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Kicks gets drowned in chorus

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BlueOceans
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Kicks gets drowned in chorus Jul. 16th, 2013 @ 07:06 PM Reply

I'm starting to make more complex songs, and a problem I have been having is that the kick gets drowned from all the instruments playing at the same time in the busiest parts of my songs. I always make sure the kick is by far the loudest instrument, and you can still hear it even in the busiest part of the song. But it loses some of the important kick sound. Does anyone know what I should do? I don't really want to try raising middle frequencies because that would make the kick sound bad if it was playing by itself.

AeroMusic
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Response to Kicks gets drowned in chorus Jul. 16th, 2013 @ 07:13 PM Reply

At 7/16/13 07:06 PM, BlueOceans wrote: I'm starting to make more complex songs, and a problem I have been having is that the kick gets drowned from all the instruments playing at the same time in the busiest parts of my songs. I always make sure the kick is by far the loudest instrument, and you can still hear it even in the busiest part of the song. But it loses some of the important kick sound. Does anyone know what I should do? I don't really want to try raising middle frequencies because that would make the kick sound bad if it was playing by itself.

I usually add a sidechain compressor on some of the main instruments routing the kick signal, if the threshold is just brought down a little you can bring out the kick without much noticeable difference to those instruments

or you could just eq down some other instruments bass freqs wherever the kick is strongest

Sequenced
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Response to Kicks gets drowned in chorus Jul. 16th, 2013 @ 08:41 PM Reply

here is what I do.

EQ the kick with a drop at the end starting at 60hz. raise a bit on 80 hz then drop at around 150hz. then mess around with the high to avoid unneeded clicking.

- i like to have that as the main kick, then get a second kick with a nice high end tail. no bass needed on this one.

now add your bass. have a drop at 80hz, lower the 40-60 hz, then raise your bass around 150hz then fiddle around with the highs.

with your sub, have a slight cut between 80hz- ~150hz and keep your low end (20-60hz) at regular level and mess around with it till the kick and your sub doesn't muffle.

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whenever you add synths or pads, you need to lower their volume quite a bit. make sure you pan them quite a lot. cut most of their bass and raise there mid-high frequencies how you see fit. add a compressor if you want to tighten up a freq for that synth.

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sidechain is good for bass, sub, and a pad. adding your other synths to your sidechain is optional.

TIP: do your best to not overcompress your percussion. it makes them sound squeezed and doesn't sound that full in the entire mix. that's probably why it sounds dead in your chorus.

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if you are using FL studio, go to project info, then general, and uncheck the panning law. I advise never to use their fl limiter too.

---

hope this helps. i'll send you a clip in PM so that you can see what all of this sounds like.


lel

BlueOceans
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Response to Kicks gets drowned in chorus Jul. 16th, 2013 @ 09:12 PM Reply

At 7/16/13 08:41 PM, Sequenced wrote: EQ the kick with a drop at the end starting at 60hz. raise a bit on 80 hz then drop at around 150hz. then mess around with the high to avoid unneeded clicking.
- i like to have that as the main kick, then get a second kick with a nice high end tail. no bass needed on this one.
now add your bass. have a drop at 80hz, lower the 40-60 hz, then raise your bass around 150hz then fiddle around with the highs.
with your sub, have a slight cut between 80hz- ~150hz and keep your low end (20-60hz) at regular level and mess around with it till the kick and your sub doesn't muffle.

Thankyou for the song link and reply! I don't really understand what you said and have some questions.
What type of bass do you need on the first kick?
Do you play the second kick with the first kick?
What does " with a drop" mean?
Should the second kick be equal in volume to the first one?

Sequenced
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Response to Kicks gets drowned in chorus Jul. 16th, 2013 @ 09:35 PM Reply

At 7/16/13 09:12 PM, BlueOceans wrote:

Thankyou for the song link and reply! I don't really understand what you said and have some questions.
What type of bass do you need on the first kick?

doesn't matter really. you can always shorten the kick in the sampler in fl, (use the out button), if you have to.

Do you play the second kick with the first kick?

yes.

What does " with a drop" mean?

basically a cut. just lower that certain frequency.

Should the second kick be equal in volume to the first one?

I generally lower the volume of the kick with no bass


lel

dj-Jo
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Response to Kicks gets drowned in chorus Jul. 17th, 2013 @ 01:54 AM Reply

At 7/16/13 08:41 PM, Sequenced wrote:
I advise never to use their fl limiter too.

Why? O:
I use it EVERYWHERE ):

check my time lapse of a recent song I made, you'll see what I mean. ( I'm not trying to advertise I just need some clarification )
Does the limiter do something I'm not knowing about to my mix or is it just hard to use.... or something else O:


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Omegeist
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Response to Kicks gets drowned in chorus Jul. 17th, 2013 @ 02:12 AM Reply

Sidechain that shiz

Sequenced
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Response to Kicks gets drowned in chorus Jul. 17th, 2013 @ 02:26 AM Reply

At 7/17/13 01:54 AM, dj-Jo wrote:
Does the limiter do something I'm not knowing about to my mix or is it just hard to use.... or something else O:

fl limiter is just horrible. turn it off.


lel

dj-Jo
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Response to Kicks gets drowned in chorus Jul. 17th, 2013 @ 02:35 AM Reply

At 7/17/13 02:26 AM, Sequenced wrote:
At 7/17/13 01:54 AM, dj-Jo wrote:
Does the limiter do something I'm not knowing about to my mix or is it just hard to use.... or something else O:
fl limiter is just horrible. turn it off.

okay... O: I'll look for an alternative lol


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MetalRenard
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Response to Kicks gets drowned in chorus Jul. 17th, 2013 @ 06:45 AM Reply

@dj-Jo
Instead of a limiter (which can introduce a ton of distortion and kill your sound), try using compression and clever EQ so you don't have to compress too much in the first place.
A limiter, by nature, is a brick wall compressor. Theoretically, whatever you put through it, no matter how loud, everything should come out the other end quieter than its threshold.
Compressors on the other hand give you the ability to choose how much they compress the sound, thanks to a ratio (X:Y, After:Before, so 2:1 means you're cutting the excess volume in half).

