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Arivdtjuh's Hardstyle kick topic

For all Hardstyle tutorials regarding DJ'ing and Producing
  

Postby Arivdtjuh » 11 May 2010, 20:15

Introduction:

Like you guys might know, I am producing for quite a while now, (three, maybe four years I think) and in that time I gained some knowledge which I'd like to share with other Harderstate members. As we all know, kicks are one of the things that are hard to make. A Lot of members have good knowledge of how to make a cool kick, but most of them don't share them. Because of that, I decided to make a topic filled with tutorials, tips and facts about making kicks. I'm not exactly going to show you how to make a kick like for example Frontliner, Wildstylez, Donkey rollers or whatsoever, I'm just gonna try to learn you some tricks to create your own nice sounding kick. :) If there are any questions at all, just PM them to me. If you have a suggestion for a tutorial, just tell it in this topic. I kinda have a busy life, so it might take a while before I respond to you..

Now, this is a topic in which I'm gonna post a few times every month, because there is too much I want to type in here, in just one session, so please keep following this topic! There won't be a particular order of posts, so some tutorials are for absolute beginners, while others are for people who have come a bit further in producing. Some tutorials might be long to read, but they just might be what you were looking for all those years ;) Also, I hope for some cooperation of the Mods in this topic, a sticky might come handy :) Also, I want to excuse myself for my poor language skills. Most of all my posts will be understandable, but there might be some misspellings in it.

I'd like to thank Harderstate admin atomicoz for sending me all the files I needed to re-open this topic. It was originally on GHF.

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Meanings of words used in these tutorials, which you might not understand:
Show spoiler
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Oscillator / OSC:
A oscillator is the part of a synth which generates the sound. There are several different oscillators. The most common OSC are Sine, Triangle, Saw, Square and Noise.
Pitch:
Height of the tone, the amount of vibrations per second. The height of the tone is mostly being displayed in Hz (hertz)
Modulation:
When you are tweaking a know, you are in fact, modulating a parameter in your synthesizer/effect. Modulation can also be done by the computer itself, via Envelope generators, LFO's (Low frequenced oscillators) and automation clips.
LFO:
A form of modulation. For example: When you link the pitch of a certain sound to a LFO, the LFO will modulate the pitch in the amount you want it to. Most common waveforms in a low frequenced oscillator are Sine, Triangle, Saw and square.
Envelope / Envelope generator:
A form of modulation. For example: When you link the pitch of a certain sound to a LFO, the LFO will modulate the pitch in the amount you want it to. The advantage of a Envelope compared to a LFO is that you can set the amount of Attack, decay, sustain and release (ADSR) yourself.
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Last edited by Arivdtjuh on 11 May 2010, 20:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Arivdtjuh » 11 May 2010, 20:16

Tutorial 1. Creating a basic kick
What exactly IS a kick? How to get the kicking effect thingy?

This might just sound like a stupid subject, but in fact, it ain't. Much people I know want to make a kick, without even knowing the basics of it. What makes a kick sound like a kick, and why don't my kicks sound like a kick?

The "secret" of a kick is all in the PITCH envelope. If you would draw a graph of the toneheight of a kick, it would kinda look like this:
Image
Please note that the red line is the FREQUENCY (toneheight) of the sound, and not the AMPLITUDE (volume in dB).

As you can see, it is just kind of a sound (let's say a sine oscillator) modulated by an envelope generator. I drew a grey line somewhere in the graph, this grey line separates the punch (the part in which the pitch falls down) from the basstail (the part in which the line is straight). In fact, this is a very simplified version of "kick".

