Kickain from Knobula combines a 909-style kick drum with a sidechain compressor to be the ultimate module for putting four to the floor.
If you’ve ever wanted your kick drum to cut through the mix then Kickain is for you. It’s an all-in-one techno party solution that contains a kick drum and sidechain compressor. A sidechain compressor is commonly used in electronic music to pull down the level of a mix at the precise point the kick drum hits. It dips the rest of the music so that you get a solid, gound shaking thump. You’d normally do this by taking the same trigger that’s going to the kick drum and putting it into the sidechain input on a compressor. The rest of the mix goes through the compressor and gets pulled down on every trigger so the unmixed kick can shine through. This can be subtle or sound like the whole track is pulsing to the beat.
Kickain takes all the effort out of this scenario by running that whole game. The kick drum is a virtual bass drum circuit based around that of a Roland TR-909. You have controls over Tune, Drive, Bend, Click, Punch and Bend. You can get some pretty nice bass drum sounds out of this thing. There’s also a stereo Reverb effect and a Bass Cut to take out some of the sub-bass frequencies.
For the Sidechain, you get a depth knob to dial in how intense your want the compression. You have an Attack control to reduce the initial transients and the Decay knob doubles up as compression release control. There are three sidechain settings: Normal works like a regular sidechain compressor, whereas Spectral I/II filters out frequencies around the kick rather than altering the level.
At the bottom you’ll find some CV control over the Decay and Pitch of the kick drum. Otherwise, you have a Trigger input and an Accent input where you can pump in a bit more energy when it combines with a trigger.
Plug your mix into the L&R Inputs, wire up the trigger and connect Output L&R to your speakers. That clarity you’ve always been looking for is now yours. Set the level of your mix before it reaches Kickain and then adjust the Kick Level to suit.
This thing is amazing. There’s no way you’re going back to any other kick drum after using this module. Knobula were good enough to send me one for review. Check out my First Impressions video below.
Kickain should be available now for £267. Knobula will be hanging out on Booth Z232 at Superbooth if you’d like to go and have a play.
- Knobula Kickain: Knobula