How do you actually organize a hardstyle kick effects chain successfully? You will find a quick answer in this post.
When do you use which effect
You may think this is a weird pick as my number one tip, but when you understand it deeply, a hardstyle kick usually follows a proven pattern, also tailored to YOUR way of working. There’s a logical structure where the order and type of effects play a massive role.
In other words, when do you use which effect? That’s the question. And this is not chosen randomly. Although, some random picks here and there can absolutely produce surprising results.
How to make a good hardstyle kick effects chain
Now, what you want to develop is the intuition of knowing which effect should be used in a given moment or situation. This is hard to teach, but luckily quite easy to learn. All you need is some time where you practice and experience with the conviction that you are going to succeed.
Success leaves clues
Moreover, absorb quote-on-quote “good” information that has proven to work. If you model that, you raise your chances of success tremendously, as I talk about in my book The Success Mindset for Music Production.
6 effective rules for your hardstyle kick effects chain
But to give you some practical tips, here are 6 logical guidelines that have proven to work for me. So, maybe you can take advantage of that as well.
- Always use an equalizer after and/or before a distortion to shape the way the next distortion must respond, depending on what you’d like to hear next.
- Use an equalizer early in the chain to add mid frequencies, create a steep lowcut and add some higher frequencies. This will immediately set the foundation for the hardstyle kick.
- Create a filter sweep after the first reverb.
- Use a reverb after the equalizer that contains the added mid frequencies.
- Only make minor changes with subtle equalization and distortion at the final stage of the effects chain.
- Always end with a clip distortion to prevent the signal to shoot above the 0-decibel limit, which is the maximum loudness for digital audio.
Your final hardstyle kick is what truly matters
Now, there are many more “rules” you can use, but at some point, it’s doing you more harm than good. You have to come to your own conclusions about what to do in certain situations, which like it or not, is always different, yet is never truly random.
So, don’t take anything literally and keep your mind open. You must develop your own experience and way of working. Ultimately, the sound of your final hardstyle kick is what matters, not necessarily how you got there.
Save your finished hardstyle kick tail as a sample
And be aware that all these tips apply to the TAIL part of the kick, which is often the hardest part to produce. Once your tail is finished, you can save it as a sample. The sample can then be used in a new layering project where you add a sub bass and create the tok or punch.
Now, those are topics for another lesson, but if you want all these types of samples ready for use, just click this link to download my free hardstyle sample pack right now.
Discover 9 more crucial tips
This was part 10 from The 10 Best Hardstyle Kick Tricks Ever lesson. For the full episode, click the link and start straightaway.