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Tips on keeping subs 'subby' but still keeping the notes audible? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 22nd December 2010
  #1
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Mardi Gras's Avatar
 

Tips on keeping subs 'subby' but still keeping the notes audible?

Questions in the title folks.

My problem is I have a nice sub line between 1 octave lets say the highest note in the sub riff is an E1 and the lowest note is an A0. My problem is that anything lower than C1 isn't even hearable, but when I bump for example the B0 up to a B1 it doesn't seem to sound 'subby enough'
Old 23rd December 2010
  #2
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Bass traps and lots of them, nothing expensive just go and buy some thick insulating fiberglass and put the large slabs thick in the corners with a cover over them.

Then go an buy Arc room equalization software/hardware to iron out the nulls in your room. One note bass and disappearing notes is a sure sign of bass audio bouncing back on itself and nulling the volume.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #3
Gear Head
 

Yeah definitely check the mix with other sources/rooms... car speakers, headphones etc. What's ur monitoring setup - and what sub sound are u using?
Old 23rd December 2010
  #4
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Beermaster's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mardi Gras View Post
Questions in the title folks.

My problem is I have a nice sub line between 1 octave lets say the highest note in the sub riff is an E1 and the lowest note is an A0. My problem is that anything lower than C1 isn't even hearable, but when I bump for example the B0 up to a B1 it doesn't seem to sound 'subby enough'
Change key of the whole riff so lowest notes doesn't drop below your threshold !

( stupid question but if anything lower than C1 is in-audible then how do you know that the original line you played is right to begin with ? ! ! )

Very Strange !

Beer.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beermaster View Post
Change key of the whole riff so lowest notes doesn't drop below your threshold !

( stupid question but if anything lower than C1 is in-audible then how do you know that the original line you played is right to begin with ? ! ! )

Very Strange !

Beer.
Because I compose my subs at a high octave and drop them down :P

The sound I use is a sine wave. I have though of the changing the whole key idea but sometimes i think songs just sound write in the key ive written them in.. dunno
Old 23rd December 2010
  #6
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if the notes disappear at C1 discounting compression/velocity; you need bigger bass cones and make sure that you are sitting in the right place between/far from them.

EDIT : another option use headphones
Old 23rd December 2010
  #7
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im using a7x speakers that range somewhere between 40-20khz is it possible that the notes under c1 are dropping below 40 therefore I cant hear them properly?
Old 23rd December 2010
  #8
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The C that you are talking about is 32.7Hz. I totally concur that this is about the lowest practicably useable frequency. You can pretty much forget anything below that.

Here are my best tips;

1.) As Beermaster says... write the track in a higher key.
I know what you mean about it sounding funny when you switch key, so
* If you know you are going to make a sub-heavy track, start it in a relevant key.
* If you have to change key, it normally only sounds funny for a short while. Sleep on it, in the morning, chances are it will sound fine.

E is about the weightiest key- allowing you to keep hitting the low E at 41.2Hz

Personally, I favour F-sharp.... 46.25 is a nice balance between sub & audibility.

2.) Shelve off the lowest freqs pretty hard on your subs... this will allow you to turn the gain up more and maximise the power of your target frequencies.

3.) Make your sub with a synth, assign an envelope to the oscillator pitch so that your sub starts 7 semitones/an octave higher than the triggered note, then rapidly drops to the
correct frequency. Adjust the speed of the drop to taste.
This works WONDERS for audibility.

4.) Add higher harmonics. Supposedly, the most crucial is the 3rd harmonic (which is an octave & a half (or 3x the original frequency.).).
I've struggled to get much joy from this technique personally, but I know it works for others.
Waves do a bunch of plugs (Maxxbass/RBass), as does Fielding DSP (Reviver) that are pretty much intended for this task, and also Crysonic make Nxstacy which can be used in the same way.
Of course, you can just add your own by playing a note or programming that interval into your synth.
Personally, I tend to find that this takes too much power away from the actual sub... at least when your intention is to have blatant SUB.
... So effectively, you make it more audible... but actually, less subby.

5.) Have sparser arrangements with less going on over the sub... then you can crank the level to occupy all the headroom.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #9
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PS... Read the blurb on the Waves & Fielding DSP pages, even if you don't get the plugs... some interesting info IIRC.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mardi Gras View Post
im using a7x speakers that range somewhere between 40-20khz is it possible that the notes under c1 are dropping below 40 therefore I cant hear them properly?

sorry I got stuck into the christmas booze early last night I read it that you couldn't hear the notes... you should still be able to hear C1, might sound lower in percievable volume than the notes above it but you should still be able to hear it.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #11
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Tarkovsky's Avatar
 

Simple tip - add some noise in the high end of the sub. Nothing too distracting. I use ableton's erosion on wide noise setting.
Essentially this results in a much more audible sub (sounds like the sub is chuffing!).
Old 23rd December 2010
  #12
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simonator View Post

Personally, I favour F-sharp.... 46.25 is a nice balance between sub & audibility.

i dont know why but i love this note so much
Old 23rd December 2010
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christosm View Post
i dont know why but i love this note so much
I've knocked out a few tracks in F-sharp minor recently. Here's what the wikipedia page says about the key:

