Tune the bloody thing!
If you’re not tuning your kick to the root note of the track, then you should be! It’s something that can give your track a much better cohesive feel. Use your DAW’s transpose feature or find a plugin that allows you to pitch the sound of your sample. Try keeping it in the -3/+3 range, and you should have no problems. Going any further and you’ll most likely end up with a kick sounding proper poo!
Mono or Nono
To mono or not to mono? It’s one of those questions that gets asked endlessly on social media etc. I personally think monoing your kick and and other low frequency elements is always a top idea. Keeping these parts in mono will ensure your music translates on most club big systems, which the majority off are still set up mono. Another good reason for keeping the lows in mono is that it allows you to use the full bandwidth of the stereo channel for maximum impact.
If you do decide to try something different, how about layering a stereo sound ontop of you momno kick? Always remember to check samples with a stereo analyzer, helps solve any issues that might develop further into your mix.
More meat please!
Layering can help take your kicks up to the next level and really get them cutting through the mix. By using each kicks prominent characteristic, you will be able to layer 2 or 3 other kicks to create something new and original that works for you on all levels. So, take the sub from one, the click from another, use what ever part of the kick you like. Example, you’ve got a kick with an amazing low sub sound but the top part of the kick is just too clicky. Grab yourself an EQ, get the low pass filter out to shape the kick in such a way that it filters out that unwanted top end. Now search for a kick that has the top end you’re after. Cut the lows out until you get a good blend between the lower kick and your new top kick. You have to watch out for phase issues with this as well. One last point – personally if you have to use more than two kicks to achieve what you’re after, then you’re not using the right source material!