Drums Side Chaining a 50Hz Tone

Published on August 7th, 2013 | by Dylan Lott


6 Quick Steps to a Better Bass Drum Tone

Wanting to add some extra Oooomph to your kickdrum? Here is a common mixing trick to help you get there.

The idea here is to add a low frequency tone into the mix that is only triggered when the bass drum level peaks a certain point. Since it’s only a tone, it’ll be nice and clean, allowing better control of it.

Let’s get started!

1. Create a send on your kick drum track. Use a mono bus.



2. Then create a new mono Aux Input Track



3. Make sure your volume is down and insert a signal generator plug-in in the “other” category



4. After the signal generator Insert a gate like the Dyn3 Expander/Gate From our boys from Avid



5. Open The Gate window and click the external key button


This technique works by the gate only opening when the keyed audio is above the gates threshold


6. Now select the key input on the gate to the corresponding send on the kick drum


Now when you play your audio the kick drum will trigger the gate to open allowing the 50 Hz signal to be heard only when there is a drum hit

Adjust the gates release, sustain and attack settings until you have reached the sound you are looking for.

Once you’ve found the sound you’re looking for, set the Signal Generator to the frequency you like to use.

Some Things To Remember:

  • Common frequencies used are around 40 – 55 Hz.
  • This technique would be best used for live recorded drums. Programmed or MIDI drums won’t really benefit from this since they’re normally very well recorded and meant to require very little tweaking


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