Now, how to make such a sound? I'll show it to you in a very nice plug-in called Albino.
Image

What I basically did is this:
1. Select a Sine oscillator, and transpose it one octave down
2. In the modulation matrix, select Mod-Envelope as source (You can also use other modulators for this, but I choose for the Mod-Envelope on this one), and Oscillator 1 Pitch as the parameter which should be modulated. Turn up the Amount (AMT) of the modulation up to 48.00. (Which equals 4 octaves, but that's not the deal right now)
3. If you play the sound now, you can hear the pitch being modulated. Now, turn down the Attack, decay, sustain and release to 0. After that, open up the decay till +/- 130. Play some notes and hear the result. This was what I got:
http://www.speedyshare.com/652706598.html [File missing, sorry guys]

I hope you guys use this one good. The pitch modulation can be done in nearly every plug-in btw, but not every plug-in works the same. Take your time to figure out how your favorite plug-in works, and don't just give up after "trying" for 3 minutes ;)
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Postby Arivdtjuh » 11 May 2010, 20:20

Getting your kicks "under control" before distorting
Why are my kicks so sucky, and what do I do wrong when I distort my kicks?

As many of you know, it is almost impossible to create a nice kick without the effects. In fact, in my opinion effects are the most important elements in a kick. I have been producing for a while now, and therefore have some experience with different effects on kicks. About a half year ago, I figured out something pretty important about kicks: How to order my effects properly! 8)

Okay, before we start of, this is a very important thing to know: The order of effects matter ALOT! For example, make a sound, add distortion to it, and after that, add reverb with a long decay. Now play a few notes with that sound. After that, place the distortion effect AFTER the reverb. Now play some notes. You hear the difference?

Now, what most people are doing "wrong" while starting of making a kick is this: they put distortion on it right away. BEEEEEEP, not smart! When you do that, you haven't got full control over the sound before it gets distorted. Therefore it is pretty hard to make a good kick out of it. But how to get the kick "Under Control" before you add distortion? :?

Like I said before, order matters ALOT! If you want to get better control over you kicks, you should do the following thing:
1. Add compression in FX Slot 1, so the sound won't get to loud. I prefer Izotope Ozone, because it isn't only a compressor, but also a sound maximizer, and a EQ. Don't compress it too much, or your kick will loose its dynamic sound. If you haven't got much experience with compressors, you should read this topic: http://globalhardstyle.com/forum/viewto ... 86&t=36144 (Thnx go out to Phase-Shifter for this topic!)
2. Add a Equalizer in FX slot 2. If the bass is too loud for your feeling, turn it down a little bit before you are going to distort it all. If you turn down the right frequencies, you have a lot more control over the kick. Besides that, you can boost certain frequencies before they are going into the distortion effect. If you boost the right frequency, your kick will probably kick some serious ass! ^O^

Image
Izotope Ozone, a fucking sexy plug-in! *)

Here is an example of how it sounds with, and without the first two effects.
http://www.speedyshare.com/375928917.html [Sorry, files not to be found]
Pretty big difference eh? Tho the one without might sound better here, this is just a quick example, not a good one I guess :P

After this, you can add every effect you want. The two effects in the beginning are just to give you a bit more control.

There is another thing I have to say to you guys. When you are done tweaking a certain effect, and you have add another one, don't just leave the other effect for what it is! It is very important to have every single effected tuned to the other! If you don't do that properly, it is very hard to make your kick sound good! :)

This is just my vision on this subject BTW. I might be wrong about some things here, or you might disagree, but for me this just works fine. :) Also, if you choose not to compress/eq/whatever before distortion, it CAN still sound good. If you don't do it, technically seen, nothing is wrong with it.
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Postby atomicoz » 11 May 2010, 20:44

Sweet, it's back :) Still a link to a old GHF topic there that doesn't work anymore tho
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Postby zanshi » 11 May 2010, 23:01

i'm missing ghf's producer section so much ._.
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Postby DjVero » 11 May 2010, 23:16

atomicoz:Sweet, it's back :) Still a link to a old GHF topic there that doesn't work anymore tho


Yes, it does work but it's part of the hidden section ;)
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Postby Subject Zero » 12 May 2010, 03:23

