Kicks

Discussion in 'Production' started by Lorre, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. Lorre

    Lorre Active Member

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    Anyone got some advice on kicks? It's pretty tough to make 'em not sound flabby. This has been my issue since day one.

    I've tried layering samples with other samples, sampled with kicks from breaks, ...
     
  2. lug00ber

    lug00ber Active Member

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    See the other post about Fanu's tips for getting your sub bass right, with regards to what he says about tuning/choosing the kick drum.

    Then a message from Captain Obvious:
    Use a good sample!
    No really, use a good sample. If you constantly feel you need to layer your kicks, maybe it's time to find some better kicks for your sample library.

    Use the correct sample!
    When using single hit samples to reinforce breaks (which is what I usually do, you might be doing less breakbeat-driven tracks) the single hit's purpose is to fill out what the break can't deliver. That means that to find the kick you need you need to figure out what's missing before you start selecting samples. That way, you find what you need, instead of just using the first kick drum that sounds cool on it's own when you're randomly browsing your sample library.

    A few tips from my play book:
    - A lot of kicks have long decay tails, which you really don't need at 174 bpm. So use the envelope section on your sampler to reduce the decay, which removes a lot of undefined low frequency rumble which does nothing but interfere with your bass.
    - High pass your kicks, before you apply any other processing such as compression, saturation, distortion and so on. Start with your high pass frequency at the lowest your eq will go, start playing and increase the frequency until the kick doesn't kick any more. Then reduce the frequency to just below the point where it starts kicking again, and leave it there. I typically use quite steep curves for this (24db or sometimes even 48 db).
    - When layering, don't use several samples that has low end. Use your samplers high-pass filters to remove the stuff you don't want/need (goes for breaks as well, obviously).
     
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  3. Alert

    Alert Oblivion Fringe

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    ^ ^ ^ this
    (y)
     
  4. sam the dnb man

    sam the dnb man Variation

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    When hi passing kicks, trying flipping the phase of one kick if you have two playing simultaneously. It may have lock then together.
     
  5. Mania

    Mania i fukin wot m8

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    if it's flabby just shorten the waveform
     
  6. Lorre

    Lorre Active Member

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    You'll have to explain me how to do this?

    @lug00ber cheers on the tips, will make use of em. I usually start with a breakbeat, chop u the individual hits. In case of kick almost always hi-pass it cause the bottom end lacks punch & character. Usually I can work on a kick that sounds ok individually, but then added back in with the break lacks it's punch again or sounds downright flabby.
    I guess it's time to look into some samplepacks :)
     
  7. RUSSLA

    RUSSLA DNBF Monarch

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    Make your own.
     
  8. lug00ber

    lug00ber Active Member

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    It's also worth trying to move the starting point of the kick in the sampler, so that it aligns with the start of the kick from the break.

    Obviously goes for snares and any other reinforced hits too, and is something to look for when layering several breaks. After I'm done pitching, slicing and resequencing a breakbeat in a sampler, I bounce to audio so that I can nudge stuff around to line up. Sometimes small timing differences for shuffles/ghost snares works great, other times it's clanging and ruins the groove of the beat.
     
  9. TinnitusD&B

    TinnitusD&B Member

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    You have producers like Friction who layer kicks and producers like TC who tend not to.

    I think it all depends on what kind of track you're making and what kind of sound you want to achieve. Me personally I choose a nice punchy kick (I touch my monitor cone to gauge the right amount of punch) then EQ the flabby low end out and boost where necessary. I've read elsewhere that its best to compress before any EQing but I'm not sold on the idea completely, i think you can be flexible on this. I still struggle to get a kick I'm happy with so i think the majority of the process is trial and error. Just keep processing kicks until you find your desired technique
     
  10. lug00ber

    lug00ber Active Member

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    The rule of thumb is to do subtractive eq (eq adjustments with negative gain) before before compression, so that the compressor doesn't work on frequencies which will be removed anyway.
    Then you do eq adjustments with positive gain after compression.