Author Topic: How do I make the kick more distinct and full of room???  (Read 1988 times)

The Dog

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How do I make the kick more distinct and full of room???
« on: February 24, 2016, 04:55:51 am »
I have been producing for quite some time now but I am not being able to bring the kick out very distinctly and bring some space to the mix. Everything sounds very hotchpotch and every element being one over the other. I have tried many of the mixing techniques. I have used sidechaining, subtractive eqing, cutting the lower frequencies on other leads and synths, increasing the important frequencies on the kick, etc. but without much accomplishment. I just can't seem to find what I'm doing wrong. Please help!!!

And also the bassline on my mix also seems to get lost when the I keep adding instruments on the chords and leads. What should I do about this???
« Last Edit: February 24, 2016, 04:58:16 am by The Dog »

hennyhuisman

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Re: How do I make the kick more distinct and full of room???
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2016, 07:00:13 am »
In my own experience i find that a lot of problems can be solved/avoided musically instead of using all kinds of mixing techniques. If you keep layering and layering instruments and when they all have to fight for the same space then the sounds can get lost and it will sound like a hotchpotch. Same goes for the kickdrum check if its in key with your song, maybe you need a kick with more harmonics in order to punch through your mix. You can add parallel distortion to your kick in order to add harmonics. If your happy with the sound of your mixdown but the kick doesnt stick out very distinctly then maybe Dynamic EQ/Multiband Expansion will help to get the result you're looking for. 

Marrow Machines

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Re: How do I make the kick more distinct and full of room???
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2016, 11:32:54 pm »
In my own experience i find that a lot of problems can be solved/avoided musically instead of using all kinds of mixing techniques. If you keep layering and layering instruments and when they all have to fight for the same space then the sounds can get lost and it will sound like a hotchpotch. Same goes for the kickdrum check if its in key with your song, maybe you need a kick with more harmonics in order to punch through your mix. You can add parallel distortion to your kick in order to add harmonics. If your happy with the sound of your mixdown but the kick doesnt stick out very distinctly then maybe Dynamic EQ/Multiband Expansion will help to get the result you're looking for.

this is an important idea, but some of the suggestions might make your kick weaker depending on how your process the signal chain.

But the thing that rings with me is the over abundance of layers in your mix and not treating them with eq properly.

I actually cut back on a lot of my layering when i realized that, the more simple my sounds are the easier it is to process them in the mix and to make them sound cool.

It's weird, now that i think about it, i think that if you just focus on one piece of any sort of sound design you eventually build upon the original content as the mix develops. You have to become satisfied with a certain amount of elements to actually have a song. each component should have a purpose, and if you don't know why it's there, no matter how loud it is, then you should consider removing it.

You also could have a tendency to "make every thing as good as you can", which by making every thing awesome, you've made nothing awesome. kind of like how you make things so stereo it's summed to mono.

If you do a really honest self evaluation of yourself, by yourself, and with your peers, you could find the root of the problem and probably learn a new research topic or point of conversation.

I am also not a big fan of multiband, i'd rather stick with the more basic tools like eq, compression, and volume. but if that's a route you want to take, go ahead and take it.

Also, check your gain staging. If you want big banging drums, then actually allow the mix to have that as you want it. You have to prioritize.
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The Dog

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Re: How do I make the kick more distinct and full of room???
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2016, 09:33:21 am »
Thanks man!!! I'll look forward to it but still when I hear the other professional producers' songs and then compare with mine, mine are a total mess. But I'll just keep producing and hopefully someday my songs will also shine as bright as theirs!!!  ;)

NameAndForm

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Re: How do I make the kick more distinct and full of room???
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2016, 09:29:43 pm »
Hey there,

This might be cliche, but maybe try picking a different kick sample? I'm listening to your "Colored Dreams" song right now (really like it btw), and the kick is.. well, probably what I like least about it.  Someone gave me the same advice just a few days ago, and pointed me to a free sample pack (http://howtomakeelectronicmusic.com/markus-hakalas-kicks-all-in-one-500-free-kicks-in-total). I was using some stock Ableton kicks that I'd layered, EQ'd, compressed, and really didn't like much after all that. I was sidechaining, etc., but it wasn't coming out great either. But I picked a new sample and things are already looking up. :-)

I'm totally guilty of this too (only been producing a few months), but I noticed in your song that you have instruments in the same octave playing at the same time. Right away at 0:10, those two synths, great as they are, are fighting for the same sonic space. Anyway -- that's not a hard and fast rule.. You could make space by panning them differently, EQ, whatever. Sorry, I'm digressing from the kick discussion! I really like your song though.

Marrow Machines

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Re: How do I make the kick more distinct and full of room???
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2016, 05:08:48 am »
There is something I have discovered recently, or really; learned over time. This might not make much sense as it's hard to put in words and more of a habit than a trick: you don't necessarily need to mix the kick in. The more you do this music thing, the more your mind will begin to pick out sounds and leave less to eqing allowing for synths to be bare in certain frequencies knowing that other sounds will eventually fill them as you work towards the whole. A lot of it can ultimately come down to the composition of a song and choice additions to follow suit. Sorry this is ambiguous but a good kick is a good kick. It will stand out when the sounds are right. Maybe at most double the kick track you have and adjust volume levels if it isn't loud enough, but it isn't (always) as complicated as it might seem at first.

this is a good idea, but this advice is rooted in having the drums be an important element in the mix.

I think they should be in most dance music, so what you offered is very good. I use this technique often, as well as a volume bias to the kick and snare.
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ShawOfficial

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Re: How do I make the kick more distinct and full of room???
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2016, 06:47:56 am »
Easiest way is to use a bus for the kick with an extra eq.Maybe a hint of distortion,or use one of those plugins for transients and make it sit on top of the kick.If you don't want to use buses for kicks.Then I guess you could use a separate top kick.
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movementmachina

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Re: How do I make the kick more distinct and full of room???
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2016, 12:00:33 pm »
In my own experience i find that a lot of problems can be solved/avoided musically instead of using all kinds of mixing techniques.

This.