1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

Making the bass drum stand out

Discussion in 'Bass' started by HaHallur, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. HaHallur

    HaHallur Active Member

    I've been practicing mixing on my old recordings to prepare for my band's new material and my main problem seems to be making the bass drum stand out. I've been using Waves SSL 4000 and it sounds good alone but when I add all the other stuff in they get lost.

    On my old recordings I used one Sennheiser mic (don't remember model) and i'm thinking about getting a Shure beta 52A or even 2.

    It's metal so I want the bass drum to be heard loud and clear.

    What would you guys advice... ?
  2. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    great mic, great drum, well tuned, great room, great drummer, good gain staging....that's most of it. Seems pretty simple but puts my panties in bunch still.
  3. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    The clarity of a kick drum recording at mix comes from a surprisingly high EQ place. Try dinking around in the 2K range with a bell curve and also at any divisive number down from there.Be careful that you dont step on those distorted guitars' toes......
  4. natural

    natural Active Member

    You're going to have to do some dancing. As Davedog pointed out, you need some clik in there.
    If that doesn't do it, the next step is to annoy the bass and gtr players and roll off some of their lowly mushy stuff.
    (I said SOME - NOT ALL)
    It is a fine line, but once you get that choreography down between all the instruments it should all work together and compliment each other.
  5. HaHallur

    HaHallur Active Member

    What about stuff like limitation ?

    and Should I go with a graphic EQ along with SSL 4000 or just use one EQ.
  6. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    Hallo Ha..
    Go with your ears....
    and keep bass & bass drum apart, frequency-wise to prevent masking ....
    Don't be too surprised about how much low frequency energy you have to pull out of BD and Bass, sometimes...
    Give the BD a boost around 60 to 85 Hz to give it some pressure (average, can be different with your BD) and a lift at around 3.5 to 4 kHz for the kick. The combination and balancing of drums and bass is different everytime you start a new mix. That is what makes it sound interesting, too. Try to give the BD a small, short room. It elbows it a little space for itself.. ;-)
  7. BusterMudd

    BusterMudd Active Member

    Screw the guitars' toes! In fact, when you do find the correct "click" frequency for your kick drum(s), put a notch at that same frequency in the guitars, the bass, and (especially) the snare drum. This lets your k(L)ick drum punch through the mix a bit more effectively.

    You do know that most modern metal records trigger samples for the kick drums, right? Never underestimate the value of a nice canned drum sound.
  8. rfahey86

    rfahey86 Guest

    You could always try side chaining as well. Usually side chaining the Kick to the Bass works pretty well.
  9. GregLarson

    GregLarson Guest

    I'd throw a high pass filter on your 7 band eq, so everything under 50 rolls off (leaves room for your bass player to be heard :) ) then boost about 4 db between 100-250ish, cut your mids (400-5k)about 2-4 db depending on your unique situation, then boost your highs til you achieved your desired "clickiness". Thats worked for me b4, but If you want a REALLY nice metal kick sound use 2 mics. Use your kick drum mic near the outer rim of the drum, you can try angling it 45 degrees at the inner wall of the drum (eq this to be the "boomy" side). then grab your trusty 57 or something comparable and put it inside the bass drum, angled 45 degrees at the beaters (eq for the clicky side). Blend those two tracks and you can get a real click sound instead of a "manufactured" sound. Good Luck man, post the recordings when your done :)
  10. theycallmebrown

    theycallmebrown Active Member

    ive been having this same issue. it seems like everything i do ends up being useless, i wanna try the notch filter on guitars and bass, but i never know where to put it. always seems that it changes the tone of the guitar too much, or doesn't make the drum stand out at all.
    ive always gone by its better to cut then boost when it comes to EQ'ing, whats the general opinion of that with a kick?
  11. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    Is there a better way then to spend lots of time to find out by trial and error?
    Your ears should be the judge. There is this one thing that you will have to explore, experience and internalize for yourself to create your own special sound...
    With Bass Drum sound it is cut and boost together in the majority of cases...
    You'll find out if you really mean business...
    I am doing the job for half my life and still haven't found the golden rule of thumb for mixing... quite possible that there is none.. ;-)

    Big K
  12. lambchop

    lambchop Active Member

    Okay, I'm really not familiar with the intricacies of creating good death metal music as I don't listen to that genre. However, it seems to me that there are a couple of fundamental things you can do without spending a lot of time or money that might help your situation.

    First; it's a generally accepted fact that bass signals and kick drum signals can cancel one another out. I would suggest you get your hands on a good surgical EQ. I personally prefer Sonnox for this. Some of the other members suggested notch filtering and bell curves. I would try boosting your bass signal at around 30-35HZ and do the exact opposite (de-accentuate) the signal on the kick; then do the same thing for your kick drum at anywhere from 60-120HZ and de-accentuate the bass, the two signals will sit much better in your mix. I don't know if I'm already stating the obvious and apologize if I am.

    Second; for some extra 'oomph" for the kick drum get yourself a 6" to 8" old woofer from an old speaker and simply wire it up to an XLR or TRS cable. Now; place the speaker right up to the resonant head of your drum. Voila! You now have your own sub-kick mic. EQ accordingly and enjoy!
  13. AndreyKL

    AndreyKL Guest

    Personaly, i've got 2 ways of dealing with this problem.

    This is one. I use really often. I side-chain the bass guitar compressor to the kick track in my DAW(logic). Spend some time tuning the compressor and the side chain settings, and its done.

    This is my number 2. Works pretty good too, but you have to spend time searching for the correct frequency. However, more often I do that with the bass and the bass drum. I search for a frequency around 60-80, the make a small cut. Then I boost this frequency a little on the bass track. The key word - "a little". Don't get too obsessed with it.)))))
  14. steppingonmars

    steppingonmars Active Member

    You could do all of this stuff to no avail if your source is no good. If you can't get it, use sample replacement or at least listen to to the sample replacements to see how they eq the kick. Also running a bus with just bass and kick together, then compressing it works well for me
  15. GregLarson

    GregLarson Guest

    so do you bus all the drum tracks minus the kick together and then bus the bass and kick together? sorry if that sounds dumb but i'm very curious about this technique
  16. AndreyKL

    AndreyKL Guest

    Well, as far as I've got the idea, that's what he ment. It doesn't really matter at this point how you bus all the drum tracks(track per channel, all tracks in one bus, etc.). What does mater, is that you put your kick drum track and the bass guitar track in the same bus and then use a little compression on the bus. IMHO, the main thing here, is to be very careful with the compression cause you probably will already have some compression applied to the kick and the bass tracks themselves. The problem for me is that using this method, I've got a really over compressed, punchy and "edgy" bass and the kick. Probably it's the matter of shitty monitors and software compressors, but you still got to be careful on this.
  17. planet10

    planet10 Active Member

    what about just lowering all the other tracks level so the kick is in the mix better!!! nothing has to be leveled to 0db on your faders. all the above eq advice is great but try this way first. you may be suprised

Share This Page