The Hardstyle Mixing & Mastering Course™ is offline. You can now learn the best mixing strategies in the new Mixing EDM Music guide.

HARDSTYLE KICK DISTORTION EXPLAINED: How to Distort Kicks (FL Studio Waveshaper Clip Distortion)

How do you actually distort a hardstyle kick to get that vibrating sound? That’s why; let’s explain the hardstyle clip distortion in in this quick post.

Hardstyle kick distortion: go bipolar

No, we don’t mean the mental condition here, but the quote-on-quote “special” way a distortion processes the audio signal.

By using the bipolar option on a clip distortion plugin, if it allows for it, you can treat both poles of a waveform separately. This is called “asymmetric” distortion and it enables you to get unique distortion shapes and sounds.

But above all, using the bipolar function is a quick way to add harmonic-rich content to your emerging hardstyle kick. These so-called “harmonics” is just an array of musical frequencies your hardstyle kick needs to sound right. Of course, depending on how YOU want it to sound.

Using bipolar distortion

Mind you though, when you apply bipolar distortion, the waveform can move away from its center. After all, if one pole differs from the other, the balance of the sound is likely to shift toward one or the other. This may result in volume loss or loss of power.

How to get your hardstyle kick back in center

To get your kick back in center, you can try using an equalizer with a low cut around 20 to 40 Hz and/or boost it with a “unipolar” distortion, which is just a fancy way of saying: a normal distortion.

When to be subtle with hardstyle kick distortion

One last trick, with some of the distortion plugins, especially later in your chain, apply a certain mix level and don’t distort the whole signal. This produces added characteristics yet doesn’t affect the entire kick. Inevitably, too much distortion will ruin your results. So, watch out.

Discover 9 more crucial tips

This was part 4 from The 10 Best Hardstyle Kick Tricks Ever lesson. For the full episode, click the link and start straightaway.

Or, support my work and get the aesthetic eBook or Paperback version today. Just follow these links and enjoy!

Leave a Comment