How to EQ Kick Drums?

What is more important than the sound when you are playing a kick drum? It is the main framework that gives live to the drum. The other parts have their own importance as well- the bass allows the pulses of the drum to keep running, the snare takes the rhythm forward and the beat of the drum gives the required feel to the drum. Here is a guide for how to eq kick drums.

Hence, it is imperative to have good knowledge about the EQ when you are trying to produce a good drum mix.

This guide is meant to equip you with all that you have to know when considering EQ- ing your Kick Drum. Of course, a very thick bass push from the lower end, accompanied by the driving click from the middle point of the drum is what you need for the kick drums to sound good.

When considering the different kinds of genres, you need to remember the fact that each will have a different drum EQ. But when thinking of amazing sound from a kick drum, these two segments are common.

YOU CAN ALSO READ: Best Drum Brushes

Different Frequency, Different Technique

Looking around the several frequency areas, you can start eq-ing your kick drum. We have compiled the best methods for each frequency range below.

50 Hz – 100 Hz:

You must start boosting if you want to add a low-end punch. You should be aware that too much boosting needs to be avoided. This is because when you boost too much, you will risk the cluttering up of the low-end. This will in turn be a hurdle for the other instruments which exist in the same spectrum.

150 Hz – 200 Hz:

If you are too unsure about boosting the low-end or fear ending up boosting it more than required or accepted, worrying that it will make the thick kick drum even thicker, you can try to cut in the range of these frequencies.

This will help to cut down the possible boominess from the kick while permitting the lower bass frequencies to spread out. Furthermore, you cutting in this range will allow the lower end to gain a certain thickness without risking addition of too much opacity to the overall sound.

300 Hz – 600 Hz:

This is the range where you can expect to find the notorious cardboard sound. If your kick drum is prone to boxy behavior or response, you will want to EQ in this specific range.

You can usually find metal and hard-rock drums to scoop the pan EQ at the lower end of this given range, i.e. at 300 Hz. Furthermore, some kick drum mics come with pre-designed EQ curves that can bring out the middle points in order to cut down the boxy response we are talking about.

2 kHz – 4 kHz:

You can expect to find the snap, pop and crackle of the kick drum at this specific frequency range. When you are having a difficult time letting the kick drum cut through the desired mix, you should avoid adding more low-ends. Rather, you should try to add more of the middle points

A wide boost in the region of 2 kHz is what you need for most pop or rock style of sound. If you are wishing to scoop out more of the depths of metal music, you should opt for a narrow boost at the higher end of the range, i.e. at 4 kHz. This will allow you to get more clarity in the sound you are willing to bring out.

Above 10 kHz:

This is not always necessary to cut in this area- sometimes you can leave the region above the 10 kHz vacant. When we are discussing kick drums, we often do not have to care about the drum requiring ‘air’. This is because most of the properties of the kick drums come from the low-end and the mid region of the drum.

You may also try to filter out the high frequencies using a low pass filter. This will allow the lowering of the drum bleed as well. Moreover, your kick drum will get a thicker kick, producing a more prominent and focused output sound.

Some Heads-up

We have some more suggestions for you to eq your kick drums even better.

  • Try to filter the sound in order to get more clarity in the output: A high-pass filter is not much of a use when it comes to bass instruments. However, it can help to get rid off unwanted frequencies in the low-end.

However, do not overdo this filtering. Try to stick to just a little below 50 Hz. This will be enough to clean up what you desire.

  • Try to eliminate any sort of boominess: You will always want to avoid kick drums with a lot of boominess because you want clear sounds, and such kick drums can be a big hurdle around it.

Hence, it is suggested to cut around frequencies between 200 and 250 kHz if you are feeling too much murkiness around your kick drum sound.

  • What the genre of the song is and what kind of beater you are using determine which frequencies you need to focus on to boost your sound. For instance, in case of a rock sound, you will want to boost at a frequency of 2.5 kHz, while for hardcore metal sounds, you will want a boost around 4 kHz.

Concluding Remarks

It is imperative to have the correct knowledge regarding the process of EQ’ing your kick drum. It is the essential first step in producing a superb sounding bass drum. Once you have the right grip on the EQ spectrum, you will be able to focus on getting the other things checked for the desired mix.

With this guide, you are now equipped with this knowledge. It is your turn to review the steps, try them and get the groove going, making the mixing journey even more exciting.

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