How to make Kick Drums hit HARD

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Post Reply
Vorb
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 5:05 am

How to make Kick Drums hit HARD

Post by Vorb » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:07 am

How do you make Kick Drums hit HARD?
Because obviously it's not as simple as dragging 808 samples or Kick samples into a rack and going at it? But I can't seem to get the effect.
Is it the kick drums that hit, or is it the bass?

Examples:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFcDxndJW64

or

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1-ZjAfN-Y8

What is the best way to achieve this effect? Pitch envelopes/distortion/layering? If so, how to do this? And would buying a sample pack on Loopmasters like Trapstep accomplish the same thing?
Thanks!

Michael Hatsis
Posts: 1807
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 6:27 pm
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: How to make Kick Drums hit HARD

Post by Michael Hatsis » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:55 am

alot of times it just comes down to the right kick. I haventchecked out your examples, but if your tryin to make "trap" or dubstep, Im guessing the examples u show are samples.

I know people are gonna say its bad and loud is evil, bla bla bla, but clipping is a great way to add some smack to percussive sounds. If you have Live 9, the Glue has an awesome clipper built in( and the compressor also adds a ton of snap to sounds as well but thats a whole other story).

throw the glue on, set range to '0', then turn on soft clip and hit the makeup knob...find that spot before the distortion is too much. You'll hear what its doin.

Mike

102455
Posts: 1631
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:41 pm
Location: Location: Location:
Contact:

Re: How to make Kick Drums hit HARD

Post by 102455 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:18 am

I actually did go and listen to those (ahem) examples........and it didn't seem to me that the kicks were any different to anything else I've heard recently.

I certainly didn't think they "hit HARD".

The amount of punch you hear is going to be related to the kit you're using to listen. What speakers do you have?

yur2die4
Posts: 6408
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 3:02 am
Location: Menasha, Wisconsin
Contact:

Re: How to make Kick Drums hit HARD

Post by yur2die4 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:05 pm

Aside from the percussion being up front, center, full volume, the synth elements are almost at half volume.

Turn everything else down. Tighten your kicks (don't overcompress or overcome are them, since they are louder in the mix and dominate, they'll stand out on their own and too much messing with their sound will dirty up the purity of their tone making them less effective. Also, look up psytrance kicks). Good to go.

Also, to be able to turn the synths down, it helps to thicken them all so they're extra noisy and obnoxious. The kind that make a lot of sound no matter how quiet they are. With a lot of dissonant character.

So when you listen to the track. When you try to listen to the synths, you keep trying to turn up the volume of the track. But the kicks will be so overpowering in the mix, you'll have to put up with them pounding your face off.

arnoweb
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:05 pm

Re: How to make Kick Drums hit HARD

Post by arnoweb » Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:25 pm

Hello,

If you want your kick to sounds good, you have to issues:
- you can use a drums synth (like Vengeance Metrum)
- or you can create it by yourself simply by using 3 layers: (top kick, middle kick and low kick). More explanations here:
http://www.soonvibes.com/blog/post/id/4 ... -rendering

Hope it can help you.

102455
Posts: 1631
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:41 pm
Location: Location: Location:
Contact:

Re: How to make Kick Drums hit HARD

Post by 102455 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:47 pm

Hey, why stop at three layers?

Why not use.......one MMMMMMIIIIILLLLLLLLLLLLIIION kick drums!

arnoweb
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:05 pm

Re: How to make Kick Drums hit HARD

Post by arnoweb » Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:56 pm

102455 wrote:Hey, why stop at three layers?

Why not use.......one MMMMMMIIIIILLLLLLLLLLLLIIION kick drums!

1 million ?

Sorry I don't understand.

kevtronic88
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:09 pm

Re: How to make Kick Drums hit HARD

Post by kevtronic88 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:55 pm

What I do a lot that's helped is to throw an eq8 on there and boost the low freqs around where the kick is hitting the hardest. This will usually cause it to clip but you can the turn down the gain on the eq8 until you aren't clipping and it will still retain a lot of bass and thump from the low freqs being boosted. This doesn't always work, and you have to use your ears, but that's why music production is more art than science.

agent314
Posts: 1447
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:07 am

Re: How to make Kick Drums hit HARD

Post by agent314 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:58 pm

Something I've had luck with is adding a send channel with an EQ rolling off the highs (everything over 200-500hz depending on your Q and source material) and a strong compressor, then routing your kick and/or bass to it.

If you play with the compressor envelope settings, you can get a lot of low-end thump/feel/hit without drowning everything else out with the lows.

juanpablo1313
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2008 5:52 pm

Re: How to make Kick Drums hit HARD

Post by juanpablo1313 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:08 pm

find the right sample, compress a lot with a slow attack, EQ and get a transient shaper if needed... don't bother layering sounds from scratch unless you really know what you're doing, because you can find a sample for almost every kick drum you've ever listened to.

Stromkraft
Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: How to make Kick Drums hit HARD

Post by Stromkraft » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:17 am

The obvious thing to do would ne to make room for the kick in the mix.

for example by
  • putting high pass EQ on all tracks but the kick and the bass
  • Either make the bass dominate another spectrum than the kick or play when the kick doesn't
  • Sidechain the bass so it ducks when the kick plays OR a separate kick track not going out in the mix plays. This done either with compression, multi-band compression or dynamic EQ
To let the kick clip or close to is just silly IMHO, as it's a recipe for a weak limp kick that will be drowned. When you're clipping that's it. You can't go higher. When you're not you can. You can maximize loudness and what not, but do that on the master where everything comes together.

Gain staging and thoughtful compression, in several stages is my recipe. Since I started doing that my kicks really works. When I was unexperienced and maxed every track the kicks sounded like pathetic pointless paperboard beats in the mix even if the original sound was great on its own.
Make some music!

H20nly
Posts: 15836
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 9:15 pm
Location: The Wild West

Re: How to make Kick Drums hit HARD

Post by H20nly » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:25 am

as far as clipping goes... in Live, your tracks/instruments can all clip... as long as the master track isn't clipping. so you don't have to be afraid of a hot signal if it's giving you the sound you're after.

Post Reply