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Dubstep [Kicks + Snares] - How to Compress and EQ / Master

Postby jiwonpark » Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:17 am

How do I make good sounding drums for dubstep? I really like Seven Lions drums - they're different from the generic dubstep drums you hear so often.

The vengeance dubstep packs are honestly pretty terrible (at least for the kicks). Do you guys know of any good sound packs that have good kicks?

Finally, once I layer a few kicks together, what are some tips on making them sound good? How much does it matter about the kicks that you start off with or does it not matter at all as long as you can EQ/compress them? Also, if someone could link me a video on this, I'd greatly appreciate it. (Hopefully an FL Studio video) because all the tutorials I've seen are pretty bad.

Thanks!
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Postby Patchwirk » Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:56 pm

Do you have any tracks we should listen to for analysis?

I've heard that Black Octopus Sound's Monster Kicks Vol 1 is good, but I haven't used it. I use Vengeance Dubstep Vol 1 & 2 as well as Sinister Soul's free pack and other free shit.

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=how+to+compress+ki ... +fl+studio

When in doubt, google it. I haven't got compression down yet but I would suggest having the kicks hit in different sections of the frequency spectrum, without a whole lot of overlap so you aren't getting phasing issues or blocking out other sounds (like the sub).
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Postby Augment » Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:58 am

As with snares, the big thing about kicks imo is the transient, the body is pretty easy to make, usually just a sine wave or something along those lines.
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Postby Turnipish_Thoughts » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:50 am

A good tip for Kicks is to widen the stereo width of the "thumpy" frequencies. You hear this a lot in tunes these days. Send you kick channel to a buss and band pass where you want to add the width and put something like this on the buss as an insert then mix it back in with your dry signal. If you move the band filter up and down the spectrum you'll hear when it's round the body of the sound it makes it sound really wide and gives it a lot of presence.

You can do a few things with snares too. One thing is to layer white noise with a bit of width over the tail of the snare. Another is to send your snare to a buss, slap a huge reverb on the buss and a gate and key the gate with the dry signal then mix it back in as a send, this makes the big wide reverb sound only kick in in time with the dry signal, it keeps the snare tight but creates a lot of width and presence.

Compression is a bit of a dark art too. Don't go over board with it and often don't even use it at all. If it's done wrong it can mess stuff up quite badly. If used correctly it brings up the quieter tail of the sound to a level more in keeping with your snappy transients giving the sound more presence over all. It's also good for giving a collage of samples a unified sound. You can get the same effect with some decent drum room impulse responses and a convolution reverb though.

As with anything it just comes down to knowing a bit about sound design and what's going on under the hood. Learning how to deconstruct a sound in your mind and figure out the different elements of it's makeup really goes a long way to getting to grips with this kind of stuff. It's never really something you can say "do this" as everything is always so situational and specific to the actual samples you're using, what sound you want to create, and the artistic intention of the producer.
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Postby bouncingfish » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:45 pm

For EQ tips theres lots of nice stuff you can do. To get that 'face punch fx' sound from a snare, tshht, try lowering the freqs around 1K, and boost the 2-5k frequencies. Sometimes, removing the freqs around 250 hz on kicks creates a clean sound, also cutting the sub frequencies is cool. Find a balance between the highest highs and the 2-5k highs, playing with that gives cool effects.
Overall just mess with highs, they are important in these types of kicks and snares.
Use Enveloping and transient shaping alot, I use logic's enveloper and Native Instruments Transient Master but whatever works, try flux bittersweet which is free. With this I have lots of control over the transient, over the attack & sustain which leads to that I don't traditionally compress them alot!

As for samples, you don't have to pay (or t*rr*nt) there are lots of good free packs, google these:

-"Cloudstorm samples"(lots of punchy drums, even hats, cymbals and claps etc but also kicks & snares, not necesarrily 'dubstep drums' but they are sick nonetheless and you can process them to get what you want),
-"Black Octopus Sound" (free kick pack, Monster Kicks is what it's called, that's just a demo however),
-MakO free sample packs (more Dnb-y drums but they are great sounding and can be tweaked, I think it's 2 or 3 sample packs),
-Letssynthesize/Dan LArsson (Gives away some free dubstep snares that are very good, kicks aren't as good. He also has tutorials on how to make dubsteppy snares in fm8 yourself, and some quality payed samplepacks on loopmasters),
-Halftone (has been on DSF a bit and given away some bro-snares, I don't use them alot because they are very distorted but some like them and they sound alot like e.g Skrillex's drums)
-OKIRU sample packs (two free sample packs, marketed as 'drumstep' or whatever but they are very clean).

All of these are really nice people that give away great samples, some of them spoonfeed you and some don't, even when I use these packs I process them to get what I want for that track, especially an EQ is on every sample even if they are already really processed.