Thanks a lot for posting this, i think ill try to make a kick later (its 2:20am, i should sleep lol)
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Postby atomicoz » 12 May 2010, 05:21

DjVero:
atomicoz:Sweet, it's back :) Still a link to a old GHF topic there that doesn't work anymore tho


Yes, it does work but it's part of the hidden section ;)

Yeah, that's where I got it from for Arivdtjuh. I guess I worded the previous reply badly haha, just figured that >99% of visitors will notice that it "doesn't work anymore"

I don't wanna repost anything without permission so that's why I encouraged arivdtjuh to repost it :D (and now he can continue it later on if he has the time for it)
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Postby Insiderz » 12 May 2010, 20:52

Last edited by Insiderz on 12 Sep 2010, 18:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby hardstylah » 12 May 2010, 21:55

My opinion: If you don't know EXACTLY what you're doing, then stay the hell away from all the knobs and buttons, and ESPECIALLY low-end cheapo amateur shit like Junglist or Zeta or anything else.

Only a few people in the world know how to make a nu-kick, even Blutonium Boy doesn't know how do it, and he's a very experienced man! (Part of the reason Blutonium Boy retired is because he hasn't been able to keep up with the times. His Vol.1+2 Blutonium Samples CDs don't contain any Nu-style samples, and his Soundset for Metrum VST is oldskool Hardstyle, so he doesn't have these skills unfortunately.)

In summary, what I'm trying to say is this: Don't even try to get anywhere by youself, because Nu-kicks are an extremely difficult thing to accomplish, and you'll only give yourself a headache. Your song is only as strong as its weakest element. If your Nu-kick isn't EXACTLY 100% right, you will be VERY frustrated.

There are 2 options.

1) There is a soundset called Nu-Style Invasion, made by Dutch producers (http://www.hardsamples.com/) It contains ~30 Nu-kicks, packed as SoundFonts (.SF) that you can play on different notes, and it costs around 50 EUR.

http://www.hardsamples.com/hardstyle-sa ... -p-68.html (Vol.1)
http://www.hardsamples.com/hardstyle-sa ... -p-82.html (Vol.2)

It's not that great. They only managed to get maybe 70% of the way there, but not 100%. However, it's pretty close. Their sounds are very, very dry and painful, although they have a good bass and punch. A lot of EQ work would be needed. But at least someone's already done the hard work of the punch/subbass/distbass. This is perhaps the only sample pack available right now that's more-or-less "OK" (but still not good).

However, that's not what I recommend. I recommend Option #2 if you really want professional results.

2) Rip (that's right, rip) a Nu-Kick from a professional commercial track. And then pitch it in SoundForge, which has an excellent Pitch-Bender. That's what I do in my tracks and it sounds good. Don't pitch the very beginning of the sample (which is the punch), leave the punch as is; only pitch the bass-tail immediately following the punch.

SoundForge has a couple algorithms and anti-aliasing to ensure good pitching. It's very good (H) You need to check the box that says "Preserve Original Length" when pitching, that way all the notes will be equal in length.

There is also Option #3. It's impractical for most of us, but I mention it here because it exists:

3) Virus TI (i.e. hardware). Virus comes with good Nu-punches out of the box. I've heard that Scantraxx artists use Virus, it's not hard to program Nu-kicks there, in fact there's a YouTube video that shows it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9PEJ4551V4

also check out some of these Virus forum links
http://www.access-music.de/forum/index. ... ostID=6628
http://www.infekted.org/virus/showthread.php?p=296005

Unfortunately the Virus costs 1500 EUR and you might still have to learn some skills before getting anything good out of it.

SO the verdict, for the 90% of us who are beginner/intermediate producers of Nu-style, is Option #2. The only way to get satisfying results, right now, is to rip existing pro nu-kicks and pitch them with a good pitchbender (I recommend SoundForge for best results).

