How To Layer Kick Drums

How To Layer Kick Drums

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).

Sample Selection

Here’s the kicks. This is what I’m going to use for the low end:

This is for the high end ‘click’:

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.

Filter High Frequencies

This is how the low end kick sound filtered:

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.

Filter Low Frequencies

Here’s the high end kick filtered:

And here’s both kicks, filtered and layered:

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“).

Use Layer Channel

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).

Route Kick Tracks

That’s it 🙂

Check the video below:


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  1. Max Golovanov on

    THX, Petri! It’s really quick, handy & simple method!

    BTW, have you ever tried to make your own beats with the help of Fruity DrumSynth Live?

    P.S. I’ve found it very useful in situation when ‘sample collection doesn’t have that exact sample what I’m looking for’ 😉

  2. Hi Petri, I was looking for a good web site where I could buy a HQ Drum Kits with the highest bitrate (with all info about how the sample was recorded, type of room, was it compressed or not, dry, clean, which Mic was used, which drums, which recording llabel, who is that sound engineer and etc…). the thing is that if the samples are good, you do not have to Eq it around that much, and it saves so much time. Do you know any of those sites where one can purchase nice sounding Drum Kit libraries? Thx for ya awesome techniques you share.

  3. Petri,

    HUGE thanks for all ur tutorial.

    Truth is: i am working a lot on fl to do my first track and i spend more time on ur website than on Facebook lol!!!

    Concerning the kick layering, where can i find a low and especially a high kick? I don’t find any on fl 10.

    Thanks again!!!

    • ive used CB_kick as high kick(you will find this in club folder)
      n for the low ive used kick_2( you will find this in dance folder……..
      try this…..

  4. DRØP HILLS on

    Hi Petri,
    I am a producer from india. I got my tracks rejected by labels and I had a mail like this…
    Quality in the mix needs to be improved during ‘the drop especially with regards to the low end. The kick is lacking weight and punch and the sub bass is lacking warmth! ‘
    Its all about drops and kick …..
    Can u please help me what is this all about?

    • B.K.(n-bang) on

      which label are you talking about im pretty sure there is no labels for edm in india.btw im indian

  5. frntncnter on

    This is not called “Producing” I wish people stop calling the art of Composing Music “Producing”. People look like huge idiots when they don’t even know the name of what it is they do…

    If you make beats (music) you’re a Composer.. NOT a Producer. A Bird is not Cat .. A Cop is not a Fireman.. A Producer is not a Composer…

    It’s not rocket science.

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