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Thread: Making your Kicks REALLLLY Knock....

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    Making your Kicks REALLLLY Knock....

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    Im fairly new to Reason ive been using it for a few months now and im just wondering if anybody has tips on how to really make my drums knock like Khalil is doing besides the usual EQ and compressing.

    Maybe you have some tips others like myself might not be aware of.

    And if thats all you can say then maybe what are some tips i might not know on EQ'ing and Compression?

    I usually just turn the gain up on the compressor +3 and use a ratio of 3:1.


    lol dont grill me too hard and no im not interested in the BEETMAKER VST.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Mr West; 07-12-2008 at 07:28 PM.

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    layer a bunch of kicks together, eq and compression as u said, and try the scream

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    Hey Mr West. I'll try my best to answer your question but it's a very common question and you should really try a "search". Not only on THIS forum but try Gearslutz.com as well.

    As the previous poster mentioned... you should really layer your kicks and snares.

    What I try to do is find two broadly similar kicks but they might have slightly different tones to them. I'll take one kick and eq it to bring out the fundamental frequency as well as some harmonics in it. Then I'll do the same with the other kick.

    I almost always roll off 35hz and below. Try a high pass filter and just cut everything at 35hz and lower. Anything lower then 35hz is really just unnecessary "rumble" and all it will do is cloud up your low end come mix time.

    You can usually layer 2 - 3 kicks or snares together without it being "too much".

    To find the "tone" of these drums... open your eq. Find a low to mid low band that you want to use. Set the "Q" value to a VERY VERY narrow band. Next turn your speakers down.
    Bring the "Gain" up on that band all the way. ALL THE WAY UP!

    Now sweep the mid to low freqs and listen for that tone of the kick that you might like. When you find it... lower the gain down to either +3 or +6 db. Now widen the Q to a medium setting. Not too wide but not too narrow either.

    Make some quick final adjustments with YOUR EARS and adjust the gain until you feel it fits comfortably. Do NOT bring the gain past +6db. (You can do what you want but that's pretty much just a rule of thumb when using eq).

    Now when you compress these kicks together you CAN make them "gel" and sound more cohesive.

    I'm going to assume that you're REALLY new so I'll run down how to use a compressor.

    First things first. Threshold.

    Threshold is a point that YOU set... telling the compressor WHEN to BEGIN compressing.

    So basically when the signal of the kick drum reaches a certain point or threshold the compressor will kick in and start compressing that signal.

    So lower the signal until you SEE the meter telling you that you are compressing about 5 to 6db. It should be red. (Now 5 to 6db is so generic it's laughable... but use your ears to tell you how much compression to apply!).

    The kick drum should get quieter and quieter the lower you set the threshold.

    Now we have Ratio. Ratio is how MUCH compression you want the compressor to apply AFTER the signal passes the threshold.

    For kicks 5:1 is pretty common but again it depends on THAT kick that you're using.

    So set it to around 5:1 to start with. This means that for EVERY 5 db that crosses ABOVE the Threshold... only 1 db will actually get thru. In other words your compressing 5 dbs of signal or sound into 1 db.

    Now Attack is HOW FAST OR SLOW the compressor reacts AFTER the signal passed the threshold. A slow attack means that the INITIAL "hit" of the kick drum won't be affected because the compressor reacts too slowly to "catch it". (It's really called a transient).

    Release is how long the compressor compresses the signal. In other words how long the compressor HOLDS the signal down... under the threshold.

    A FAST Release means that the compressor immediately lets the signal go. A SLOW Release means that compressor holds the signal down and "rides it" for a longer period of time. Slow Releases are most common on basslines... to "smooth" the sound out. NOT all the way slow but fairly slow.

    Attack and Release are two settings that I can't give you any presets on. You must play with these and listen CLOSELY to hear the results. Start with both at medium and slowly make the Attack quicker. Once you have the Attack set... just mess with the Release and listen for what it does. You want to hold the kick down for a bit but not forever. At the same time you don't want a FAST Release because you want to have some time of grip on it. So it will usually be somewhere inbetween.

    Finally adjust the OUTPUT GAIN on the compressor to MATCH how loud your original uncompressed kick was. I usually bypass the comp... listen to the original... then try to match it with the OUTPUT Gain.

    Essentially you compressed the signal... so it's now quieter. But you use the Output Gain to bring the compressed signal back up to where it originally was volume wise. The only difference now is you have a kick that has PUNCH and volume... where as the original most likely lacked those elements.

    And that's how EQ and Compression work on kicks. Some of the things I mentioned apply to more then just kicks though. Definitely drums in general will benefit from a little compression and eq.

    * You can use the EQ AFTER the compressor but when you become a little more knowledgable about all of this you can try that out.

    Hope this helps man!

    K

    Edited* I changed the word "can't" to CAN. Just a typo.
    Last edited by Krumbz; 07-13-2008 at 02:07 AM.
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    ^^^^^^^^^
    WOW Thanks Krumbz ill never have to post a topic like this again. Much much mch appreciated.

    Thats the most personal knowledge ive seen dropped in one post.


    Thanks again

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    Wow that really was great!

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    No problem guys! I was smoking a cigarette outside browsing the forums on my Iphone when I saw this thread and just really wanted to help.

    I've seen too many "holier than thou" threads on here and I remember... not too long ago... I was right there myself.

    With that said... I'll even add that the Search function IS fairly useful and I highly recommend registering to other sites for additional information. Sites such as Gearslutz.com and Tweakheadz.com are excellent!

