Kick drum EQ
Rednose
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28th August 2006
Old 28th August 2006
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Kick drum EQ

I would like to know what kind of eq you all are using on the kick drum.
I used to use the following for Rock/Metal.

Boost 60 hz
cut 300 hz
boost 3.2 kz
boost top end

An engineer friend of mine said I should be boosting the low at 100 hz instead of 60. Something about the way crossovers in a stereo system work.
To me, 100 hz on a kick seems to give it that "dodge ball" sound, but maybe it cuts through the mix better?
Can you share your eq secrets for kick drum?
My chain is:
AKG D 112
DBX 905 eq
DBX 160 VU
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28th August 2006
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I find 60 to low of a boost for kicks. I like the bass down there.

I generally boost at 80 - 100 (always 100 for drum machines), cut heavily between 200 - 500 (depending on kick) and then boost somewhere up top where I like the 'kick' sound.
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28th August 2006
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I don't think I've ever Eqed a kick drum the same EVER.

I do almost always scoop 300--500 out of them. Sometimes a TON, sometimes not much.

I know it's probably not that fun of an answer. Things should be RECORDED about where you want them to be in the final mix. Bass and kick have a symbiotic relationship. Or at least they need to.

-C
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For rock there are two options for the low end IMO. Bass below kick, or kick below bass. I usually boost one and cut the other around 60Hz and then do the oppisite around 100-120Hz. This is asside from the usually cut around 300-400Hz and a little top end boost which will depend on the drum. YMMV

-Chris
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I don't think I have ever added to 60-100 hz. God, it seems like there is plenty in that range...maybe I can send some to you??

I usually boost at 12khz for that "pillowy" hit, and cut around 150 to 500.

have fun!
Rednose
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Makes sense to boost bass guitar at 60hz and kick at 100hz. I see what you guys are talking about.
Do you do a low pass on the kick, and at what frequency?

I do generally try to get what I'm looking for to DAW, that is why I put the kick through the DBX 905 eq (The best eq I have available, sorry...) and the DBX 160 VU.
I then add a touch of eq with the UAD Neve 1073.
I'm having problems getting the bass guitar to cut through the mix, and maybe its because I'm using similar eqs on the kick drum and bass guitar.
Thanks for the tips, keep 'em coming!
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28th August 2006
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I don't have any formulas for EQ'ing anything 'cause it all varies 'ya know?

Even song to song on the same record, with the same kick & bass and mics and all that...it ALWAYS varies.

First I need to decide if the bass or the kick is going to be the 'bottom' of the mix. From there I can start to grasp EQ, twist knobs & push buttons.

Sometimes I'll add some 30Hz with a Pultec if it needs a big poofy lowend.

Maybe the magic for the boost is somewhere from 50-80Hz, depends on where things are sitting...

Generally I'll sweep around the mids and maybe carve anywhere from 150Hz to 800Hz to change the 'body' of the drum.

The beater smack might be anywhere from around 2kHz to 9kHz depending on the drummer, the beater, the head, the mic...LOTS of things!

Recently I've been on an 1176LN binge for kicks, they've been working on the last few records through here but the other day I ended up using my Demeter VTCL-2a 'cause it's slower LA2a vibe fit the track.

Whatever works 'ya know?

If I subscribed to formulas and always did the same thing, I'd be doing the songs, my clients and myself a dis-service.
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29th August 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rednose View Post
I do generally try to get what I'm looking for to DAW, that is why I put the kick through the DBX 905 eq (The best eq I have available, sorry...) and the DBX 160 VU.
I then add a touch of eq with the UAD Neve 1073.
I'm having problems getting the bass guitar to cut through the mix, and maybe its because I'm using similar eqs on the kick drum and bass guitar.
Are you tracking your kick with the dbx eq and 160 then adding some UAD eq? If you are, stop it.

Use the room and microhone(s) to track with because you can ruin the sound later when you mix or edit. Do not cut the track with processing that you can't undo. You can make those creative decisions in relation to the entire mix instead of isolated during a tracking situation.

You should only be looking to get a clean, clear and natural recording of the sound that you hear in the room. Tune the drums and get a "wow" sound going on in the room. Then position the mic(s) ... Save everything else for later.

