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Thread: Getting my 808 to sit in front and bang hard

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    Getting my 808 to sit in front and bang hard

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    Hello, I've been making music for about 1 year with a serious attitude and about 4 just tinkering around. I've always had trouble getting my 808 and kick to sit in front of the mix and be powerful. It seems that whenever my mix is just about finished, everything blends together rather than sounds separated. I am separating all of my instruments in stereo to give them a better spread. With each instrument I am also using stereo separation effect plugins. I am also panning the instruments out to keep them away from the middle where the 808 is. For each instrument I am also cutting out frequencies where the kick and 808 are banging. I'm boosting certain frequencies of the 808 and kick as well as ducking the 808 every time the kick hits to give it a bigger appearance. I mix the instruments in stereo and the kick and 808 in mono. The 808 isn't interfering with any other instruments and seems to have plenty of room but it's not as powerful as most producers 808's. No matter what I do, the end product is usually the same... It sounds good, but I really want the drums to hit hard and stand out of the mix. My pads and choirs in the specific mix are hitting around -18db so far, and my piano is hitting around -14db. My kick is up to -4db and my 808 is at around -9db and it still isn't coming through anywhere near the sound of most producers out there. Even people with stock fl plugins are making their 808's and kicks bang harder. I am working with FL studio by the way. Are there any other techniques that I could try to get mine to sound big and bad?

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    I would definitely mix everything in mono. You didn't mention compression on the 808s? Also drive it just a little bit, add harmonics with a tape saturator or distortion amp. If you are synthesizing your own 808s you can add a sawtooth on the tail end after the sine attack for more presence

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    Try a good limiter

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    Sorry lol I wrote so much that I forgot to mention the effects that I put on it. I usually EQ them a bit and dip the frequencies for the kick to have room and boost other frequencies. I also use the fruity limiter. The first process I put on the track is distortion. I've tried 3 different types of distortion effects and fruity fast distortion serves its purpose the best with me. I've tried Camel Crusher and Sausage Fattener as well. I use a brick limiter on my kick and fruity limiter as well. I boost frequencies that I dipped out from 808 to get it to sound like a united hit. Sometimes I add a little reverb on my 808 to add a "chorussy" sound. I also use FerricTDS saturation on my 808 and kick... I've heard of mixing everything in mono but didn't know if it would sound too cluttered. I might have to try that out.

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    Do you have any recommendations on limiters?

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    I like the L2 from waves also the B72 and the MaxxBass. Also the slate digital everything bundle is on point

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    You might actually look at some transient shapers like the Waves Trans-X. I'm sure there's others too.. that's one I know of.

    It's a different flavour of compressor that just works on the transient. It's easy to completely ruin your drums with it, but if you apply it right you can easily knock like -10db off your drum peaks.
    Or do the opposite and pull the transients of 'buried' drums back out. If you combine that with a good soft clipper you have an entirely different way to do extremely hard sounding drums from the usual.
    It's very transparent (as in, doesn't change the character of the sound much).
    lwj - local space music

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    I think you should also go back to the sound selection stage and choose your kicks very carefully. Some kicks, no matter how much you EQ them, just don't sit well with some 808s. If possible please post one 2 of your tracks here so that we can analyze first hand. That would be a great help, since each track differs and as a result the way you mix each track differs also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MassOccurBeats View Post
    Hello, I've been making music for about 1 year with a serious attitude and about 4 just tinkering around. I've always had trouble getting my 808 and kick to sit in front of the mix and be powerful. It seems that whenever my mix is just about finished, everything blends together rather than sounds separated. I am separating all of my instruments in stereo to give them a better spread. With each instrument I am also using stereo separation effect plugins. I am also panning the instruments out to keep them away from the middle where the 808 is. For each instrument I am also cutting out frequencies where the kick and 808 are banging. I'm boosting certain frequencies of the 808 and kick as well as ducking the 808 every time the kick hits to give it a bigger appearance. I mix the instruments in stereo and the kick and 808 in mono. The 808 isn't interfering with any other instruments and seems to have plenty of room but it's not as powerful as most producers 808's. No matter what I do, the end product is usually the same... It sounds good, but I really want the drums to hit hard and stand out of the mix. My pads and choirs in the specific mix are hitting around -18db so far, and my piano is hitting around -14db. My kick is up to -4db and my 808 is at around -9db and it still isn't coming through anywhere near the sound of most producers out there. Even people with stock fl plugins are making their 808's and kicks bang harder. I am working with FL studio by the way. Are there any other techniques that I could try to get mine to sound big and bad?
    I think what others are saying about transient design, balanced compression, and being honest about the quality of your source material are more than enough for your aspirations here. Just some extras thoughts: be chill with your eqing, it's bloody tempting to carve out spots and boost this and that, and to be honest that's usually how the bacon gets home....BUT when you digging into transient content with eq it'll skin that content raw without deliberate attention in that moment. Same with dynamic change's with comps/limiters: downward compression and limiting enhance the perception of "impact" up to a certain point, that point is when kicks/808s/etc start to literally sound like they are sucking-air, wooshing back to 0db-comp, etc..

    Back to "impact" though, search for balance in your mid range frequencies, esp for your kick. Imho, and for example: a kick that punches you in the face has balanced levels of eq starting in LF around 60hz, in the 100s, LM spots, MID spots, 2000ks, and possibly HF for perceptual reasons in full context of mix. Again I just suggesting the assurance of balancing those spots with eq. Importantly, perhaps obviously: Boosting or cutting in itself does not creating impact, balancing frequencies and dynamics only ensure the listener accurately and reliably perceives the content of your instruments being used. So, are your instruments allowed to be heard---& loopty-loo, it get's back to your source: are your kicks/808''s exactly what you need for the end goal you had in mind

    Like always, apologies for the rambles, and good luck with the tunes

    -Madhat
    Last edited by MadHat33; 1 Week Ago at 07:30 AM.

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