Why my kick is distorted at high volume
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:06 AM   #1
Fred McLovin
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Why my kick is distorted at high volume

So here I am... I found the way to mix and master my tracks so they sound loud enough compared to pro production, but when I crank up the volume in shit speaker like in my car, the kick sounds distorted compared to the rest of the mix. On my monitoring setup it sounds great tho...

Is there anything im missin ? My kick is built with a LP bottom and a HP snap all EQ'd properly with a compressor and a brickwall limiter to add some power to it. Should I do it differently ?

Maybe it's only the samples that are not good.... :S

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Old 03-04-2012, 03:47 AM   #2
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Re: Why my kick is distorted at high volume

just the relative power of the speakers in your car cannot handel it

at loud volumes the car can still handle the high frequencies but it cant handle the low end.

its normal, nothing wrong with your mix, turn up a pro track all the way, you will probably notice it disorts on the kick or any other heavey low end elements

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Old 03-04-2012, 08:26 AM   #3
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Re: Why my kick is distorted at high volume

I think you have clipping semewhere in the kick since you heavyly compressed/brickwall limit it and in your studio monitors you don't hear it but in the (crappy-er) car speakers at higher volumes the distortions become obviously...
Or you have some sub bass freqvencies that you don't low cut and those are to blame.
Try to play your tracks on a PA if you can, there you can clearly see some flaws in sound design
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:24 AM   #4
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Re: Why my kick is distorted at high volume

well that you've compressed your kick so much may have something to do with it, it depends on how much power the track is pushing out - specifically the kick.

do you have stats for the track?

e.g.

Front Left Front Right
Peak Amplitude: -0.26 dB -0.26 dB
Maximum Sample Value: 31811 31810
Minimum Sample Value: -30605 -30605
Possibly Clipped Samples: 0 0
Total RMS Amplitude: -13.82 dB -13.82 dB
Maximum RMS Amplitude: -7.98 dB -7.98 dB
Minimum RMS Amplitude: -96.46 dB -96.74 dB
Average RMS Amplitude: -16.89 dB -16.89 dB

DC Offset: 0.00 % 0.00 %
Measured Bit Depth: 16 16
Dynamic Range: 88.48 dB 88.77 dB
Dynamic Range Used: 64.10 dB 64.05 dB
Perceived Loudness: -12.34 dB -12.34 dB
Perceived Eq Loudness: -10.86 dB -10.86 dB

0dB = FS Square Wave
Using RMS Window of 50.00 ms
Account for DC = true
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:31 PM   #5
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Re: Why my kick is distorted at high volume

Wooaaah guys ! Thanks a lot for all the suggestions !

First of all to answer owen, when i play other pro tracks it distort a bit but not as much as my own production. there's a great differenece !

To answer to 1AM I lowcut all my basses at around 20-30hz, my kick i eq'd with a boost of 4 db a 50-60 hz. And my bass instrument is boosted at around 100-200 to avoid competition with the kick.

And Benwaa, how to I get these stats ??

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Old 03-04-2012, 02:55 PM   #6
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Re: Why my kick is distorted at high volume

ok stats aside, i get them via adbe audtion, you're boosting your bass you say to stop it competing with the kick? why not cut the kick instead or sidechain the bass with it instead? the fact that you're boosting gives the idea that that may be part of he issue.
you know that when you have "louder" bass parts that makes the treble and mid appear less present right? so if you lower the bass parts (including kicks) gain, then lower the mid/high to match up then master again, in other words try to get a more balance mix before mastering. I know you maybe happy with the mix but this is an issue that highlights not such a good mix after all


if you want the stats for your track send me a wav version and i'll run it through for you and pot the stats back to you with some advice if needed
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:59 PM   #7
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Re: Why my kick is distorted at high volume

That will cost you 1 avatar
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:20 PM   #8
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Re: Why my kick is distorted at high volume

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Originally Posted by Benwaa View Post
ok stats aside, i get them via adbe audtion, you're boosting your bass you say to stop it competing with the kick? why not cut the kick instead or sidechain the bass with it instead? the fact that you're boosting gives the idea that that may be part of he issue.
you know that when you have "louder" bass parts that makes the treble and mid appear less present right? so if you lower the bass parts (including kicks) gain, then lower the mid/high to match up then master again, in other words try to get a more balance mix before mastering. I know you maybe happy with the mix but this is an issue that highlights not such a good mix after all


if you want the stats for your track send me a wav version and i'll run it through for you and pot the stats back to you with some advice if needed
Ill try to sidechain the bass a bit more, with a longer attack/release so there wont be any competition within the two elements. Ill also try to remove the EQ boost in the lower end...

Only problem is that every I modify something I need to go outside in the car to listen if its okay...

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Old 03-04-2012, 04:25 PM   #9
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Re: Why my kick is distorted at high volume

this is where having one of those in car audio players with ipod/mp3 support comes in very handy
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Old 03-04-2012, 05:13 PM   #10
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Re: Why my kick is distorted at high volume

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That will cost you 1 avatar
Do you mean logo?

If so I think by now there would be interest and fees involved.

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Old 03-04-2012, 05:43 PM   #11
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Re: Why my kick is distorted at high volume

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Originally Posted by Benwaa View Post
this is where having one of those in car audio players with ipod/mp3 support comes in very handy
its really difficult to read your posts with that avatar

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Old 03-04-2012, 05:56 PM   #12
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Re: Why my kick is distorted at high volume

I spend 15 seconds reading benwaa's post and about 1 minute staring at his avatar !

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Old 03-04-2012, 05:57 PM   #13
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Re: Why my kick is distorted at high volume

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Old 03-04-2012, 05:58 PM   #14
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Re: Why my kick is distorted at high volume

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secret admin tactics to keep you all logged in longer
its working!

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Old 04-04-2012, 03:19 AM   #15
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Re: Why my kick is distorted at high volume

WOOOOOOOTTT !!!

Problem solved !! It was mainly because of the sample I've choosed for the kick that was causing the distortion. I've switched it for a 909 layered with a snap over it and BAAMM loud and clear. Also the sidechain of the bass was another great issue. Both basses were competing. The agressive sidechain of the bass is giving another life to the track !

Thanks a lot for all your answer and suggestions !

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Old 04-04-2012, 08:09 AM   #16
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Re: Why my kick is distorted at high volume

well...START WITH GOOD SOUNDING SAMPLES ! Don't try to polish a turd !
isn't that the 1st rule of thumb when it comes to music production?
Today's samples are already compressed/limited at max and if you apply a 4db+ @50-60Hz to a kick that is heavyly effected you will get disortions in 90% of cases
Glad you figured out and solved your problem

@Benwaa - I stared too at your avatar for about 2 mins, never regreted it !

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Old 04-04-2012, 02:54 PM   #17
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Re: Why my kick is distorted at high volume

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1.A.M. View Post
well...START WITH GOOD SOUNDING SAMPLES ! Don't try to polish a turd !
isn't that the 1st rule of thumb when it comes to music production?
Today's samples are already compressed/limited at max and if you apply a 4db+ @50-60Hz to a kick that is heavyly effected you will get disortions in 90% of cases
Glad you figured out and solved your problem

@Benwaa - I stared too at your avatar for about 2 mins, never regreted it !

Yeaahh and I listened to an interview where nicky romero was explaining how to do kicks and it kinda opened my eyes. The way he work is that he first create the kick with a snap and a bottom... with a very short release then he layer a bass under it... like a sine wave or smt that is sidechained to the main kick. Its easy to compress and boost the shit out of a snap + 909... then you treat the bass differently without heavy compression... !

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