Creating a Huge Low End Kick

A sound design tutorial on how to use dynamic processors to create an epic low end kick!


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Creating a Huge Low-End Kick is a detailed video tutorial explaining how to process low-end kick drums for colour and bounce.

More and more modern-day producers are turning to sound design to help them create their own signature sound sets. Using pre-existing sounds in compositions is a great way to get a song completed and to set the overall feel of the mix but it is neither original nor unique. Creating custom sounds not only affords the producer his/her own signature sound but it goes a long way in keeping the listener’s interest.

In almost all EDM based music, and that includes Urban genres, drums are as important as the vocals and the hook of the track, and kick drums reign supreme. The kick anchors the track and provides the drive element, so it makes sense to create your own kick drums that not only stand out but fit the track perfectly.

The tools we have available nowadays for sculpting custom drum sounds are both comprehensive and detailed and this tutorial showcases a number of specific drum design tools that I consistently use for all my drum sound design needs.

In the Creating a Huge Low End Kick video I show you how to use Boz Digital’s Sasquatch to manipulate a kick drum. I explain how to use Sasquatch’s various parameters to add low-end oomph, a clicky attack and a filtered body to an existing uninteresting kick drum sound. I then show you how to use an Envelope Tool to reshape the kick drum. I show you how to use aggressive limiting to give the kick drum ‘bounce’ and depth. I then run the kick drum through a coloured equaliser and show you the best settings to use for specific textures. I end the tutorial by running the kick drum through a lovely valve processor. I explain all the processes step by step.

Plugins used in this video:

Boz Digital’s Sasquatch

Steinberg EnvelopeShaper

FabFilter Pro L

PSP RetroQ

Softube Tube Leveling Amp TLA 100-A

Topics covered in this video are:

  • Understanding low-end concepts
  • How to use Drum Synths and Processors
  • Layering with Envelope Shapers
  • Dynamic Limiters and how to create crazy bounce effects
  • Understanding the relationship between ISPs and Headroom
  • Using Retro Q on Kick Drums
  • Understanding leveling amps and how to create the bounce in Hip Hop

If this tutorial was of help maybe these will also be of benefit:

Pumping and Swelling Drum Beats using Compressors

Shaping Drum Sounds for Layering

Layering Kicks using a Tone Generator and Noise Gate

Drum Layering Basics

Create Epic Drums Sounds using the ‘Flip and Nudge’ Technique

Mixing Hip Hop

Low End Compilation

Beat Construction

Low End

The Art of Drum Layering (second edition)

The Art of Drum Layering – Advanced