post your kick drum

- ask away
AK
mnml maxi
mnml maxi
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Post by AK » Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:34 pm

I do like a punchy kick, I think it's so much ear candy when you have a solid thump backing up a track that sounds good wherever you hear it.

As stated before when discussing thing with s.k, I'm more of a sample based guy when it comes to kicks - although I do synthesize my own too but I generally prefer to go more by my ear than to bother trying to analyze any 'science' behind it.

It's an interesting thread, I'll post a few examples of what I do as soon as I get time over the weekend but roughly, it involves this:

I do steal kicks first of all, either by sampling them off records, or nicking them out of a loop I may have lying around - but I rarely come across anything that I find is to my liking, so there are usually a number of things i do production-wise that make me feel as though i have 'earned' the right to it.

Some examples which I'll put up include things like this:

Sometimes I comes across or hear a kick with an attack portion of the sound I really like, so I will sample it. Then maybe another sample has a nice decay to the kick sound for example, so I mix and match the 2 by applying the attack transient character to the decay character in Wavelab. This can be fiddly initially as it's all about knowing how far to go in or how many samples ( depending on which view mode you work in )

I use milliseconds for the display mode and usually, you get over the initial transient after about 20ms or so, then it starts to elongate and extend into the decay. So I will zoom in to around that point and highlight the area at the zero crossing on full zoom and copy. then I create a new wave and paste the transient there. Then I'll zoom in on the kick with the nice decay ( this is often a synthesized kick or a 909/808 sample with enough decay to play with ) I go in after the transient has passed - again, usually around the same ms region and look for the zero crossing.

Here it's important to see where you made the cut on the transient and whether the cycle was positive or negative 9 above or below the zero crossing point ) Then you follow accordingly so the waveform continues in a natural positive/negative cycle.

Once pasted, sometimes there are a few peak adjustments to be made, this is what I call 'manual compression'. You can zoom in on the positive/negative cycles of the waveform and adjust their amplitude to make the whole envelope continuous and cohesive - this gives a nice rounded feel to the final sound if you know what to look for.

A few final adjustments like fade out/decay and normalising give me a whole new kick to work with that is ( by now I think ) my own.

Sounds complicated and fiddly and arguably, pretty damn anal - but it's actually very, very quick once you get the hang of it and know what you are looking for - you also get used to knowing what will work with what after a while. I find it a lot quicker than trying to layer a kick for example and mess about with HP/LP filtering on each of them in the sequencer.

I then sometimes add a very quite burst of white noise to the sample and resample again and stick an envelope on it as I hate 'clean/sterile' kicks. This gives it a bit of dirt but just enough to sense it rather than hear it but to me it makes a difference.

So yeah, whilst I probably don't use synthesis for the whole of my kicks - the decays are usually synthesized and pretty much pasted onto the attack transients of other kicks ( as these are the parts i find synthesis lets me down )

A big no - no though, is to work on a kick out of context, if you have ever sampled a kick you might know what I mean. A kick that sounds great on a record, can sound terrible when placed in a different musical context or by itself, you think huh? That kick sounded awesome on that track and here it is in isolation and it's nothing special at all. A track is only the sum of its parts after all and you need to look at the whole sometimes and how things work when combined.

s.k.
mnml maxi
mnml maxi
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Post by s.k. » Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:52 am

AK i know the technique you are employing quite well. few weak sides of it though -

even if you cut/combine the waveforms at zero-crossing (which doesnt matter because you can cut/merge at the peak too as long as the amplitudes at the crossing point are the same), the degree of the too forms will not be the same, it will never be smooth. and human ears are very very very sensitive to that.

the other thing is that, the start portion that you liked so much that you sampled it, has some harmonics 'embedded' in it. when you cut it (be it at zero-crossing), you cut those too. and the tail that you add, if its a good one it will not be a clean sine too - so also harmonics there. so what you do is - you cut/splice the both fundamentals very nicely, but you cannot do that with harmonics, which results in sudden end of one set of harmonics and a sudden start of another. and human ears are very very very sensitive to that.

you say you dont wanna dive deep into technical stuff. but thats like saying i want to play the piano but i dont want to learn the notes or be bothered with any of that theory crap. well obviously you were never going to be a great pianist...

anyway respect and all, and - just post the kick, lets hear it and it may be good because theres no point in just talking.

AK
mnml maxi
mnml maxi
Posts: 1973
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:01 pm
Location: Worcestershire

Post by AK » Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:04 pm

It's not that I don't want to learn or aren't interested, it's just that I think of it as just a kickdrum, I don't get enough time to even make music at the minute and spending all my free time learning what I deem is unnecessary means my free time is wasted and I'd rather get on with making music.

I like driving cars but I don't need to know how the engine works. ;)

There's only so much that you need to know, I'm happy with my kicks in my music, very happy. I'm more concerned with the music side of things than what's going on at any given point of a kick along its waveform. What's the point?

I'll make a piece of music with a kick and often I'll decide later when all the elements are in place whether I need a new kick and I can usually get it right with no issues. If it's punchy and what I'm after, that's it, I'm done.

The pianist/theory analogy is not applicable in this situation, I consider theory and important part of music and I welcome that kind of stuff - but I have never known anybody try to delve into the science behind a kick at all. There are better things to be getting on with.

I'm not sure what your music output is, mines more House/tech with mnml elements and I'm happy with my drums.

If I were using a hardware setup and my kick was coming right off a drum machine, I'd be using a kick that feels right for the track and any 'harmonics' would be irrelevant. I'd just think, "yeah, that works" and I'd be done. That's pretty much what I do now.

Anyway, here's a quick kick made from 2 samples. The first sample has a decay and weight I like but I didn't like the initial transient sound, the 2nd sample has the right 'soft' transit I like but it was way to short - more of a click. So removing the transient off the first and replacing it with the 2nd leaves the kick I would use.

http://www.mediafire.com/?tyjw2om3m32

s.k.
mnml maxi
mnml maxi
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Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:20 pm

Post by s.k. » Sun Feb 22, 2009 2:41 pm

ah i see now, for those type of kicks it really doesnt matter. its an entirely different ballpark, different style. so yeah, i guess what you do for kicks is fine for your type of sound, we just had different things in mind. thanks for the examples, better than a thousand words.

AK
mnml maxi
mnml maxi
Posts: 1973
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:01 pm
Location: Worcestershire

Post by AK » Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:10 am

But I wanted to hear what you do in detail.

lcvl
mnml mmbr
mnml mmbr
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Post by lcvl » Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:03 am

so why sk hasn't posted a real kick yet?
Dubby music & free samples http://leocavallo.bandcamp.com

s.k.
mnml maxi
mnml maxi
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Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:20 pm

Post by s.k. » Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:11 am


lcvl
mnml mmbr
mnml mmbr
Posts: 183
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:01 pm

Post by lcvl » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:58 am

did you hp this one as well? :roll:

and sorry, but adding background noise was pretty pathetic...
after all you're the one who started the thread.
If you don't feel like sharing, why even bother? :?:


I like bigger bottom on my kicks.
Five fresh ones here, clean and ready to use.
Change .zip to .wav

http://tinyurl.com/aezx5d
Dubby music & free samples http://leocavallo.bandcamp.com

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