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Weak drums

Silentz

Formerly The Knoxvillan
Battle Points: 57
So I been noticing lately I feel like my drums sound weak as fuck. Not so much rhythm wise its like they got no punch or feeling. I want to make those drums that make you bob your head but I feel they are lacking. I have read tutorials and watched videos about layering, adding reverb, compressing but I still dont get that feeling. Any suggestions?
 

Silentz

Formerly The Knoxvillan
Battle Points: 57
Ive got hundreds of different kicks. Ive tried different types. Yes, those dope breakbeat loops you find. I want to make those myself.
 

Fade

Beat Scientist
Administrator
*** ill o.g. ***
Battle Points: 1
Ive got hundreds of different kicks. Ive tried different types. Yes, those dope breakbeat loops you find. I want to make those myself.
Sometimes what I'll do if I'm in a slump is make a regular drum track like usual but put a breakbeat underneath with much lower volume, just to sit in the background. Just a different way of bringing life to it.
 

ILL-GREEN

Monster One
Try to stay away from compression. Most times it will decrease the knock. Thats because most producers want loud snappin' snares and boomin' kicks which are two different frequencies so compressing them will weaken its effect for sure.

EQ and filtering will bring drums up the dial. And occassional pitch shifting for that sweet deep spot.
 

pancakebunnny

needs more fartnoise
Battle Points: 25
Try to stay away from compression. Most times it will decrease the knock. Thats because most producers want loud snappin' snares and boomin' kicks which are two different frequencies so compressing them will weaken its effect for sure.

EQ and filtering will bring drums up the dial. And occassional pitch shifting for that sweet deep spot.
i agree with most of this but i abuse compression on different channels for different sounds so they all get to flex independently... then again my mixes do sound like booboo so i should prolly chill with that.

finna watch a Young Guru video and get my mind right
 

Silentz

Formerly The Knoxvillan
Battle Points: 57
Do any of you ever just go through the presets until you feel like it sounds right? I hate asking some of these questions but Im a complete noob when it comes to mixing.
 
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Bugsy

ILLIEN
Battle Points: 173
Depends on what your sample is, What format, and how you mix it.
Have you tried messing with the ADSR after layering? boosting the frequency on the low end also helps but not so much. Put compression at the end of the chain.
also, your bass might be drowning out your drums, have you tried filtering your bass as well?
The problem might not be your drums, but what you have on your spectrum, they might just be fighting for air on your low end that it gets drowned.

Also a big tip, always put your kick drums in mono, (depending on your genre)
and normalize the volume of your samples.

Let me know if any of that works for you
Peace!
 

Sucio

Old and dirty...
*** ill o.g. ***
Battle Points: 284
I try to find a kick that I know that would knock if I toy with it.... Bringing up EQ helps in specific spots (around 100hz, sometimes) . Also don't just put a low-pass filter on it. Sometimes that "snap" exists in the higher frequencies. I don't compress my drums. Also play with the stereo field on your percussion. Increase that stereo field to see if that works......but not too much. Doing unorthodox things to your percussion can get you the sound you want. I used to layer my drums, but sometimes it brings an undesired result, so there's a ton of trial and error on the part of that.

edit: This is a scatterbrain post, in case you didn't notice...I'm just throwing thoughts out there as they come to my head.
 

ILL-GREEN

Monster One
i agree with most of this but i abuse compression on different channels for different sounds so they all get to flex independently... then again my mixes do sound like booboo so i should prolly chill with that.

finna watch a Young Guru video and get my mind right
Definitely, if you know what you are doing and how to use compression, I don't see it as a bad thing. Techniques like sidechaining and NYC can make drums pop out the speaker.

Just don't let your drum clip and distort and they will be loud as you want.
 

RizzakBeats

Member
Battle Points: 1
I had the same problem but I managed it that way: I searched for a Kick, which had like a deep ass punch by itself and took it as my lowest layer kick. after that i have searched for a kick drum which sounded good in the mid frequencies and i wasn't about the base part of it. I layered it on top of the punchy low kick and made a high cut on it and a low cut on the middy kick, so they don't cross their frequencies. My baseline has a compressor with a sidechain in it plus i looked up what the deep punch frequency of my low punch kick is and subtracted it on the freq-range of my baseline on about 5-9db. also it is totally important to make a low cut on any instrument and sound you are using which is not meant to be all heavy so you make room for your kick and baseline.

And if you master your beat, you can adjust it with a multiband compressor, mostly i give the punchy range of 90-120Hz a boost of about 2-4db.

If you want, i can take a look on a beat of yours and maybe try to mix it to see what you can do to improve. I know that feeling when your kick isn't punchy as you want it.
 

BezO

The Artisan
Ive got hundreds of different kicks. Ive tried different types. Yes, those dope breakbeat loops you find. I want to make those myself.
Make sure you're understanding the context.

A break off the original record isn't layered. It's mixed to fit a genre at a point in time. Depending on the genre & time you might hear more/less room mics, more/less overhead mics, tighter/looser skins, dampened kits, high-end roll off, tape saturation, console, etc.

That break in the hands of a Hip Hop producer will get chopped, layered, effected, etc. It's a related but different sound. Some of that punch & crack comes from this stage.

Depending on what you mean by making these yourself, you have some stages to work through. What are your source sounds? If they're not breaks, Hip Hop instruction is not what you need initially. Check for info on how 60s/70s funk/soul/R&B/rock/jazz drums were tuned & mixed. From there, understand what a Hip Hop producer would then do with the resulting break.
 

12bitcrunch

Newbie
There are so many potential factors in an overall weak drum sound...

I would get a transient designer type plug in installed and listen to your beats at very low levels. Do the drums bang? The snap (or lack thereof) really begins to reveal itself at low volumes, especially on NS-10s etc

Start experimenting both on your drums and also other elements of the beat (synths, guitars etc) that might be interfering with the punch of the drums.

If you want to get into some advanced stuff, then you can do stuff like multiband compressing other elements of your beat with the snare/kick sidechained, so you don't lose overall tone.

Sometimes it might even be a volume thing. Listen to Kaytranada for example. His drums are just hella loud in the mix- and they sound amazing!
 
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