One thing which most professional, high end recorded drum kits all seem to have in common is a nice, thick kick drum sound. I hear some mixes where the kick drum sounds more like a confused snare.
A nice heavy and pronounced low end in general is a good start in making your mix sound more professional, but luckily if your kick sounds like the aforementioned muddled snare, I have a quick and effective fix for you.
The best part is it’s free and easy to do in most any DAW.
What you want to do is create a new midi track and load a sine wave into it. A sine wave is a pretty basic tone and the root of a lot of popular synth tones. On its own without much to any processing in it, at lower frequencies a sine wave creates a nice, meaty, yet simple tone which doesn’t draw a lot of attention. This makes it the perfect candidate to supplement our lacking kick drum sound.
What I like to do is create a constant looping sine wave at around a C1. This frequency is so low that it sounds almost devoid of tone and creates more of a percussive sound.
Once we have this tone playing in a constant loop, we want to make sure we can only hear it when the kick drum is struck.
To do this we can create a gate on the sine wave track which is triggered exclusively by the kick drum. This ensures the gate only opens, or In Other words we only hear the wave when the kick drum is struck, thus simultaneously playing that sine wave and thickening up our kick drum to yield a much thicker and ultimately more substantial and professional sound.
Keep in mind that this also works on a digital midi drum kit which plays everything on the same track. I just recommend creating a separate track for the kick drum just like you would normally have if you miced a drum kit. You just need to make sure you have that kick isolated on its own track so that you can ensure that only the kick opens the gate.