Take note: Even Manuel Schleis ("Vengeance") had trouble with these Nu-kicks and couldn't include them in his new VST, Metrum. He has a Hardstyle Expansion for Metrum but it sucks for Nu-Style, it only has oldskool sounds that no one's interested in anymore.

If even the world's top professional can't provide a single (!) good Nu-Kick sample, then there's really no hope for an intermediate or beginner person, so it's best to work with what we've got. Or, if you really want a super-solution, get a Virus.

But for god's sakes please don't use low-quality amateur VST-shitware like Junglist or Hydra or Camel Phat FX or whatever, it's all a bunch of crap and will only muddy up your mix and make it sound piss-poor.
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Postby Arivdtjuh » 12 May 2010, 23:21

Kinda discouraging post for beginners I think. If everybody would think like that, there would be no progress/evolution in anything, EVER. Beginners know they have to work hard before they accomplish something like a wildstylez kick f.ex. and it takes time from them to learn it. But you tell them, not to learn anything themselves, but use some samples?
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Postby Radiant » 12 May 2010, 23:50

On top of that he uses the argument that Virus is good because it has those presets, what about tweaking? It's really about trying out different waveshapes together, the first oscillator with a punchy character (like a sine) and the second with a more complex waveshape for the effect. And then creatively using distortion to make it your own.
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Postby VOL-E » 13 May 2010, 00:53

Arivdtjuh:Kinda discouraging post for beginners I think. If everybody would think like that, there would be no progress/evolution in anything, EVER. Beginners know they have to work hard before they accomplish something like a wildstylez kick f.ex. and it takes time from them to learn it. But you tell them, not to learn anything themselves, but use some samples?


yea that's really weird... no turning back to "sample world"... it's over I think, everybody trying to make their own sounds, because those moments of Smack My Bitch Up & Voodoo People, wich are from samples of some older tunes are over...
I think beginners need to create/try to create their own/familiar like nustyle kick to be in shape, I don't think that Blutonium Boy gaved up that easy... I think he just retired to be true laber owner like The Prophet is doing right now ( selling his vinyls & so on... )
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Postby hardstylah » 13 May 2010, 02:51

You're welcome to think that the "sample world" is over. :p Be my guest.

Meanwhile, anyone who uses a standard Nu-Kick will instantly get lots of views on YouTube and in forums, while your "creative" kicks will barely be noticed. Why? Because there is such a thing as Standards. People want standards, and there's a reason: standard sounds are good.

I WISH I could encourage experimentation and research. In any other genre, I totally would. But not in Nu-Style. Nu-Style is different from other genres because it has a huge "barrier to entry". This means that the work of anyone who slightly less than professional will not even get noticed, much less discussed.

It's very different from a genre like Hands'Up. There, both professionals and amateurs and everyone in between gets noticed and their tracks get spread around. The scene is full of names that are semi-pro. But not in NuStyle, unfortunately. In NuStyle you only have the top 4 names and no outsiders.

Just put yourselves in the position of a buyer/downloader. When I listen to a new Nu-Style song, I'll immediately turn it off if the kick isn't 100% standard. I won't even listen to the rest of the track. A bit harsh, but that's the uniqueness of the genre, it has to sound EXACTLY right.
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Postby Roby31 » 13 May 2010, 10:40

Yeah. I would like to invite you over to my room and experience that the Virus (TI2) ain't got any "nustyle hardstyle" kick preset. Nor do most of hardware synths. You probably checked Ummet Ozcan's soundset which I think has a couple decent kicks in it. The hardware itself has not.

You must be smoking corn flakes, really :) and most of new artists starded from scratch. Please, give a listen to a "Da Pillzmaker" recent track (one from his own HF "That's good" E.P. should be ok). He started from scratch. He's become better (and actually good) in the last 2-3 years. Everybody can build their own sound if they want it. And it will sound good eventually. It's just NOT easy, and people get turned down or resort to buying all sort of samples.
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