In this free video tutorial, Pro Tools Expert team member Julian Rodgers demonstrates how to use a gate to increase the attack on a kick drum.
Why Not Use Transient designers Or Compression?
These days there are many excellent transient designer type plug-ins from third-party manufacturers such as Softube, Plugin Alliance, Sonnox and Waves but at present, there isn't a stock Pro Tools transient designer plug-in.
In the days of purely analogue workflows, there was (and still is) much use of heavy compression with a long attack time and lots of makeup gain to add transient attack to percussive sources. This sounds great but a lot of the sound of this effect is in the contribution of the release phase of the compression action. If you are using stock plug-ins and want an agressive transient but don't want the characteristic sound of compression artefacts then there is always the possibility of using the "DS201 trick"
What Is the DS 201 Trick?
The DS201 is an analogue noise gate and was a staple of live sound for years after it had become less common in studios. A very common trick employed by live engineers is to gate the kick drum with a high threshold and a very fast attack. This put a percussive click onto the front of the kick which worked really nicely with a big PA system. This tip is an adaptation of this trick using the Avid Channel Strip, which has a suitable fast attack for this technique.
Watch the free video to see this in action.