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When kick and bass clashes...
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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When kick and bass clashes...

...because their fundamental is around the same frequency, what is the first thing you do apart from changing the patch/sample?

For example

or


The usual suspects are sidechain compression and eq to some degree because since they are on top of each other eqing one out of the others way means you are just decreasing the volume, no?
Old 1 week ago
  #2
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TNC's Avatar
 

Another example
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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EQ
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic38 View Post
EQ
So you're telling me you can do what the above examples are doing with just an eq?
Old 1 week ago
  #5
I think that Virgo Four track has just submixed the kick and bass into a shared compressor. The sounds are different enough that careful compressor settings has done OK. I think the Atom track has the kick sidechained into a compressor on the bass (and probably other things).

My personal trick is to choose a primary and secondary instrument from the pair then:
Primary >> Comp Sidechain + Mix
Secondary >> Saturation >> Comp >> Mix

This adds a controllable amount of extra harmonics to the secondary sound which makes it audible even when it gets pushed down by the comp when competing with the primary sound. Compressor tuning usually does the trick. Sometimes a little saturation on each source and mixing both into a compressor can work too depending on the sounds, style and timing.

Nudging attack timing on beats where the two sounds clash hard can work in certain circumstances too.

Note that all of the above tricks can make mastering a bit difficult. It reduces the options for mastering to tame the low end so don't push it too hard and leave some headroom at least.

EQ can help too, believe it or not. Very specific and differing EQ on each can let transients or key frequencies stand out from each part and not clash. For example, narrow notching the bass where the kick attack lives and steeply shelving the kick below 30 Hz might just separate them enough.

Then there is dynamic EQ - having the Kick shelved off below 40Hz when the bass hits for example, but only when the bass hits.

And then there's combining them all. Practice, experimentation and experience will lead to better guesses over what will work with less iteration over time.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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in all fairness you asked.. "what is the first thing you do when kicks and bass clash"

So I answered "eq" cos that is what the first thing i do is... anything else would be after that.. and so, not the first thing..lol

I had no need to listen to any clips to answer the question cos..well, see above

had you asked "how do you think this producer did this" then mebbe i would have listened to the track, but honestly, probably not as its 4am and there are people sleeping..

Quote:
Originally Posted by TNC View Post
So you're telling me you can do what the above examples are doing with just an eq?
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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They're not examples that lend themselves well to a mixing of kick n bass, so I doubt much effort actually went into it. I mean compared to a lot of today's methods of mixing those elements, you can hear that they're all quite cumbersome. I think the DJ Sprinkles track is different because there's a few things that alleviate the issue somewhat right off the bat. Those are that there's chorus on the bass, and the kick is very short and clicky, like 707 clicky/short ( I don't know if that's the kick, I wasn't listening out for it ) but it's a similar type sound.

The Virgo Four track sounds like an almost live sounding kickdrum, and it's probably not sharing any of the bass note frequencies but there are evidently overlaps, sometimes fine pitching of the kick can reinforce the phase cycle of both elements which makes for everything to retain punch even if the frequencies sound muddled.

These days, in audio you have a better overview of their respective phase cycles and you can look at alignment as a means to ensure they reinforce each other, this doesn't take into account their fundamental frequencies so whatever 'pitch' the kick is at, maybe some fine tweaking of that helps it better in terms of that, also, envelopes are better IMO than sidechain compression, it can still be set up to work as a sidechain would but it's less cumbersome, more accurate and user definable than relying on the algorithm of a compressor. LFO Tool, is particularly good at this.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic38 View Post
in all fairness you asked.. "what is the first thing you do when kicks and bass clash"

So I answered "eq" cos that is what the first thing i do is... anything else would be after that.. and so, not the first thing..lol

I had no need to listen to any clips to answer the question cos..well, see above

had you asked "how do you think this producer did this" then mebbe i would have listened to the track, but honestly, probably not as its 4am and there are people sleeping..
You’re right, sorry.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red tape View Post
They're not examples that lend themselves well to a mixing of kick n bass, so I doubt much effort actually went into it. I mean compared to a lot of today's methods of mixing those elements, you can hear that they're all quite cumbersome. I think the DJ Sprinkles track is different because there's a few things that alleviate the issue somewhat right off the bat. Those are that there's chorus on the bass, and the kick is very short and clicky, like 707 clicky/short ( I don't know if that's the kick, I wasn't listening out for it ) but it's a similar type sound.

