Best EQ for Kick Drums

In the world of music production, achieving that perfect kick drum sound is often considered a holy grail. It's the heartbeat of a track, the foundation upon which everything else is built. Yet, many aspiring producers and even some seasoned engineers often get it wrong. The key to unlocking a full, punchy, and pillowy kick drum lies in the EQ, and here’s how to do it right.

Common Mistakes in EQing Kick Drums

One of the most frequent errors people make when EQing kick drums is following conventional advice without question. For instance, many are told to boost around 60Hz to add weight and presence. While this can work, it often leads to a muddier sound that doesn't sit well in the mix, especially when competing with other low-frequency elements like the bass guitar.

Another common mistake is not utilizing the full potential of the EQ spectrum. Many beginners (and more seasoned home engineers) overlook the higher frequencies, missing out on the clarity and definition that can make a kick drum stand out and connect to the rest of the mix.

The Secret Sauce: Boosting 10kHz and 100Hz

To achieve that iconic kick drum sound, you need to think differently. Start by boosting around 10kHz. This might sound counterintuitive since kick drums are typically associated with low frequencies, but a boost at 10kHz adds a pillowy, airy presence that helps the kick drum cut through the mix. This frequency range enhances the beater attack, giving your kick a defined punch that listeners can feel.

Next, focus on boosting around 100Hz rather than 60Hz. Boosting at 100Hz provides a tighter, more controlled low-end that maintains the fullness without becoming overpowering. This frequency range offers a solid foundation and interacts better with the bass guitar, creating a cohesive and balanced mix.

Using Hardware Emulation EQ Plugins

When applying these EQ adjustments, consider using hardware emulation EQ plugins. These plugins are modeled after classic analog hardware, meticulously designed by audio engineers who understand the importance of precise EQ frequencies. Emulation plugins often include pre-set frequencies that are time-tested and proven to enhance specific elements of your mix, like the kick drum.

The Classic Sound of the 70s

Applying these EQ techniques helps connect the kick drum seamlessly to the rest of the mix, ensuring it works harmoniously with the bass guitar. This is a crucial aspect of achieving the classic sound that defined so many amazing songs from the 70s. The music from that era is renowned for its warm, punchy, pillowy kick drum sounds that provide a solid groove and an undeniable energy.

Enhancing Your Skills with Sonic Philosophy

For those looking to deepen their understanding of mixing and audio production, becoming a member of Sonic Philosophy is highly recommended. Sonic Philosophy offers comprehensive resources, tutorials, templates, and courses to help you master the art of music production. Whether you're just starting or looking to refine your skills, Sonic Philosophy provides the education and insights you need to elevate your mixes.


Mastering the art of EQing kick drums can transform your music production, giving your tracks the full, punchy, and pillowy sound that captivates listeners. By watching this demonstration and learning these techniques you will have that amazing kick sound you've been aiming for! Happy mixing!


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