How to Mix 808 Kicks for Punch and Clarity on Small Speakers
Learn how to mix your 808’s for punch on small speakers.
Using the recent Redimi2 track song Ruge, we will learn how to mix 808 kick. With 808’s you start at the low end, making sure that it is huge, fitting, and does not over power, but definitely keep in mind that it cannot sound weak. You have to find a way to make this cut through smaller speakers or “the live kick feel”.
The EQ is not a large consideration when knowing how to mix 808 kick because it already has the kick needed. However, the transients will need a kick and we need to know how to mix 808 kick in order to give them a punch.
Start by bypassing every button. Using Slate’s VCC through Blue Cat’s Patchwork (because we do not have AAX yet), set to the SSL and drive it hard. The meters do not move but if you bypass it, the meter drops all the way down without any significant tone. Please note, if you try to use VCC as a VST it will crash (the screen will freeze) and will cause all kinds of chaos. Pull it in with an AU in order to avoid problems.
Open the Kush Audio Pusher to see how to mix 808 kick. The Kush Audio Pusher will show the curve and boosting of the top end. One of the presets is the bass that offers a pretty dramatic transient enhancer (“Slap Happy” is a good preset). If you are going for more of a natural attack the clarified transient works well.
Open Pro-Q to see how to mix 808 kick. First, listen without the Pro-Q and then instantiate the sound. Re-enable Pro-Q so you can hear what it was doing EQ wise. Harmonically there is some distortion but boosting the sound into smaller speakers will translate a little bit better. The pitch will shift when you leave the sound on and instantiate the Pro-Q. Ultimately, the sound will recover when other plugs are instantiated.
For more attack, use iZotope Alloy2. It will speed up your sound mixing significantly. The presets are incredible and you can place them on top of things that have already been mixed. You get more clicking when working on the mix 808 kick as well as a multi-band transient designer, but the clicking adds character to the mix. Also, on a mono track the bands are reduced.
Open the Trigger2 and iwantthatsound.com to see how to mix 808 kick. Pull in the Analog C and you are able to cut the attack time and control the sustain and decay, especially with sampled drums. Also, Trigger 2 offers more clarity and focuses on the sweet spot (60 to 80 Hz) of punch. The kick is easily sustained and released. Experiment with the settings to mix 808 kick to your preferred finished sound.
When you layer the exaggerated 808 kicks onto a track the finished sound is full of punch and attack.