How to harden a kick?

VST, AU, AAX, CLAP, etc. Plugin Virtual Effects Discussion
RELATED
PRODUCTS

Post

"Like toilet paper, we're on a roll."

Post

It doesn't seem likely that pro psytrance dudes have a secret processing chain, but more that you're hearing mastered tracks with a bit of confirmation bias.

Personally I find my kicks get worse whenever I just loop a bar in isolation over and over and infinitely tweak it- and the more processing I use, the worse it gets. Make the kick good enough, make the bass good enough, align them nicely and you're 90% of the way there. The more processing you do, the greater the possible space for error. I want a kick to be rendered out and be usable without any processing beyond possible EQ and maybe light compression on the kick/bass group.

Post

Easy. Make it hard

Post

swilow11 wrote: Thu May 23, 2024 7:22 pm It doesn't seem likely that pro psytrance dudes have a secret processing chain, but more that you're hearing mastered tracks with a bit of confirmation bias.

Personally I find my kicks get worse whenever I just loop a bar in isolation over and over and infinitely tweak it- and the more processing I use, the worse it gets. Make the kick good enough, make the bass good enough, align them nicely and you're 90% of the way there. The more processing you do, the greater the possible space for error. I want a kick to be rendered out and be usable without any processing beyond possible EQ and maybe light compression on the kick/bass group.
I am TOTALLY agree with you. I supose that: they don't have a secret chain of vsts, but I want to know something about I am missing about how to use them properly. I don't know...
And I am aware about how isolated things sounds. But I am hearing especifically about the strenght. https://youtu.be/E0Te55rVPOU here it is the video I am talking about (if someone is interested). How he compares the two kicks. Mine sounds, at the end of all effects, even more solid but still I notice the weakness he is talking about :/. Thank you bro!!

Post

You don’t need to harden a kick, you need to de-soften it.

Post

Layers, keep a clean kick for click, then distort another for presence in the mids, add something like an 808 or simple pitch env sine kick for subs.
Blend to taste.
Duh

Post

Pultec emus or any tube based eq tbh will give you the weight you’re after. From there just clean up the dc offsets if any. Another approach is just to do a boost in the frequency that’s pleasant to you then do a steep cut at the frequency next to the boost to create a thicker and cleaner sound. Layering isn’t really necessary these days with how processed the sounds are already and can easily cause phase issues. The usual advice from engineers is to either record your kick as close as you can to how you want it to sound or use a different sample that fits well. The idea is that you shouldn’t have to surgically EQ a kick to make it fit in the mix.

Post

I swear I misread the title first

Post

Download AD RoughRider

Create aux track. arm it with Rough Rider 3.
Copy these settings (custom preset called: "I kick therefore I am")

Image

send your kick to the aux track @ -12dB wet.

Enjoy.

Kind regards

James Harden

Post

Can't believe nobody suggested steel toecaps yet :)

Post

You're overthinking. The more processing you're adding, the more likely you will introduce potential artifacts and phase problems.

At a high level, the fundamental components of a kick can be reduced to the click, the body, and the tail. Start with a kick sounding as close to what you're going after, whether by using samples or via synthesis.

If your kick is lacking a click for example, you can layer in a different kick that has a click. You eq accordingly to prevent frequency overlap between the two kicks.

Compression should be done with purpose. For example, it's one way to glue your different kick layers together for better cohesion. It can also be used to bring out the more quiet elements of your kick if that's what you're after. You need to be careful about squashing your kick with over compression and losing all the dynamics that allow for the kick to breathe.

With EQ, you can boost to slightly accentuate target frequencies like the click or the body if you need it. Primarily though, I would be EQing in the context of a mix to either take away frequencies from the kick or from other mix elements that are competing with the kick. Less is more. If your mix can't breathe, you're not gonna feel that kick.

If your kick is sounding a little thin, often times it is due to your tail. Saturation is one way to boost the harmonics to thicken up the more pitchy elements which will allow you to hear your's sub's fundamental frequencies better in the mix. Parallel compression is also another way to thicken up a kick.

Ultimately, these are all tools to help you address what you are lacking in click, body, or the tail in the context of a mix. Don't just halfhazardly throw on effects onto your kick like you are throwing ingredients into a stew. It's easier to start with good ingredients and then adjust as necessary.

Post

Is the issue the actual kick sound? Or how it sits in the mix?

Is everything else sidechained to it so that it's not fighting all the other tracks in your project?
Are your bass notes coming to a complete stop before the kick hits and not overlapping, so that you're not getting any phase cancellation?

Post

Nothing constructive to add. Just my confusion about peoples obsession with Psy Tarnce kick drums. and why such a simple gimmick ridden genre is placed at the upper echelon of production prowess. Never seen anybody faff over saw basses and literal pitch zaps as much as Psy Trance producers do :shrug: :zzz: :tantrum:
I

Post

Pinkfloydian5 wrote: Thu May 23, 2024 12:15 pm One of the most difficult things is to harden the kick in processing. I listen to the kicks of the pros (psytrance), and I can't get over how solid they are.
Can you provide an example of a track with your best example of a hard kick, and another track with a less- or non-hard kick?

Post

TIMT wrote: Thu May 30, 2024 4:12 pm Nothing constructive to add. Just my confusion about peoples obsession with Psy Tarnce kick drums. and why such a simple gimmick ridden genre is placed at the upper echelon of production prowess. Never seen anybody faff over saw basses and literal pitch zaps as much as Psy Trance producers do :shrug: :zzz: :tantrum:
very easy: it only appears as "obsession" if you are being so figurative because you have never worked a kick at 0 dbs. Put a kick at -5 dbs and then turn it up to 0, and realize how fragil it becomes to eq. If you don't realize it and you keep thinking the same thing, well, you know you're still confused.

Return to “Effects”