United Plugins Dropkick Transforms Your Low-End

Need to give your kick drums a bit of an edge? If so, check out Dropkick, a fresh plugin from the folks at United Plugins. Crafted by one of United’s founding members, JMG Sound, it provides music producers with the means to supercharge the low-end on their projects.

Dropkick in action. Image copyright United Plugins.

If this audio plugin intrigues you, check out the following press release:

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC: independent development teams federation United Plugins is proud to announce availability of Dropkick from founding partner JMG Sound — suitably billed as the ultimate solution for transforming kick drums into powerful, focused, and impeccably controlled sonic masterpieces thanks to eight processors that have been extensively tested and fine-tuned to work with kicks and make them stand out from the sound of the plug-in crowd, or, indeed, any crowd — as of January 23… 

Alive and kicking 

Ultimately, United Plugins founding partner JMG Sound developed Dropkick for sound designers and electronic-based music producers alike; as such, it has been extensively tested and fine-tuned to work well across multiple genres, including drum ‘n’ bass, EDM (Electronic Dance Music), house, techno, trap, and more. Moreover, with so much having been packed into a single plug-in, Dropkick really represents the ultimate electronic kick drum toolkit! The eight processors involved in doing that all have much more going on under their respective hoods than might first meet the eye; each of them could well have been a one-knob plug-in in their own right, in fact, but JMG Sound‘s selflessness shines through for all to see and hear by including them all in one place for anyone to use as they see fit. 

Set PHASE(rs) for stun(ning) and factor in WARP 

With PHASE, for example, it is possible to offset the lower FREQ (frequencies) to shape the character of the transient and lower the peak level — not necessarily a new concept, yet one which Dropkick takes up a notch by using analogue-modelled filters to create non-linearities that make for extremely smooth transitions and also add a little extra warmth. WARP progressively shifts the frequencies in time; the lower the frequency, the more it is delayed — low values concentrating the phase shift closer to the attack, shaping the character of the transient, while high values extend the low frequencies, changing the character of the entire kick. Fortunately for all concerned, the filters involved here have been fine-tuned to work well on kick drums so users will arrive at their desired sweet spot far faster, which is also the case when working with Dropkick‘s other processors. 

Feel the POWER and control the RESO(onant) peak 

Dropkick duly puts POWER in the hands of its users by taking the tried-and-tested technique of using a high-pass filter to enhance the low end — setting the frequency of the filter at the fundamental and adding a little resonance not only boosts the bass but also removes unwanted sub-harmonics — to another level as its surgical peak can resonate a single frequency, making it possible to strengthen and extend the fundamental; RESO, meanwhile, controls the level of the resonant peak, the special peak filter used being extremely narrow so as to focus on a single frequency and not necessarily boost neighbouring frequencies but rather add power and definition to the fundamental while extending it as the control is increased — an effect so powerful that it can even be used to re-pitch the fundamental of the kick, completely transforming the character! 

Get the balance right 

Controlling kicks and enhancing them comes quickly to Dropkick users, thanks to the creative possibilities offered by several straightforward settings: CLEAN — dynamically removes boxiness and muddiness, freeing up precious headroom and helping the kick to translate better in the mix; DAMP — progressively removes higher frequencies while still allowing the transient to cut through, letting users reshape the frequency content of their kicks; FIRE — uses psychoacoustic techniques to enhance the sound of the kick; OVER — a dynamics processor based on an ‘over the top’ compression technique that has been fine-tuned for kicks; SNAP — enhances the attack and punch of the kick using an advanced transient processor that dynamically shapes the attack stage based on frequency content, fine-tuned for kicks; and TRIM — shortens the length of the kick tail to keep it tight and prevent boominess… simply listen in real time and adjust a single knob until achieving the perfect balance! 

Take it to the limit 

Last, but by no means least, a LIMIT section selects whether or not the three-mode limiter will be enabled: CLEAN limits the peaks as transparently as possible, introducing only 1ms of latency; WARM behaves like a soft clipper with some gentle distortion; and HOT heavily distorts the signal while hard clipping. And a DRIVE control adds up to 12dB of additional gain to drive the limiter; this can be used to create extra loudness, or — if one of the limiter’s distortion modes is selected — overdrive it to get super-fat- and aggressive-sounding kicks. 

Key features: 

  • Ultimate electronic kick drum toolkit that transforms kick drums into powerful, focused, and impeccably controlled sonic masterpieces 
  • Eight processors tested and fine-tuned to work well across multiple genres, allowing users to arrive at their desired sweet spot far faster than when working with separate plug-ins

JMG Sound’s Dropkick is available to purchase for a time-limited introductory promo price of only €19.00 EUR until February 29, 2024 — rising thereafter to its regular price of €69.00 EUR — as an AAX-, AU-, VST-, and VST3-compatible plug-in (using internal 64-bit audio processing capable of handling any sample rate) directly from its dedicated webpage (https://unitedplugins.com/Dropkick/), where a 15-day, fully-functional trial version for macOS 10.10 and newer and Windows 8/10/11 can also be downloaded for free. 

Note that no iLok, dongle, or internet access is required for Dropkick activation. (All United Plugins software uses license files for activation and owners can freely use purchased software — with free-for-life updates — on all their computers for as long as they are the user.)

See and hear Dropkick in action while watching United Plugins’ illuminating introductory video here: