Kick Drum Problems

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Member Since: Aug 13, 2006

Howdy All,
When I mic our kick drum for live sound it always clips in order to get that heart felt punch that you physically feel from the subs. I try to get that punch without clipping, but the second I drop the levels to where there is no clipping I lose the punch. Is it normal for the kick to slightly clip in order to get the punch from it or am I doing something wrong??

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Since: Apr 03, 2002

Jan 08, 2014 09:01 am

Do you have a limiter, or hard compression set on the kick?

If no, do it.
Since: Aug 13, 2006

Jan 08, 2014 09:15 am

I have a compressor on it. I will set it up to Hard Compress and see if that does the trick. I don't know if my compressor will act as a Limiter, I'll try it out.

Since: Apr 03, 2002

Jan 08, 2014 09:17 am

Oh, if you set it hard enough, it can get darn close to limiting...the difference can be in the gain that is made up by compressors with softer hits...limiters don't do that, so if you don't want that effect, you best turn that down.

Since: Dec 04, 2007

Jan 08, 2014 05:37 pm

Remember if you drop the levels hitting the compressor, it will seem weaker (it won't be compressing the same levels as before, so it won't sound as compressed), so you have to adjust the compressor to account for the lowered signal level, and get that punch back.

Maybe lower the threshold so compression kicks in at the lower level, adjust the compression ratio a little, and raise the makeup gain a little to compensate? You could also harden the knee a little.

Most if not all compressors will behave similar to a limiter if you set the ratio/compression amount to max. Maybe not a brick wall limiter, but yeah, what dB said.

The Czar of BS
Since: Dec 31, 2007

Jan 08, 2014 10:34 pm

Also, I'll add that EQ is mightyer than gain. Boosting 60hz on the channel strip will increase the punch, and allow you to drop gain as well. Then the compressor/Limiter settings won't be a dramatic.

Since: Apr 03, 2002

Jan 09, 2014 08:00 am

Ah, VERY good point Rob, ashamed I didn't mention an EQ boost, good call.

Of course if you want a good, sharp punch, there is also always the ol' "quarter on the back of the drum head" trick...used to work great back in the olden days... :-)
Since: Feb 07, 2005

Jan 09, 2014 12:05 pm

....also, where do you have the mic positioned? You can utilize the mic placement to get a punchier sound

Eat Spam before it eats YOU!!!
Since: May 11, 2002

Jan 10, 2014 06:19 pm

Also to use a trick from the EDM scene you can trigger a seperate attack sound which ducks a sustain sound.

So if you just dont like the attack you can automagically mute it while a pure attack sound ducks the origional kick and then releases to expose the sustain tone... or just build it in a wave editor and completely replace the sound. :)

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