How do you get a sub-bassline to sit in a House mix?!
ryz0n
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#1
29th May 2010
Old 29th May 2010
  #1
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Thread Starter
How do you get a sub-bassline to sit in a House mix?!

Hey guys, so I've been trying to produce house music very similar to the style of these two examples.



No matter what I do, I can't get my sub bass to sound that loud and dynamic. To get it close to that, the channel I have it in is clipping and what not. Anything dealing with sub-bass has always been an issue for me so I'm kind of stuck. I'm using the klopfgeist in Logic as the instrument, but what do you think they are likely using in these tracks? What would be possible EQ/Compression settings and/or anything else needed on the channel to get it to sit right with the kick? The thing about those songs is the sub bass is not very loud but you can hear it very well whereas my sub bass is actually pretty heavy and noisy because if it was any quieter you wouldnt be able to hear/feel its groove. Could be other factors in the mix, but does anyone have any advice? Thx!
#2
29th May 2010
Old 29th May 2010
  #2
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how about showing us a sample of what you did

easier to critique then
#3
29th May 2010
Old 29th May 2010
  #3
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For starters, you should not be having anything clipping in Logic. If you get to the point where something needs to be hitting the ceiling, you should turn everything else down rather than it up.
There is no advantage in having individual tracks approaching 0dB.... mix them as QUIETLY AS YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH. Just turn your monitors' volume up if you want to hear it loud.

Read the first page of this thread to understand this better:
The Reason Most ITB mixes don’t Sound as good as Analog mixes (restored)

As for what you are talking about, I'd suggest it's possibly down to harmonics in the referenced tracks' sub bass that make it seem louder.
You can ding in more upward harmonics using several methods... you can use a plug like Crysonic N-Xtacy, BBE Harmonic Maximizer (part of sonic suite) or Waves MaxxBass/R-Bass. Or you can use some distortion such as a bit of mild saturation that will add higher harmonics.
You'll probably find it interesting to read through the marketing spiel on the Waves MaxxBass for a good explanation of how higher harmonics can make a bass seem heavier.

Also, it's implied from your comments that you are maybe trying to smash the sh** out of the bass with compressors/limiters?
I tend to find this can very easily sap the power out of bass.
If you think about how a sine wave actually translates... essentially the most efficient way of pulling & pushing the speaker membrane in a smooth motion, any f***ing with that is just going to move LESS air.
Personally, I'll perhaps use a TOUCH of a limiter & that's it.

I think also a lot of getting a bass sound right is to do with the amp envelope... try messing with different settings to get what you are after... sometimes using multiple instances on several tracks... so you might have one that has a very slow attack that swells into a kick, then a different one with more punch.

The specific notes you select also make a massive difference in the lowest frequencies
Frequencies of Musical Notes
eg even within one octave C1 might be so low as to start losing power, E1 perhaps very heavy, then by the time you get to B1 start losing weight already... so getting your track in the right key is important.

Please report back on any findings you make as this is a topic that interests a lot of people here!

:-)
#4
29th May 2010
Old 29th May 2010
  #4
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Also, compression/limiting on the master buss will probably be contributing in no small part to the sound of those tracks you posted.
#5
29th May 2010
Old 29th May 2010
  #5
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the words compress/limit = push down/squash. if there is no way for the sound to breath it will die (have no energy) particularly bass.

Simonator pointed out about using the envelopes on your synth or sampler; I guarantee you will enjoy making music more if you get the sounds right at the source your head willl still be nodding hours later because you know that you tweaked that sound/patch and it sounds shit hot!!

The times where you have started making music and it just sounds right the way the kick and bass work... well it is and the reason why; your kick and bass aren't fighting for their fundamental energy/frequency the point at which their tone hits its peak and they sit together well harmonically, its not rocket science but you hit the money possibly by using your ears; you can put something like music technology on a peddle stool but really just think first before you move :0)

You got a low frequency kick and sub bass your going to have to let one through first or they will mask and have no definition, your track will sound flat........ look up ducking.. there is another trick using a match EQ but ducking is your main man.
#6
29th May 2010
Old 29th May 2010
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genieg View Post
You got a low frequency kick and sub bass your going to have to let one through first or they will mask and have no definition, your track will sound flat........ look up ducking.. there is another trick using a match EQ but ducking is your main main.
This is true, but I took it as given that the OP was programming a bass line that never sounds at the same time as the kick... like in the examples posted.

