Since Dr. Dre’s “2001″, one of the most common subjects upcoming hip hop producers discuss is those loud kick drums. Everybody wants them, but very few producers/engineers are able to achieve them. I believe this is one of the hardest challenges of a hip hop producer: to make the kick drum loud, and the song itself loud, while avoiding having your kick drum squashed by the mastering compressor.
I’m talking about mixes like Dr. Dre’s “Xxplosive”, 50 Cent’s “In Da Club”, Fort Minor’s “Remember The Name”. To me and a lot of other hip hop producers, I believe, those mixes are good one to chase. The RMS and perceived loudness of the songs are really high, but still, the “knock” factor is there.
I was having a hard time achieving this back then. I either had my kick knocking while my master was quiet, or my master was loud but the kick drum lost its impact. Of course, the records I’m talking about here were mixed by professional engineers on expensive equipment. But I think the tip I give you here will bring you a lot closer to a hit kick.