THE CM GUIDE TO KICK DRUMS – Computer Music issue 267 is out now!

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The primal, beating heart of contemporary music ever since rock ’n’ roll standardised the backbeat as its dominant percussive format in the middle of the 20th century, the kick drum is the simplest but arguably most important element of the drum kit. 

Whether it’s the real acoustic thing providing weight, power and forward momentum to a live band, or a synthesised alternative shaking a nightclub to its foundations, it’s the kick that drives the groove, hits you in the chest and makes you want to dance.

Today’s software-based producer has ready access to a plethora of tools for emulating acoustic kick drums and synthesising electronic ones, from dynamically responsive sample players and virtual classic drum machines, to all manner of innovative new instruments and generators that could only exist in the box.

With the kick drum being such an important element in any track, you need to get yours right, every time. That’s why, in this issue’s hard-hitting cover feature, we’ll show you how to:

  • Program kick drum patterns in a range of styles
  • Work up authentic-sounding live ‘performances’
  • Programming and processing tricks guaranteed to make your kicks stand out
  • Master the pinnacle of the pedal-hoofing arts: double kick drums
  • Classic kick sounds, and the hardware drum machines that produced them
  • Synthesising perfect kicks from scratch
  • Modern 808 kick drum design, programming and mixing
  • Layer acoustic and electronic kicks
  • Create rumbling techno kicks with reverb
  • And more!

Watch one of the videos from the feature below, and get the rest only with CM267.


FREE mixing multieffect: Puncher CM

Created by W.A. Production, this issue’s exclusive free VST/AU plugin is a dynamics multieffect for Mac and PC that’s guaranteed to bring power, punch and weight to your beats, synths, busses and mixes. 

Puncher CM’s three modules –  Transient Shaper, Multiband Compressor and Parallel Compressor – can be used individually or in combination, and the plugin features real-time metering and visualisation to help you dial in settings.

Find out how to use Puncher CM in the video below, find out more on the Puncher CM page, and buy CM267 to download the plugin in VST and AU formats for PC and Mac.



After several years as a successful grime MC, both in his own right and working with the likes of Wiley, Chipmunk, Tinie Tempah and Little Nikki, East Ham-based Maxsta decided it was time to move to the other side of the glass and get involved in production. 

The first fruits of his time spent learning the engineering ropes are 2018’s Maxtape 2 and the single Born On Your Own, featuring JME – the subject of this issue’s Producer Masterclass.

Check out the first half of the video below, and access the full video and eight-page interview feature with CM267.



This issue’s royalty-free sample packs are…

  • WAREHOUSE TECHNO – an exclusive pack of dancefloor-ready beats, basslines, FX and more
  • LOOPMASTERS CM267 – selected sounds from the uber-brand


  • An exclusive five-page interview with pop superstar JONAS BLUE
  • ABLETON SYNTH SECRETS – unlock the features hidden in Live Suite’s instruments
  • Draw your way to better-sounding tunes with our MIXING WITH AUTOMATION feature
  • SHARPS AND FLATS demystified with music theory expert Dave Clews
  • Less is more – our in-house Dr Beat incorporates space and silence into drum programming
  • Pro producer Ed:it dishes out a bevy of DAW workflow tips
  • 23 reviews of the latest music-making products including Synapse Audio Dune 3, u-he Twangstrom, Arturia Pigments, Loopmasters Khords, Psychic Modulation PulseCode and more


Get this issue now

Print + DVD | | Android | | iOS | | Digital cross-platform

Digital editions include all extra content, now available via FileSilo (see page 5 in the mag)

Subscribe and Save

Never miss an issue with a CM subscription, print or digital!

Computer Music

Computer Music magazine is the world’s best selling publication dedicated solely to making great music with your Mac or PC computer. Each issue it brings its lucky readers the best in cutting-edge tutorials, need-to-know, expert software reviews and even all the tools you actually need to make great music today, courtesy of our legendary CM Plugin Suite.

Get over 70 FREE plugin instruments and effects… image
Get over 70 FREE plugin instruments and effects…
…with the latest issue of Computer Music magazine