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Trying to make Kick loud without clipping Drum Microphones
Old 15th August 2007
  #1
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Trying to make Kick loud without clipping

Anyone got any ideas? The kick sounds good about 4db louder than everything else in the mix but I lose my headroom with it like that.. is there any way to give the appearance of volume while letting the kick still sit in the mix and not clip?
Old 15th August 2007
  #2
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swisha31's Avatar
add some compression??
Old 15th August 2007
  #3
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Use a limiter.
Old 15th August 2007
  #4
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... or make everything else quiter
Old 15th August 2007
  #5
Ice
Gear Head
 

Have you filtered out the sub-low that's eating up your head room? You can high pass at 30-40hz and keep the thump while cutting the information that'll be pumping your compressors.

Also, as stated before, you can crush it with a limiter or hack the peaks with a clipper.
Old 15th August 2007
  #6
Gear Addict
 

Sounds like an EQ thing. Try to bring out stuff around 5k for the clicky attack. It'll act as a flashlight pointing down to the fundemental so that it doesn't have to be so loud in the mix. Your ear/mind will hear the upper partials and fill in the other information (same way you can hear kick or bass on tiny little computer monitors). Also, gating can help create space so that less things conflict on hte downbeats etc.
Old 15th August 2007
  #7
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas G View Post
... or make everything else quiter
+1

If you are running out of headroom it means that you are doing poor gain staging.

There are also some compression and EQ tricks to give the kick a perceived sense of being louder.
Old 15th August 2007
  #8
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Rappy's Avatar
 

I agree with using proper EQ, gating, and gain staging to give the kick impact and space inthe mix without turning up the fader so loud that it is slamming the VU into the red.

In addition, I would add to this list that you should use parallel compression (especially if it is a modern rock song with aggressive tones). Copy the kick drum track so that you have one kick that is sounding sweet and natural. On the other kick, absolutely slam it with compression so that it is squashed and pumping. Even try putting an amp simulator on it and distorting it. Then blend this track into the mix below the other kick track. It will make the perceived loudness of the kick much greater without actually adding much VU.

Also, another consideration is your monitoring. Is your monitoring environment bass shy, which means you have to turn the kick way up to hear it properly in the mix?

Peace,
Rappy
Old 15th August 2007
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm View Post
+1
There are also some compression and EQ tricks to give the kick a perceived sense of being louder.
care to elaborate?
Old 15th August 2007
  #10
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andychamp's Avatar
a) parallel compression
b) EQ. Carve room for your other instruments into/around your kick. All you need from it is a timing reference, so some attack (and a bit of chest-thumping lows for the big speakers) will do and you won't need to run it 4 dB above everything else.
c) avoid sonic competition with other elements
Old 15th August 2007
  #11
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Empire Prod's Avatar
 

Turn down everything else, and raise the master fader. Done
Old 15th August 2007
  #12
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soupking's Avatar
 

This is a total guess, but maybe changing the texture, or depth of the signal will make it more profound without making it 'louder'.

Like maybe sharpen the attack somehow or play with positioning.
Old 15th August 2007
  #13
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Fretbored's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas G View Post
... or make everything else quiter
+2
Old 15th August 2007
  #14
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Hmm, does gain staging apply when everything you do is via VSTs and digital instruments?
Old 15th August 2007
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkEcho View Post
Hmm, does gain staging apply when everything you do is via VSTs and digital instruments?
Of course..it applies in every mix. Just because you are not tracking in does not mean that you are not using plugins to mix with....which can be overloaded or underpowered, causing potential issues.

I mentioned the limiter because I assumed you were gainstaging properly already.
Old 15th August 2007
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soupking View Post
This is a total guess, but maybe changing the texture, or depth of the signal will make it more profound without making it 'louder'.

Like maybe sharpen the attack somehow or play with positioning.
Yup.

