Hey guys thanks so much for the input as frustrating as this has been for me it's also been a great learning experience!
I definitely feel like gating has a role to play here... I generally avoid gates where uneccessary but I do find they can shape the envelope in a different way to other processors.
I think the main point i can take away is that the 'hardness' I'm trying to achieve is not really connected to the 40-60hz part of the kick drum it's higher than that... I think nearer 100hz but without testing on more kicks i won't make any final conclusions.
davidpaulpaige does this connect with any of your crush/whack/spank freqs? When you say commit to one you mean make one of them the focus and balance the others somewhere below? Interesting you boost before comp - I need to try that.
I've also had some success by increasing the attack of the upper freqs... I had also figured that the click (point?) was a short sound, but I found it actually goes on longer than I thought, and by shortening these freqs using a transient designer I could get a subjectively tighter/faster sound.
BillSimpkins I do agree with you on creating your own unique sound but it's about being ale to create the sound in my head... I feel like this sound is important because apart from it being a subjectively good sound - it retains all its qualities on smaller systems. I checked your mix congrats - you did notably better than me - but I still prefer my kick drum lol!
If you're interested my mix is Bill Simpkins's Pensado's Place Mixing Competition - Rock Submission - Indaba Music