Making kicks from a sample (LCRP)

Does anyone have good tips about making kick drums from random samples? I feel that’s been a weak point of my previous community remix entries.

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It’s all about the envelopes. Quick attack and then decay to suit. Ideally you have both a pitch and volume envelope being applied since real drums have a pitch transient as well when the membrane is pushed by the mallet / beater.

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I love doing this

Don’t think I can give a better technical description than @kisielk but my methods revolve around pitchbend, wahs, and proper sample choice.

High pitched bells are perfect for warping into deep resonant kicks (which I love)

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I almost forgot, filtering :slight_smile: You can downpitch almost any sample, filter it so it’s mostly low frequency content, and then apply the envelope techniques I mentioned above. You can get some interesting textured kicks by playing around with your sample selection like @glia mentioned.

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Basically speaking to @kisielk and @glia’s points I was obsessed with making percussion from inappropriate sources in ~2006 as is best embodied from this remix of a friend of mind rmx128 [especially the latter half which is basically a diff composition, ugh wtf I was so much artsier about music then]

Quick envelopes are key - pitch maybe more so than volume, but play with it across different modulation points pitch/vol/filter for great result. Also filter based self-resonance based kicks are a genre unto themselves. Give that a play and see if you can’t combine techniques to find your kick.

there was a sound-on-sound synth secrets article on synthesising 808/909 electronic kicks from scratch - just found a pdf with the info:


anyway bit waffley iirc but I followed the recipes on there at one point using Alsa Modular Synthesiser & managed to cobble together some highly tweakable but slightly gulpy sounding kicks - fun!

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Very similar to how I try to shape kicks. I also like a little “clicky” top end. So often layer in a heavy filtered hi hat or similar.

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cool thread, thx :slight_smile:


0001 brav0.aif (1.6 MB)

Yes, really helpful, thanks. It’s maybe a pedantic point but in the context of LCRPs I’d always thought that using filter self oscillation was cheating…

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You can also do some interesting things by using compression as a sort of enveloper.

Using a high attack time (~10-20ms), a high ratio, and a moderate threshold will allow the transient through uncompressed, and then squash the tail, almost working like a gate.

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Sample Rate reduction or adding distortion can also add some necessary grit.

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More on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://disquiet.com/junto/