You said this:
"I do generally try to get what I'm looking for to DAW.......I'm having problems getting the bass guitar to cut through the mix"

That says it ain't working. Getting things to cut through a mix is more about a clear recording and having enough headroom rather than boosting a particular frequency. Bob Katz wrote a how-to on calibration for resolution mag here:
http://www.resolutionmag.com/pdfs/KN...misationp2.pdf

How I eq is by sweeping through a frequency band and finding a part that I choose to emphasise/deemphasise. I have to hear it (in relation to the mix). Eq is one of many reasons that I feel good monitoring and a good room is the most important tool. What does it sound like? For things like bass and low drums I get more headroom and a louder overall mix from cutting out frequency I don't need or I deem excessive. Especially in the lowend, you can get more with less.
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29th August 2006
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I've recently been using the Earthworks kick drum pad eq because it's easy and sounds as good or better than if i've eq'ed myself.
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here is my kick storie.....i went from lots of compression to no compression at all....



boost: 60 hz (sometimes not when using a subkick), 4,5khz.......sometimes 12khz......


cut: 300-600 hz...............



cheers
84K
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not too far off everyone else, but I boost 8k and set the a desser on the Pendulum Quartet 1 to kick in around 12k. Bring out the top end and duck out any cymbal bleed.
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I have found recently that I like boosting 600 hz at the console during mix down. usually I add 60hz with a 1066 tracking and 100 with a pultec at mixdown. Ohhhh and and 2-7 khz depending on the style. I ve been using a 160 for compression but I think its time to move to something else.
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too much eq on a kick really washes the drum out ,IMO, But I think Ima try that desser thingy, for snap with little bleed is it?

I tend to scoop low mids when tracking, and use two mics, one in one out. @ mixdown I'll throw an IBP onthe inside kick mic, tighten the two mics out(usualy using the HF center on the IBP, and adding a low cut inside on that same mic track post IBP on a para eq), and them its done, sounds like the kick. In terms of eq anyway, compression is a whole different thread.
#14
29th August 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danasti View Post
Are you tracking your kick with the dbx eq and 160 then adding some UAD eq? If you are, stop it.

Use the room and microhone(s) to track with because you can ruin the sound later when you mix or edit. Do not cut the track with processing that you can't undo. You can make those creative decisions in relation to the entire mix instead of isolated during a tracking situation.
Yeah, but on the flip side of that, if you're tracking with the whole band going at once you can get a pretty damn good idea of what each sound is going to need.

I track with EQ and compression all the time! It maximizes the dynamic range of the recording medium and not only pumps up the players 'cause it sounds "like a record" from day one, but it takes less time to mix because some or most of that dirty work is done.

And really, doing it all later isn't even CLOSE to being the same as carving and commiting on the way in.


Quote:
How I eq is by sweeping through a frequency band and finding a part that I choose to emphasise/deemphasise. I have to hear it (in relation to the mix). Eq is one of many reasons that I feel good monitoring and a good room is the most important tool. What does it sound like? For things like bass and low drums I get more headroom and a louder overall mix from cutting out frequency I don't need or I deem excessive. Especially in the lowend, you can get more with less.
Yup.

Dump all those ugly low-mids and the bottom will seem deeper & bigger. Carve too much away and it gets thin. There's a fine line there....

I hardly ever EQ in solo. Sometimes...but usually not. Usually it's in groups...say guitars and bass together with drums, vox, keys whatever muted.
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Same here.
With one mic I usualy end up cutting mids and boosting lows/top.
With two mics I start cuting exclusivly.
And when using a subkick with a inside mic it's prittey much down to a low and a hi cut.
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29th August 2006
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I mostly use "dynamic EQ".. multibandcompressor.

I can't tell where to cut or boost, but get rid of the midrange.. and 300 to 450hz is muding things up.

add trigger for the ultimate smack.

cheers George
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Whatever it takes .........



To get the Click ,

and the Punch that hits you in the chest.


I do a bit during tracking, and end up EQing more at the mix





.
#18
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proximity effect

...

Last edited by rufus13; 5th April 2007 at 04:38 PM.. Reason: ...
#19
29th August 2006
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I am always interested in knowing how wide are people boosting or cutting, so as not to affect important frequencies nearby.
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I rarely ever use more than 1 Mic, my favorite is the EV RE20 / PL20

with this Mic i have no problem getting a great kick sound,

If its not sounding good i will mess with the drum till its as good as i can get it, then i will EQ to tape then add more later if i need, I rarely have to add subs mostly 1k to 3k for the click and a bit of 60 HZ and 80 HZ Aproxmantly.......

I don't look at the numbers i just turn the knobs tii it sounds good .


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30th August 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs View Post
I track with EQ and compression all the time! It maximizes the dynamic range of the recording medium and not only pumps up the players 'cause it sounds "like a record" from day one, but it takes less time to mix because some or most of that dirty work is done.

