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Kick drum help


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Hey guys, I'm trying to emulate the kick sound in this track in a live environment


(The kick comes in at 0:35)


Ay tips or specific mics I should look at? I'm not looking to emulate it perfectly, but just get somewhere near for other music of this style. I'm not a very experienced sound guy but tend to work out the technical side for my band so the only thing I can work out by myself is that it's a very narrow frequency range and compressed to high hell.


Any guidance much appreciated!

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it will be interesting to see what others more knowledgeable than myself post but from what I can hear (and it's buried in the mix on my pc earphones. so it's not easy to pick out) it's antithesis of the bass drum sound one may usually be asked for - very dry and damped to all hell - in fact that seems to be the main component the deadness/damping. that would usually be the point where the bass drum has been stuffed with at least 2 too many things to kill any sound at all.

so that's my thoughts - if you really want that sound (and I'm not sure it would work to dance to live) stuff the entire blanket cupboard in there along with a shure beta 91a - the shure on the grounds that you would have to have an internal mic because nothing much is going to be exiting any sound port. a gate to keep everything else out and keep the thud tight.

...other thoughts - how the hell are the band going to hear that sound once it's been damped?

I could be well off the mark here. it's right outside my comfort zone both in terms of feel and experience. lets see what the wiser heads have to say...


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The whole track has that sort of reverse attack sound to it (giving the emphasis on the off beat after the attack).


One way (albeit quite over complicated) would be to take the output of the kick channel from directly after the preamp, feed it into a tap delay with the feedback set so there's only one kick output for every input. Feed this into the sidechain of the Gate inserted onto the kick channel and have the tap set to 1/16ths. This allows you to keep the "off beat" in time.


Compress the hell out of the kick once it's been gated. Low pass the channel at about 300Hz.


E.Q. to taste. However, if the drum itself isn't tuned well, none of this will help. I wouldn't be surprised if this was a sample which took hours if not days to record and manipulate to sound like that.


Then again, option 2 is to just use the kick mic to trigger a sample.



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I wouldn't be surprised if this was a sample which took hours if not days to record and manipulate to sound like that.[/Quote]


I'd go along with that. Definitely sounds electronic rather than a live drum.


Is triggering a sample something that you could do in your live situation?

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I think Hippy and Josh are right in that it is Roland Reversed.


Personally I would be looking at hitting tea chests and heavy duty cardboard boxes for a live rendition if you can't do what BigYin suggests.


I mic a tea chest (well dustbin) for a bluegrass band - it sounds no where near that bad...

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you need a trigger

either sampler or laptop with sample software,

roland drum machine library (all over the internet)


you need a compressor across a buss that doesn't have the kick in it (that goes around it straight to L&R) with the kick triggering the side chain to get that 'ducking effect'. use sparingly like one or two songs of a set, it will wear thin

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  • 2 weeks later...

In my optnion, Kick drum sounds are the most difficult to get sound right. Thats partly because a dry recorded kick drum with no other instruments will sound totally different depending on what speakers and amp you are playing it through, and then there is all the compression and EQ possibilites to make it 'punchy' or 'warm' 'powerful' or 'lo fi'...



In my experience, I find the best place to start is getting a good kick drum mic (AKG DT112 being my prefrence, but different people will reccomend different things) and spending a bit of time placing it properly. Then, put the fader channel on the desk to 0 and increase the gain on the channel strip until the peak of the sound just shy of 0 on the meter, then pull it back a fraction to -5. This allows for slightly exuberent accented moments in the drummers playing.



I will tend to EQ the kick drum as I add the other instruments in, subtracting certan bands in the other instruments to allow everything to shine through. It is at this point you can make the decision as to what sort of sound you want to achieve but also what sort of sound you CAN achieve. I like a kick drum with a low punch to it, around the 150HZ mark, but in some instances that just isnt possible. That particular connundrum depends on what instruments everyone else is using and the sonic characteristics of those instruments. For example: a guitar with humbuckers will be fairly flat, deep and sustained where as single coils are bright and punchy, both of which are lovely tones in thier own right. The last thing you want to do is over EQ everything to try and get a sound you find particularly pleasing. 9 times out of 10, all you end up doing is making everything sound lifeless. 2db of eq on any EQ band is normally plenty.



Basically my point it this: avoid trying to achieve a cartain sound. The producer will have speant AGES getting it for thier own reasons. Get the sound of the kickdrum that fits with your other instruments and you will probably achieve similar success!




My two cents :)

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Defiantly a trigger, easy to do if you have an IR reverb, and some piezos, a di, and some time, or get just play a pad, with the sound of the trigger also firing a compressor over a bus containing everything else squashing the rest of the Mix.




Ive used this live for some spot effects, if you have a divi board, using a scene to mute the mic, and release the fx chain for the song would be pretty cool, or use the trigger to trigger a pad, and open that, and mute the live source...

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