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Tips for giving synth bass punch
Old 22nd May 2006
  #31
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BradM's Avatar
This is great stuff Dave! I feel like I just read something in Latin

The synth was a Juno106 so it doesn't have nearly the amount of flexibility that you describe. Basically we just move sliders until we hear something we like. I have about as much command over analog synthesis as a monkey flying an F16.

Brad
Old 22nd May 2006
  #32
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Dave Peck's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan
This is great stuff Dave! I feel like I just read something in Latin

The synth was a Juno106 so it doesn't have nearly the amount of flexibility that you describe.

Brad
Oh yeah, I forgot about that. At least the 106 does have a 24dB/octave filter so that helps. One more tip - do you have access to a RNC compressor? Some folks don't like it on bass, but I've tried it on synth bass in 'supernice' mode and it gets huge! Almost sounds like a suboctave being added to the sound. But I'm still betting the biggest improvement might be changing the bass part completely.

DP
Old 23rd May 2006
  #33
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BradM's Avatar
I don't have the RNC but I do have an RNLA.

I don't want huge or fat bass...I already have that. heh I need punchy.

Brad
Old 23rd May 2006
  #34
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Cojo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan
This is great stuff Dave! I feel like I just read something in Latin

The synth was a Juno106 so it doesn't have nearly the amount of flexibility that you describe. Basically we just move sliders until we hear something we like. I have about as much command over analog synthesis as a money flying an F16.

Brad
heh heh heh
Old 23rd May 2006
  #35
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a little ot..


I know what compression does but what does an explander do?
Old 23rd May 2006
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Umlaaat
a little ot..


I know what compression does but what does an explander do?
Hi.

In opposite to a compressor that compress the audio when it goes over the treshold level, the expander expands the audio when it goes over the treshold.

/Cojo
Old 23rd May 2006
  #37
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cheeky b's Avatar
 

I second the enveloper but seeing as you haven't got logic -- does cubase have an audio to midi capability? Logic has it, it's not always great but it might help give you a way of doubling up with an attack heavy sound. Otherwise if the notes are discrete you can do whatever the cubase equivalent of strip silence is and split the audio up into regions to get your midi timing.

Or just play along and then nudge around until you get it locked.
Old 23rd May 2006
  #38
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Again, it's hard to grok exactly what you need, but if your saying that you're lacking "punch" due to notes being long, try dividing some of the notes. Go in with your scissors tool and cut some of the long notes where the bass drum is hitting. The attack may not be the same as the synths original, but you'll add more rhythmic intensity and the variety in attack could very well be interesting.
Old 23rd May 2006
  #39
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Compression isnt going to give you punch with a sustained bass note. What you need is to ALLOW the transients. This is what the punch.. is.

I would try layering the bass sound with another sound.. something with a good attack portion that you like. Even something like an 808 kick sample just at the start of the note.. you can use your sampler to cut off the delay of the kick leaving just the 808 "clip"

If you do use another bass sound, you have to adjust the EQ of each so you dont get any phase cancellation. Ideally one should be bright (HP filter) for the attack and one should be fat.. for the fat ness.

Also, dont discount looking at your kick to give the whole track punch. Adding lots of upper mids to a kick can lift the track and make everything seem more punchy.

Another idea is to increase your overall headroom (by turning your tracks down!). This gives the mix buss and the speakers some space and you'll find the cones move more freely = more punch.
Old 23rd May 2006
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan
Does anyone have any good tips for making this type of fat Moog-ish sound work in the context of a mix? Would you automate the bass parts to have more attack and then draw in some faked decay?
start at the source and tweak the envelope on the synth... if you cant get enough punch out of that smack it thru a compressor.. if that ****s up the sound too much, try parallel compression.

smack smack smack.

beware tho.. the more punchy things are the tighter the timing has to be....
Old 23rd May 2006
  #41
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan
I don't want huge or fat bass...I already have that. heh I need punchy.

i gotta say, this is a strange conversation. this is your band, you are the engineer, and the notion of retracking with a sound that works better, and even more critically a part that works better, is the one notion you are not open to. but i promise you, any other solution you implement will be marginally satisfactory at best, and while you can employ trickery to impart motion, you will never get long sustained notes to be punchy.