@BlueOceans
Maybe you need to create more space in your kick's main frequency area. If your kick drum is sitting between 60 and 120hz then make sure your sub-bass is below it and your main bass is above it.
At the same time, remember that "warmth" in sound comes from around the 300hz frequencies, so you might want to tweak those on your instruments too.


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Biggyzoom
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Response to Kicks gets drowned in chorus Jul. 17th, 2013 @ 08:37 AM Reply

The above tips are all well and good. I will just say that it's a good idea to mix the loudest and busiest parts of your song first. That way it becomes easier to reduce your mix for the quieter parts than to add stuff to make the louder parts have more impact.

Omegeist
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Response to Kicks gets drowned in chorus Jul. 17th, 2013 @ 02:15 PM Reply

At 7/17/13 08:37 AM, Biggyzoom wrote: The above tips are all well and good. I will just say that it's a good idea to mix the loudest and busiest parts of your song first. That way it becomes easier to reduce your mix for the quieter parts than to add stuff to make the louder parts have more impact.

BUT THE KICK IS DROWNING

Kicks gets drowned in chorus

dj-Jo
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Response to Kicks gets drowned in chorus Jul. 17th, 2013 @ 02:18 PM Reply

At 7/17/13 06:45 AM, MetalRenard wrote: @dj-Jo
Instead of a limiter (which can introduce a ton of distortion and kill your sound), try using compression and clever EQ so you don't have to compress too much in the first place.
A limiter, by nature, is a brick wall compressor. Theoretically, whatever you put through it, no matter how loud, everything should come out the other end quieter than its threshold.
Compressors on the other hand give you the ability to choose how much they compress the sound, thanks to a ratio (X:Y, After:Before, so 2:1 means you're cutting the excess volume in half).

Hmmm yeah I see what you mean.
Well, I honestly don't know a thing about compressors and what the ratio and threshold stuff does (at least I know how to EQ >_<). I just know that gain makes it louder hahah
I guess I'll study up on my compression and what limiting actually is.
Gosh, I've been making music without knowing what this stuff hahaha Now is the time to refine my mixing skills.


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BlueOceans
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Response to Kicks gets drowned in chorus Jul. 17th, 2013 @ 07:44 PM Reply

Thankyou for the advice everyone. It helped a lot!
I have another question.
What should I do if the chorus in my song sounds empty? What I usually do is make a generic synth, and fill the synth with frequencies that are not being used a lot, and make it very quiet so it's just background noise. This doesn't sound like the right thing to do, lol.

frootza
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Response to Kicks gets drowned in chorus Jul. 18th, 2013 @ 04:40 PM Reply

At 7/17/13 07:44 PM, BlueOceans wrote: What should I do if the chorus in my song sounds empty?

You can do what you are currently doing. There is nothing inherently wrong with it. If it doesn't sound right, there are many more options available.

I don't know what song you are referring to (as such this will be somewhat hypothetical advice)... but if you reach the chorus and it sounds empty, consider modifying what you've done for the verses. There might be too much going on in your intro/verse/bridge.

Additionally, you could just try to thicken your chorus. See what else might work melodically and mess with the inversions of the chords you are using to create a more interesting sound.

You are in no way obligated to stick to the confines of one genre. Mix it up, make something new and unique!


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Porkbeef
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Response to Kicks gets drowned in chorus Jul. 19th, 2013 @ 02:52 PM Reply

Compress the drums to have lots of low end and high end so that it sounds louder than it is, but you sacrifice the true volume so if it's in a really complex section, it will either drown everything out or vice versa.

Compession is exteremely handy, make a habit of using it if your drums don't sound the way you want them to.

BigMorale
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Response to Kicks gets drowned in chorus Jul. 20th, 2013 @ 08:47 PM Reply

Here's what I would do. I would either sidechain all the instruments with a ghost kick (just a kick sample that has no output, just in case you didn't know) and then sidechain that way to make the kick and even the snare really stand out but sometimes I don't want that pumping action in all the instruments, sometimes it's a nice effect. If I don't want that effect I would cut out frequencies that are fighting for space. What I do is put a EQ on my master than make only one band a band pass and get rid of all the other bands, then solo out the kick and move the band where the kick hits (mostly in the bassy part of the eq) then copy that band freq. go to the instrument(s) that's fighting the kick paste the band freq on the instrument's EQ and make a cut at that freq. So when everything plays the instrument(s) will have a cut where the kick is sitting at. Hopefully I explained that well. Well good luck!

Sequenced
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Response to Kicks gets drowned in chorus Jul. 20th, 2013 @ 11:52 PM Reply

At 7/20/13 08:47 PM, BigMorale wrote: Here's what I would do. I would either sidechain all

psssst. u dont have to sidechain everything


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BigMorale
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Response to Kicks gets drowned in chorus Jul. 21st, 2013 @ 03:57 PM Reply

At 7/20/13 11:52 PM, Sequenced wrote:
At 7/20/13 08:47 PM, BigMorale wrote: Here's what I would do. I would either sidechain all
psssst. u dont have to sidechain everything

Well not EVERYTHING but most of it

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Response to Kicks gets drowned in chorus Jul. 21st, 2013 @ 06:35 PM Reply

Chorus too quiet? If the previous advice doesn't work, try layering of instruments (multiple channel strips playing same composition) with each strip having own unique EQ and fx.

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