And really, doing it all later isn't even CLOSE to being the same as carving and commiting on the way in.
I know where you are coming from on maximizing dynamic range because I started in analog. But that doesn't really apply to digital. Read through that short resolution mag link I included written by Bob Katz. As long as your analog and digital chain is calibrated in a similar way you don't need to pump it for the purpose of maximizing dynamic range. All I know is that it works better for me this way.

Whatever works for you is fine. I used to reach for an eq or a compressor during tracking but more and more I reach out and move a mic or tune a drum or maybe grab a couple gobos and try to listen more carefully. Before I would even start I had a compressor and eq on my kick mic so I understand exactly what that's like. And I still use eq and compression when I track but it's for a purpose, it's after everything else and it's not automatic and I would never have the frequency picked out - I would find it. I know we agree on how to eq...

Anyway, I usually put a distressor on a kick in a mix and something like an LA-2 or an ADL1000 on bass but it isn't automatic - I'll play with a few things for each or I'll know from hearing something what I think it needs. I like to have the freedom to patch in whatever and kick back and listen. At least while I'm not running around moving mics with 10 people in the room. But there is no right or wrong way - it's only how it sounds in the end and if you are happy with what you did.
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Im just waiting for the one snob to come in and say ---why not get it right from the sourcetutt

Then we can all stomp him

Posting clips always beats guessing too. Obviously your not going to boost at 60 if its already there in abundance
#23
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if you're having trouble getting the bass to cut in the mix, your problem is almost definitely with the performance, the part, and/or the arrangement.

it's stupid how easily a well-played take of the right part in an arrangement that leaves space for it will simply fall into the mix, and your only decision is 'more' or 'less'.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Rednose
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I think my kicks sound good, I was just wondering what the best low eq would be to use.
As I said earlier, I used to boost at 60 hz, but a few engineers said it should be 100. I remember reading an article were Michael Wagener said he boosted the Skid Row (1st album I think) at 60.
I'm getting used to the sound of 80-100hz, and got some great tips from you all, thanks!
I'll check that Bob Katz article out.
For those that wanted samples, I only have samples on my page that are over a year old, but you can check them out.
http://mattmercado.com/discography.htm
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This has worked very well for me recently(ITB, but can be adapted to work OTB):
  • first I really take my time to make sure I get a good sound to DAW. Make a couple of test recordings to check how well they take EQ.
  • For mixdown, the kickdrum track gets duplicated. One track is alway left untouched, the other one gets gated, compressed and EQ'd
  • I use the DAW's built-in analyzer function on the track. If there's a lot of bleed from the snare or cymbals, I analyze only one or a few hits. This shows me what frequencies are already featured or missing on that track.
  • With the EQ I then boost/cut some of those exact frequencies, kinda exaggerating what's already there.
The choice of which freqencies to feature depends on what space is left free by the other instruments (mainly gtrs & bass). Obviously, these will change from song to song.
I found that when I add this track to the first, untreated kickdrum track, it enhances it without totally changing its original character. I usually only boost between 2 and 4.5kHz and another one above 6-7kHz. I almost never boost the low end and rarely scoop the low mids.
With that approach I get away with very little EQ and, even with variations from song to song, the basic kick sound remains pretty unchanged.
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I quite often do this....

Duplicate the kick track.

Using the Digi III EQ.

Track 1 gets a low pass filter just a touch above 60Hz, with a 12dB/octave slope.

Track 2 gets a high pass filter around 1.5 or 2k, with a 6dB/octave slope.

YMMV substantially.
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When you guys duplicate the track, are there any phase problems?
#28
31st August 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rednose View Post
When you guys duplicate the track, are there any phase problems?
Not in Cubase SX3. I sometimes zoom in and visually check if the tracks are aligned. And the latency compensation for the plugins on the 2nd track also seems to work.
Also, when listening, there's definitely more level when the 2nd track is turned on.
And on an instrument like the bass drum, phase problems would be pretty easy to spot: where'd my low end go?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rufus13 View Post
This is sound design/manufacturing. Manipulate until happy.
I generally agree with what Karl says.

Some days you're a jounalist, some days you're an artist.
Rednose
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andychamp View Post
Not in Cubase SX3. I sometimes zoom in and visually check if the tracks are aligned. And the latency compensation for the plugins on the 2nd track also seems to work.
Also, when listening, there's definitely more level when the 2nd track is turned on.
And on an instrument like the bass drum, phase problems would be pretty easy to spot: where'd my low end go?
Thanks, I'm using Cubase SX as well. So eq one track, and leave the other flat, then mix acordingly?
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