How to EQ your kick properly

Today we will look at different ways to EQ your kick. At times, the kick may get lost in a heavy mix and using EQ on a kick can dramatically take a lost kick to a kick that stands out by simply dialling in the “click” frequencies of a kick.

As with every instrument, there are areas within the 20-20K spectrum where element of the kick live. Here are simple guidelines to follow when applying EQ to a kick:

Quick kick drum eq chart:

  • More boom (modern) +6dB at 50Hz
  • More boom (solid, classic) +6dB at 100Hz
  • More smack (attack) +7dB at 3.5kHz
  • More click (beater) +6dB at 6.0kHz

Here are simple EQ recipes to use on your kick drum:

Get a solid, full kick drum sound with plenty of click- great for hip/hop pop records:

  • Band 1: +6dB at 55Hz
  • Band 2: -9dB at 275Hz (narrow)
  • Band 3: +7dB at 3.7kHz
  • Band 4: +8dB at 6.2kHz shelf

Get a more traditional kick drum sound – great for rock records:

  • Band 1: +6dB at 100Hz
  • Band 2: -10dB at 800Hz
  • Band 3: +6dB at 1.5kHz
  • Band 4: +6dB at 7.0kHz

Get more bottom ring with less attack – great for softer, more subtle mixes:

  • Band 1: +6dB at 100Hz
  • Band 2: -5dB at 250Hz (narrow)
  • Band 3: +3dB at 4.0kHz
  • Band 4: +3dB at 10.0kHz shelf

Follow the recipes above to get started with Eq’ing your kick. EQ is not needed on every track but is a good tool to use to bring out a instrument in a mix.

Don’t forget to compress your kick.

List some of your favourite EQ recipes in the comment section below.

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