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Kick Drums Gone Wild Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 8th September 2007
  #1
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bringmewater's Avatar
 

Kick Drums Gone Wild

I'm trying to get my dynamics under control and my kick is causing me the largest problem. My goal is a crest factor of 14 for my overall mix and right now it's more like 20. When I use various compressers / limiters / eqs etc to control the dynamics it is killing the low freq thump. Does anyone have tips on how to control this wild kick drum without hosing up the tone?

I'm just working on this individual kick channel and not the master bus currently. It's just the kick that is killing me.

Thanks
Old 8th September 2007
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bringmewater View Post
I'm trying to get my dynamics under control and my kick is causing me the largest problem. My goal is a crest factor of 14 for my overall mix and right now it's more like 20. When I use various compressers / limiters / eqs etc to control the dynamics it is killing the low freq thump. Does anyone have tips on how to control this wild kick drum without hosing up the tone?

I'm just working on this individual kick channel and not the master bus currently. It's just the kick that is killing me.

Thanks
It seems odd that you are trying to hit an arbitrary dynamic range with no apparent musical consideration based on what you have told us.
Old 8th September 2007
  #3
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I have plenty of musical consideration and the dynamic range is far from arbitrary thank you. Any ideas on the actual question? Thanks.
Old 8th September 2007
  #4
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Zarathustra's Avatar
 

Sound replacement in a DAW of your choice. Find some ideal hits in your session and use them everywhere. Consistency on the kick drum is a rare quality in drummers.

Z
Old 8th September 2007
  #5
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andychamp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bringmewater View Post
When I use various compressers / limiters / eqs etc to control the dynamics it is killing the low freq thump.
Did you consider putting a HPF on the kick compressor's sidechain? That might help you reign in those peaks without flattening it completely.

Last edited by andychamp; 8th September 2007 at 04:01 PM.. Reason: HPF works better than LPF/typo
Old 8th September 2007
  #6
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Thanks for the replies. I'm in cubase 4 btw. I don't think it has sidechaining yet and I'm definitely not interested in replacing the kicks. I'm just hoping there's a way to squish the dynamics without losing the bass thump frequencies.

Thanks for any tips!
Old 8th September 2007
  #7
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AAsa's Avatar
call me crazy.....volume automation?
Old 8th September 2007
  #8
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andychamp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bringmewater View Post
(...)cubase 4 btw(...) a way to squish the dynamics without losing the bass thump frequencies.
Multiband compressor

aaaand


Envelope Shaper
Old 8th September 2007
  #9
To me this is one of the classic examples of why I like parallel compression.

If parallel compressions does not do enough to help another technique to try is splitting up the kick into two or three tracks. Just duplicate the kick track onto two other tracks.

Ch 1, HPF up to say 1 - 2 K
Ch 2 HPF 250 - 450, LPF 1 - 2k
Ch 3 LPF 250 - 400

Process each track differently with more EQ and compression. Maybe Ch 1 might get some gating and a heavy compression with a slower attack and quick release... maybe the reverse. Smash the hell out of Ch 3 with fast attack and fast release for a blooming low end or long release for more control.

The point is if you separate the internal parts of the kick you get much more control of how it reacts in the mix. Try chopping it up and then experiment with subtle to radical settings on EQ and compression..... or just sound replace it and be done with it.

LOL

Old 8th September 2007
  #10
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I second the volume automation suggestion. Although since you're using cubase (which i also use), I would just cut every single bass drum hit into a unique region then adjust the volume of that region in the 'event infoline'. If you're on a grid then making the cuts would only take a few seconds, and even if you're not on a grid it bet the whole process will still only take an hour and yield the most transparent result.
Old 8th September 2007
  #11
Oh and this is different than multi-band compression like Andy brought up (which is also a good idea). This concept takes multi-band compression one step further giving you more control, you can use different compressors for different effects with completely different settings.

In order of progressive steps to fix the issue if it were me I would try .....

1) parallel compression

if that does not work I would try

2) multi-band compression with parallel compression

if that does not work I would try

3) kick track on multiple channels with parallel compression

if that does not work I would try

4) sound replacing with a blend of the original kick and parallel compression

as a last resort if that does not work I would try

5) sound replacing with a completely different kick or a kick sampled from that session that I liked with parallel compression.

Hope that helps, good luck.
Old 8th September 2007
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRealRoach View Post
I second the volume automation suggestion. Although since you're using cubase (which i also use), I would just cut every single bass drum hit into a unique region then adjust the volume of that region in the 'event infoline'. If you're on a grid then making the cuts would only take a few seconds, and even if you're not on a grid it bet the whole process will still only take an hour and yield the most transparent result.
This can work as well but usually when the drummer is playing that inconsistantly the tone of the kick changes pretty dramatically. The techniques I talk about above really help keep the tone of the drum as consistent as we can.
Old 8th September 2007
  #13
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Long_Shaded_Eye's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andychamp View Post
Multiband compressor

aaaand


Envelope Shaper
What he says ...
Multiband compressor. So you can control your low end but also the attack of the kick and keep them under different control.

Hope it helps.
/Nick.
Old 8th September 2007
  #14
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BradM's Avatar
Use a kick compressor, drum bus compressor, or stereo buss compressor that has a high pass filter in the sidechain. There are plenty of plugins that allow you to do this. It has nothing to do with the sidechaining limitations of Cubase. Voxengo and PSP Audioware are too companies that give you this control. Or if you are using hardware something like a Distressor, GSSL, or Rolls Super Stereo Comp will give you this capability.

Not letting the detector of the compressors react to the low end is really the key to your problem IMO.

Or call me crazy, but you may just not like the sound of compression. Live at K-20 and let the mastering engineer handle it for you. There's nothing wrong with dynamics.

Brad
Old 8th September 2007
  #15
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samwinston123's Avatar
 

Use a fast compressor and set the attack and release super short with about a 6:1 ratio. Then start bringing the threshold down until the beater attack is at a more equal level with the decay.
Old 8th September 2007
  #16
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For me, when the player's volume is so inconsistent, then the tone is, too. Therefore, in such situations there are only two good options:

1) Sample replacement with something like Drumagog.

2) Re-tracking.

For what it's worth, re-tracking is very often the more economical route.
Old 8th September 2007
  #17
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This is one of the best suggestions EVER from another Gearslut if ya have enough tracks left:

Wish I remebered his name. He rules!

It's a delicate blend of compression, eq, bass compressor sidechaining,
and massaging the buss compressor if you have one.

Make 3 kicks, 1 for lows. Roll this off at 50hz, boost 80-100hz and low
pass at 250hz. On the second one high pass at 200hz, low pass at 5k, and
cut 1.5K. On the third one high pass at 1.5K, boost some 3-5K
(wherever the smack is), and leave the low pass off.

Sidechain the bass compressor with a copy of the low kick and eq a notch
out of the bass (4-8db) at 80-100hz (wherever the kick is boosted).

Send all the kicks to a single mono buss and blend to taste. Then put a
compressor on this track and adjust the attack until it gets punchy.
Old 8th September 2007
  #18
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Sometimes retracking is not an option. And you have to deal with what you get.
Old 8th September 2007
  #19
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espen askelad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new View Post
To me this is one of the classic examples of why I like parallel compression.

If parallel compressions does not do enough to help another technique to try is splitting up the kick into two or three tracks. Just duplicate the kick track onto two other tracks.

...snip...

I do this sometimes. Like when someone comes in with a giant Vistalite kick that we just can't tame (and he just can't tune...) It's a little time consuming, but has been in my opinion a good last resort against sound replacing a kick.
Old 8th September 2007
  #20
+1 for both multiband compression and also for sample replacement. If you don't want to deal with sample replacement (which will give you the most consistent kick sound possible) then multiband compression will help control the kick while still keeping the lows consistent.

I would also not worry too much about crest factor and how it relates to your kick sound and/or mix (I've never heard of anyone using a signal's crest factor as a way to help gauge their mix, but that's just me and I could be sheltered); just trust your ears and your intuition and you should be good to go.

For what it's worth,

Cory Spotts
Old 8th September 2007
  #21
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Fleaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bringmewater View Post
I'm trying to get my dynamics under control and my kick is causing me the largest problem. My goal is a crest factor of 14 for my overall mix and right now it's more like 20. When I use various compressers / limiters / eqs etc to control the dynamics it is killing the low freq thump. Does anyone have tips on how to control this wild kick drum without hosing up the tone?

I'm just working on this individual kick channel and not the master bus currently. It's just the kick that is killing me.

Thanks
Assuming you're not killing the kick with too much at once compression (if you have to compress a lot, use at least 2 compressors in-line, each one take a few db off, etc.), and that you have the attack/release times set well, then you can possibly regain your low end thump with a SPL transient designer.

You can also set up one compressor to focus on the attack and one compressor to focus on the thump.

What others suggested here is valid also.

Remember, compression kills the low end! Tread carefully, don't try to tame a wild kick with just 1 compressor set to stun.
Old 8th September 2007
  #22
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Also, if you don't have a multiband compressor, you can basically make one out of 2-3 separate compressors and sidechaining a separate eq into each of them.

Cheers
Old 8th September 2007
  #23
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I was expecting to see 2 hot college kick drums making out on this thread.
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