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How to Make Huge Sounding Kick Drums

Hey, what’s up guys? Welcome to another video.

I’ve got a little bit of business to cover, and then I’m going to show you a cool kick drum thing. First off, Mixing Giveaway, picked a winner. Head over to the website, I’ve got a new post up. Mario Ramirez, congrats, you get the copy of SSD4 EX, and then we’ve got three other noteworthy mentions. I’m going to hook them up with some premium tutorials.

So you guys contact me, or I’ll contact you, we’ll meet up half way, and we’ll get you your stuff. Thanks so much to everybody that entered. It was a lot of fun. I’ve got another one of these I’m going to do pretty soon. I’m kind of putting it together and I’ve got to find a session and find an artist that’s cool with it.

So that’s on the way. So keep coming back. Yeah.

So let’s get into this little tutorial here.

I’ve got a track and it sounds like this.


Okay. And I did a couple little things here to get the kick drum a little bit bigger. This is how the kick drum originally was.


Had a lot of bottom, but it didn’t have much top. It wasn’t really big enough. Not that there’s a ton of stuff in this arrangement for it to have to cut through. Mainly pianos and strings and some synth-y stuff.

But we wanted it a little bigger. It was kind of dull. Here’s what it sounds like soloed.


So it’s sampled. It’s a vinyl sample, so you get a little bit of the crackle in there.


Here’s what it sounds like at the end.

[kick, processed]

So it’s got a little bit more beef to it, a little more bite to it.

Here’s what we did to get there. Started out with an EQ.

[kick with EQ]

Beefing up the low end, tightening it up a little bit, add a high pass in at 20 just to kind of catch anything uber low. I don’t want in there. Then boosting what, three dB around 80Hz or so, then cutting a little 300. 4dB or so there.

[kick with EQ]

So that on its own does a little bit. Then we’re going to compress it a little.

[kick with compression]

Which does a little bit. Make it a little more punchy. Slower on the attack, faster on the release, eight to one.



Really not tons of compression. Three, four, five dB or so.

Send it to a little bit of plate.

[kick with plate reverb]

Gets a little bit of a tail.

Then we sent it over to this aux track I made. It’s a mono aux.


And here’s what we did there.

[kick, after and before processing]

So this is the signal coming into it. We ran a limiter to it.

[kick with limiter]

Limiting around six.


This is just an L1 from Waves. And then EQ’d it. Filtered out a lot of low.

[kick with EQ]

At 75Hz or so. Ducking a little 300. Then boosting — what is it, we’re boosting around 1.4, 1.5kHz. 7dB or so. Pretty significant.

[kick after EQ]

So you get a little bit of the knock there and the point of the drum.


And let me solo all of these drums.


You know, so you get some sub and you get a little bit of knock, rather than stacking a bunch of samples, I was watching some Dr. Luke thing this morning on YouTube, some ASCAP talk he did, and it had like, six kick drums stacked up, which I’ve done before too, and it gets a little overwhelming, and when I’m just throwing a track together to write to, I usually don’t like to do that.

So yeah, you can just take a stereo — bring your sample in, then just send it to an aux, and you can process that aux in parallel and you can kind of blend them together to get whatever it is you’re after.

Again, this is just one way to do it. There’s a lot of different ways to do it, and it’s going to vary depending on the sample you have, and your song, and what you want that kick drum to feel like and do. So there’s no real right or wrong, but I just thought I’d show you that. Doing a lot of Hip Hop and programmed music here lately on the YouTube channel.

So subscribe if you liked it, you know, hit us up on Facebook, Twitter, all of that stuff. Keep coming back, we’ve got more giveaways coming, more mixing contests, new videos every week, and we’ll see you next time.




Mixnotes is a YouTube channel with tutorials on mixing, recording, business, plugins and more. We've partnered with them to feature some of their videos on The Pro Audio Files.

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