Having said that... even if this is the case, side-chained compression can still yield pleasing results sometimes.
#7
29th May 2010
Old 29th May 2010
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simonator View Post
This is true, but I took it as given that the OP was programming a bass line that never sounds at the same time as the kick... like in the examples posted.

Having said that... even if this is the case, side-chained compression can still yield pleasing results sometimes.

Simonator I know your a sound scientist fella
#8
30th May 2010
Old 30th May 2010
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So I just looked into the Klopfgeist (out of curiosity, can anyone translate that... I suspect it means 'clock ghost'??)... which is obviously originally intended as a metronome... but is usable for bass... and even has bass presets!
I found some videos online with people using it for sub. But I'm struggling to find much more info on the oscillator/waveform.

Is it simply sine wave... or is there anything else about it that gives it any sort of advantage to use as a bass synth?

If it's simply a sine wave, I think you'll be much better off (within Logic's included arsenal) using the EXS-24 without any samples loaded... which by default is a sine wave.
Using this you have vastly more control over the amp envelope and can shape the sound how you want it.

Personally, I tend to go for Rob Papen's Albino. His 'SubBoomBass' synth looks tasty, but I don't have that.
ryz0n
Thread Starter
#9
30th May 2010
Old 30th May 2010
  #9
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Thread Starter
Hey guys great advice, thanks I'll try looking into it. Yeah, the bassline i'm trying to go for hits in between kicks so is sidechaining pretty pointless in this situation? I'll try uploading an example soon of just my drums and the bass to see what you guys think.
#10
30th May 2010
Old 30th May 2010
  #10
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Simonator's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryz0n View Post
the bassline i'm trying to go for hits in between kicks so is sidechaining pretty pointless in this situation?
What I was trying to say is that in this case, side-chain ducking in not ESSENTIAL for fixing mix issues caused by overlapping low frequencies... but you might (most likely not) want to use to use it as a creative effect... for example to make the bass swell up as the compression lifts... but even that effect would probably be cleaner to achieve with the amp envelopes.

Short answer; yes, side-chaining is unnecessary.
#11
30th May 2010
Old 30th May 2010
  #11
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Sorry I can't watch the videos right now but I might still be able to help if I think I know what you're getting at.

Simonator is right on all accounts here:

* Overly compressing it will kill it
* Sines are technically the best at actually moving air (but you need the harmonics for it sound big otherwise you'll just feel it)
* The envelope/amp settings (for both filter and amp) are vital in getting the bass to sit sightly, siechaining can help too


My method - when making a subby sound its a good idea to kill all the mids from 1k5 till the bass around 120, then add some white noise around 2k (I use ableton's erosion), that way the bass sounds like its being hummed and those pesky mids are out of the way for the kick or to overpower the mix. The mids are always getting crowded, so basslines that don't interfere with the mids too much are really important if you want the sub to stick out and there to be space for the kick. LPF is good for this too, but you loose a bit of the presence. In either case, noise goes on after eq.
#12
30th May 2010
Old 30th May 2010
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simonator View Post
So I just looked into the Klopfgeist (out of curiosity, can anyone translate that... I suspect it means 'clock ghost'??)... which is obviously originally intended as a metronome... but is usable for bass... and even has bass presets!
I found some videos online with people using it for sub.......


In the words of the Dude:

"Thats f-cking interesting, man"
#13
30th May 2010
Old 30th May 2010
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryz0n View Post
Hey guys great advice, thanks I'll try looking into it. Yeah, the bassline i'm trying to go for hits in between kicks so is sidechaining pretty pointless in this situation? I'll try uploading an example soon of just my drums and the bass to see what you guys think.

Hi ryz0n, when i mentioned the ducking technique I didn't emphasize that if the kick and bass are hitting at the same point then ducking is a good way of clearing the path for the kick to come through, used liberally with EQ this can be very effective.

If you've got notes in between your kick, Envelopes will tighten these notes so that they hit well with definition, low frequencies have longer decays so the envelopes can be used to get all the meat; if you look at an Oscilloscope the longtail of a sound (Decay) can lead to overlapping low frequencies if not addressed this will kill a mix.

