improving the bass freq of a kick drum

Discussion in 'Drums' started by therecordingart, Dec 5, 2004.

  1. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    I've been toying around with notching an area in the kick for the bass to sit and here is my problem....

    My kick doesn't have a whole lot of low end in the recording and when I notch in the 200-250hz range I kill a lot of the body of my kick (I mic'd it like crap and didn't realize it until after the fact). I want to boost some low end in the kick to make it punch a little more, but I don't want it to interfere with the bass. In this situation should I boost the kick lower than 200hz (80-150hz area) then kill the 200-250hz area for the bass? After I kill that area of the kick should I boost the same frequency in the bass or on the main out?? I was looking for your last post on this and couldn't find it. If you have the time you can listen to the work in progress it's at

    I've tried what I just asked and can't get it to sound right....but maybe my ears are just pooping out on me.
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    I usually boost around 80 hz. on kicks ... and sometimes I'll kick in a HPF at 70 or lower ...

    Nothing works for everything ... try sliding the notch around a bit go a little higher and lower while listening to the kick and the bass ... When you find the right place to notch the kick, apply the boost to the bass like I discribed previously..
  3. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    Thanks Kurt. I appreciate the response.
  4. wwittman

    wwittman Active Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    I'm not a big fan of the CONCEPT of making a 'hole' in the bass drum specifically 'for' the bass guitar...
    I tend to roll SOME of the low mids out of the bass drum but really because it makes for a better sounding, to me, bass drum... on its own.

    I tend to boost the bass drum at 50 or 60, or 100Hz with a bell, not a shelf. Depends on the tuning and size of the drum as to the frequency that seems to bring out the most power in the drum.
    I, like Kurt, sometimes will throw a filter under that, but only down at 25Hz or so (I use the 27Hz on the Neve 8078 for example)... this helps 'steepen' the bottom edge of the boost bell.
    I roll the middle usually somewhere between 350 and 500. Almost never lower and rarely higher.
    I tend to roll out deeply (too deeply) and then switch the frequency looking for the spot that sounds clearest and yet still full. I then move the amplitude back up to end up rolling out about 4-6 dB maximum. I hate the sound of too MUCH low-mid rollout... that basketball in an empty gym sound that too many engineers end up with.
    I also invariably add some upper-mid click to the sound, usually a bit at 1.5k-ish and sometimes a bit higher as well (perhaps 3k).
    Often I go round in a bit of a circle between these four ranges once I've found the 'active' frequencies, adding 3k, then finding I need more 60, then more 1.5k, then perhaps a bit less 3k and so on until the various parts are in balance.
    I want a good solid thud with plenty of low end puff and power, but also with enough attack to cut through.

    I think 200-250 is not likely to be where the action is, either cutting OR boosting.
    Also, this is really where lots of NOTES lie... I think that's part of your problem.
    Try Eqing the bass drum BELOW the bass guitar, and more in its own fundamental range, and see if that works for you.

    hope this helps.
    audiokid likes this.
  5. MrPhil

    MrPhil Guest

    I would try to notch a bit around 4-600 and see what happens.
    Then boost a bit at 80-120, and at 4-5kHz.
    Hard to tell when I can't hear the bass or drum. :-?
  6. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    I do similar things...

    Boost around 90-ish, cut a bit around 250-350, boost around 1.5K. and sometimes, another boost higher up (3K-ish). I also use a HPF down low.
  7. Lee Knight

    Lee Knight Guest

    You say that you didn't track the kick the way you wanted it? OK. So listen to what you do have and determine what it's fundemantal frequency is. Boost and sweep to find it. It's only 120 Hz you say... well you can only do so much. You want it lower? You can "stretch" the fundamental down, so to speak. Try boosting at 100.

    It's the same theory used to make small bookshelf speakers have some bass. Where do they naturally resonate? Now port the cab to resonate just under that frequency. "Stretch" the natural fundamental down. If you try boosting at 60 and there's nothing there, it not going to be as effective as you wish. The numbers above are all relative to your particular kick.

    Or... throw your hands in the air and use Drumagog.
    audiokid likes this.
  8. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    After spending lots of time on the kick I did exactly that....threw my hands in the air, hooked up drumagog, problem solved.
    audiokid likes this.
  9. HMNP

    HMNP Member

    Sep 10, 2004
    Drumagog with a good sample library helps everytime!!!
    audiokid likes this.

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