The four-on-the-floor kick drum is one of the staples in dance/pop music.
But getting it to sit perfectly in your production can be a little trickier than just hitting “quantize” on the MIDI track.
There are two ways to greatly adjust the entire feel of your track – just by moving the kick drum part around a little. Let’s take a look at the two most common moves to make:
Pushing it forward.
This is just what it sounds like. If you feel like your track is dragging its feet a little, then this is one possible solution. Nudge your kick track forward just a little bit so that it sits just ahead of the beat. It might only be by a few ms – maybe 10 or 20ms at most.
This is a great technique to use for “slower” tracks (maybe around 95-100 bpm or so) that have a four-on-the-floor beat to them. This can help them really drive and will give them a good energy.
Pulling it back.
This is also just what it sounds like. If your track needs to sit in a deeper pocket, nudge your kick drum back just a little bit. Again, probably no more than a few ms will do the trick.
This is great to use when you’re trying to create that “deep groove” feel in a section or song. Especially at faster tempos (~128bpm), it can really help a track settle in and find its groove.
So try this out on your four-on-the-floor productions and take control of your groove!