    Then you have Grooveboxmusic.com which you have to pay for BUT it has the single MOST informative, EASY TO UNDERSTAND video tutorials out of ANY site on the net. Yes you have to pay but if you really REALLY want to understand audio... it comes super HIGHLY recommended!

    Also... Youtube is a producers best friend. Don't sleep. Search.
    Last edited by Krumbz; 07-13-2008 at 02:13 AM.
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    I'm not gonna debate much. No reason to go down this raod again, but laying should be used to get the sound you want, not to make your drums "knock". Also, try getting all your lows around 78-80hz if not, most speakers won't even pick up what you're hearing thru your monitors.

    A kick should "knock without adding a lick of compression or EQ to it. If not, you got a bad kick to begin with. Compression isn't a tool that should be used to bring out lows/"knock" in a kick anyway. Sometimes ASDHR values may need adjustments at the most.

    90% of the time turning everything else but the kick down is all that's needed. One of the biggest factors in mixing is vol and pan.

    Someone decided one day to answer the question of "how to make kicks knock" with layering and compression" and people took it for gospel. Be aware that most drum samples in your collection have already been layered and compressed for optimal performance, and unless you're gethering the drums yourself, they're most likely not going to need anything done to them.

    Take mmy advice or don't, no one ever does, but if anyone want's to challenge my theory, post a snippet of a track you've made using your method, and I'll post a snippet of a track using mine.

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    I stick with samples for kicks, and when I find a good kick, I don't let go of it.

    I like to load my kicks up into CoolEdit 2000 and compress them there. I can see exactly what the compression does to the waveform and have gotten used to which types of compression fatten up the kick sound. With the right settings, you can compress the kick and use the makeup gain in one setting at the same time.

    I have noticed that kicks that linger a long time sometimes seem to lack impact. Often a kick that pounds, is one that goes quickly to full amplitude, holds for just a while, long enough to be heard and felt, and then quickly fades out--sometimes even an abrupt fade out.

    Because of this, sometimes I go back and edit my kicks to actually be shorter in length. This makes them tighter for lack of a better term.

    I also trim the starts of kicks to make sure that they start right up to full amplitude without any kind of delay. I'll do a tiny fade in to keep them from clicking, but sometimes the click sounds good.

    Typically, I have found that synth kicks are a lot more powerful than most (not all) acoustic kicks.

    I've also found that a lot of rap kit kicks mix hihats or use low-quality sampled acoustic kicks. This is naff. I like to use kicks that are purely synth kick, or high quality acoustic kick (if it's good enough). If you need to have a hihat with your kick, you can mix it in later, during composition. Having a hihat in a kick usually makes it weaker if you ask me. But I understand the concept...

    A good kick won't be 100% bass, but will have some treble coiled up at it's beginning. This helps it to cut through the mix and be audible, especially on speakers and playback systems that don't have much bass.

    That's my 2 cents. But wait, there's more ....

    That's just how I treat raw samples. When I mix, I typically boost kicks with a wide parametric hump centered around 140 Hz. Then I'll often add a shelving EQ boost from about 120 Hz on down. Surprisingly, on some kicks, to boost the click/attack of it, I'll shelving EQ boost the treble frequencies, say from 1kHz on up. It really depends upon the sound file and what it sounds like. There's no exact frequencies used every time.
    Last edited by MrHope; 07-13-2008 at 05:50 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by deRaNged 4 Phuk'dup
    I'm not gonna debate much. No reason to go down this raod again, but laying should be used to get the sound you want, not to make your drums "knock". Also, try getting all your lows around 78-80hz if not, most speakers won't even pick up what you're hearing thru your monitors.

    A kick should "knock without adding a lick of compression or EQ to it. If not, you got a bad kick to begin with. Compression isn't a tool that should be used to bring out lows/"knock" in a kick anyway. Sometimes ASDHR values may need adjustments at the most.

    90% of the time turning everything else but the kick down is all that's needed. One of the biggest factors in mixing is vol and pan.

    Someone decided one day to answer the question of "how to make kicks knock" with layering and compression" and people took it for gospel. Be aware that most drum samples in your collection have already been layered and compressed for optimal performance, and unless you're gethering the drums yourself, they're most likely not going to need anything done to them.

    Take mmy advice or don't, no one ever does, but if anyone want's to challenge my theory, post a snippet of a track you've made using your method, and I'll post a snippet of a track using mine.

    The reason that noone ever takes your advice is because you come across as a dickhead.

    I never meant for my reply to be considered "gospel" AT ALL. I just simply explained the basics of how and why things work.

    You do bring up a few points like drums most likely already being compressed etc but to say that if you layer any sample - no matter what - it will already "knock"... is not fact. Of course the better the kick you start off with the less you have to do to it to get it where you want it to be. That's a no brainer.

    But not everyone has "perfect" kicks in their arsenals.

    You also mention that compression ISN'T used to bring out the "knock" in a drum... which is false. It's probably the second most used method for a compressor next to controlling dynamics.

    Again... you come across a self righteous dickhead. You seem to be one of those "holier then thou" types I mentioned in my previous post.
    Between your post and your signature I can see why people don't listen to you.

    If you have something to add to the conversation... then by all means feel free to add it. But don't be surprised when someone doesn't agree with you simply based off of the "way" you present yourself.

    I merely tried to help the kid out with some basic knowledge about the subject. You could've done the same without thinking that you are Mr. King Kick Drum.
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