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Author Topic: Achieving Clean Kick Drum  (Read 20073 times)

Dennis Malek

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Achieving Clean Kick Drum
« on: March 10, 2008, 12:41:29 pm »

Hello,

I need some help getting clean kick drum bass from my LA128's. I have put together a little DJ play back system utilizing one pair of LA215's and one pair of LA128's. The LA215's are powered by a QSC MX1500A in stereo mode. The LA128's are powered by two QSC PLX-3402's in bridged mono mode. I have insured right/left speaker phasing is correct and have inverted to LA215's phase to compensate for the QSC MX1500A's TRS signal reversal.
The sourse is CD's with typical DJ pre-amp mixer, 5 band stereo parametric equalizers, two way stereo crossover,and BBE Stereo Sonic Maximizer.
I have 30 HZ and below blocked by the QSC PLX-4302 filters and the clip limiters disabled. Initially had my crossover point at 120HZ and have moved it to 160HZ with some improvement. I'm still very unhappy. I have better kick drum response in my van stereo. I have chosen my test CD cuts by previewing them in my van and choosing the cleanest most powerful kick drum format tracks.
I'm by no means a sound professional. I have a good ear and have been playing FOH engineer for my church for a few years now. But I'm unable to achieve the sound that I know I should be able to with the above described system. I would welcome any and all suggestion of how to make my system sound the way I know it should? Please help!

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Dennis Malek

Andy Peters

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Re: Achieving Clean Kick Drum
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2008, 04:49:24 am »

Dennis Malek wrote on Mon, 10 March 2008 09:41

Hello,

I need some help getting clean kick drum bass from my LA128's. I have put together a little DJ play back system utilizing one pair of LA215's and one pair of LA128's. The LA215's are powered by a QSC MX1500A in stereo mode. The LA128's are powered by two QSC PLX-3402's in bridged mono mode. I have insured right/left speaker phasing is correct and have inverted to LA215's phase to compensate for the QSC MX1500A's TRS signal reversal.
The sourse is CD's with typical DJ pre-amp mixer, 5 band stereo parametric equalizers, two way stereo crossover,and BBE Stereo Sonic Maximizer.
I have 30 HZ and below blocked by the QSC PLX-4302 filters and the clip limiters disabled. Initially had my crossover point at 120HZ and have moved it to 160HZ with some improvement. I'm still very unhappy. I have better kick drum response in my van stereo. I have chosen my test CD cuts by previewing them in my van and choosing the cleanest most powerful kick drum format tracks.
I'm by no means a sound professional. I have a good ear and have been playing FOH engineer for my church for a few years now. But I'm unable to achieve the sound that I know I should be able to with the above described system. I would welcome any and all suggestion of how to make my system sound the way I know it should? Please help!


Get rid of the Sonic Maximizer.

-a
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Antone Atmarama Bajor

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Re: Achieving Clean Kick Drum
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2008, 04:59:50 am »

     I don't think what your looking for is a clean kick sound.

I'm guessing what you want is more of a sculpted kick sound.

A pulse and a Tap perhaps.

    Theres the silly old trick rock trick of Boosting the lows, Cutting the mids and, boosting the highs.

   If you have some semi parametric EQs on your board Sweep the mids all the way to the highest setting boost it along with the treble and the bass.

    Depends on the drum kit.  I did this to someone who cut a 15" hole in their resonant head.  Dry the kit sounded like someone smacking a plastic bag.  All mid really nasty.

    Somebody slap me for giving this advice.

    Are you sure your system is configured correctly.

    Get rid of the Sonic Maximizer use it for a door stop.

I'm not so sure I understand what phase you are compensating for.  Why would QSC have Reversed Phase on the TRS?  Unless you triggered the Invert function.  Perhaps your causing a huge mid bass suckout due to improper phase combination.

    Just some thoughts.

Antone-



   
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Michael 'Bink' Knowles

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Re: Achieving Clean Kick Drum
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2008, 01:22:42 am »

It's the timing between the subs and the tops. Get a digital crossover that allows you to tweak the timing until the impulses from both boxes arrive together. Typically, you'll have to delay the top box a few milliseconds to allow the subwoofer waveform to catch up.

This shit is crucial.

I'd probaby push the crossover frequency down to about 90 Hz. Those 15s in your top boxes can go low without too much trouble. Note that after any kind of change made to the crossover frequency, you'll have to retime the tops to the subs.

Yes, ditch the BBE Sonic Muddifier. And put the QSC clip limiters back online.

You are correct about the MX amps: they flip polarity on the TRS inputs.

-Bink
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Dennis Malek

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Re: Achieving Clean Kick Drum
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2008, 07:57:14 am »

Thanks for the input.  I will have to purchase an electronic crossover.  

