Synth Bass Processing (audio included)
Old 15th August 2013
  #1
Gear Head
 

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Synth Bass Processing (audio included)

One of the most interesting tasks in mixing electronic dance music for me personally is adding character to simple synth sounds, especially bass. I know that every producer/engineer has a different approach to adding colour to synth bass. Some use subtle distortion, saturation, others use heavy compression, parallel amp simulators etc.

I was wondering if everybody could share some insight on what works for processing synth bass lines ITB. Plugins, techniques, that just sound good on bass. To make this more interesting, I have created a short simple bass line using a software synth. Nothing special, just a simple boring sawtooth bass exported to 24bit wav file:

Click here to download Raw Synth Bass (or right click save target as)

If you could process this, post your result and explain what you used and why. This way we can learn from each other and pick up some techniques.

I will start

Click here to download my Processed Synth Bass (or right click save target as)

First, I always duplicate my bass channel, so layer 1 is for tight bass, definition. Layer 2 is for the texture.

Layer 1 Processing:
Waves Kramer Tape - To softer the higher frequencies and add some saturation.
Waves Aphex Vintage Exciter - Very subtle, add some definition.
Nomad Factory COSMOS - This is my latest purchase. Use it to drive the low end slightly and a subtle exciter.
PSP Noble Q - Add higher mids.
Waves API 2500 Add punch (2db gain reduction)
Cytomic The Glue Add more punch (2db gain reduction)

Layer 2 Processing:
D16 Redoptor - Introduce some tube drive
DMG Audio EQulibrium - Cut lows and highs, add some mids.
RP Verb - Introduce small room ambience.
Tone2 AkustiX - Get creative with stereo imaging.
Fabfilter Pro G - Remove some of the tails for tightness.
Izotope Alloy 2 - Exciter to introduce more harmonics.
DMG Audio EQulibrium - Finetune the sound, clean up unwanted frequencies.

When I combine these two elements I add additional The Glue compressor and limiter to level the peaks.

This is more or less the tools that work for me on synth bass. The processing obviously depends a lot on the mix you are working. The most important is how it fits with other elements. But this is just a general topic of How you introduce colour to your synth bass?

Hopefully somebody will share their techniques.
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