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I noticed that a lot of modern metal songs sometimes have this booming drum sound (I think it's made on the toms and/or bass), for example before/during a breakdown in some metalcore songs.

It's a very loud, saturated drum beat (single beats only) that almost sounds like a cannonball being fired. Very often, the drums are spiced up with a deep bass note to make it sound even more intense and I would love to know how the whole editing for the drum and bass sound is done. I'm not sure if it's rather an edited drum beat or a bass technique...

There is one song that comes in my mind: Crumble by Breakdown Of Sanity, the booming sound appears a few times throughout the whole song, there is one at 0:12 already

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    Can you give some examples?
    – NPN328
    Nov 4, 2014 at 21:34
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    Are you talking about a bass drop? Nov 5, 2014 at 18:36
  • Would an example be: Critical Acclaim by Avenged Sevenfold around 2:53? Nov 5, 2014 at 18:38
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    I edited my question a bit, I totally forgot to add a good example. My example would be Crumble by Breakdown Of Sanity.
    – muffin
    Nov 7, 2014 at 2:46
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    I was attending Korn concert couple of years ago and noticed that Ray Luzier uses electronic drum pad with prerecorded bass drop sound, so that he could play on his drum set and produce this sound when needed. Of course, that sound was non-organic and definitely is software generated. Mar 29, 2017 at 9:40

3 Answers 3

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Well as far as I know that is what's referred to as a 'bass drop' (but I think that term gets thrown around for a few different effects). There are probably a bunch of ways to do it: a fretless bass can simply slide down the lowest string with some nice EQ and that's about all it takes (provided the bass is tuned low enough).

The studio sound on your example was quite possibly created using a Low Pass Filter with an envelope trigger that moves the cutoff frequency from somewhere in the bass range all the way down to nothing over a half-second or so. The filter's resonance setting can be turned up to enhance the low frequency tone and give it some body as the cutoff is modulated. You could use just about anything as audio input but probably a drum kick or sub bass oscillator from a synth.

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  • It's not a drop - a drop is a separate section of a song, and in both of the examples above, the note doesn't fall at the start of a section. But your sound design parts could be on the ball. It could also just be a triggered 808 sample.
    – naught101
    Feb 3, 2017 at 0:44
  • Most commonly it is just a triggered sample. Filters don't give the same kind of consistent bass tone, and it's definitely not a low pass filter at 50Hz...
    – Edward
    Oct 14, 2021 at 2:36
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I think the accepted answer misses the mark. There's a couple ways to do this.

The first, and probably most common, is to use a bass drop sample, or create a bass drop sound with a synthesizer. Here is one I just made. It's just a sine wave with a volume envelope (swell in, decay out) and pitch envelope (start low, gradually go even lower).

https://vocaroo.com/18kZGmPhiN9V (Volume warning if you have a good subwoofer)

And with music, it sounds like this

https://vocaroo.com/1i8lDpEc5ysR

Commonly, this drop will cause the master limiter to be pushed really hard, giving a crunchy distortion effect on top.

https://vocaroo.com/1d0BMWSgOGYa

Based on listening, I am confident that this is how the linked track achieved that effect. But for the sake of completeness, there is another way to do it...

You can also get a similar effect with a resonant bell filter. Boost sharply in the low bass and slowly lower the frequency of the filter. I don't use this method, because it heavily depends on the content that's already in the recording. But it can be done with a filter.

And with the limiter smashed:

https://vocaroo.com/1kavOC7heiGk

It is NOT done with a low pass filter, as suggested by the current accepted answer. On the master, that would sound like this

https://vocaroo.com/18Os8MNiJAIM

If you did it just on a kick or bass track, you'd still be losing all the treble from that one track.

I suppose you could make a duplicate of a kick or bass track and do it, but then the low end of that track (below the filter cutoff) would suddenly be twice as loud until the filter closes... and you're creating excessive work setting this all up.

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It could be a unmuffled bass drum or maybe like a 16 inch floor tom or maybe a even bigger floor tom

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    Nah, drums do have such a build in volume (the peak in the volume is a beat or two after the sound starts).
    – naught101
    Feb 3, 2017 at 0:41

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