Most of us listen to the songs on good studio monitors with optimized acoustics. In this environment everything sounds perfect. However, if you switch from the big system to small speakers, the mix sounds overloaded and the pressure is suddenly missing. In this case you can find out why this is the case.
A fat kick is characterized primarily by powerful bass? Absolutely! But just a very deep kick with little attack cause grief and worry on small speakers. These kick drums sound really massive with a subwoofer and make everything shake! As soon as you then listen to the song on bass-weak systems, you no longer notice the kick.
The reason for this is obvious. Small speakers cannot reproduce the required bass range. If you trust the manufacturer’s specifications, computer speakers can reproduce a frequency spectrum of 80 Hz to 20 kHz in the widest case. Just below 80 Hz the bass starts to be fun. Typical 808 kicks play their strongest role in this range.
To prepare these kicks for such circumstances, there are two ways. The first is to layer kicks. You have a bassy kick without much attack? Then put a second bassy kick with short attack under the main kick. The disadvantage of this is that you sometimes change the character of the sound.
The second option (in my opinion the better one) is to distort the kick. For this you use a distortion, saturation or overdrive plugin and drive the low-frequency kick hot. This creates or amplifies overtones that are audible even in the frequency range of small speakers. However, one should not proceed too aggressively here. Otherwise you will change the character of the sound too much. Alternatively, you can insert the distortion on a parallel track.
The same problem that occurs with attack-weak low kicks also occurs with a bass. However, layering is more of an alternative here as well. Because with a melodic bass the sound is only changed by further instrument layers. Therefore, I recommend the distortion method here as well.