How to Make Your Kick Drum Go Boom

How to Make Your Kick Drum Go Boom

by DJ Pangburn, iZotope Contributor May 28, 2019

Learning how to give a kick drum a greater depth and boom takes time and effort. It’s just not something that comes right away, unless one happens to be a naturally born electronic music or hip hop producer.

I like learning how to get different sounds with step-by-step exposition of what is going on and how things affect the sound.

I recently purchased

Sasquatch Kick Machine 2 | Boz Digital Labs


Sasquatch 2 is a CPU-friendly kick drum enhancement plug-in that enables you to custom-tailor the sound of any kick drum, acoustic or electronic, with exhaustive creative possibilities, ranging from subtle to extreme and beyond.

which gets to booming kick drums (and then some) in short order. Great fun working on interesting sounds.

8 Tips for Mixing Bass in Home Recording Studios

8 Tips for Mixing Bass in Home Recording Studios

by Nick Messitte, iZotope Contributor May 23, 2019

It’s not uncommon to find yourself in a mixing situation with low-end issues. This is especially true in home studios. Maybe the room’s geometry swallows the bass or exaggerates the low-end. It’s safe to say no acoustician had any input whatsoever into the construction of your apartment.

6 Times to Automate EQ for Effect

6 Times to Automate EQ for Effect:

For mixing engineers and producers alike, it pays to become intimately acquainted with the virtues of automation. Swooping sounds from left to right, enhancing emotion with level boosts, or fixing complicated problems with real-time adjustments—all of these moves separate the quotidian from the marvelous.

But riddle me this: how often do you think about automating EQ? Perhaps not as often as you should, for automating EQ can create both dramatic and transparent effects. Whether creating something truly bespoke for your mix, or cheating an element forward/backward for the master, a bit of active, automated EQ sculpting can be a serious boon, if done well.

Here are some instances where you can employ the practice.

7 Creative Automation Tips for Music Producers

7 Creative Automation Tips for Music Producers:

Earlier this year, we discussed mix automation basics, detailing how the process works and why it benefits your music. If you still need clarification on these points I suggest taking a look at the article, because in this post we’ll be diving deeper into automation with seven creative tips, applicable to all genres.

Get the Most from DAW Automation: 3 Creative Approaches

Get the Most from DAW Automation: 3 Creative Approaches:

In the early 1970s the recording industry changed drastically with the introduction of mixing consoles that could record and play back fader movement. Leading up to this, mixing multitrack tape recordings was a group effort. For larger sessions of 16 or 24 tracks, up to four people could be needed behind the desk just to manage faders.

Digital audio workstations (DAWs) sophisticated the entire automation process, providing creators and engineers with the ability to control nearly every parameter with precision. In this article, I’ll show you three ways to use automation for more expressive, stand-out music.

What Is Mix Automation? Everything You’ve Been Too Afraid to Ask

What Is Mix Automation? Everything You’ve Been Too Afraid to Ask:

In this article, I will try to answer all the questions you’ve always had about mix automation but were too afraid to ask. We’ll go over what automation is, why you’ll want to use, and the basics. To learn three creative applications of using automation in a DAW, check out this article.

Automation in the Audio Mastering World: Leveling up Your Ozone 8 Skills with Tasteful Automation

Automation in the Audio Mastering World: Leveling up Your Ozone 8 Skills with Tasteful Automation:

Automation isn’t just for mixing engineers. Neither is automation strictly limited to volume rides. Whether you’re working in the analog or digital world—or relying on a hybrid audio mastering setup—there are a handful of circumstances where time-based adjustments on your mastering chain can help you achieve your desired results. Let’s look into a few practical examples of automation being used in recent mastering sessions.

Beat Making 101: How to Make a Beat

Beat Making 101: How to Make a Beat:

In this article, we’ll discuss how beats are constructed and how to get into beat-making. We’ll break down the essential aspects of a standard beat, listening techniques, exercises to develop your abilities, and various resources to use in the learning process.

iZotope – Pro Audio Essentials

iZotope – Pro Audio Essentials:

Pro Audio Essentials is a game-based course for music producers to practice and improve their audio skills. This unique learning experience uses audio games, ear training, and videos to build the production skills that music makers use every day when recording, mixing, and mastering.

Simple FM Synthesis: Sine Waves and Processors

Simple FM Synthesis: Sine Waves and Processors:

In this article, we’ll show how FM synthesis and some simple processors and can be used to take a few sine waves to an expressive and grungy bass patch. We’ll cover the steps we take, why we’re performing them, and create a sample patch along the way.

I started my synthesizer “lust” the first time I heard a Moog – 1969 – no way I could afford to play in that arena.

In 1985 I got a Casio CZ-101, and software to be librarian and programmer. That’s where I learned about ADSR. Then I got a Yamaha TX81Z – DX7 was out of reach. Learned how to program that with software, again. Thanks Opcode!

I donated my CZ-101 to CRAS. I traded my TX81Z in for an electric guitar and an amplifier. I have many FM synthesizer tools inside my computer these days, so I don’t miss the 30 year old hardware that requires maintenance. I jumped for joy when I got my hands on the KORG Legacy instruments – finally an M1 and a Wavestation all for me.