and i say this as a guy who prides himself on encouraging and supporting people.

punch happens on the front end of a sound, it is literally like the action of punching: the attack hits fast and immediately pulls back. a sound that is punchy needs to have an envelope like this, but a punchy sound is useless without an arrangement that exploits its attributes. to that end, the bass needs to hit with some kind of repetition and rhythm to have any meaningful impact.

bass is such a critical element in music, it is the heart of the deep emotional center and, when done well, the primary source of drive, outstripping the mighty drums. if long buzzing droning notes are not exciting you, and i can understand why they're not, there is a very good reason for that and you have my word it's not the tone of the note. whatever resistance you have to rewriting and retracking, i urge you to push into it, deal with the egos involved, and get back to the business of making the music everything it can possibly be and more, starting at the beginning: a sweet part, played on the right instrument, delivered with a moving performance.

to do any less feels like... well, it feels like what you've been dealing with.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 23rd May 2006
  #42
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Ubik,

You are totally right with every point you made. It's not that I am against retracking in principle. It's that I am reluctant to do it in practice since I really need to finish these mixes and move on. I agree that a different part may be better, but I'm not exactly sure what might work better for the track considering the part that the kick drum plays, which is tightly synced into what I have now. Perhaps I should post a snippet here and solicit suggestions. But really--it doesn't matter how the rest of the world wants the song to go, it's how the band wants it to go. I'm going to the studio tonight for rehearsal so I will think about this some more and present the idea to the band to redo the bass tracks. But I'm really not sure that this one is worth fighting over. You have to choose your battles carefully in a band, you know?

FWIW...a friend of mine listened to some rough mixes of the song and I pointed out my concern about this particular bass part. His comment: "What's the problem? It sounds like your band."

thanks,
Brad
Old 10th August 2006
  #43
Gear Maniac
 

The best way to get a punchy synth bass sound is to use a fast pitch envelope. Use a short attack so that the pitch drops to the correct pitch really fast. (dont know if you can do this with the 106). Layer this on top of the original track where punchy notes are needed.
Forget about only compressing the original track.
Old 10th August 2006
  #44
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Somebody mentioned ducking and gating from a kick track. How do you do that?
Thanks
Old 10th August 2006
  #45
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sidechain compression will create a ducking effect.
Old 11th August 2006
  #46
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I second the comment a couple above about pitch envelopes, great way to get punchy bass.
can also be used on flabby kick drums to add punch.
Old 15th August 2006
  #47
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Cojo's Avatar
 

Then I third the comment a couple above about pitch envelopes, great way to get punchy bass... or maby fourth!? heh

...and no, you can't do it with a Juno 106.

/Cojo
Old 27th May 2013
  #48
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run this juno thru ebtech line level shifter
Old 27th May 2013
  #49
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I'm in the "change the sound" camp, rather than processing (compressors etc).

I find it amazing how much you have to mess with a synth sound sometimes, to get it exactly where you want it. It probably seems as if you're "really close." I would try three or four entirely different sounds, playing the same part, and A/B ing them. If you're lucky, one will jump out.

Do remember to take frequent breaks because this stage of decision making is incredibly subjective and it's very easy to find that you're disagreeing with yourself from one time to the next.

As the last poster suggested, another option is to change the arrangement. Punchiness in a part isn't always something that comes from that part. It could be its arrangement, in relation to the kick and snare.
Old 27th May 2013
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Praxisaxis View Post
I'm in the "change the sound" camp, rather than processing (compressors etc).

I find it amazing how much you have to mess with a synth sound sometimes, to get it exactly where you want it. It probably seems as if you're "really close." I would try three or four entirely different sounds, playing the same part, and A/B ing them. If you're lucky, one will jump out.

Do remember to take frequent breaks because this stage of decision making is incredibly subjective and it's very easy to find that you're disagreeing with yourself from one time to the next.

As the last poster suggested, another option is to change the arrangement. Punchiness in a part isn't always something that comes from that part. It could be its arrangement, in relation to the kick and snare.
I think he figured it out as this thread is from 2006. Though your post is still relevant.
Old 27th May 2013
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue Ai View Post
I think he figured it out as this thread is from 2006. Though your post is still relevant.
HE he he ! How come I always do this???? I don't get it.
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