Here’s a technique I use on almost every song I record. This step gives me a helping hand in making transitions in the arrangement work. It also can add drama at the end of an important verse. I have a few names for this tactic including the Kickverb, Kickboom and the awesome Thunderverb!
Take the kick drum you are using throughout the track and isolate one hit. Make a new audio track and place the single kick drum on it. Don’t forget to render your kick first if you had some effects on it like compression or EQ. Once on its own channel insert a reverb. I usually go for Alitverb convolution reverb or the Korg MDE-X multi-effect which comes with the Korg Legacy collection. Both those reverbs have colors to them. Next, I render a single kick going through a wash of reverb. Do several bounces with different kinds of reverbs. You end up with Kickverb1, Kickverb2 and so forth. If your song calls for it insert a distortion plug-in after the reverb. This gives you a dirty decaying sound. My favorite distortion plug-ins are Izotope’s Trash and Ohm Force’s Ohmicide. Another thing to try is pitching your rendered kickverb down.
I usually create my Kickverbs after the general arrangement is finished. Then, I place them strategically throughout the timeline. Two places they fit include at the beggining of the chorus and in the verse after you say something shocking or important. You can also start and finish the song with them.
Some other things that maybe obvious that you can do is reverse the Kickverb. Place that “Reverse Kickverb” before the chorus comes in to build up tension. Of course you don’t have to stick to the Kickverb at all because real thunder and explosion samples will also work.
photo credit: caddymob
This entry was written by plug-ins, song writing, sounds and tagged Altiverb, Distortion, izotope, Korg, Ohmicide, reverb. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
I almost always take the lead roaring synth in my songs and make them wider in the stereo field using a plug-in called Ozone from Izotope. Ozone is a complete mastering suite plug-in with several modules you can turn on and off. It consists of a Paragraphic EQ, Multiband Harmonic Exciter, Multiband Dynamics, Mastering Reverb, IRC Maximizer, Dither and Multiband Stereo Imaging. When I master full finished songs I use many of these modules. However, during the creation of the song itself I only use the Stereo Widener on one sound. I keep the other modules off. From the Izotope website:
Ozone allows you set widening and imaging for the mix using a multiband stereo imaging module. As with the other multiband modules in Ozone (Dynamics and Harmonic Exciter) the module is split up into four bands determined by the multiband crossover points displayed on the spectrum.
I put the plug-in as an Insert (not a Send Return), click on the Stereo Widener, turn off bypass, slide all the bands to the right until the number reaches 6. That’s it. Done.
If I want a dirtier more aggressive tone sometimes I will use Ohm Force’s excellent Predatohm plug-in. Load the plug-in as an insert and the look in the bottom right corner. See where it says “Super Stereo”? Thats your section. Click the little white square button on and turn the phase up. Done.
There are few other plug-ins that do widening such as DUY Wide and the Waves S1. I’ve never used those so I can’t comment how well they work. I have lots of little rules I like to keep when it comes to panning but thats the subject of another post. Do you use any stereo widener plug-ins?