Tips for Tightening up Sampled Kick Drums in a Modern Rock Mix

Hey, what’s up guys? David Glenn for and

I just released a new course. It’s called “Mixing Modern Rock,” and this tutorial is coming straight out of there. I’m going to show you how I treated the kick drum. I’ve got a couple of kick rolls, blast beats, whatever you want to call it with the kick, and I’m going to show you how I treated that, but first I’m going to hit play, let you hear a snippet, and then we’ll talk about what we’ve got going on with the kick drum.


Okay. So, if you dig that song, you want to see me take the dry tracks and transform them, produce some extra elements and take that to a finished master, go check out

The kick drum, for me, I used a kick sample. I chose to replace it. If you heard the before and after, you’ll know why, but I chose to use the kick samples – a little shout out for the guy over at Forgive me, I don’t remember his name, but he’s got some kick samples. They sound incredible.

I have a preset in Trigger where if I’m mixing a heavier rock song, or a modern rock song, I’ll pull them in. I’ve got four kicks here from his bundle, and I chose to go with Ocean Kick. I’ll solo and pick which one and tweak it to taste, but for this one, I’ve got the Ocean Kick, and you can see Slate’s Trigger 2 gives us the option to manipulate the sustain and the release of whatever it is we’re using as an instrument to trigger, replace, whatever.

Well, here I’ve set the sustain to 0.11 and the release to 0.17 for my main kick, and then what I did is you can see here is I duplicated the processing, but then for the secondary kick, whenever the kick is doing it’s thing, I’ve got the what, sixteenth note, some triplet sixteenths, some cool stuff going on. What I’ll do is I’ll tighten that sustain and release like crazy. I’ll choke it. I’ve got this to .05 and .04 on the release, and it’s quite a difference.

Let me show you the kick in solo with the original here. I’ll highlight that section there.

[kick drum]

Okay. And then let me play you a snippet of the blast kick.

[kick drum]

Okay. So you really get the tight control, the low end’s in check, it’s not going to ring out too much, but for me it wasn’t quite enough, so I went to multi-band transient designing, and I sucked out the low end sustain. 120Hz and below is really now just in check. It’s super, super tight. It may sound a little bit funky in solo, but who cares about solo. We’ve got to be listening in context.

So here’s in the mix.


Cool. So I hope you dig that. It’s a short and sweet tutorial. Duplicate your kick track, tighten it up whenever you’ve got blast beats. This could work for snare, toms, anything that you want to get super OCD and be a control freak over.

I hope you dig that. Don’t forget to check out, David Glenn Recording, and The Pro Audio Files. We’ll catch you in the next one.

David Glenn

David Glenn

David Glenn is a producer/engineer/musician based out of Orlando, FL. Credits include: Pablo Villatoro, Blanca Callahan (Group 1 Crew), Aimee Allen, and more. Learn more and get in touch at
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