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A Better Bass Drum With Simple EQ and Compression [Video]

Today marks a milestone for Audio Issues. It’s time for me to venture into video and start giving you easy to use production tips in video format. That way you can see and hear the techniques that make your mixes sound better.

Now, these videos aren’t super fancy. They’re just straightforward mixing tips. I’m really new to screencasting so this one might be a little rough around the edges. It’s a learning process so I’d love any feedback on how to make them better, as well as topics for future videos.

If you have any questions that you think are well suited for a screencast then please comment below.

How to Get a Punchier

Things to Take Away from this Video

Attack & Release: Compression isn’t only for squashing volume and steadying loosely played parts. Compressors can also give shape to your instrument. The attack and release are really important to the overall shape you give the kick drum. Focus on those parameters just like you would the threshold and ratio.

Filtering: Get rid of things that you can’t hear. There’s nothing below 32Hz for you to hear, or even most speakers anyway, so you can safely filter the lowest end off without compromising the kick drum sound. Similarly, filtering the top end is fine too, since in this sample it only affects the bleeding cymbals and snare drum, and not the kick drum sound we’re focusing on.

Scanning Frequencies: I heavily boost frequencies and scan the spectrum to hear where certain annoying frequencies are located. That’s the best way to find boxiness, or other unflattering frequencies.

Negative Space: Be aware that when you cut, you are also boosting the other frequencies relative to those cuts. Like I show you in the video, once I’ve cut the boxiness both the low and high frequencies are more prominent. Sometimes that’s enough, but sometimes you want add a few more boosts here and there.

Cutting Through the Mix: Even though I had problems with the beater sound, and rounded it out with a fast attack, sometimes you need to accent the beater for it to cut through the mix. I’ll show you a full mix at a later time, but make sure that everything you do in solo mode relates to the whole mix.


I hope you liked the video and this supplementary post that goes along with it. If you have any comments or suggestions please leave a comment.

For more mixing tips like these, as well as an in-depth guide on planning the perfect mix, check out Mixing Strategies right here.

Image by: ?axime

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About me

About Björgvin Benediktsson

I’m Björgvin Benediktsson. I’m a musician, audio engineer and best-selling author. I help musicians and producers make a greater impact with their music by teaching them how to produce and engineer themselves. I’ve taught thousands of up and coming home studio producers such as yourself how to make an impact with their music through Audio Issues since 2011.

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