Set Smart Tempo MTR Handling to Ignore – Logic Pro X keyboard command of the day

Logic Pro X keyboard command of the day. #LogicProX @StudioIntern1

  Set Smart Tempo MTR Handling to Ignore

Nothing. Zip. Nada. Cannot locate anything that remotely refers to “MTR Handling”.

Unless that is shorthand for “Musical tempo reference” which I found here…

Smart Tempo overview – Logic Pro X:

Musical tempo reference

When using Smart Tempo in Adapt mode (or when Auto uses Adapt behavior), the results depend on whether a musical tempo reference is present in the part of the project to which you are recording or adding a file. A musical tempo reference exists when the metronome is active, when audio, MIDI, or Drummer regions are present in the part of the project where you are working, or when Cycle mode is turned on.

In most cases, when you hear any musical material while recording, a musical tempo reference is present. If you do not hear any material, no musical tempo reference is present.

Tip: To avoid having a musical tempo reference while recording, solo the track you are recording to before recording.

Given the description here the commands start to make sense. Setting MTR Handling to “ignore” would have the same effect as soloing the track being recorded to, except that you would still hear the musical reference.

Toggle Smart Tempo Mode (Keep/Adapt) 
Set Smart Tempo Mode to Keep
Set Smart Tempo Mode to Adapt
Set Smart Tempo Mode to Automatic ⌃⌥8⃣
Toggle Smart Tempo MTR Handling
Set Smart Tempo MTR Handling to Write
Set Smart Tempo MTR Handling to Ignore
Toggle Smart Tempo Trim to Downbeat



A Little Help From Your Friends

The story starts with me wanting to get more in-depth knowledge of “Project Audio”. I started by looking at a used Logic Pro 9 book – the one that is used for the Apple Certification course – “Logic Pro 9 and Logic Express 9 – Professional Audio Production”. All through the book there are references to the resources contained on the DVD that came with the book. Sigh. Used book, no DVD. Hunt for online copy. I wound up at PeachPit Press staring at a place where I could use ‘Safari On Line’ to read the book. This really didn’t help much.

Ding. The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has online books and courses available to members. I have maintained my membership since the early 1980s. I haven’t had much use for the computing and database courses that I used to access. The coursework uses the “Safari Learning Platform” to help us move forward. This might be the same “Safari On Line” that I was staring at over at PeachPit.

I logged in to the platform and searched for the book, and found “Logic Pro X 10.4 – Apple Pro Training Series: Professional Audio Production”. Excellent. I started reading and came to the section about downloading course-related resources. Followed a not-too-clear path to get access to the download (ISBN number, answer the question to show that I have the book). Download the files. Good to go.

I don’t really want to do this using a web browser while I am trying to run Logic Pro X, so I figured out how to get the O’Reilly reading app onto my iPad. Perfect. I can read my book on the iPad and work on the screen with Logic Pro X.

I started at the beginning, followed all the steps, turned on “Quick Help” which pops up little help balloons as the mouse hovers over a tool. Yes. I have done this before. There is a little hint at the bottom that says “Type command-/ to get more info”. That brings up the help document – very slow. Then I read this…

“To go further, read the Logic Pro Help documentation within the free Logic Remote iPad app. The documentation automatically displays the section relevant to the Logic Pro X area where you place the mouse pointer”

Whoa! Hmmm. Now I need another iPad to see what they mean. We happen to have kept an older iPad as a resource. I am in luck.

Install “Logic Remote” on the iPad, follow a couple of helpful hints in the app, and there it is. The iPad is showing me the details from the help documentation. The very same help resource that I am linking to and using in my “Logic Pro X – Command of the Day” blog posts.

I need to try doing “actual work” in Logic with the “helpPad” connected to see how I like it, but for my daily homework and study of Logic Pro X I am now way far ahead.

Stay tuned.

Essential Tips for Mixing Reverb

Essential Tips for Mixing Reverb:

Reverb can be tricky to deal with in a mix. The space that it adds can be very helpful, but sloppy reverb sounds can often become smeared over the mix, reducing clarity. Achieving the proper balance when mixing reverb will give a sense of space without becoming distracting in the mix.

In this article, we’ll cover some methods for mixing reverb. We’ll discuss EQing, ducking, timing, and retriggering reverb.

I try to make sure I post to the blog when I add a section to the iZotope Tools binder. I file the article, and when possible, all of the sound samples and videos. Videos go in the videos folder with bookmarks attached to the article. Sound samples are stored in the article (which becomes an outline element).

Are You Listening? Episode 6: EQ in Mastering

Are You Listening? Episode 6: EQ in Mastering:

In Episode 6, learn how EQ in mastering can help correct and restore the clarity and intelligibility of a track, why you should prep before applying EQ, why filter shapes matter, and how to make thoughtful subtractive and additive EQ decisions. Practice your skills at home by downloading a free trial of Ozone, iZotope’s mastering software!