Logic Tutorial: Creating Tight Kicks – Step-by-Step

Alex Holmes continues the latest Logic tutorial with a step-by-step examining the creation of tight kicks in Logic…

1: Let’s start by taking two different kick sounds and tightening them up to use alongside a bass line. Load up the House Kit in Ultrabeat and listen to the Kick 1 and Kick 3 samples on the C1 and D1 keys.

2: Kick 1 has a brighter, more live sounding top end. First, switch off the oscillator section at the top so that you’re just hearing the sample. Then bring the pitch of the sample down to around F#2. We can fine tune this later.

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3: Next turn your attention to the amp envelope and turn the decay down to 270ms. Again, we can fine tune this alongside the bass, but as a guide you want it short enough to be tight, but not so short that you lose all the weight.

4: Finally, use the Channel EQ to add a bump in the low end, and to reign in some of that top end energy. You can tweak once you have the rest of the track in place, but pulling back some tops will allow space for claps and hats.

5: Let’s do something similar with Kick 3. Bring the pitch of the sample down to A2, pull in the envelope decay to around 250ms and switch off the Sustain button which should combine to give you a less boomy sound.

6: We’re going to want to EQ this sound a little differently, so you might want to duplicate the track for now. Pull out a fair bit of the low-mid knock, which will have the effect of shifting the weight to the low-end.

Matching Kicks & Bass

7: Now we’ve got our two tight kicks, let’s add a simple 4/4 pattern on each plus a bass groove. We’ve chosen the Retro Synth BASS_SubForLayering preset and pulled down the filter envelope to tighten the release.

8: There’s a small clicking sound that could potentially interfere with the other drum elements. We could increase the amp attack to get rid of this, but have opted to roll off some top EQ to make sure the sub remains punchy.

9: After previewing both kicks, Kick 3 works best, but we’ve pulled back on the EQ dips to allow the low-mids to poke through over the sub a bit more. We’ve also rolled off some super lows with a HP filter up to 40Hz.

10: Although it sounds solid we want a bit more excitement in the kick, so we’ve taken a high pass filter up to 345Hz on Kick 1 and layered it on top of the main sound to create a more full range kick.

11: The next step to carve out more space is to set up a sidechain so that we can pump the sub a little along with the kick. As the main kick is an instrument track, we send a pre-fader signal to a buss.

12: We now set up a compressor on the sub channel with the buss as a sidechain input and adjust the threshold, ratio, attack and release to get things pumping. As we’re layering a top bass, we can be fairly heavy handed here.

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