Thicker sounding attack on kicks (techniques)

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Rupert the not so great
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Thicker sounding attack on kicks (techniques)

Post by Rupert the not so great » Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:57 am

Hello, anyone have any insight on how to do this? I hear so much music with such a nice attack on their kicks, whether it be an 808, 909, analog rytm, whatever.

I guess these are all profession artists that do it as a living but would be good too know some techniques, tried compression it seems it only makes it stick out more.. for me anyway, never have I had the joy of it being 'thick' from compression. (hope that term makes sense). Layering is an option but for me I don't do much post production, in fact, never really. The attack on my 808 always sounds pathetic tbh, never sounds like it fits with my track. My room is untreated which doesn't help but always refrerencing that way just so I know that when it sounds similar to the mastered stuff then I know im on the right track (never, it seems)

Anyway, if anyone has an ideas it would be cool too hear.

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Red Electric Rainbow
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Re: Thicker sounding attack on kicks (techniques)

Post by Red Electric Rainbow » Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:53 am

Layering always helps. If your using a DAW adding Saturation, Drum Buss, Compression and EQ can go a long way.
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slumberjack
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Re: Thicker sounding attack on kicks (techniques)

Post by slumberjack » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:13 am

---slight overdrive with an effect, compression and/or clipping on the mixer channel.

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wuff_miggler
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Re: Thicker sounding attack on kicks (techniques)

Post by wuff_miggler » Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:06 pm

try to use a spectral display. what frequencies are going on in your mix at the same time the kick is going?
sometimes the arrangement has as much to do with your sound as much as the processing you do to it.

Transient Processors like Stillwell's Transient Monster are GREAT at doctoring wimpy sounds.
I also like saturating EQs like Soundtoys Sie-Q (this one is amazing)

Rupert the not so great
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Re: Thicker sounding attack on kicks (techniques)

Post by Rupert the not so great » Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:17 pm

Cool, thanks for the tips. i'll try them out asap. If anyone has any more Id love too hear :)

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wuff_miggler
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Re: Thicker sounding attack on kicks (techniques)

Post by wuff_miggler » Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:22 pm

try sidechaining too - but not the ducking style.
If you're doing thinsg in the box - take a multiband EQ and link the volume of the midbass band to your kick drum.
Every time your kick sounds - then the buss with the rest of your mix will dip lower - but only in the freq range of the kick drum.

Now - when you compress the master mix after doing this - your kick SHOULD be loud as fuck.

Also - it should be mentioned - make sure you're kick sample is clean and good - pref 24 bit. I like/love Gold Baby samples for 808 and 909 duties. Can get them in 3 flavours - unprocessed/tape/overdrive tape. Very handy.

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Navs
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Re: Thicker sounding attack on kicks (techniques)

Post by Navs » Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:29 pm

Kicks are really not something I use much but I made two discoveries recently: one deals with the transient, the other with the body (and I guess mix).

- I'm rarely happy with the envelope/FM/pitch arrangement offered on, e.g. 909 emulators, but you can take a sampled kick and pitch it to taste using something like NI Battery to give it the 'pock' you want.

- Try radical EQing: not something I would have done using a plugin, but on my mixer I cut 15dB @ 400Hz from an 808 kick and then just compensated for the overall gain. Worked in the context.

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wuff_miggler
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Re: Thicker sounding attack on kicks (techniques)

Post by wuff_miggler » Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:31 pm

challenge yourself to make drums out of pure white noise.
It's an excellent way to learn ALL the tools at your disposal - and which do the most.
EQ is a SERIOUSLY under-rated processing tool. It's not sexy - but dagnnamit is it powerful

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naturligfunktion
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Re: Thicker sounding attack on kicks (techniques)

Post by naturligfunktion » Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:05 am

Red Electric Rainbow wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:53 am
Layering always helps. If your using a DAW adding Saturation, Drum Buss, Compression and EQ can go a long way.
I agree to this 100 %. Layering your drum sounds make them sound much, much better, thicker, stronger, something that is essential if your techno tracks aim to summon a demon.

Or make people dance ;)

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IEC
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Re: Thicker sounding attack on kicks (techniques)

Post by IEC » Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:43 am

imo the charm of the 808 is in the decay, not the attack... you dont need to layer in a daw, just trigger something else short and clicky at the same time and mix them together... if you make the 808 huge then gate it short with an envelope that might give you a bit more punch

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Red Electric Rainbow
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Re: Thicker sounding attack on kicks (techniques)

Post by Red Electric Rainbow » Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:04 am

wuff_miggler wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:22 pm
try sidechaining too - but not the ducking style.
If you're doing thinsg in the box - take a multiband EQ and link the volume of the midbass band to your kick drum.
Every time your kick sounds - then the buss with the rest of your mix will dip lower - but only in the freq range of the kick drum.

Now - when you compress the master mix after doing this - your kick SHOULD be loud as fuck.
classic!
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Red Electric Rainbow
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Re: Thicker sounding attack on kicks (techniques)

Post by Red Electric Rainbow » Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:06 am

you could always turn everything else in the mix down but its not quite the same.

buy a distressor 🤪
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Re: Thicker sounding attack on kicks (techniques)

Post by Soy Sos » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:24 am

When you say you never do post processing, do you mean you only do hardware jams recorded live thru a mixer to 2 track? Honestly if you can get parts into a DAW based environment your options multiply by a ton. And that's what the vast majority of artists you're referencing are doing anyway. My simplest fix for beefing up kicks is Ableton's Saturator. Any saturation plugin with drive, sat style options, and a wet/dry control used pre or post EQ into a light compression can work wonders.
If running the live jam in real time is the way you like to create, is there any way to get at least partial multi track into the system? Maybe at least split out all your bass elements?

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Re: Thicker sounding attack on kicks (techniques)

Post by commodorejohn » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:26 am

wuff_miggler wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:31 pm
challenge yourself to make drums out of pure white noise.
It's an excellent way to learn ALL the tools at your disposal - and which do the most.
I'll second this, but I'd generalize and just say: learn to make drum sounds, period. Drum machines and pre-baked modules are all well and good, but at least 80% of what you can do with them, you can do with a lot of more general synthesizers if you put your mind to it (to say nothing of a modular rig!) and doing so is a great way to expand your thinking on synthesis techniques and tricks. I can't recommend Gordon Reed's "Synth Secrets" series enough, and for the purposes of this discussion the articles on drum synthesis are particularly noteworthy.

As far as the specific question goes, take a hint from the chiptune folks and listen to some nice SID drums (not the sampled ones, but the synthesized ones.) Doing kicks with a (filtered) pulse wave and putting some PWM on the attack phase seems like a good initial strategy to me.
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cg_funk
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Re: Thicker sounding attack on kicks (techniques)

Post by cg_funk » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:31 am

When I think of 'thick' I think of distortion. I recently started to really overdrive my drums through my Tallin VCA, and that seems to make a big difference, you get more squared-off waveforms, and that adds more harmonic content to the simple waveforms. You can always then compress the drums after overdriving them if you want, but yeah I think the drums need to be really loud in the mix, and if they overdrive the mixer a bit that's even good too. I am not an audio engineer tho!!

Rupert the not so great
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Re: Thicker sounding attack on kicks (techniques)

Post by Rupert the not so great » Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:41 pm

Glad I asked the question, some great answers in here.

And FWIW Soy Sos - I record from mixer into DAW, but my head doesn't work in such a way that I do edits etc. I realise the DAW is a very useful tool but hey ho it's just the way i am.

Gonna try these out tomorrow.

Cheers everyone :)

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