EQ the low end up a bit. HPF the sub lows(as mentioned above) find the beater with an EQ and give it a little boost. Compress with slowish attack. Use a Transient designer plug to kick up the attack. Put a limiter at the end of the chain to keep it at just the right level (do not squash, just limit)

I find it really helps to adjust the kick at lower volume. It will only get louder as you turn up the volume from there.
Old 15th August 2007
  #17
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how do you ensure proper gain staging via digital devices?
Old 15th August 2007
  #18
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Kyle S's Avatar
 

usually if my kick peaks at -6 after all of my plugins and **** then its usually gonan be easy to seat. i start my mixes with the kick and kinda here & there build around it.

good kick starts with a good track though, if you want that girth and splintered wood sound, it has to be there before hand or resort to samples. ive found that you can save 10000000 hours at mixing if you spend another 20 minutes at tracking.
Old 15th August 2007
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkEcho View Post
how do you ensure proper gain staging via digital devices?
Try to leave a lot of headroom. The loudest elements peaks around -12dB or so in my mixes. Sounds much smoother and clearer to me (kinda analog) :-)
Old 15th August 2007
  #20
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas G View Post
... or make everything else quiter
Old 15th August 2007
  #21
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- Build a kick drum tunnell
- Use a dynamic microphone when close miking if you don't have a very good condenser mic
- Use several mics
- Practise ducking techniques
Old 15th August 2007
  #22
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heathen's Avatar
 

Parallel comp and some eq could get it thumping.
Old 15th August 2007
  #23
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AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkEcho View Post
Anyone got any ideas? The kick sounds good about 4db louder than everything else in the mix but I lose my headroom with it like that.. is there any way to give the appearance of volume while letting the kick still sit in the mix and not clip?
proper eq mainly when tracking or mixing as well, compression can help as well.
Old 16th August 2007
  #24
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Alex Niedt's Avatar
 

Bunch of possibilities...

Start w/ a great kick, parallel comp, any combination of comp & EQ, clipping (I know you said without, but...) up to the point where you can hear it (should be a few dB's...of course this depends on the quality of your kick), etc.
Old 16th August 2007
  #25
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syra's Avatar
Mult the kick to a track where you completely eliminate any attack. Have only the decay of the kickdrum. Add it to the original. Done.
Old 16th August 2007
  #26
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stevep's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas G View Post
... or make everything else quiter
thumbsup



.
Old 16th August 2007
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
Pfhuck's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkEcho View Post
Anyone got any ideas? The kick sounds good about 4db louder than everything else in the mix but I lose my headroom with it like that.. is there any way to give the appearance of volume while letting the kick still sit in the mix and not clip?
Lots of "invisible" variables in a question like that.

IMPOSSIBLE to give any sort of REAL advice in this situation...

Ya gotta MIX the kick with the rest of your MIX!

All the above suggestions are valid.




If I may be so bold as to summarize:

MULT - HPF - DISTORTO/COMPRESS - EQ - BLEND (margarita's!)

Laters,
Pfhuck

Last edited by Pfhuck; 16th August 2007 at 06:36 AM.. Reason: Margaritas! And spelling....
Old 16th August 2007
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas G View Post
Try to leave a lot of headroom. The loudest elements peaks around -12dB or so in my mixes. Sounds much smoother and clearer to me (kinda analog) :-)
Shhh .. don't let everyone know.

B
Old 16th August 2007
  #29
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gurubuzz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas G View Post
... or make everything else quiter
thumbsup +4

That's right and start your mix with the kick at the desired level and then bring everything else up...slowly. Your kick then will only be comp/limm by your Bus comp.
Old 16th August 2007
  #30
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Andreas, you said that your stuff peaks at -12, you mean thats the highest any one instrument's level ever gets? do you limit them to -12 or just alter the level so that -12 is the max it ever gets?

Also, I thought gain staging had to do with the levels of different peices of equipment going in and out of eachother, for instance, wouldnt proper gain staging for a drum sampler and a DAW be your sampler loud enough to where its not in the red, and then whatever level you want in your DAW, where as improper gain staging would be having the volume too low in your sampler but turning it up really high in your DAW to compensate? Maybe I am confused about what gain staging is.
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