The Virgo Four track sounds like an almost live sounding kickdrum, and it's probably not sharing any of the bass note frequencies but there are evidently overlaps, sometimes fine pitching of the kick can reinforce the phase cycle of both elements which makes for everything to retain punch even if the frequencies sound muddled.

These days, in audio you have a better overview of their respective phase cycles and you can look at alignment as a means to ensure they reinforce each other, this doesn't take into account their fundamental frequencies so whatever 'pitch' the kick is at, maybe some fine tweaking of that helps it better in terms of that, also, envelopes are better IMO than sidechain compression, it can still be set up to work as a sidechain would but it's less cumbersome, more accurate and user definable than relying on the algorithm of a compressor. LFO Tool, is particularly good at this.
Could you elaborate further on the phase cycles please? On how we could approach their phase cycles to align them? The kick and bass when directly hit on top of each other could result in a smoother mix if their phase cycles were set to not “phase” I assume?

I have seen the Lfo tool also there’s another one Duck by Devious machines I’m checking out.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ambiguous signal View Post
I think that Virgo Four track has just submixed the kick and bass into a shared compressor. The sounds are different enough that careful compressor settings has done OK. I think the Atom track has the kick sidechained into a compressor on the bass (and probably other things).

My personal trick is to choose a primary and secondary instrument from the pair then:
Primary >> Comp Sidechain + Mix
Secondary >> Saturation >> Comp >> Mix

This adds a controllable amount of extra harmonics to the secondary sound which makes it audible even when it gets pushed down by the comp when competing with the primary sound. Compressor tuning usually does the trick. Sometimes a little saturation on each source and mixing both into a compressor can work too depending on the sounds, style and timing.

Nudging attack timing on beats where the two sounds clash hard can work in certain circumstances too.

Note that all of the above tricks can make mastering a bit difficult. It reduces the options for mastering to tame the low end so don't push it too hard and leave some headroom at least.

EQ can help too, believe it or not. Very specific and differing EQ on each can let transients or key frequencies stand out from each part and not clash. For example, narrow notching the bass where the kick attack lives and steeply shelving the kick below 30 Hz might just separate them enough.

Then there is dynamic EQ - having the Kick shelved off below 40Hz when the bass hits for example, but only when the bass hits.

And then there's combining them all. Practice, experimentation and experience will lead to better guesses over what will work with less iteration over time.
I eq the kick to cut out below 50-60hz in most cases depending on the bass and also the mid harmonics seem to clash more so than the lower spectrum. But cutting that out to the point that I’m left with only the subs is not something I wanted to do in this particular track I’m working on. I already cut the low mids from both between somewhere in 200hz-300hz but not because to mix them together so maybe the problem is higher above like 1khz-2khz which I cut using a high shelf but I don’t want to cut up there any further as it provides presence for the bass (I cut the kicks mids and highs much more as I like the 909 kick better that way)

Also I didn’t try compressing them together into a send but they are compressed 2db individually also the master bus has a slight compressor too.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
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Mark Alpine's Avatar
Within a DAW I would use Cableguys Shaperbox2 (VolumeShaper) to carve out the clashing frequencies in the bass sound (leaving the base-drum unaffected). Here's an example on how it works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qylXI92PrP4

If you use hardware, use a compressor on the bass track but feed the side-chain input using the base drum. If the base drum (drum track) has a lot of high frequency content, use a lowpass filter before the side chain such that the compressor only reacts to the lows... The effect will be that everytime the base drum hits, the compressor reacts and reduces the volume of the bass track (this is called ducking).

