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Friday, February 26, 2010

How to make your kick drums boom

I find in quite a lot of dance music there seems to be a huge lacking in the bottom end and mid range of the kick's.

This is even quite prevalent in the popular dance music you hear on t.v & the radio.
A producer that I find really lacks in bass is Dj Basshunter.
Maybe he's called that because he hasn't found it yet?

Anyways, Here is a tutorial to make your kick's really boom in the clubs.

First off, Grab yourself a sample of the techno tried and tested classic:
The Roland 909 kick.

You can get it from here if you don't have one already.

Next up you want another tried & tested classic, The Roland 808 Kick.
The king of bass shakers used from everyone from the Beastie Boys to Aphex Twin.

You can get one here in this Roland TR-808 sample pack

Next up, In your DAW of choice, write yourself a pattern with your 909 kick sample.

Here i have made a simple 4 to the floor for ease of explanation.

Next up, You are going to want to clone the exact same pattern as your 909 kick but with the 808 kick instead like this.

So they are playing "on top" of each other at the same time.
Don't worry about the overlap of the 808 kick drum, This is going to give us our boom.
It should already be sounding pretty meaty, But lets make it more booming.

Next up we will grab ourselves a compressor, (I am using Live's built in for ease of explanation).
Drop your compressor onto your 808 & reduce the threshold to around 10% of the inputted sound. (remember to listen though, this is music and your ears are better than your eyes).

Now drop an equaliser vst onto the 808, Using your ears tweak the sound of your 808.
A good rule of thumb in production is the reduction of around 250hz in your eq vst,
This removes "mudiness" and tightens it up, It will also stop your kick's frequencies messing with other parts of your mix. (Frequency clashes can often cause "clipping" of sound).

Now play the 2 kicks together, You should have a pretty mighty kick going on.
Make sure that the levels of the 2 kicks match each other also.

Next you want to do the same with the 909 kick sample, Compression and EQ, Though I find myself if you can roll down the EQ around 275 - 290 Hz it generally sounds sweeter.

Now play the together & there you go!

Easy booming kick drums, This also leaves a lot of possibilities for individual tweaking until you find the sound you are looking for.

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