Enhance your drumkicks via sinewawes – tutorial
Excellent article by Björgvin Benediktsson
People spend ages pondering how to get that kick drum sound. They want the big fat boom that they can hear on records, but can’t recreate it themselves. And not for lack of trying. I have a trick that can help you make your kick drum all that much fatter, resulting in a sound you can use for tight, throbbing pile driving rock or for fat hip hop beats. I’ll be using Logic Pro 8 in this tutorial but any decent DAW will produce the same results.
Adding sine waves to kick drums
When you have your kick drum recorded and you’ve spent hours trying to squeeze out a fatness that isn’t there, maybe you can use artificial tricks to enhance the kick drum sound. Enhancing the low end by adding a sine wave generated by your DAW’s oscillator is a great way to add thump and boom to your bass drum track, whether it be rock, hip-hop or whatever genre you choose to make.
A sine wave is the most simple sound wave you can find, representing only the fundamental frequency you choose — in this example, 50 Hz. It doesn’t include any harmonics, unlike the square or sawtooth waves. So by adding a sine wave to the kick drum we will only be adding one tone, and not a musical element or characteristic.
Step 1 – Get your original kick in good shape
You have your kick drum track EQed, gated and compressed however you like it. Get your kick sound the best it can be before following the rest of this tutorial, because the sine wave is only going to enhance the bottom, and is not a character in itself.
I gated mine to get rid of the snare sound bleed and most of the hi-hats. I compressed it moderately (for rock) and EQed to enhance the click and cut out the boxiness. I also filtered it quite high because I thought it sounded better when I added the sine wave later on. Always think of the sound as a whole, not two sound sources that sound great individually but clash when they are together.
Step 2 – Make a new track for the sine wave
Add another track below the kick drum. Name it “Sinewave for kick.” We won’t actually be putting any audio into that track, but rather putting a test oscillator on the inserts.
In Logic, you can find the test Oscillator under Utilities > Test Oscillator > Mono.
Step 3 – Make the sine sound
Next step is to make a 50 Hz sine wave continuously oscillate on the track. On the Test Oscillator there are many functions, different types of sound waves and noise you can generate to calibrate your equipment for example. We will be choosing the sine wave…