BigKick Add-On packs are small files containing presets and samples which can be installed into BigKick.
BigKick - Style Guide and Technical Information
This is our internal guide for artists creating add-on packs for BigKick. It might be useful for others though so we are publishing it online.
Developing professional add-on packs
BigKick includes a custom kick pack installer. It makes the development of add-on packs pretty straightforward.
To build a kick pack you generate a ZIP file with a specific set of folders and files. The file is then renamed with a .BIG extension. The plugin takes care of most of this for you.
BigKick users can install the pack just by dragging it onto the plugin over the BigKick logo.
Installed packs will appear in a folder called Packs in the USER presets menus.
BigKick also includes a tool which creates the structure for your pack.
- Level: BigKick kick drum packs must have a -6db peak level on the output meter of the plugin. You may make minor adjustments +/- 2db to this so that it fits in with the factory presets and your other BigKick presets as necessary.
- Midi: Normally default pitch to FIXED not MIDI mode. Using midi pitch will confuse people browsing the bank.
A commercial pack for BigKick should include the following elements:
A folder of attack samples (WAV or AIFF files). At least 10.
An attack bank patch that points at the first attack sample in the bank and has Decay set to maximum, the HPF attack filter set to 100Hz and normally the attack transpose option in the EDIT menu set to zero. (This ensures that browsing the presets is a useful experience!). You can include multiple attack bank patches.
Full presets. These contain an embedded attack sample, which should also be included in the attack samples folder. They should also include the image and the blurb.
Do not rename the samples after you have created the preset.
A demo, at minimum demonstrating three of the kick drums with a matching bass line. The demo need only be eight bars long per-drum. Though if you’ve got a good groove on – feel free to extend to 30 seconds or so. The demo should be a single file containing all 3+ examples with short fades between examples.
Patches should all include a 100x100 image (The image will be scaled to half-size for most screens but the full resolution may be used for Retina displays). To create the image, drag a JPG or PNG onto the image square in the preset browser.
You should probably just use the same image for all the presets and attack presets in your pack. It'll give it some consistency and make it easier for users.
Patches should all include blurb. To create the blurb right click on the info box, select EDIT, and bang in some notes.
The name of your preset bank should have initial capitals.
The capitalisation of the presets within it should be consistent throughout. ALL CAPS should be avoided.
The lengths of preset names and so on should be such that they fit properly onto the screen!
The image should be of high quality.
The blurb should have decent English grammar and spelling.
Ideally at least one preset will be a sound you are using on a release. Mention that and the name of the record in the blurb for that drum.
A tight sounding drum for rolling tech-house basslines. Try it with a shorter decay on the attack for a tighter feel.
Basics: using the pack creation wizard in BigKick
There's a wizard. Click on a folder in your USER bank containing the presets you want to include in the pack.
Note that sub-folders are NOT supported.
This section is only relevant if you need to do advanced customisation.
The pack is essentially a zip file in the following format. Note that the case is important for these five names.
Contains the WAV or AIFF files
Contains the preset files
Contains the attack preset file(s)
Displayed to the user during installation. Can’t be too long!
Other subdirectories are not permitted.
You can create the ZIP file manually in MacOS using the Compress option like this:
Make sure you multi-select the 5 files and folders as shown above, not the parent folder, it won't work.
And then renaming it to .BIG can be a little tricky. OS X is very keen to retain that .ZIP extension. So use Get Info on your new Archive.ZIP file and rename it with .BIG on the end.
This is a text file (created with NOTEPAD or similar) containing two lines. The first is the pack name, the second is the creator’s name.
It will be displayed as Pack Name (by Creator Name) during installation and the Pack Name will be used as the folder name in the preset viewer.
The pack name can only contain A…Z, a..z, 0..9, spaces and the “-“ character.
The ZIP file must be renamed with .BIG as a file extension.
You can then test the installation by dragging your file onto BigKick. BigKick will automatically make the files read-only and install them under Packs in the user preset folder.
FYI. In future version we may permit new waveforms for the drums. And a future version of the plugin will allow for multiple attack layers.