Processing and designing a psy-trance kick is a real challenge for anyone who aim to produce some professional music. It can takes years to achieve a real pro kick. The best way is to fix the sound of your kick at an early stage of sound design and not at mixing or mastering stage.
"If your kick sounds good, whole track will sound good."
One of the most important thing in your electronic music producer life is the kick, so never forget that and be sure to design it perfectly to avoid any problem at later stages, when arranging, mixing or mastering. In fact, and for any sound in a production, it will never sound good if the original source material is weak, poor and boring. So today we will give you our quick tip on how to process a kick, at least, how we do in our studio.
First of all, let's use a good software for designing your kick: KICK2 from Sonic Academy. We also have released 2 Bank Presets: PsyKicks Volume 1 + 2. Check it out to start making some great kicks, based on our presets which are carefully and professionally designed by Yahel Chabs. Secondly, when your kick is sounding in the way you like, you just have to make a bit of audio processing. Nothing big, nothing mysterious, just a bit of compression and EQ.
Most of the time, we use 3 compressors, 1 digital EQ, 1 analog EQ.
Chain Process in the following order:
Digital EQ > Compressor 1 > Compressor 2 > Analog EQ > Compressor 3
Compressors and EQs choice
- Digital EQ 1: inside KICK2 Software by Sonic Academy
- Compressor 1: inside KICK2 Software
- Compressor 2: SPL Iron by Plugin Alliance
- Analog EQ 2: Maag EQ4 by Plugin Alliance
- Compressor 3: H-Comp by Waves
Light process for a Kick, why?
Simply to allow more flexibility for the next stages of mixing and mastering, as it will be usually processed with some multiband compression, dynamic EQ, harmonics exciter and limiter.
What to avoid when designing a Kick?
You should never, never and never clipping at this stage. You should never, never and never use any mastering plugins at this stage (limiters, clipper, etc). Just keep yourself coherent with the power of your kick compare to the other elements of your track. The more you design it perfectly, the more it will be fat at mastering stage.
Compressors and EQ settings
Now that you know the chain processing for a psy-trance kick design, you need to use your real weapon: your ears. This can be obvious thing but believe us, nowadays, so many people forget that the most important and relevant tool for designing a sound are your ears. It can be frustrating because your ears should not lie to your brain and so the process can take a while until you get satisfied with it. Tweak, Tweak and... tweak your chain process!
Bouncing before process?
Suitable but not always. Just when you get satisfied of your chain processing. This will make you able to fade-out correctly your audio file. (very precisely)
"Trust your ears, not the screen."
So, that's it ! Let's open an instance of KICK2 or a preset model from our "PsyKicks" presets collection and don't forget... ONLY trust your ears!
Next quick tips will explain the bass process.
What's your actual chain process for your psy-trance kicks? Share your experience with us by letting a comment below.