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saving terrible kick sounds.

Discussion in 'Drums' started by osmuir, Dec 21, 2001.

  1. osmuir

    osmuir Guest

    here's my problem: i'm mixing this thingie recorded by someone else [mostly], and the kick SUCKS. no definition, just a big mess on the low end. D112, but still sucky.

    i am having little luck fighting this thing into shape. i am willing to settle just for impact at this point and let the bass gtr handle the low, but if i could have the kick doing both bottom and definition, that would be rad too.

    working with:
    paris daw [unusable dynamics, ok eq, nice reverbs/delays/etc].
    sans amp
    2 RNCs
    Lexicon recording tube amp [very reamp friendly]
    focusrite green channel strip [filters, eq, dynamics].

    ideas? distressor settings?

    i've been going distressor-->focusrite-->paris eq if needed as well.

    all mostly sucking.


  2. chipkarpells

    chipkarpells Guest

    hey owen, know anyone with a decent drum machine? if so... here's an old metal trick... you can gate the $*^t out of the original kick track until only the initial attack is left, and then feed that to your electronic buddy (like an alesis d4, triton or somethin')and use it to trigger your "new and improved" kick. re-record that and blend it with the original(you may have to play with a track delay,offset or nudge-'cause things can get weird on ya)and voila!, your bouncing. -another option is to get a hold of an bbe 882/822, run it off an aux and bleed the kick in 'till your happy... i know... a bbe? trust me, almost every time you turn on your radio your hearing this box. i know your not useing the gear i'm suggesting but maybe you can see were i'm heading macgyver your own solution (or make friends with a pro tools owner and ask them to show you how to use the sound replacer plug-in). good luck.
  3. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Often when a sound is mangled to begin with, the only way to make it better is mangle it even more. Like, beyond recognition. I would give the sans amp a try. The great thing about sans amp compared to most other amp simulation thingys is that you can actually get some bass response out of it. This makes it ideal for adding distortion/saturation to many drums. You might want to gate it before the send tho, as it will enhance background noise and make it increasingly difficult to gate after the fact as you increase the amount of distortion.

    Hope that helps. Let us know what you come up with.
  4. osmuir

    osmuir Guest

    yea, i've tried the sans amp thing before, but this is a mellow, latin grove. i have a boss dr rythm, that's not gatable is it? i am seriously considering going in and putting new kick samples by hand.

    i'm a psychopath. or maybe i just like pain.
    as i know no one with sample replacer, is there an easier way?

    on the up side: the rest of my kit [literaly, with the exception of the wacked out snare] is from MY brilliant room mic set up. ah, sweet ego.

    [the trick, btw, is 2 earthworks mics, wide out from the side of the drum kit, facing directly up, with their lil capsules nearly touching the cealing. that goes into a compressor [rnc for me], and you nuke it kicks ass].

  5. mixfactory

    mixfactory Guest

    It sounds like you need a "mult" shake. Split up the kick on(3) faders; 1)handles the attack gating and EQ 2)this is your bottom-strictly Eq no compression 3)is your thud-compression(colored) mixed with Eq. Mult that over to another fader-that will fill in what's missing. Also letting the bass carry the bottom is ok, if that's the arrangement(for latin music the bass drives the song not the kick, usually there is no kick).
  6. davemc

    davemc Guest

    Isn't there a program called drumagog or something which is a directx version like soundreplacer. Every time I see soundreplacer mentioned someone says this will do it for no-TDM users. Do a search for soundreplacer on the usenet. you might find it. have a good xmas
  7. planet red

    planet red Active Member

    Jul 25, 2001
    Before i got soundreplacer i used to record a 60hz tone all the thru a song on its own track and gate it with a sidechain from the kick track. Every time the kick opens the gate it lets the 60hz tone thru and helps add a nice smooth low end to the kick. Or you could just get a dbx subharmonic synth... ive used one a couple times and it can do wonders on a kick drum as long as its used in moderation. I always end up having to do a lot of $*^t to drums when i mix because of my lack of good room, mics, preamps, miking skills ect. good luck.
  8. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Maybe this is a case where we need to hear the kick and the song it's going into before suggesting anything? Can you post a .mp3?
  9. osmuir

    osmuir Guest

    1. well, i got [italics] something...it's ok, multed, 2 channels, one sansamped and gated and compressed, the other just eqed.

