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StefanL

Any tips for mixing kick drums?

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I recently mixed a recording of my own music which is in the genre of alternative rock and which I think turned out pretty well, apart from the kick sound which was a bit undefined and not too 'solid'. The engineer used a D112 just outside the kick drum and got a reasonable, although not great sound and I wondered if anyone had any extra tips for mixing kick drums. I used EQ trying to get a bit of click and body in the sound although initially I mainly boosted certain frequencies which brought up the cymbals too high (in this track).

I also EQ'ed the rest of the kit mic's to get rid of some of the low end but I'm not sure if I did that enough?

Any tips would be appreciated!

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Not sure if this is really a technique to be recommended, or whether it will help in your situation, but a few weeks ago I revisited some recordings I made in my second year of TAFE. The kick was flat and dull, and no matter how much EQ and compression I applied, I couldn't get sufficient level or sound out of it. Another thing to keep in mind before I go into the process is that this was a metal track, so I was after a pretty punchy bass drum sound, with a fair amount of click mixed in as well.

First, I applied the L1 limiter from the Waves bundle, and pretty much crushed the kick drum to get some decent level. This actually brought up the click a little, obviously it was there but almost inaudible due to the quiet level at the time. I then applied Amplitube on the kick drum, and boosted the bass and treble to taste. I also added some very mild distortion to the kick drum, which brought out some more boom and click, and I wound up with a 'passable' kick drum sound. Not great, but the original unprocessed recording was absolute sh*t in the first place, so I was pretty happy with the result, all things considered. Just goes to show that Amplitube sounds good on everything EXCEPT guitars  ;)

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Thanks guys for the tips! Yeah the sound of the original kick recording wasn't the greatest it was a little muddy. I have just recorded another two songs though with a kit again and this time we used two mic's on the kit, a D112 just inside the drum and a 421 about a foot back, this has given me two different sounds to work with one with more bass and one with more click. This makes it a bit easier to get the sound I want.

Have to try the distortion on kick at some stage, sounds interesting! And maybe more compression is a good way to go as well - Cheers, Stef.

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