Sonic Academy Kick 2 (Win)
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This is where all the low end is being generated from. The sub-control section allows you to control the overall sub level with the volume slider on the right. Underneath that is a pan control. Pitch Envelope Controlling and defining the pitch envelope of your kick is essential for creating a solid, punchy low end.
Sonic Academy Kick 2 v.1.1 worth upgrading?
This is where all the low end is being generated from. The sub-control section allows you to control the overall sub level with the volume slider on the right. Underneath that is a pan control. Pitch Envelope Controlling and defining the pitch envelope of your kick is essential for creating a solid, punchy low end. This is very easy to achieve with Sonic Academy Kick 2. Inside the pitch envelope window, you will see the nodes decreasing over time.
The first node to the left is the starting pitch frequency and the last node on the right is the finishing frequency but this is not necessarily the key of your kick.
There are two ways to tune your kicks inside the plugin. The default way is by using the nodes inside the main pitch envelope window. As you will see, each node has both Hz and musical note values.
Sometimes the key of the kick is not so obvious, especially with short length kicks. Generally, the key of the kick is defined by the longest most sustained pitch. In the example below, you can clearly visualise the most sustained pitch is G.
This will be the key of your kick. Once this is switched on, tune your kick to the key of C inside the main sub pitch envelope window. This will allow you to use your MIDI keyboard or piano roll to alter the pitch of the kick drum. The reason for a specific key of C is so that the key you play on your keyboard corresponds to the correct pitch. However, when working with the pitch, be cautious, as very small adjustments can make a big difference.
Double click any space in the curves window to add a new node. Double click a node to remove it. Move the nodes around to fine-tune and shape your sub. Use the attack stage to add or remove the click from the sub. This is useful when applying additional click samples and layering them with the sub oscillator. Simply set the first node to zero and move the second node further to the right to add a slow attack for your sub. One of the most useful aspects of the AMP window is the ultimate control over the sustain.
Here you can really tailor the way your kick decays, so that it works perfectly within your track. A great way to learn what is happening with the AMP window is to move nodes around and play the kick in real time.
Kick Length Here you can decide how long or short you would like your kick drum to be. This is also displayed in the main plugin window for easy reference.
Use the length slider to get precise control over how long your kick drum will last. Shorter, punchier kicks will often work best with the longer basslines and vice versa.
Each click section can load a separate audio sample and manipulate it further. One or two is usually more than enough. This is especially the case, when you already found your desired kick sound with a nice midrange and top-end character.
In this instance, you may only need to replace the sub frequencies of the sample with a purely synthesised tone to fit your track.
Alternatively, the additional click sample can be a snippet of the hi-hat or high percussion to make the kick snappier and fit it in a busy mix. This is essential for tuning the click. It will affect the tone and length of the sample, which can be visualised in the main display window, representing the waveform.
Bear in mind, some of the clicks will have an extra tonal element to them, whilst others short clicks may not have a distinct pitch, therefore pitching them is not a necessity.
Quick control to shorten the sample. Useful for removing any excess ambience. Use this parameter to adjust the start position of the sample. It will help to get rid of any unnecessary snap, click or pop sound. Sometimes, the original sample may have a little silent gap prior to the audio.
Using the START control will allow us to remove this gap and trigger the audio exactly where it starts. The are two filter options available for each click area. These are essential sculpting tools for layering. Use a high pass filter to cut any excess low frequencies from the click sample. It will clear up that area to be used for the main body of the kick, preventing additional phasing issues or frequency masking.
Lastly, we have some utility controls, which we mostly recognise from working on any kind of audio mixer. These are the volume slider, pan knob, mute and solo buttons, as well as the phase switch to invert the phase of the signal.
In addition to that, a keytrack switch will allow us to enable the click to follow the pitch of the midi note. If enabled, it will transpose the click or sub oscillator according to the incoming MIDI signal. Another example for utilising the keytrack would be low percussive sounds.
First, load a short sample of the percussion, such as tom-tom transient into the click engine and enable the keytrack. Next, synthesise the main tone for this drum using the Pitch Nodes in the Pitch Window. Make sure the keytrack is also activated in the sub control area. They are usually short and have little to no bodyweight in the low frequencies. Rather than trying to extract the click manually in your DAW and then load it into Kick 2, try out this technique: First, locate your favourite kick library folder and then load one kick into the click area of Kick 2 plugin.
Next, shorten the amp envelope of this click, so only the initial transient is being played, whilst the tail of the kick sample cuts off. Adjust the high pass filter to get rid of any unnecessary low frequencies. What you will end up with is a nice short click transient. Since the amplitude envelope and filter setting will automatically be applied to each kick sample, all we hear is the transients.
Using Distortion To Colour Your Kicks Distortion is a powerful tool for giving some edge, warmth or definition to the audio signal. Kick 2 plugin offers us three different distortion models; clip, tube and wave. All of these models have a distinct tonal character which may suit one kick better than the other etc… It is best to try all of these and find the perfect match for the kick you are working on.
Harmonics The harmonics section allows you to blend in additional overtones to your pure sine wave sub. This is a very useful section when looking to create unique sounding kicks. Here you can add anything from subtle amounts of say a triangle wave or transform it completely with rich overtones from a saw-tooth. A cool feature of the harmonics section is that it allows you to adjust the volume level of each partial within the harmonic series.
For example, using the default sine wave, add a small amount of volume to the 2nd and 3rd partials, then turn up the harmonics knob. Notice how this fills out the HzHz region. This can be a great way to add extra low-mid information. This will give you a great visual representation of the overtones that are being applied. Compressor The compressor section within Kick 2 allows you to enhance and shape your kick further. Although we would recommend perfecting the dynamics of your kick via the envelopes.
Compression can also add the extra punch and tightness to the final result. If you find your kick is sounding flabby and not as controlled as you would like, try dialling in a small amount of compression.
Settings for this will vary from kick to kick but a great starting point would be: Attack — slow attack of around ms to let the initial transient through. Release — fastest setting ms so that the compressor recovers before the next kick. Ratio — a medium ratio of 4: Be careful not to over apply compression as this can kill the dynamic movement of the kick.
Limiting As a producer, you will know that the kick drum represents the loudest element within the majority of electronic music. This is why it makes sense to limit your kick and gain complete control over its maximum value. The threshold is then controlled by moving the arrow slider to the left, the more you move the slider down the lower the threshold.
The amount of gain reduction can then be seen in the meter to the right. There are a few extra controls that can be accessed via the settings tab. Inside here you will find the limiter release and look ahead times. Limiter release; As a general rule, use longer release times for low-end information as this will help to reduce any distortion. Limiter lookahead; The limiter lookahead allows for a perfect brick-wall to be achieved.
This makes sure that your kick drum never exceeds the threshold. When setting the Kick 2 plugin lookahead to high you are essentially putting it into brick-wall mode. To keep your kick in control aim for a couple of dB of reduction, be careful as if you apply too much you will hear noticeable distortion.
Now that you know what every parameter does, its time for you to go and create some amazing sounding kicks drums! Well, you can get it for FREE by clicking the link below.
Presets have detailed controller maps. I am not paid, or even supported by Native Instruments or the vendors. Downloading and usage of this library is at the users own risk. Payments are non refundable. There is no support or guarantee offered that these will suit your own application which is why a free version is offered to test with. If you are satisfied with the free version then the paid version offers the same features and includes all factory presets.
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