Kick layering is a handy method if you can’t find a punchy enough kick drum from your sample collection that works as is. It’s a way to combine best of both ends – high end and low end – from two different kicks.
In the following tutorial, I will show you one way to layer kicks in FL Studio.
1. Select two kick drums: one with a strong low end and one with a snappy & ‘clicky’ top end and drop them to the Playlist (or use the Step Sequencer).
Here’s the kicks. This is what I’m going to use for the low end:[audio:http://howtomakeelectronicmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/audio/Low-End-Kick.mp3]
This is for the high end ‘click’:[audio:http://howtomakeelectronicmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/audio/High-End-Kick.mp3]
Now, if you layer the kicks like this, you will most likely end up with messy low end (as both do have the low frequencies) and the overlapping frequencies may kind of ‘collapse’ each other making the end result sound weak. To avoid this, we are going to use filtering to cut off the high frequencies from the ‘low end kick’ and the low frequencies from the ‘high end kick’.
2. Assign both kicks to a free mixer tracks and first, add Fruity Parametric EQ 2 to the ‘low end kick’ -track, load a preset called ’40Hz cut’, choose low pass as filter type (easiest way to do that is by right clicking on the band token and choose Low Pass from the menu under the Type) and set the cutoff frequency to around 300-400Hz. This’ll leave the low end weight and body and filters out everything else.
This is how the low end kick sound filtered:[audio:http://howtomakeelectronicmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/audio/Low-End-Kick-Filtered.mp3]
5. Drop Fruity Parametric EQ 2 to the ‘high end kick’ -track as well, again load a preset ’40Hz cut’, leave the filter type as is (high pass) and set the cutoff frequency to 600-700Hz. This’ll leave the ‘knock’ and ‘snap’ there and cuts off everything below.
Here’s the high end kick filtered:[audio:http://howtomakeelectronicmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/audio/High-End-Kick-Filtered.mp3]
And here’s both kicks, filtered and layered:[audio:http://howtomakeelectronicmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/audio/Kick-Layering-Ready.mp3]
Now, export the layer to .wav as a new kick drum sample or use Layer channel to start using the kick ‘layerement’ right away (for more about using Layer channel check the end of my tutorial on “How To Use Layering To Make Your Leads Sound Huge“).
Also, use track routing to route the kick drum mixer tracks to a single track for easier volume controlling (this way you can control the volume of both samples using one level fader).
That’s it 🙂
Check the video below: