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Feedback: New deep-afro-house track with exotic scale & monstrous sub-bass Studio Monitors
Old 26th December 2010
  #1
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Feedback: New deep-afro-house track with exotic scale & monstrous sub-bass

I just created this:



Spent quite a bit of time on this over the past few days... It's currently totally burnt into in my brain so I constantly hear it even when it's not playing... just as if I'd had my retina burnt by a light.
As such, it's difficult for me to be objective... so what do you think?


Mix is sounding tight here... but my room is untreated. How is that bass coming across to you guys with decent monitoring?


Does anyone have any other feedback/recommendations?


Cheers
Old 26th December 2010
  #2
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Forgot to state... the scale mentioned in the thread title in an Ethiopian mode called Anchi-Hoye.

Originally the high synth bass was intended to be performed on an 303 acid style synth... I'm starting to question if that might be better after all. Any thoughts on that?
Will perhaps try tomorrow.

Think I'm going to drop out the viola at 3.14... don't know what that is supposed to be doing besides annoying me.
Old 27th December 2010
  #3
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Hypnocil's Avatar
That's lovely - even through horrible laptop speakers.

I guess the viola has already gone?
Old 27th December 2010
  #4
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It's a little lump/boxy at 300-600hz and there's a huge hole 1.5>3.5khz (perhaps the missing flute caused you to make that hole...?) Kick could use a bit more bottom octave too though it is flat & consistent with the sub atm.
Old 27th December 2010
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypnocil View Post
That's lovely - even through horrible laptop speakers.
Cheers :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypnocil View Post
I guess the viola has already gone?
Nope... still in there right now, but only until next time I open the project.

It's pretty low in the mix & drowned in reverb... only about 3/4 notes/chords just leading into where the kick drops.

... I somehow could feel there should be a string thrill there... but can't get anything that sounds good.

Perhaps it's better left bare. I think it's easy to over-do the extraneous ear candy and I've packed quite a lot in to this one all ready.
Old 27th December 2010
  #6
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Hey Valis,

Thanks for your very specific feedback. Good stuff!

I'm going to fire up the studio & look into this... but some questions for you:

Quote:
Originally Posted by valis View Post
It's a little lump/boxy at 300-600hz
Is this being caused by the organ? It was a bitch to work with trying to get it to sit down there.

Do you think this is something I should address with an EQ over my master channel, or something to take a look at within the mix?

Quote:
Originally Posted by valis View Post
there's a huge hole 1.5>3.5khz (perhaps the missing flute caused you to make that hole...?)
Ha... is this an indirect suggestion to add a flute???

Not a bad call actually.

If not, is that 'hole' problematic do you feel? I'm loving the way the elements of the track interact as I play it back & feel that it sounds complete... Should I endeavor to fill EVERY frequency?

I'm really liking the flute suggestion. I actually have a real flute too (not that I can play it!) heh

Quote:
Originally Posted by valis View Post
Kick could use a bit more bottom octave too though it is flat & consistent with the sub atm.
Please could you elaborate on what you mean by this, because I don't understand.

More sub on the kick? After the initial attack, it actually centers on the E at 41.2 Hz.
Perhaps it just needs more sustain/release... but I felt I quite liked it how it is.

'consistent with the sub'??


Thanks
Old 27th December 2010
  #7
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OK, listened again on some speakers worthy of the name.

Now I hear the viola, just about
I agree you could add a little something there as a lead-in.

For me the only element that doesn't quite sit as well as it might is that bass line. It's quite a contrast with the rest of the track, but maybe that's what you are after.
Old 27th December 2010
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypnocil View Post
I agree you could add a little something there as a lead-in.
Do you reckon? I was thinking just kill that string & leave it bare.

I'm often guilty of making too much effort to tart up transitions... often a lighter touch is the best option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypnocil View Post
For me the only element that doesn't quite sit as well as it might is that bass line. It's quite a contrast with the rest of the track, but maybe that's what you are after.
No, I think you are right.

I'm going to try a 303 style bass today... I think if I keep the filter cut-off low I might be able to make it sit in the track more naturally than the present part. What do you think?
Old 27th December 2010
  #9
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Very cool track over all. I think you want a little more sidechain compression on certain parts - nothing to obvious, but just a 3-4db duck on some of the parts as for me the kick is getting lost a bit in the denser parts of the track.


