Kick Drum EQ: How to Add More Punch

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Producer/mixer Sean Divine demonstrates how to create a kick drum that has power and definition, despite competing 808 bass frequencies—all in 6 simple steps, using the Waves PuigTec EQs – the EQP1A and MEQ5.

A solid low end is paramount to creating a hip-hop track that works. The challenge is to be able to shape powerful frequencies without losing definition or ending up with a muddy mix.

In only a few simple steps, Sean Divine shows us how he gives a kick drum warmth, power, and definition:

Step 1. Sidechain the bassline against the kick

This is a kick-vs.-bass mixing fundamental. Take your time to dial in your sidechain settings to make just enough room for the kick while keeping the bass natural.

Step 2. Boost & attenuate the low-end sweet spot

On the PuigTec EQP1A, hone in on the part of the kick that’s providing the low-end “thump” and give it a boost until you’re satisfied it has the impact you’re looking for.

Step 3. Boost the high-end sweet spot (at 10K)

Naturally, kick samples don’t have a lot of high-end information. On the PuigTec EQP1A , highlight the transient to add some crunch and character while helping the kick work better alongside the bassline.

Step 4. Create a peak at 1K

Step 5. Create a dip at 2K

Step 6. Boost at 5K

The final 3 steps further boost the low and high end to ensure punchiness, while the dip controls any unwanted mid-range information.

Music composed and produced by Sean Divine.

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