Characteristics

F sharp minor has been described as 'light red' by Harry Farjeon.[citation needed]
Johann Mattheson, in 1713, wrote "F♯ minor, although it leads to great distress, nevertheless is more languid and love-sick than lethal. Moreover, it has something abandoned, singular, and misanthropic about it." On a similar theme, Harry Farjeon wrote that it is the key that Mendelssohn uses when being passionate.[citation needed]
It is generally believed to be melancholy and gloomy.
We cannot well accompany the Devil in any key but F♯ minor – Anon. 1828
Heavy metal guitarist Michael Angelo Batio has cited this key and F sharp phrygian dominant as his favourite. He has described F sharp minor as a "demonic" key, giving a dark, evil sound.
According To The Gregory Brothers, this is the most demeaning and elitist key
Old 23rd December 2010
  #14
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rushton's Avatar
 

Any idea what key is uplifting but not super happy and cheesy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simonator View Post
I've knocked out a few tracks in F-sharp minor recently. Here's what the wikipedia page says about the key:

Characteristics

F sharp minor has been described as 'light red' by Harry Farjeon.[citation needed]
Johann Mattheson, in 1713, wrote "F♯ minor, although it leads to great distress, nevertheless is more languid and love-sick than lethal. Moreover, it has something abandoned, singular, and misanthropic about it." On a similar theme, Harry Farjeon wrote that it is the key that Mendelssohn uses when being passionate.[citation needed]
It is generally believed to be melancholy and gloomy.
We cannot well accompany the Devil in any key but F♯ minor – Anon. 1828
Heavy metal guitarist Michael Angelo Batio has cited this key and F sharp phrygian dominant as his favourite. He has described F sharp minor as a "demonic" key, giving a dark, evil sound.
According To The Gregory Brothers, this is the most demeaning and elitist key
Old 23rd December 2010
  #15
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simonator View Post
I've knocked out a few tracks in F-sharp minor recently. Here's what the wikipedia page says about the key:

Characteristics

F sharp minor has been described as 'light red' by Harry Farjeon.[citation needed]
Johann Mattheson, in 1713, wrote "F♯ minor, although it leads to great distress, nevertheless is more languid and love-sick than lethal. Moreover, it has something abandoned, singular, and misanthropic about it." On a similar theme, Harry Farjeon wrote that it is the key that Mendelssohn uses when being passionate.[citation needed]
It is generally believed to be melancholy and gloomy.
We cannot well accompany the Devil in any key but F♯ minor – Anon. 1828
Heavy metal guitarist Michael Angelo Batio has cited this key and F sharp phrygian dominant as his favourite. He has described F sharp minor as a "demonic" key, giving a dark, evil sound.
According To The Gregory Brothers, this is the most demeaning and elitist key
got the message
i knew theres smthng wrong with me but never felt closer to Lucifer than i do now heh
still love it anyway
Old 23rd December 2010
  #16
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Simonator's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by christosm View Post
got the message
i knew theres smthng wrong with me but never felt closer to Lucifer than i do now heh
still love it anyway
LMAO :-)


Quote:
Originally Posted by rushton View Post
Any idea what key is uplifting but not super happy and cheesy?
Ha... I think 'it's not the key, but what you do with it'!
Old 23rd December 2010
  #17
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atma's Avatar
use a subwoofer? the adams aren't going to be able to replicate frequencies that low with any accuracy. you can always stack a 2nd oscillator an octave up on top of the sub osc..
Old 23rd December 2010
  #18
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Mardi Gras's Avatar
 

did the 7 semi tones high envelope thing, does sound a lot better indeed!
Old 23rd December 2010
  #19
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rushton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simonator View Post
LMAO :-)




Ha... I think 'it's not the key, but what you do with it'!
No C always sounds super happy and cheesy
Old 23rd December 2010
  #20
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rushton's Avatar
 

Ive got a favorite key I always jam in for some reason but i can never figure out what it is. I asked my piano teacher once and she couldnt figure out what it was either. I know Alan Braxe's Intro is in the same key though.
Old 24th December 2010
  #21
Gear Head
 

Good info Simonator. Thanks for sharing.
Old 24th December 2010
  #22
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Simonator's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mardi Gras View Post
did the 7 semi tones high envelope thing, does sound a lot better indeed!
I think I used this trick on all of the following tracks:








... with different speed envelopes on each. You audibly can hear the envelope is quite slow on the first of those (When You Cared) if you cut to when the house beat comes in after the break. I'm also playing sequentially lower midi notes... so you almost get like a slide effect.

On the second two tracks, it's just a simple sub hit prior to the end of every few bars rather than a full sub-line.
Old 24th December 2010
  #23
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Simonator's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fancy_terry View Post
Good info Simonator. Thanks for sharing.
thumbsup
Old 24th December 2010
  #24
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Simonator's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rushton View Post
No C always sounds super happy and cheesy
Really?

Are you talking about C major? Even with that I'm sure it's a matter of what you do with it.
Old 24th December 2010
  #25
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rushton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simonator View Post
Really?

Are you talking about C major? Even with that I'm sure it's a matter of what you do with it.
Yeah, maybe it's just me then but I can never do anything I actually like with C major
Old 24th December 2010
  #26
Bass chords instead of bass notes Mix to taste...
Old 24th December 2010
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rushton View Post
Yeah, maybe it's just me then but I can never do anything I actually like with C major
I just made this attachment (mp3 audio sample at bottom of post below picture) which is a C-major progression (I, vii, IV, ii with some extensions & inversions.)... solely C major, nothing too fancy... I wouldn't say it was 'super happy & cheesy'... and this is just the major scale.

I wouldn't say that C is necessarily that 'cheesy' intrinsically.

Attached Files

C major.mp3 (768.3 KB, 72 views)

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