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Kick processing
Old 12th May 2016
Here for the gear
🎧 5 years
Kick processing

Hi kink,

I listen to your music since few years now, I really like your positive attitude and your sound signature.

I make music since few month, I'm confused about some things.

How do you process your kick ?
Need I cut each resonant peak with a narrow Q (often around 110hz/165hz) to get warmer, softer sound ? do you put an high shelf filter to remove some high end/ click of the kick to let breath things like hi hats or just leave the clicky part of the kick ?

Do you make a bit of layering ? I'm using kick from sample packs ( vengeance, loopmaster, goldbaby...)

I kwow it really depend and the best tool is ear but i'd like to know some effective tips.

Many thanks KINK
Old 13th May 2016
Special Guest
🎧 10 years
the Goldbaby sample packs kicks some ass! I love them

Well, the kicks are a bit of grey area for me too. My problem is I add a bit of distortion on many stages of my mix and then some compression, so the kick always loses power and punch. Also i cant use long kicks, because they will distort badly, in the way I do my mixes. I don`t remove the hi end, because the clicky part will get rounded at some point, after it goes through a distortion at the drum bus and another one at the master. (I hate clicky kicks..) Well, sometimes if its too clicky after all - i would eq it a bit. But you need a bit of click, it gives a punch. Also if you listen to music on laptop and telephone speakers (like me and many others) you won`t hear there is a kick "narrow Q (often around 110hz/165hz)" yes, sometimes i have to cut a bit in this area, but maybe 1-2 DB maximum.. But it really depends on the kicks.. When you have all your sounds processed with compressors and distortions, they interract with each other, it really depends on the other content and how you make your mixes, so i cant tell what is best for your mix.. Layering - i don`t do it for kicks, but its not a bad way, i just have more stripped down aproach. Basically I rarely compress my kicks, mostly there is an eq on it, sometimes i would cut under 30-40hz, to free more space in the mix, then the rest of the processing is on the drum group, which usually is an EQ --> compressor --- > distortion --->, sometimes only compressor --> distortion. Then - the same on the master. I would say - everything is alowed, as long as it sounds good. If I were you - I would focus on the whole mix and make the kick work with the rest. And try to start with the right sample / synth from the beginning, it makes it easier, then fixing it after. I use the same kicks for over a decade now, just TR-909 sample for harder beats, 606 / short 808 kick for softer beats..

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