/amplitudes checking
is needed or just try to match a reference tune and understand how it has been made.

friend_kami
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Re: How do you make your kicks?

Post by friend_kami » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:40 pm

i left my leg, and aim with my foot.
how do you do yours?

MPGK
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Re: How do you make your kicks?

Post by MPGK » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:47 pm

friend_kami wrote:i left my leg, and aim with my foot.
how do you do yours?
I right my leg.

evon
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Re: How do you make your kicks?

Post by evon » Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:57 pm

To be brutally honest..I just grab one of those samples you freaks make up and tweak the shit out of it using all the tools I have available..EQ, Compressor etc or anything I can find at the time a hammer a saw ..till I am satisfied.

Come to think of it ..probably that's why I am just not getting the magic I am looking for..HMM.

Probably its time to start making my own instruments.
fe real!

The Carpet Cleaner
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Re: How do you make your kicks?

Post by The Carpet Cleaner » Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:04 pm

I just choose the right kick sample. Depending of the track, I might layer two different samples. If I do layer stuff, I generally don't tweak much, but I choose two kick that don't have the same characteristics. Then the compressor do the mix.

Angstrom
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Re: How do you make your kicks?

Post by Angstrom » Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:08 pm

I've made kicks in numerous ways, but recently I've been playing around with using Operator to provide a nice impulse/attack noise and then Corpus to provide the ringing body tones. The advantage here lies mainly in being able to adjust the harmonic content, which is quite hard to synthesize otherwise. I mean that odd way that the resonant part of a drum decay can detune into many complex harmonic related voices. This is a one-dial operation in Corpus.

Of course, after that I plop a Saturator and a mild compressor, the compressor is only occasionally used in order to bring out the initial punch (using a long attack)

davepermen
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Re: How do you make your kicks?

Post by davepermen » Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:25 pm

Angstrom wrote:I've made kicks in numerous ways, but recently I've been playing around with using Operator to provide a nice impulse/attack noise and then Corpus to provide the ringing body tones. The advantage here lies mainly in being able to adjust the harmonic content, which is quite hard to synthesize otherwise. I mean that odd way that the resonant part of a drum decay can detune into many complex harmonic related voices. This is a one-dial operation in Corpus.

Of course, after that I plop a Saturator and a mild compressor, the compressor is only occasionally used in order to bring out the initial punch (using a long attack)
sounds nice, have to try that out later.
http://davepermen.net my tiny webpage, including link to bandcamp.

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