Working on the Sub Layer of a Kick Drum

How to process a sub kick to blend in with a ripped beat!

Beat Construction


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A lot of producers are missing out on creating their own signature sounds. To be unique and original it helps to have your own custom sounds to use in your productions. After all, that is what separates one producer from another. You can instantly recognise a Timbaland drum break from a Dr Dre drum break. The sounds used and the signature production techniques adopted by these producers accounts for their ‘signature sound’.

For those that do not have the drum programming abilities of Timbaland or Dr Dre need not despair. Thanks to the tools we have available to us nowadays we can easily create signature drum breaks using existing content.

I am a useless drummer so for me any technique that allows me to lay down a hot drum beat is welcomed with open arms and wallet. Nowadays we can take a commercial drum break and rip (lift/remove) the individual drum sounds from it and replace them with our own custom drum sounds.

In the video I take a commercial drum break and replace the sounds within the drum beat using drum replacement software and in this case I am using WaveMachine Labs Drumagog. I then trigger a new drum beat sequence using the substituted sounds. I explain how to take a single kick drum sound that I have ripped from the entire drum beat and process it to fit with the new beat. I show you how to use a very specific processor, Boz Digital’s Sasquatch, to process the kick drum to afford it a new heavy tonal sub layer. I explain how to use Sasquatch making sure to cover all of its features. I finish off by showing you how to use compression to bring out the best in the kick drum so it sits with the new beat.

Plugins used in this video:

WaveMachine Labs Drumagog

Boz Digital Labs Sasquatch

Boz Digital Labs Manic Compressor

Topics covered in this video are:

  • Understanding the Kick’s Characteristics
  • Mashing Kicks
  • Using Dynamic Limiters
  • EQ Pre and Post
  • Signal Path Structuring
  • Advanced Compression Techniques
  • Colour and Transparency
  • Transient Control
  • Low End Processing