kick drum and mixdown
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Old 23-04-2015, 03:00 PM   #1
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kick drum and mixdown

I'd like to hear from some experienced mastering engineers or mix engineers. In my mixing the kick acts differently than other drums and is clearly important. How should the kick be treated during mixdown?

Let's say I have a kick sound that I like. Should I keep separate from the other drums, which might have a bus compressor on them? When and how do you use New York parallel compression? Do you include the kick?

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Old 23-04-2015, 06:10 PM   #2
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Re: kick drum and mixdown

With the compression side I just do what feels right for a specific track, no real standards on when a technique must be used. The most important thing when mixing a kick is to see how it interacts with the bass. Your kick could sound full and bad ass by itself but not play well with the bass at all.
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Old 23-04-2015, 06:30 PM   #3
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Re: kick drum and mixdown

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Originally Posted by love of music View Post
I'd like to hear from some experienced mastering engineers or mix engineers. In my mixing the kick acts differently than other drums and is clearly important. How should the kick be treated during mixdown?

Let's say I have a kick sound that I like. Should I keep separate from the other drums, which might have a bus compressor on them? When and how do you use New York parallel compression? Do you include the kick?
If find the kick is pumping the drum bus too much I either use a compressor w a HPF. You could also try frequency splitting the kick too...send the highend to the drum bus...low end to the 2bus. W modern DAWs youve got mad routing options. I tend to prefer a serial drum bus over parallel.

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Old 24-04-2015, 04:38 PM   #4
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Re: kick drum and mixdown

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Originally Posted by relic View Post
If find the kick is pumping the drum bus too much I either use a compressor w a HPF. You could also try frequency splitting the kick too...send the highend to the drum bus...low end to the 2bus. W modern DAWs youve got mad routing options. I tend to prefer a serial drum bus over parallel.
yeah.

When I parallel comp drums you want that layer to not have the most low freqs anyway in my experience. I use that technique when I want to add more filth to the mids. Taking away the lows of kick can be nice both before and after the comp on the parallel but when return to the whole mix don't have most of the lows in there. I think the technique is for adding mid range punch and presence you generally don't want to emphasis the sub tail of kick doing this, its not the goal.

you can make the same procedure with the highs and the lows of the drums and treat separately. IMO it works best treated separately cause highs and lows feel better comped different from mids and you can also take the time to lift out some freqs after the comp to emphasis parts in each layer you like.

How you mix with original is very much down to choice.

If you want that classic shikashika DnB layer you only really need the mid layer to make it work. This layer if thinned out a bit can actually skip around freely in song audio spectrum with some reverb on.

Layering up drums gives lot of possibility both in sound design stage and drum mix stage.


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Old 24-04-2015, 04:41 PM   #5
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Re: kick drum and mixdown

Thanks for the responses! I'm going to keep all of this in mind.
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Old 24-04-2015, 04:44 PM   #6
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Re: kick drum and mixdown

If I'm looking to make my kick stand out more, I setup a sidechained compressor on the bass with the attack and the release set all the way fast to just poke a really small hole in the bass when the kick hits (as opposed to longer release times that create that classic disco side chained bass sound). It's not really noticeable in the bass sound. Obviously, everything should be EQ'd and mixed properly, but to me that's the fasted little trick to get a good kick to thump.

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Old 24-04-2015, 04:50 PM   #7
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Re: kick drum and mixdown

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Originally Posted by surgeongeneral View Post
If I'm looking to make my kick stand out more, I setup a sidechained compressor on the bass
Maybe this is just me, but I have found that chaining the bass to the kick doesn't help too much because it still takes a split second for the compressor to engage. Personal preference, I think manually cutting & weaving the bass around the kick is much more effective in deliberately allowing the kick transient to breath
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Old 24-04-2015, 04:56 PM   #8
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Re: kick drum and mixdown

I use the kick sidechain approach a lot, and I find it's the best way that I know how to get the kick and bass to sound good when a kick and bass note start at the exact same time. I usually use a multiband compressor so that I can keep the highs of the bass intact. But I'm curious what other methods exist for when bass and kick hit at the same moment. I really can't imagine a better approach. Perhaps manually going in and scooping the lows. That sounds very time consuming, though.

Or, perhaps, here is an idea. To get around that delay before the compressor closes I could copy the kick to another track and then time shift it forward a number of ms and use that as the sidechain source. That would probably do the trick.
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Old 24-04-2015, 05:30 PM   #9
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Re: kick drum and mixdown

Quote:
Originally Posted by surgeongeneral View Post
If I'm looking to make my kick stand out more, I setup a sidechained compressor on the bass with the attack and the release set all the way fast to just poke a really small hole in the bass when the kick hits (as opposed to longer release times that create that classic disco side chained bass sound). It's not really noticeable in the bass sound. Obviously, everything should be EQ'd and mixed properly, but to me that's the fasted little trick to get a good kick to thump.
This is pretty much the advice I would give as well. Side-chaining is dope!
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Old 24-04-2015, 05:53 PM   #10
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Re: kick drum and mixdown

Download some Terry West VST effects that have the New York compression built in and experiment with it both ways. Then you'll know for sure and can save the better result. Why not? The questions you are asking testable on your own terms.

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Old 24-04-2015, 07:56 PM   #11
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Re: kick drum and mixdown

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bell's Worth View Post
Maybe this is just me, but I have found that chaining the bass to the kick doesn't help too much because it still takes a split second for the compressor to engage. Personal preference, I think manually cutting & weaving the bass around the kick is much more effective in deliberately allowing the kick transient to breath
If you wanna go so careful with it then yes that obviously gives better results.

You can go very careful with how each kick fits with each bass note. Kick doesn't even need all its layers at some parts.

kicks of many variants only adds more variety.

on kick you can switch the high and mid layers around and edit them.

Side chaining other instruments around kick also increases clarity of kick.

But then make sure kick has interesting mid and high layers, otherwise what are you showing off?
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Old 24-04-2015, 08:23 PM   #12
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Re: kick drum and mixdown

^That is actually an interesting idea. Using a HPF version of a kick when the kick and bass hit at the same time.

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