Gate Kick Drum
Gate Kick Drum
When you gate a kick drum you should be careful. Gating kick drum is pretty tricky. Most of acoustic kick drum is not a four-on-the-floor disco beat or a straightahead rock or rap song. The drummer does some fairly complex playing both in terms of rhythm and dynamics. When you gate, make sure you do not lose the complex rhythms.
1) Solo the Kick drum.
2) Apply a Gate at its Insert.
(In this article, I am dealing with Expander/Gate in Protools. See the Figure 1 below.)
3) Set up the Gate exactly as illustrated in Figure 1, just to get started.
As you know, the purpose of the gate as you've applied it here is to remove unwanted leakage. You could argue that the leakage is fine the way it is (and you would have a good argument) but you need to practice using this device, so please continue.
You may notice that towards the end of the song the drummer gets pretty busy and the gate may create unwanted effects. Experiment with the parameters and listen to hear if you can do a better job than what the setup in Figure 1 gives you. Don't rush. Take your time and really try to get something that works for you. If you get in trouble you can always reset it to Figure 1 settings.
5) When you have settings that you think work, listen to it in the track.
Take the Kick out of Solo and listen again to the entire song. Keep in mind that a Kick that is gated and soloed will always sound a bit odd and unnatural, so keep going back and forth between solo and the full rough mix as you work.
6) Make changes to the Gate again if needed.
Take the Kick in and out of Solo.
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