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JMG Dropkick

Kick-drum Processing Plug-in By Paul White
Published April 2024

JMG Dropkick

Available from United Plugins and authorised using a personal key file that permits use on multiple computers, DropKick by JMG Sound is a comprehensive set of tools for reshaping kick drum sounds, but it manages this with just a handful of rotary controls. All the common plug‑in formats for Mac and Windows operating systems are supported, and updates are free.

The large Warp knob in the Phase section uses all‑pass filters to offset lower frequencies in time. The filters are analogue‑modelled, so there are non‑linearities that can add a little more warmth and change the character of the attack transient. A search button automatically homes in on the fundamental frequency of the kick sound being treated, and this usually works very well, but this can be set manually if you prefer. X Filter selects how many all‑pass filters are deployed. The more filters there are, the greater the phase shift will be, but you don’t have to think too hard about this — just listen and trust your judgement. In and out level controls compensate for any level changes due to the processing.

In the Power section, which again has a bypass button, there are Freq (frequency) and Reso (resonance) controls for a high‑pass filter, which can be set to two‑ or four‑pole, with ‘fat’ and ‘normal’ versions of both. Both the Phase and Power sections can be locked to prevent further changes to their frequency settings. A Trim control can be used to shorten beats, including those that have been extended by the resonant filter.

Fire is a psychoacoustic processor that resynthesizes and harmonically enhances the low end, the aim being to make the sound translate more effectively to smaller speaker systems. Another control on offer, Over, is a compressor that tends to bring out high‑end detail while controlling the mids and keeping the low end consistent. Meanwhile, Snap emphasises the attack transient and Clean is designed to tame boxiness and muddiness in the lower mids. Damp emulates physical damping by progressively reducing high frequencies using an envelope filter, without compromising the attack transient. There’s also a limiter with Clean, Warm and Hot options, plus a Drive knob that adds up to 12dB of additional gain before the limiter. Meters show the in and out levels as well as gain reduction.

There are tools to fit any style, from tight and snappy metal to EDM.

The range of control this plug‑in gives you over the kick drum sound is impressively wide and there are tools to fit any style, from tight and snappy metal to EDM. If your kick needs more depth, more clarity, more tightness or a hefty resonant punch, it’s all here, controlled by a very intuitive user interface. I observed a little graphical weirdness when opening the plug‑in in Logic Pro on my Mac’s second monitor, but other than that it worked just fine. There are the usual presets to get you going and tools for comparing A and B settings, but really you’re unlikely to need this — it’s just as easy to dial in your own settings and let your ears guide you. All in all, this is an impressive kick drum tool kit, and eminently usable.


£59. (Discounted to £16 when going to press.) Prices include VAT.

$74. (Discounted to $20 when going to press.)