Your Favorite Kick Drum

As we all know the kick drum is arguably the most important piece of dance music. A great kick drum sample can make producing a track a breeze, while a weak sample can leave the whole track sounding flat.

With that in mind I was curious what other producers ‘favorite’ kick drum samples were. Lets list our favorite(s) kick drum sample(s) and the genre you produce with them!

For myself after nearly 7 years of producing dance music I have to say that my favorite kick for house / prog is Vengeance House 2 - 70/80’s Kick #8. It just always sits great in the mix and most of the time I don’t even bother layering it.

I also like the Vengeance samples. I’m using KICK023 from Thomas Pentons Essential Series vol. 3 for a house track I’m currently working on. That is a lovely sample with quite a bit of “krshh” going on ind the low-midrange and umpf in the 60 Hz region. There is definitely something magic about 59-65 Hz… I find that this kick helps to glue my whole track together.

yeah that ones got some nice cut to it, just gave it a shot!

On the subject of 60 - 65hz. I used to always boost 60 hz w/ a 1Q, after watching a few producer videos I’ve noticed that a lot of them tend to boost around 40 - 45 hz with a Q of 1.5 - 2. I didn’t think that would even really be audible but it definitely seems to give my kick drums some more weight while leaving a bit more room for the bass fundamental at 55 - 70hz.

What I dont like about Vengeance kick drums is the majority of them (in fact every singel one I sampled) is on the G# Key…

You could say transposing is important to get the kick to the key you want but transposing it ruins the sound a bit IMO… (usually solved by reducing the decay and sustain though).

Anyways, out of the Vengeance Samples its Dance Essentials Deep Kick #9.

However, recently I have been using NI Massive to synthesize my own kicks… Easy to put it at the key you want, and it actually creates some nice kicks. Difficult getting that professional thump though.

About the 60-65 hz things, you shouldnt boost IMO anywhere below 120 mark unless you know exactly where the kick is hitting, anywhere else seems to dirty the sound to my ears…

I always boost at the key by about 0.5db 4q and again where it peaks around the 100-150 region since that seems to add a lot of thump. Duck between the two points, behind the low boost and after the higher boost as well to clean the sound (small deductions, nothing major). I also duck it around the 500-750 region and boost around the 1200-1800 region.

The result is usually cleaner and more thumpy for me (alongside some compression, saturation and careful overdrive as well though).

I think most kicks are in and around G because G is probably the best key for dance music for the club, because of where the fundamental sits. For ipod headphones the best key seems to be around A / A#.

Seems to be ‘as low as you can go’ provided, 1) its audible 2) its easily reproducible on the range of systems you are aiming it for.

You can also roll a Fifth up, so if its in G making your track in D usually works fine.