Get that mud out of my kick drum!

Now that you have explored a bit the basic notions of what a graphic equalizer is, let’s put all that new knowledge into practice.

Many mixes of Trap and Hip-Hop songs share the same challenge when mixing bass (specifically bass and kick drum). Who will get our precious bass frequencies?

Sidechain the s#”it out of it!

– Any non-subtle mixing engineer


Wait a little bit cowboy, there is a simpler option. Use an equalizer!


Before we get into the mixing process of both instruments we have to clean our sample. This is our kick drum without any process, try to listen to the full spectrum. What do you want to keep from all that frequency pack? The lower ones? The sub low?

Ableton Live – Full spectrum EQ

In general, we (the mere mortals) cannot hear below 30hz, so preserving the sound energy in that spectrum is not very useful (we will discuss the handling of sub low frequencies later). On the other hand if we listen carefully, our kick drum sounds as if it were sunk in the mud (yes, my language is very technical at this moment), that is because it has an excess of energy in a frequency package between 100hz and 250 -300hz that gives that particular color. To make it clearer let’s hear it separately!

Ableton Live – Problematic frequencies pack

These types of frequencies are what transform a powerful bass drum into a mix destroyer. There is no bass who doesn’t want to fight with our muddy friend.


Now let’s apply the concepts we have just learned.

1. Super low frequencies cut
2. Let’s clean the 100-250Hz sector a little
3. (Bonus) Let’s highlight certain treble frequencies to reinforce the kick.


Hail to the EQ!

Nice, uh? These values ​​should not be used for all kick drums in the worl (or should they?)…

See you next time!