In the example above using VolumeShaper, the ducking is performed in a multiband fashion (i.e. only the low frequencies of the bass will be cut and the higher frequencies which do not clash with the base drum is left as is) leading to a less intrusive (they call it "invisible") ducking.

Hope it helps. Good luck!
Old 1 week ago
  #12
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The phase cycle is just the positive and negative cycles a waveform takes along its duration. You have a zero crossing and above that is a positive cycle, below it is a negative cycle. Imagine a sinewave, you have the upper and lower squiggle as it travels, the zero crossing is the middle.

The best way to explain the phenomena Im getting at is through phase cancellation. Grab a sound, any sound and duplicate it and play them both together, then use a device ( I use Ableton Live's Utility ) to flip / invert the phase on just one of them. The result will be silence as they are both cancelling each other out.

When it comes to kick and bass coincinding, you'll never have silence as they're not the same sound but you can get a percentage of that cancellation which means a weaker signal - which can sometimes come over as 'hollow' or lacking punch or just plain weird. ( Not always, sometimes it just works when it shouldn't )

You get a better visual on this in audio, put a kick on a channel and a bass sound on another and zoom in so you can see both elements and listen to how they sound whilst looping over and over. Try to align the bass better so its cycles line up with the kicks cycles. It's not always possible as both will have different waveforms but you'll often fall into a place where they're better sounding and will be reinforcing each other rather than cancelling each other out. It's not magic but it's just another element to add to the other elements which can improve things.

If you're using synth bass, try to look for an option to reset the phase with every note on, this will give your synth bass waveform consistency and the ame phase cycle will be repeated. A free running oscillator will be unpredictable and probably not an obvious choice for bass duties.

None of this takes into account pitch, sometimes adjusting the kicks pitch might be all you need too, that in itself will alter the phase relationship as the cycle will change ( become faster or slower ) depending on whether you increase or decrease the pitch.

You can try these things and then additional things like envelopes - which may or may not work like ducking / sidechaining, often with an envelope, you can get pinpoint accuracy and it happens exactly how you see it, every time. A lot better than sidechaining IMO, sidechaining has uses and can deliver specific effects but for simple volume shaping / ducking, it's easily outclassed by envelopes. Yeah, LFO Tool is great, you have stuff like Gatekeeper too, or if your DAW allows for it, even that.


[EDIT] Re: EQ, I prefer broader q's for low frequencies which means I'm reluctant to do notching in low frequencies, I hear artifacts so I personally prefer to look at other options before considering that, and some of these, or all of them might be as much as I need, not mentioned transients too - it can be suprising how much the sound gets affected by these when you think it's about frequencies, so these are worth a look - as are everything mentioned. The answers usually lie in some of them somewhere.

Last edited by red tape; 1 week ago at 01:15 PM.. Reason: forgot something
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNC View Post
...because their fundamental is around the same frequency, what is the first thing you do apart from changing the patch/sample
Sidechain compression. Listen to the kick naked, bring in the bass and note the point at which the bassdrum loses its clarity (on headphones). The difference to the original bass level is the gain reduction you roughly need.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

eq

kicks should be cut around 80
Old 1 week ago
  #15
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XAXAU's Avatar
Have never had a kick and bass problem but I always sidechain a bit plus tune them to the tonic or a fifth apart
Old 1 week ago
  #16
How about trying multiband compression with sidechain.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
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Decay on the kick makes a big difference. Shorter means i can sidechain and duck the bass. The kick will stay nice and clear and the bass will sustain a lot longer after its initial ducking.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
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Easy - kick with a short decay (transient is most important), high-pass filtered for a bit of snap, plus bass using a low-pass filtered pulse wave with a long decay; kick feeds the sidechain of the bass compressor.

This has worked for years, long before electronic kick and bass, and there's plenty of flexibility to season to taste.
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