Hope this was a nice post
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Postby R3b_Official » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:16 am

I say 80% of the time is what samples you use, and the rest is carefully pitching/eqing/and slightly compressing everything together to make your drums pop and standout. I do very minimal processing on my drums besides eqing a bit, compressing slightly and maybe saturator or sausage fatten my kicks a bit. I also like to pitch up my snares for a more boop sound. Another thing thats is a must is a transient shaper, really gets my drums now to punch through!

Kicks-
You can go the typical root of finding a nice heavy kick with a bit on the high end to get a really solid hit and crunch tail as for a tail. Boost everything thats in the low end to what sounds good to your ear, cut out mid range with a notch to give it a more dense heavy fell and mess around with the high end a bit so the click comes out more. Slap a compressor and add very minimal processing, you dont want to smash it to death. Then id go finally put my ni shaper on the kick to make it jump more and thats about it.

Snares-
I like to be creative with my snares and layer the shit out of it! Ill use about 4 snares at most when layering but ill find a key point in each snare like the tail,body and int thud sound. I cut the snares for there key sound and then bring them all together to form a whole snare and draw in my fade clip so everything is glued nicely together and then i go to process it. I resample the whole cut up clips and put it all together in another audio track.
Depends on how it sounds ill either pitch it before i eq and do other stuff or ill do it after, all depends on the sound. I do the same thing above with the kick, eq around the most resonate peak (200hz area) maybe boost the mids or slightly bring down the mids, cut off some of the very highs and boost the major body of the high end a tiny bit. Slap another compressor on that hoe, a bit more generous with compressing snares because you can get pretty cool sounds smashing it and messing with the release, give it an airy sound. Maybe throw another compressor, just depends on the sound. Might throw on a fattener, but after i put on my transient shaper and mess around with that to make the snare get that hard punch to it. After i do that i bounce out the clip with all the fxs and pitch it up or down or not even at all to get a different sound. Sometimes i stretch it out since a lot of times i make my snares super short, just my workflow i guess. Gets nice artifacts messing with the warp in ableton.


TL;DR Pick some good samples, layer/ cut them if you want, eq the resonate parts and lower other parts to bring out thoes peaks. Slightly compress, unless you want to get that hard smashed compressor sound. And lastly get a transient shaper :W: be careful when using it, some shapers can fuck up your ears with how much they boost the audio of a sound. Its kind scary and makes you deaf. I suggest ni shaper, best ive used so far and easy to use!

Heres sort of a drum loop ive made and process snares FREE Download* wink wink

This is a little thing im working on, made more dubstepy drums on this clip, basically did all of what i said. Sounds pretty good to me :lol:
https://soundcloud.com/r3b_official/plane-wip-new-stuff

These are the snares im working on(different sounding sort of snares), not yet done since i might process them more and other junk but there still pretty good and heck there free!
https://soundcloud.com/r3b_official/snare-transient-work
https://soundcloud.com/r3b_official/freaky-snares-nhf-sample-pack
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Postby bennyfroobs » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:55 am

bouncingfish wrote:For EQ tips theres lots of nice stuff you can do. To get that 'face punch fx' sound from a snare, tshht, try lowering the freqs around 1K, and boost the 2-5k frequencies. Sometimes, removing the freqs around 250 hz on kicks creates a clean sound, also cutting the sub frequencies is cool. Find a balance between the highest highs and the 2-5k highs, playing with that gives cool effects.
Overall just mess with highs, they are important in these types of kicks and snares.
Use Enveloping and transient shaping alot, I use logic's enveloper and Native Instruments Transient Master but whatever works, try flux bittersweet which is free. With this I have lots of control over the transient, over the attack & sustain which leads to that I don't traditionally compress them alot!

As for samples, you don't have to pay (or t*rr*nt) there are lots of good free packs, google these:

-"Cloudstorm samples"(lots of punchy drums, even hats, cymbals and claps etc but also kicks & snares, not necesarrily 'dubstep drums' but they are sick nonetheless and you can process them to get what you want),
-"Black Octopus Sound" (free kick pack, Monster Kicks is what it's called, that's just a demo however),
-MakO free sample packs (more Dnb-y drums but they are great sounding and can be tweaked, I think it's 2 or 3 sample packs),
-Letssynthesize/Dan LArsson (Gives away some free dubstep snares that are very good, kicks aren't as good. He also has tutorials on how to make dubsteppy snares in fm8 yourself, and some quality payed samplepacks on loopmasters),
-Halftone (has been on DSF a bit and given away some bro-snares, I don't use them alot because they are very distorted but some like them and they sound alot like e.g Skrillex's drums)
-OKIRU sample packs (two free sample packs, marketed as 'drumstep' or whatever but they are very clean).

All of these are really nice people that give away great samples, some of them spoonfeed you and some don't, even when I use these packs I process them to get what I want for that track, especially an EQ is on every sample even if they are already really processed.


Hope this was a nice post


ye im defs gna check them paks out

im usully sample it myself kindaguy but m,ight see what that dnb one is like :Q:
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