    2. actualy, angelo, i'm brain-dead when it comes to MP3ing stuff. is there a free program that can do it from wav on a mac? and where on the web can i get it?

    3. [damnit i wan't a subharmonic synth. what do they go for? is the dbx model number 120x ? help me out here :) ]

    4. mr thrillfactor, can you please explain that again...are there 3 channels?

    basicly, gang, i just want to get some higher end impact, the kind of thing that lets you hear the kick drum on speakers w/no bass response. so take my comments from that angle.

    ok. thanks again. keep em coming.
  10. drundall

    drundall Guest

    If you have access to a regular 160X, the ubiquitous dbx single rack compressor, try smashing the kick with it. Lots of GR. The higher the ratio, the less low end and more attack. try inserting or if it's too over the top insert on a mult of the kick and blend to taste.
  11. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Originally posted by owen muir:
    2. actualy, angelo, i'm brain-dead when it comes to MP3ing stuff. is there a free program that can do it from wav on a mac? and where on the web can i get it?I don't know any offhand, and I'm on my way to the next NYE stop, so I can't look any up right now. A little google or altavista should turn something up. Also try http://www.download.com

    3. [damnit i wan't a subharmonic synth. what do they go for? is the dbx model number 120x ? help me out here :) ]There are/were quite a few models in the 120 range. Most of them will give the desired results, and can be found anywhere between $100-$500 on ebay or in pawnshops.

    basicly, gang, i just want to get some higher end impact, the kind of thing that lets you hear the kick drum on speakers w/no bass response. so take my comments from that angle.Then the 120x might not be what you're looking for. Actually the bbe was a good suggestion. It can tighten up the top end without adding gain. Some good eq skills can work wonders. Keep experimenting with that. Try to avoid boosting, cut instead.
  12. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    Oct 5, 2000
    Well, I'd have to say, just replace it. If you don't have protools & soundreplacer, you can use a Forat F-16, a AMS/DMX, or a 2290. This will cut back of your 'turd polishing' time, and allow you to consentrate on mixing.
    Does PARIS have a plug-in similar to Sound Replacer?
  13. Owen,

    you might post this question over on the Paris users group at


    and select the "EMUEnsoniq PARIS"

    I've seen several threads over there about
    dealing with sorry kick or snare sounds.
    Drumagog (mentioned by someone else in the thread)
    is used by some over there to save tracks, but I just don't know anything about it.
  14. mixfactory

    mixfactory Guest

    Hi Owen,

    When I have to mix kicks that are "sorry" sounding, I normally break them down into (3)areas:1)bottomn or lows-I normally use an EQ that can help me dial into a certain freq, without affecting the others too much(API560 is a good one for this) I normally don't compress this spectrum 2)I call the"thud"or meat freq's-these I normally compress and EQ-Distressor,SSL or Dbx160X/with a Pultec/Neve or an APi550a combo works well 3)is my attack freq-I normally use a gate/comp/EQ-Drawmer Ds201 or 404 on hard gating(really pushes the sound foward)/distressor/GML8200. I normally bus these over with the original to a seperate fader(with compresion and EQ) which fills in what's missing(by the way this works for snares too). By the way there is a plug in that can pull out some of the kick on small monitors-but the name escapes me right now, but I will find out. Hope this helps some.
  15. osmuir

    osmuir Guest

    apparently the problem was also that the drummer is a wimp, cause when i listened close his solid hits rocked ok.

    i've been doing the multing thing:
    1. kick, some compression and eq to bring out atttack + sans amped "big-ass bottom" boost, light compression [if any] track.
    2. as little eq as possible track, left pretty alone, lil comp maybe + super comp.ed w/attack time WAY back, so i just get one big spike. this is workin' well on snares too.

    not the best, but far from ass.

    thanks for the help, keep em coming, i'll take notes for now and future.

  16. bluemt

    bluemt Guest

    Save the mix. Replace it with a nice velocity sensetive sample.
  17. radiophonic

    radiophonic Guest

    For windows: http://www.drumagog.com
    Many have success using this sound replacer within Paris.

    Also try Waves Maxxbass. http://www.waves.com/

    Since you're going out the D/A and back into the A/D on your Paris rig, make sure you nudge the tracks back into alignment. To do this at the sample level, try:

    Good luck,


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