Synthesis : the kick

Here is a very simple kick :

I have no trouble synthesizing a bass drum, the basic trick is to use some HP resonance filter.
Now this kick is another thing : I struggle to create it from scratch, and what’s more I cannot seem to do it within the OP-1.

Synth track :
- Envelope : Full attack, very short decay, no sustain
- Nitro (HP filter with high resonance and envelope on the bass)
- LFO : tremolo, note with -50, speed on 3
- Oscilator : I cannot decide… FM maybe

- Punch on mid
- EQ kills the Treble, mid slightly above the bass
- a little bit of Drive

All I get is a bass drum, not a kick.

What would be your advice, dear synth wizards ?

(Note) Let’s make this clear : I want to know how to synthesize a drum kick with a synth, and more particularly within the OP-1, which is not totally straightforward when you approach it with a “standard” approach of synthesis in mind :slight_smile:
I like my Elektron Rytm very much, but I figured I don’t really know how to create this specific type of percussion within a synth…

I couldn’t get into the intricacies of designing synth kicks until I spent ages playing with Tremor. Crazy filter resonance, super-fine envelope control, and serious compression seem to be key - the OP1 lacks at least two of these, though you could Punch it a lot, and maybe use the master compressor to put that on the record, then sample it back in. You may also need more than one track to split the kick into elements - the click, the body, and anything extra you might want. So maybe use what you’ve done as one element, add to it, and mix.

Thx @eesn, that was my conclusion after watching this cool tutorial

So three layers, resampling… I should get there :slight_smile:
I am so thrilled to synthesize all my percussions from the OP-1, new zone to discover :smiley:

I swear I have made similar thuds with Nitro resonance maxed. But glad you found a way, sample layer is how is got started making kicks :smiley:

@KrisM With Nitro resonance maxed and the envelope set to HP (green marker to the middle right) I already have something convincing, indeed.

But I am really looking forward to reaching the target kick and I am still far.
I’ll dedicate the afternoon to get this precise sound :slight_smile:

So for the kick I finally used resampling rather than direct layering.

First I created a bass drum in the Cluster synth with short Envelope obviously +Unison +Grid effect to add some harmonics (not sure this was really a good idea but anyway) +some drive and EQ.
Then I resampled it as a synth so that I could use Unison again for a buffy sound, and use the envelope (I don’t get how to use the Drums sampler envelope).
On this second synth I used Nitro with a little bit of white resonance, HP green envelope, filtered 25% of the red treble and a tiny 3% blue low freq.
To tweak I just throw the endless sequencer with 1 step.
I am rather glad with what I got, even if I failed to recreate perfectly the target kick.

You also could have thrown it into the drum sampler and then klick maybe two or three samples at a time, one low, one high, and another anyway high/low pitched experimenting with different volume levels. So just layering kind of with or without effects (also COW is good for getting different texture and frequencies than resample again)…

Cool idea indeed @mixrasta !

I hadn’t seen drum sampler as a way to layer things, but it’s indeed far more flexible than the tape !! Thanks for the tip !!!

Cool, I always do it that way!

synth track:

engine: FM
envelope: fast attack (but not none), fast decay, fast release, sustain low or at zero
effect: nitro, FF left of middle (!), blue low, orange low, resonance medium-high but not max
LFO: element, source envelope, amount 15, dest FX orange
play octave -2 or -1

mixer: a bit of drive

or the same but with almost no harmonics (fm blue 0), env very fast attack, very fast decay, no sustain, nitro ff 6 low 0 high about 15%, resonance med high, mod amount 25, and playing low octave -2

there’s a super-intricate relationship between the root note, harmonics, envelope, filter, modulation, all of these things are in interplay and unless you start from the kind of sound you want, you’re in for an endless search.

happy tweaking.

@eesn The LFO Element is something I had been looking for !!! Thank you very much !!!


Now I did almost the same as yours, but with Cluster (there’s a sweet spot when you have just what’s needed of noise and bass.
And I resample 2 or 3 times I think to get the right amount of drive and middle EQ (you forgot to talk about EQ, this was fundamental for me to find the right balance).

@eesn you forgot to talk about EQ, this was fundamental for me to find the right balance

Really depends on what kind of kick you’re after. FM because you can pretend it’s a membrane ; I used no EQ and still got a lot of variation with just pitch, env, filter, lfo. The smallest changes make an audible difference.

The ultimate single engine single track kick probably does not exist, but sometimes it might just sound close enough, even without EQ. I really would appreciate a track compressor for these things…

I’ll definitely try your trick :slight_smile: