Audija KickDrum [WiN]

Audija KickDrum is precision bassdrum synthesis VST plugin
  • Publisher: Audija
  • Product: KickDrum
  • Release: MOCHA
  • Version: 1.3.0
  • Format: VST3

As a producer, few elements in a track are more crucial than having punchy, well-defined kick drums. They provide the rhythmic foundation and low-end bedrock that everything else is built upon. So when I came across Audija’s KickDrum plugin, I was intrigued by its promise of innovative synthesis capabilities for sculpting custom bass drum sounds.

And let me tell you, this thing delivers precision kick design like few other plugins out there. Under the hood, KickDrum models kick drums as a basic pitched sine wave oscillator with customizable pitch curves. But it’s the unique “point and click” workflow for shaping those curves that makes this synth so surprisingly powerful.

Rather than dealing with envelopes or LFOs, you can just grab points along the pitch curve and bend them into virtually any shape imaginable using intuitive Bézier curve controls. Want a sharp transient attack followed by an ear-splitting pitch sweep? Just a few clicks. How about a monstrous sub-bass hit with an elongated body? Child’s play with KickDrum’s length and curve controls.

What really impresses me though is the nuanced control you have over micro-adjusting the delicate percussion qualities of your kicks. The phase zero-crossing feature, for example, allows you to precisely position the sample start point for seamless blending with basslines. There’s also a built-in keysnap quantizer for locking pitch curves to exact musical scales.

From a sound design perspective, the free-hand EQ mode is a surprisingly inspiring tool as well. You get a big zoomed-in oscilloscope view of the kick’s waveform and spectrum that you can meticulously tweak by drawing in bands with your mouse. It’s a supremely visual way to finesse the timbre.

But as much as I love KickDrum’s sound sculpting abilities, it also just sounds fantastic straight out of the box thanks to Audija’s high-quality synthesis engine. The kicks have a very deep, precise and punchy character that slams through mixes. The included preset library provides great starting points covering house, techno, hip-hop and pretty much any style you can imagine.

My only minor gripe is that the kick shaper’s zoomed-in view can make it a little fiddly to make bigger curve adjustments at times. But that’s a small price to pay for KickDrum’s outstanding precision.

Overall, if you’re a producer who takes your kicks seriously, you owe it to yourself to add KickDrum to your plugin arsenal. Its unique synthesis approach, pro-grade sound quality, and innovative hands-on workflow make it an indispensable tool for crafting bassbin-rattling drums that hit hard. Stop settling for stock kick samples, and punch up your mixes with Audija’s kick design prowess.

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