Audija KickDrum Review (Latest Kick Plugin)

Audija KickDrum Review

Imagine having a plugin that gives you an electronic kick for which you can change everything from its note to its envelope, shifting its phase, pitch, length, and more. KickDrum by Audija Plugins gives you exactly that and more. I was happy to finally get my hands on a plugin that lets me control every tiny detail of the kick. 

As a sound designer and producer, I usually lose the quality and resolution when I time-stretch any sample or try to change its pitch or note. I do not need to emphasize how important the low end for any song is and how it can make or break your song. You have to be super careful with your kick drum. With KickDrum, I can be as particular as I want and customize my kick drum fundamentals to achieve the sound I want. Let’s discuss the plugin in more detail. 

Interface & Workflow Overview

First thing first, the plugin is completely resizable and flexible, so you can set it to your screen at your comfortable size. You get a significant waveform view that lets you see the envelope of your sound, equalizer (switchable), and the phase relationships within the waveform. 

Audija Plugins - KickDrum Review

Now, coming to controls. There are many customization options that are all compressed into a single window. Design-wise, this window or some of these controls could have been larger in size for ease of work.  

Audija Plugins - KickDrum Review

So, as you can see in the image above, you can have three plugin settings simultaneously, namely A, B, and C. You can switch between them anytime to compare and monitor which ones work the best for you. You can also copy-paste different plugin settings in between these three. 

Then, you have the un-do and re-do buttons that let you reverse your actions or return to them. The speaker icon below the undo/redo buttons is for playback and monitoring your kick drum.

Then there’s the EQ switch that can be turned on or off to enable to disable the equalizer. However, to EQ your sounds, you will also need to switch the ‘Gain/Pitch’ switch to ‘Gain.’ 

Audija Plugins - KickDrum Review  

You get a multi-band EQ for which you can adjust the gain and Q-value and change the band between low-cut, high tilt, notch, band pass, band cut, low tilt, and high-cut types. You can add more bands by double-clicking on the curve. 

Audija Plugins - KickDrum Review

Audija Plugins - KickDrum Review

When you turn the ‘Gain/Pitch’ switch to ‘Pitch’ mode, you can adjust the pitch envelope of your sound. So, for example, your kick sound could be 10 milliseconds in length. For each point on that timeline, you can adjust the pitch or note of your kick. 

Audija Plugins - KickDrum Review

So you can start at, let’s say, an F#7 note, or about 3000 Hz, and right after about 3 milliseconds, the note can go down to a C#4 note, as shown in the images below. 

Audija Plugins - KickDrum Review   Audija Plugins - KickDrum Review

So this is the kind of attention to detail and precision you get as a sound designer with KickDrum. I usually follow instinct and trust my ears with the sounds rather than going into too many technical details. But I know many genius sound designers who are very particular about these things. These minute details help you shape your sound well and tune them to the song. 

So, for example, I used KickDrum in one of my songs. I wanted the kick to be softer so I could get the kick to start at a lower pitch and transition into the note in the song’s key. Having that kind of detailing in a plugin is insane! Moreover, the plugin makes it easy for you to adjust these details with its simplified and easy-to-use interface. 

Moving on, the ‘piano’ icon lets you snap the pitch shifter to the nearest note, so you’re in the chromatic scale. The “.wav” button allows you to copy the kick settings as a waveform to the clipboard, so you can export the kick as a wave file. This function duplicates the existing kick drum sound into a .wav file format and stores it in the clipboard for easy pasting into any desired location.

Then there’s the oscilloscope button that changes the waveform view to a filled oscilloscope view and the ‘TAGS’ button that labels all the pointers on the pitch envelope with their respective notes and frequency.

Audija Plugins - KickDrum Review

Another great feature of the plugin is its velocity sensitivity, which you can adjust between 0 and 100% or also turn on/off. That changes how the plugin responds to MIDI velocity when you play the drum from a MIDI controller. You can also turn on auto-gain or manually adjust the gain of the output to match your session/project/song. All these settings are on the top right of your plugin window. 

Audija Plugins - KickDrum Review

A very important feature is the phase control you get. You can set the zero-crossing point anywhere on the waveform by simply moving around the line labeled as ‘P.’ Zero crossing phase adjustment allows for precise control over the timing of transitions. For example, it can be set to coincide with the conclusion of a kick, ensuring a seamless transition to the bassline with exact phase alignment.

Audija Plugins - KickDrum Review

Next, you can utilize the right mouse button to zoom in and navigate across the Oscillogram, Decibel scale, Pitch Keyboard, or EQ interface, enabling accurate editing at the sample level.

Audija Plugins - KickDrum Review

Finally, you can change the length of your kick drum by using the stretch button and clicking-dragging on time in milliseconds. That lets you control the tail of your kick. This is very useful! So sometimes, kick samples usually have longer tails that interfere with the bass when mixing the bass and kick together. Using KickDrum for kick lets you control and customize that.

Audija KickDrum Review (Latest Kick Plugin) - 2024 Update

How does Audija Plugins KickDrum sound?

KickDrum is perfect for various electronic genres and sound design. You can create almost any style of kick with the plugin if you are aware of sound fundamentals. You get solid hands-on control of almost everything! If not, you can always start with what you like or prefer from its preset window/collection and tweak it as per your preference and song needs. 

Audija Plugins - KickDrum Review

I would use this plugin for dubstep, pop, techno, 80s, funk, and other EDM genres. I would not use this plugin as the main sound for hip-hop, trap, and any acoustic genres, but I might still use this plugin as a layer or secondary kick to add texter, character, flavor, or more thump in sounds. Overall, I quite like the high resolution and quality of the sound!

Pros & Cons

KickDrum by Audija Plugins offers sound designers and producers a comprehensive tool for precise control over kick drum creation. Its interface is both scalable and resizable, providing flexibility in usage. The plugin facilitates detailed and precise sound design, allowing you to adjust every aspect from note to envelope, phase, pitch, and more with ease.

The interface is designed to be user-friendly and visually appealing, making operations straightforward. Additionally, the plugin is optimized to be light on CPU resources, ensuring smooth performance during production sessions.

While KickDrum provides extensive control over kick drum design, you may find it lacking in versatility. An addition of sounds from genres other than dance and electronic might make this plugin more versatile. Maybe Audija Plugins can add an additional sampler to it. Further, the controls within the interface are relatively small, which could hinder ease of use, especially for those with larger screens or visual impairments.

Furthermore, the plugin is not available in AAX format, limiting its accessibility for Pro Tools users who rely on this plugin format.

Compatibility

For compatibility, the software has certain minimum system requirements. These include having at least 150 MB of available RAM and 150 MB of free hard drive storage space. The processor should be a 2 GHz dual-core. For Windows, it’s necessary to have a 64-bit operating system with a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) installed that supports the VST3 plugin format.

For Apple Mac computers, the software is compatible with Intel x86_64 or Apple Silicon arm64 processors running macOS 10.15 or later, with a DAW installed that supports either the AUv2 or VST3 plugin format

Conclusion

KickDrum by Audija Plugins is definitely a very useful plugin, and I would use it extensively in my productions. I appreciate how the manufacturers envisioned the overall plugin design, making kick synthesis easier and more precise. I would love to see more such innovations from  Audija Plugins. 

I hope this article helped you understand the plugin better. Thank you for reading. 

Download Audija Plugins KickDrum here (Demo available)

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