I appreciate this has already been mentioned thumbsup
pan
#14
30th May 2010
Old 30th May 2010
  #14
pan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simonator View Post
So I just looked into the Klopfgeist (out of curiosity, can anyone translate that... I suspect it means 'clock ghost'??)
Knock-Ghost would be the correct translation.
#15
30th May 2010
Old 30th May 2010
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan View Post
Knock-Ghost would be the correct translation.
Ahh. Thanks :-)
#16
30th May 2010
Old 30th May 2010
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simonator View Post
As for what you are talking about, I'd suggest it's DEFINITELY down to harmonics in the referenced tracks' sub bass that make it seem louder.

:-)
There, i fixed that for you...
#17
30th May 2010
Old 30th May 2010
  #17
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to add both tracks have bass sitting on the kick as well as in between.
#18
30th May 2010
Old 30th May 2010
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monomer View Post
There, i fixed that for you...
Ha... thanks :-)
#19
30th May 2010
Old 30th May 2010
  #19
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Simonator's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by genieg View Post
to add both tracks have bass sitting on the kick as well as in between.
... It's 'one of them' isn't it...

Where to draw distinction between what is bass & what is kick.

Much discussed in this forum:

Advanced Kick drum tip thread

How to produce that wide, round sub-bass kick?

Those clubby subs

... but yeah, I essentially agree with what you are saying. It does sound like there is a higher 'pop' kick, then a secondary sound providing the sub.

Whether or not the sound source for that was a kick sample or a sub synth is anyone's guess.

Common consensus seems to be though that if you make this type of music, you should be looking at Wave Alchemy samples, particularly Drum Tools 01.
#20
30th May 2010
Old 30th May 2010
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simonator View Post
... It's 'one of them' isn't it...

Where to draw distinction between what is bass & what is kick.

Much discussed in this forum:

Advanced Kick drum tip thread

How to produce that wide, round sub-bass kick?

Those clubby subs

... but yeah, I essentially agree with what you are saying. It does sound like there is a higher 'pop' kick, then a secondary sound providing the sub.

Whether or not the sound source for that was a kick sample or a sub synth is anyone's guess.

Common consensus seems to be though that if you make this type of music, you should be looking at Wave Alchemy samples, particularly Drum Tools 01.



Funny enough I use Wave Alchemy, good selection of drums and the low end patches are pretty handy.. use a couple of their hits on this, not the kick though.

http://genesmusiq.co.uk/againjustadream.mp3

Got to finish this at some point.
#21
30th May 2010
Old 30th May 2010
  #21
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Simonator's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by genieg View Post
Funny enough I use Wave Alchemy, good selection of drums and the low end patches are pretty handy.. use a couple of their hits on this, not the kick though.

http://genesmusiq.co.uk/againjustadream.mp3

Got to finish this at some point.
This is GREAT!

Only listening on laptop... but sounds cool.

Quirky sounds. Nice & organic.

thumbsup
#22
30th May 2010
Old 30th May 2010
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simonator View Post
This is GREAT!

Only listening on laptop... but sounds cool.

Quirky sounds. Nice & organic.

thumbsup

Cheers mate & interesting; organic is what I try to achieve, mix it up between live/acoustic and electronic thumbsup
#23
30th May 2010
Old 30th May 2010
  #23
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Simonator's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by genieg View Post
Cheers mate & interesting; organic is what I try to achieve, mix it up between live/acoustic and electronic thumbsup
Just having another listen on my monitors... that is some seriously heavy weight low end!!

thumbsup

Digging those rapid filtered raspy synth bursts. What synth is that?

Great work :-)
#24
30th May 2010
Old 30th May 2010
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simonator View Post
Just having another listen on my monitors... that is some seriously heavy weight low end!!

thumbsup

Digging those rapid filtered raspy synth bursts. What synth is that?

Great work :-)
its probably Massive or Circle i use them the majority of the time..can't remember exactly I haven't been back to this track for a few months now.

I use a fair bit of effectrix and dtlbkfx to FSU and then move the edits round, the only problem I find with that is the possibilities are endless, it could go on and on
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