I would also add in an open hi hat as the track progresses, would give it more of a classic housey techno feel which I would like to hear in there. Maybe add another shaker in there too play a consistant 16th rhythm, very low in the mix, but I find this usually thickens things out loads.

Like the track alot though in general
Old 27th December 2010
  #10
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Hey,

Thanks for your feedback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludwig View Post
Very cool track over all. I think you want a little more sidechain compression on certain parts - nothing to obvious, but just a 3-4db duck on some of the parts as for me the kick is getting lost a bit in the denser parts of the track.
Okay... will experiment.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludwig View Post
I would also add in an open hi hat as the track progresses, would give it more of a classic housey techno feel which I would like to hear in there.
Actually trying to avoid this off-beat hat if at all possible.

Beside actually just disliking them in general right now (silly thing to say, I know!), I found with this track that it does break the flow/rhythm of this music.

Hmmm. I don't know. Maybe I should. Hmmm


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludwig View Post
Maybe add another shaker in there too play a consistant 16th rhythm, very low in the mix, but I find this usually thickens things out loads.
I can't tell if you are saying this is a good thing, or a bad thing... I think you mean that the track would benefit from a 16th shaker in ... but it could make the track too busy???



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludwig View Post
Like the track alot though in general
Thanks :-)
Old 27th December 2010
  #11
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+1 on the bassline. does not fit so well.
but overall great deep track. sounds tight here!

i love the pattern @ 1:42 and how you blend to the next part by increasing the delays!

Could be a bit more pumpy for my taste, but maybe that's not what you're after.

The overall frequency balance sounds very good to me. (except hte bassline)
Old 27th December 2010
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evosilica View Post
+1 on the bassline. does not fit so well.
but overall great deep track. sounds tight here!

i love the pattern @ 1:42 and how you blend to the next part by increasing the delays!

Could be a bit more pumpy for my taste, but maybe that's not what you're after.

The overall frequency balance sounds very good to me. (except hte bassline)
Cheers.


I've just had an idea... maybe if I can get a good bass marimba I could make the bass into pitched percussion... which would then make a lot more sense in the context of the track... and perhaps be the icing needed to lift this track.
Old 27th December 2010
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simonator View Post


Actually trying to avoid this off-beat hat if at all possible.

Beside actually just disliking them in general right now (silly thing to say, I know!), I found with this track that it does break the flow/rhythm of this music.

Hmmm. I don't know. Maybe I should. Hmmm




I can't tell if you are saying this is a good thing, or a bad thing... I think you mean that the track would benefit from a 16th shaker in ... but it could make the track too busy???





Thanks :-)
haha leave the hat out then it's your track!

no I meant good thing, I think try a shaker, by thickening out I just mean it can add more depth, make sure to cut loads of frequency out though, you just want it shaking about at the top there.
Old 27th December 2010
  #14
House? Keep the kick on lower octave achievable. I won't mention the phatness factor here. Bass should earn some little distortion maybe. Some tiny reverb for those hats and make them not so close, too.
Old 27th December 2010
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simonator View Post
Do you reckon? I was thinking just kill that string & leave it bare.

I'm often guilty of making too much effort to tart up transitions... often a lighter touch is the best option.

No, I think you are right.

I'm going to try a 303 style bass today... I think if I keep the filter cut-off low I might be able to make it sit in the track more naturally than the present part. What do you think?
I am often guilty of over-elaboration too Try and it and see perhaps.

Yes, I think a low cutoff would help. I also like your bass marimba idea!
Old 27th December 2010
  #16
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Hi, thanks for feedback... but I'm struggling to understand...

Quote:
Originally Posted by i604 View Post
House?
? Are you saying that this is not house?


Quote:
Originally Posted by i604 View Post
Keep the kick on lower octave achievable.
?

Quote:
Originally Posted by i604 View Post
I won't mention the phatness factor here.
? Please do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by i604 View Post
Bass should earn some little distortion maybe.
... The bass is definitely an issue... going to try to fix that today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by i604 View Post
Some tiny reverb for those hats and make them not so close, too.
There is already a fair bit of reverb on my hats. How do you mean 'close'... in terms of timing or in the stereo field?


