George Adams Audio

Music Technology

Quick Kick Drum Mixing Technique

Simple and Effective

One technique that I use quite often when mixing Kick Drum is to increase the bottom end with a low frequency sine wave. Ideally, if the drum kit is good enough and was recorded well you wouldn’t need to do this but this technique can be useful if your kick has no ‘boom’. I have used Pro Tools but the technique can be easily translated to most DAWs. You only need two things:

Firstly a Signal Generator to generate a sine wave. I usually create a sine wave at 60Hz but this can be altered to taste or relative to genre.

Signal Generator

Next you need to place a Gate plug-in on the track and make sure it comes after the Signal Generator plug-in. Use the side-chain function on the Gate to listen to a send from the kick track. Adjust the settings on the Gate so that whenever the kick drum hits the gate is opened. The low sine wave that pokes through each time with the kick will help to create a strong bottom end.


In the example below I have muted and un-muted the Sine Wave track so that you can hear the difference with and without the effect.

*Unfortunately if the headphones or speakers you are using have poor bass frequency response you may not be able to hear the difference

Using the Arturia Micro-Brute

As I mentioned in a previous post about the Arturia Micro-Brute synthesizer,  I am looking for new and interesting ways to put it to use. It struck me that I could create a pure deep bass tone on the Micro-Brute. In the same way that I use the sine wave I could then apply a gate to it and use it to beef up the bottom end of when I am mixing kick drums. I recorded three deep tones at different pitches with the Micro-Brute’s low pass filter applied. I then assigned a gate to each of the tracks so that they would respond to the kick drum track.

Arturia Microbrute Low Frequencies

In this example I also mute and un-mute the the Micro-Brute low frequency tracks for comparison.

*Unfortunately if the headphones or speakers you are using have poor bass frequency response you may not be able to hear the difference


One comment on “Quick Kick Drum Mixing Technique

  1. Pingback: Quick Kick Drum Mixing Technique | neah marie silverio

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