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How to boost synth bass
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Sunshy
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#1
28th July 2011
Old 28th July 2011
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How to boost synth bass

I have a track that has a real bass in the prechorus which sounds fat (Fender Jazz through Avalon U5, API 512c, LA-2A). Great. The problem is when the chorus hits, the bass switches to a synth bass. The sound is more of a buzz bass and therefore doesn't have the nice, fat round end of the real bass.

I tried EQing around 180 but it still doesn't sit right. Any ideas? Multi band comp? Maxx bass?
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28th July 2011
Old 28th July 2011
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Run synth bass through api preamp and la2a > then bring it back to daw
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28th July 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunshy View Post
I have a track that has a real bass in the prechorus which sounds fat (Fender Jazz through Avalon U5, API 512c, LA-2A). Great. The problem is when the chorus hits, the bass switches to a synth bass. The sound is more of a buzz bass and therefore doesn't have the nice, fat round end of the real bass.

I tried EQing around 180 but it still doesn't sit right. Any ideas? Multi band comp? Maxx bass?
Synth basses are usually going to be handled quite differently from real basses. Also the difference from one synth bass to another can be so extream that it would be impossible to suggest any settings. What works for one synth bass would probably destroy another.

That said, most synth basses I deal with benifit from a considerable boost in the 40 - 60hz range. Wide bell...sometimes shelf with a narrow bell on the end. Depending on the midrange content or "growl" - which is what will be heard on smaller speakers - that could be boosted anywhere from 150hz to 500. Again, synth basses can have huge differences between them.

How about you post an example of the bass?
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28th July 2011
Old 28th July 2011
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How to boost synth bass

Can you access the midi info for the synth? I'm missing a couple of details about your specific situation so hard to make more than a guess...

If you can get the orig midi files I would suggest running it one octive lower and using a plugin like... Well any of um really, I was gunna say the rob papen subboom. Haven't used that one, but again really anything that has a sine wave. I would grab trillian...

Synths can be tricky for a variety of reasons, but you can sort of make up for this with creative layering. It's pretty rare to find, for example, a successful dub-step artist who doesn't use 2 or more layers. That last sine-sub layer is insurance. You can just raise and lower the fader to taste: No eq or compression required (though certainly still useful depending on the mix). Also, depending on you taste, you can side chain the sub layer to your kick while leaving the orig bass alone. This frees up some of the dynamics of the bass/kick relation ship without making the bass seem like it's ducking...

If you don't have midi available you can use melodyne to analyze the wave.. Then do the "save as midi" function. This technique has become very common place for me as I like to use it to enhance samples with layered virtual instruments. Of course some tweaking is required to get it spot on, but once you have it down it's an impressive weapon!
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29th July 2011
Old 29th July 2011
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From your description what I would do is layer a sub or low passed square wave underneath it to give it that fat low end.

IMO, Chances are if it doesn't inherently have that thickness or any resemblance of the bass character you describe, eqing it in or processing won't do much for it.
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29th July 2011
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29th July 2011
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The above could work but as someone suggested synth bass can vary massivly so even a boost in the mid range could lift it rather then down lower.
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If I believe what u mean is:

You have a synthy bass in the chorus that has a more buzz sound rather than a low end sound - so you can't hear that subby part to the bass in the chorus?

The solution is pretty simple (Well I think anyway - this is what I usually do)

2 things u can do. Sample your synthy bass out as a WAV, import back in and put into a seperate channel - layer it underneath the synthy bass. Now bass boost the new sample bass, drop the high end frequency and try to boost the low frequency, and then just get the level right in the mix. This will give u a clean, sub bass underneath the original bass you have.

Alternatively, just find a low subby bass synth, or a sine wave that u can modify into low sub, and play that underneath the original, same pattern, and EQ/bass boost etc.

Hope that helps
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29th July 2011
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I have this problem all the time and almost always running it through waves rbass fixes it up very well, then eq to taste!
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I have a couple favorite tricks for working with synth bass. YMMV

- If possible, track a real bass playing the same bass line (or use some decent samples like Trilogy), squeeze the shit out of it with a comp and tuck underneath original line (consider filtering out the top end to taste)

- Waves RBass - set to taste.

- BX_Digital - turn up the Bass Shift knob. Feel that? *drool*

- As suggested above, follow the melody with a deep sine bass. I usually throw RBass on the sine afterwards.
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29th July 2011
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Check your attack and release times. A slower attack can get rid of midrange click and give a rounder sound. Also, try filtering below 30hz. Sometimes synths can produce alot of subsonic stuff that when taken out can focus the sound. If The buzz is what is really bothering you, try a gentle 6db/oct lowpass play with that and see if it helps, just be careful not to take too much out by referencing the sound in the whole mix. Also don't listen to me I overanalyze everything.
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Also If you have access to any good tube gear overdriving tubes can help. I particularly like the summit tla-100 from summit, and have heard good things about the less expensive tla-50.
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29th July 2011
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Thanks for all the responses. I'm ******** not to have run the synth through the api and LA2A. But I'd already tried a couple other things:

1. Original File
2. MaxxBass added (just a bit)
3. MaxxBass & Kick is side chained to synth bass

To me, 3 sounds the best, though still not ideal. Can anyone explain how sidechaining makes it sound deeper?
Attached Files
File Type: wav FNF_1.wav (3.97 MB, 18 views) File Type: wav FNF_2.wav (3.97 MB, 13 views) File Type: wav FNF_3.wav (3.97 MB, 19 views)
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30th July 2011
Old 30th July 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunshy View Post
Thanks for all the responses. I'm ******** not to have run the synth through the api and LA2A. But I'd already tried a couple other things:

1. Original File
2. MaxxBass added (just a bit)
3. MaxxBass & Kick is side chained to synth bass

To me, 3 sounds the best, though still not ideal. Can anyone explain how sidechaining makes it sound deeper?
I almost NEVER sidechain the bass..try NOT doing it and see if it sounds better. Sidechaining is not to be used all the time!
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