Thanks.
Old 27th December 2010
  #17
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Listening on iphone it sounds good, but the bass line (timbre and tonality) is def too different from the rest of the track...it should stand out, but I think you should look at a different sound for that bassline...just my 2 cents.
Old 27th December 2010
  #18
my 2 cents explained

I mean MORE housey, so the kick should be straight in the face of the listener. Phat means that some compression should - maybe - be applied. Bass should be complementary of kick, strong enough but sharing less frequencies possible with the kicks. Hat = not so close in the stereo-field.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mekohler View Post
the bass line (timbre and tonality) is def too different from the rest of the track...
A little distortion, maybe?
Old 27th December 2010
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i604 View Post
A little distortion, maybe?
As the bass stands out too much, i'm sceptic that generating extra harmonics will help, i'd rather try the opposite and filter the bass.
Old 27th December 2010
  #20
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listening on cans so mix wise its hard to judge the bass, kick issue but according to my HD215's (not the greatest I admit) that sub and kick is heavy enough and sitting well together. anyway............. I'm seriously loving this simon !!, the soundscape is great and I think the transition with the bass part is nice maybe it could be a different choice of wave but IMO it sounds good as is and breaks up the track well..as for adding things I don't know I've had a couple of run throughs now and the only suggestion if any is that towards the end say 4.50 onwards where you have the string/pad in the background you maybe add a hamony or change the notes going up in scale as it slowly fades out so that its gives the impression of leading to something ie the closing of the track.

athumbsup from me.
Old 27th December 2010
  #21
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all id like to see added is a long risier with a bit more of a drop somewhere but even without its a nice work..thumbsup
Old 27th December 2010
  #22
Simonator you're a sick..sick man. Ubercool main Love it.Hope it gets signed.Big ups.
Old 27th December 2010
  #23
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^ Lol!


Cheers for the feedback all of you.

Just to say that the bass is now GONE!!!

Got a marimba in place of it doing that part, and it's infinitely better, plus makes MUCH more sense in the context of the track. No idea why I didn't try this before.

Just going to take a little bit of effort to vary the velocities to add a dynamic to the part now... much easier for lazy me to automate the filter on a synth :-o
Old 27th December 2010
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genieg View Post
towards the end say 4.50 onwards where you have the string/pad in the background you maybe add a hamony or change the notes going up in scale as it slowly fades out so that its gives the impression of leading to something ie the closing of the track.
Nice one Eugene. Going to try this thumbsup


At one point whilst writing I was thinking about adding another similar line in to move a little & possibly throw in a little dissonance... but maybe I should just move this one a little... keep it cleaner.
Old 27th December 2010
  #25
Not much to add, but that main marimba line is very nice, great melody thumbsup

Kick is getting lost for me in parts as mentioned, lots of subs competing with it so...



.
Old 28th December 2010
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simonator View Post
^ Lol!


Cheers for the feedback all of you.

Just to say that the bass is now GONE!!!

Got a marimba in place of it doing that part, and it's infinitely better, plus makes MUCH more sense in the context of the track. No idea why I didn't try this before.

Just going to take a little bit of effort to vary the velocities to add a dynamic to the part now... much easier for lazy me to automate the filter on a synth :-o
I'm a bit late to the party, but must say I didn't like the bass sound either but some good ideas in there otherwise. So where's the new improved version?
Old 28th December 2010
  #27
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you might find replacing the bass with a 303 with a longer release might sound nice and fill the 3k+ hole. I feel the track needs more sparkle(high freqs) in general to crisp it out a bit.

What are the notes in that scale?
Old 28th December 2010
  #28
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Thanks so much for all the feedback so far... you've been a massive help!

I just put a new mix up:




- Replaced high-bass with marimba

- Lost the viola

- More pumpy

- New (subtle) additional higher string on top of what was there

- More dynamic, yet weighty mix

- Lots of general refinement



What do you think to this now?

Specifically, I'm a bit concerned about the organ... is it too big/bloated?
I feared it wouldn't come through in the club, so I've been pumping it up on steroids.
It sounded okay on my monitors... but now a little bit dangerous on the laptop speakers.

Any/all constructive feedback appreciated :-)
Old 29th December 2010
  #29
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subs could use some boosting, like 2dB or so. I almost cant hear them
Old 29th December 2010
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mardi Gras View Post
subs could use some boosting, like 2dB or so. I almost cant hear them
Thanks.

Does anyone else agree with this? ... Sub is sounding pretty huge on my monitors.

Mardi Gras, what speakers are you listening on?
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