Tip & How-To about Audio Players & Recorders

Live Mix - Kick Drum

I go to a lot of live gigs where the mix is all "there" but it lacks overall.

Most engineers I find underestimate the importance of a really solid kick sound in their overall mix. The audience, while probably not knowing why, will respond much better if the kick drum has real presence.

There is a simple way to do this:

1. Boost the Bass (as far as you can push it without clipping or "*******" for maximum "RUMBLE" )

2. Cut 315htz in the low mid (this is the "BOOM" sound, bad for a kick, fill it with Bass guitar)

3. Leave Hi Mids flat

4. Boost treble for good definition (The "CLICK" sound)

5. Build your mix around this. I like to have it up far enough so that you can feel the kick drum as well as hear it but not much louder.

I will leave most of the other drums flat unless the toms are too boomy in which case I cut a little of the low mids in them. You can also add a bit of extra 2000htz to the snare for more "crispness".

Remember a good live mix has a good wall of sound:

(If youre going to boost, boost these approx frequencies depending on the room)

Cymbals 5000htz-20000htz
Snare 2000htz
Vocal/Horns 500-3000htz
Guitar 300-1500htz
Toms 300-500hz
Bass 100-400htz
Kick 20-200htz, 5000htz-20000htz

Another simple mistake is not having headphones, I see this all the time!! You need them to isolate channels so you can quicly find out where any unexpected problems/noises are coming from.

Don't forget to have EQs on all your AUX/Monitor sends and Front of House to cut feedback!

Hope this can help out any engineers starting out.

Thanks,

Doomface

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