I have concerns on my program source, CD.wav, and what extra I might have to do to the sound system hardware to achieve a live band performance "kick drum" sound?  Chest Pound!  I hear club bands performance with one pair of double 18" boxes with great "kick drum" presents.  Now that's what I want to have with this DJ system.  I know it must be accomplishable, I just need to find the kind folks that can teach me what is required.  What are your thought on what I might need to do to compensate for my source or if I do?  Thanks Much!
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Dennis Malek

Andy Peters

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Re: Achieving Clean Kick Drum
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2008, 04:26:08 pm »

Dennis Malek wrote on Thu, 13 March 2008 04:57

Thanks for the input.  I will have to purchase an electronic crossover.  

I have concerns on my program source, CD.wav, and what extra I might have to do to the sound system hardware to achieve a live band performance "kick drum" sound?  Chest Pound!  I hear club bands performance with one pair of double 18" boxes with great "kick drum" presents.  Now that's what I want to have with this DJ system.  I know it must be accomplishable, I just need to find the kind folks that can teach me what is required.  What are your thought on what I might need to do to compensate for my source or if I do?  Thanks Much!


If you want the live band sound, you need a live band.

What part of this do you not understand?

- a
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Mike {AB} Butler

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Re: Achieving Clean Kick Drum
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2008, 08:23:01 am »

Dennis Malek wrote on Thu, 13 March 2008 07:57

Thanks for the input.  I will have to purchase an electronic crossover.  

I have concerns on my program source, CD.wav, and what extra I might have to do to the sound system hardware to achieve a live band performance "kick drum" sound?  Chest Pound!  I hear club bands performance with one pair of double 18" boxes with great "kick drum" presents.  Now that's what I want to have with this DJ system.  I know it must be accomplishable, I just need to find the kind folks that can teach me what is required.  What are your thought on what I might need to do to compensate for my source or if I do?  Thanks Much!

Dennis,
What Andy is possibly trying to say is that when the kick is done live, it can be Mic'd, EQ'd and processed as an INDIVIDUAL source - to get the desired sound. Once it's part of a recording, it's a lot tougher to do EQ'ing that won't negatively impact the rest of the recording.
I hear what you are saying about you liking the way your car sterso reproduces the kick.. but I bet those are artifacts of your car system, accoustic environment (the small enclosed space of a car), and the recording all conspiring to produce that "desired" sound. Your DJ system is going to have a different set of artifacts, and so is the accoustic environment (larger space will make something that normally sounds tight in a small space sound unfocused or blurred), and time delay between your top boxes and subs will have a negative impact as well.
Personal rant here: Again, I have to say it - along with a few dozen others.. but people are too concerned about the kick. Sure, it's PART of the recording or live event.. but I'm real tired of hearing a perfect kick when I can't hear the vocal, 1/3 of the instruments, and none of the dynamic range of the performance.
Regards,
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Mike Butler,
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Dascott Technologies, LLC

Dennis Malek

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Re: Achieving Clean Kick Drum
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2008, 09:16:07 am »

Look at the way you do me.
Just cuz I show up on the scene with a Sonic-Maximizer, cut me some slack, it's to the curb.

Now what's the problem, ain't you up for the challenge?
Does everyone else think it can't be done?
I know you dudes know how to make it happen.  
Help me.
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Dennis Malek

Dennis Malek

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Re: Achieving Clean Kick Drum
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2008, 09:38:53 am »

Mike,

Thank you very much for taking your time and commenting.

I believe your right on with the canned music along with sound system attributes being the culprit.

Just as it has always been with canned music, all is not canned the same!  For this reason, I selected CD.wav that out performed other CD's to used as test tracks when trying to achieve the sound I'm looking for.  I recognize the musical spectrum ALL need's to be quality for a quality performance.

I'm just so disappointed in the EAW128's, or am I missing something else?  I sweep a tight parametric EQ band width from 20 to 200 Hz on a CD track with good kick drum and can never really find it?  What is my issue?  May be I need to return to horn subs?

I sincerely appreciate your expertise and suggestions.
Dennis Malek
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Dennis Malek

Ivan Beaver

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Re: Achieving Clean Kick Drum
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2008, 01:14:32 pm »

I think you are looking for a single freq that singles out the kick.  There is not one.  There are different freq that need to boosted and cut in order to make a live kick sound good.  A recorded kick is a TOTALLY different issue.

The biggest point is this.  Let's say you find a "good" freq that makes the kick stand out.  When you boost or cut it (as the case may be) you will also be doing the same thing to other instruments as well on the recording.  The bass guitar will most likely suffer as well as keyboard tracks.

Live vs recorded playback are two very different issues, especially when talking kick.

In most things audio, it takes a COMBINATION of different factors to get the "sound" you want.  Don't look for a magic bullet-you will be looking for a long time.
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For every complicated question-there is a simple- easy to understand WRONG answer.

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