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.



Posted by on

Audio Players & Recorders Logo

Related Topics:

Related Questions:

1 Answer

its making a really sick grinding or static sound and it will not connect to my laptop no more i have 300 gigs of music on it am i screwed

The hard drive is about to die. only thing to do is to try and down to a new drive . Any important data should be backed up to another drive . and you won't have this problem. There are data recovery people that may be able to help, but get a quote as it cost a lot of money.

Mar 28, 2015 | Western Digital Wd 500gb My Passport Elite...

1 Answer

ball park quote for parts to my smart for2 coupe

The value would depend on where you live and the overall condition of the car. Websites such as autotrader or edmunds can give you a general value for your area.
I would also check with a good import garage on cost of repairs.

May 09, 2013 | 2005 Smart Fortwo Coupe

1 Answer

How critical is the oil/petrol mix ratio in terms of starting and maintaining engine running for a McCulloch 2 stroke chain saw?

All the lubrication for the engine comes from the oil mixed with the fuel, so it is VERY important that you use good quaility two stroke oil designed to be used in a chainsaw, and mixed as per the manufacturers recommendations, if you are not too sure then run a 25.1 fuel oil mix, if the egine lacks lubrication the piston will start to scuff around the exhaust port ( the hottest part of the engine ) lose compression and become difficult or impossible to start. A quick check is to remove the muffler and take a look at the piston skirt through the open exhaust port.

Mar 06, 2012 | McCulloch Garden

1 Answer

Wonder if I better purchase Zengara Men's Z30028 Oxford shoe. This shoe has received mixed reviews by now. Any how, it is pretty cheap comparing to other shoes in the same category. I'll be happy to receive comments and recvies about it. Thanks in advanced!

I bought this shoe for a wedding. It was hard to find a good looking, black, patent-leather shoe for under $50. I managed to purchase it for $40.Overall a good value. The most important aspect for me was that it look good. It does. When I first took them out of the box they stunk really, really bad. I got these at the same time as another Zengara shoe which also smelled bad. Fortunately, the bad smell from these went quickly away. Overall it is a good shoe, good value and it looks good.

Oct 27, 2010 | Clothing Accessories

1 Answer

Low volume on finalized songs.

There's not really any magic fix to this as far as I'm aware. I usually don't burn CD's from my Tascam directly, but export the mix to the PC and do final touches and burn from there. I don't typically normalize though and the levels are what has come out of the Tascam. I do however use compression on many of the tracks (and sometimes on the whole mix) before exporting which will squash the peaks and lows together and thus give you an overall higher volume with your level meters peaking in the normal place you're used to.

There are other factors like EQ without which a mix can sound too loud and perhaps cause you to lower the levels when really things in the mix just need to be allowed to sit in different EQ bands.

Compression is the key though. Unfortunately even well recorded instruments and vocals naturally contain wide fluxuation in terms of lows and highs and these need to be smoothed out in order to obtain anywhere near the volume of a commercial CD. With compression alone the result may still fall short as the use of pro quality mastering effects can really make a world of difference to overall percieved volume as well.

Hope this helped


Jan 26, 2009 | Tascam DP01 All-In-One Recording Package...

Not finding what you are looking for?

1,203 people viewed this tip

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Audio Players & Recorders Experts


Level 3 Expert

102366 Answers


Level 3 Expert

5158 Answers

The Knight
The Knight

Level 3 Expert

74383 Answers

Are you an Audio Player and Recorder Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions