FL Studio Tip: How To Make Your Kick & Sub Sound Tight In The Mix

In this short FL Studio 20 tutorial, I will show you a few tips and tricks from my experience dealing with the right kick to punch through your sub-bass. So let’s start with the beginning, as I said this tutorial is very quick and easy to apply.

Step 1. Choose the right samples to start with.

In other words, you shouldn’t have a kick with a long sustained sub fighting with coexisting sub-bass. Remember this! Tight punchy kicks with sustained bass and long sustained kicks by themselves. For example The 808 Drum.

Use more than one kick drum sample within your track. Long sustained kicks in fewer bass parts and short punchy kick within heavy bass parts.

It’s all about sound layering.

Step 2. Tuning.

You may have heard that you should tune your kick to be in the exact key of the sub-bass. Well, not really and here is why. If you have an 808 then yes, tune to the key of your track but if it’s just a regular kick sample you may want to rethink your tuning decisions. Tuning a kick perfectly to the bass can cause more problems at mixdown.

Masking! Volume levels can hide the kick in the low end of your mix. This is no good because you want that kick hitting you in the back! In most cases, sidechaining won’t even help. I find that using a pitch envelope or the pogo effect within FL Studios Sampler to do the trick. Just loop a section & listen to how it changes the sound of your kick.

Your goal is to make it pop out in front of the sub-bass & sound cohesive together. Not so much in tune but close enough.

FL Studio Sampler
Pitch envelope!

Pogo effect: Works wonders on kicks!

FL Studio Precomputed Effects (POGO)

Step 3. Flip the phase!

Sometimes you find that one kick that you must have but can’t figure out why it is not working well with the sub-bass. It may be slightly out of phase from the low end. Try flipping the polarity and see if it helps. Always listen close though as this could cause other issues as well.

Always check the phase by flipping the polarity.

FL Studio Precomputed Effects (POGO) 2

Step 4. EQ to fit.

This has been mentioned so many times in countless tutorials but it is a must and should not be overlooked! Cutting frequencies from one to make room for the other. Using side by side EQ’s with visual analyzers to help find the right frequencies to cut and/or boost. Please use your ears and not just the visualizers!

Step 5. Sidechaining.

Ducking the sub bass with the kick as a trigger. Very useful. I recommend studying this method closely. All these examples have a huge impact on the outcome of how tight your low end will sound. These are basic steps you should keep in mind before adding any post processing.

Clinton Robinson

About The Author

Clinton Robinson aka C-RayBeats. I enjoy making the best out of my music theory knowledge and music production skills. I like music really simple & sweet but yet, Bangin! My friends would describe me as a very educational and uniquely talented with music production . They would also call me short, always hungry with a good sense of humor.. I don’t know much but enough to keep you guessing.

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