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 Post subject: when bass sounds out of tune
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:42 am
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This is probably a very basic question but I will ask anyway. I notice my bass sounds often sound out of tune even when they aren't. I am not sure why this is so; I understand this commonly happens and is more psychoacoustic than real.

But what does one do about it? Is it related to the harmonics and partials? Is it related to bass being too loud? I don't think it is a room effect because I hear it on my headphones too...

Any advice will be appreciated

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 Post subject: Re: when bass sounds out of tune
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:02 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 3:02 am
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What are you using to make these bass sounds? Did you look at them on a tuning spectrum to make sure the root tone is in place? Are there any detunjngs, or possibly off tuned elements (samples etc)?


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 Post subject: Re: when bass sounds out of tune
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:14 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:44 am
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Location: Melbourne/Australia
I also have experienced this. I think it is the way we hear sub bass frequencies.

I agree that is is a perceived issue.

At times,I have changed the root note of sub frequencies to make it sound 'right', even though it is musically incorrect.

Years ago, I first realised this psychoacoustic effect & the perception of sub bass frequencies while sticking my fingers in my ears at an outdoor music festival. It seemed to change the note of the sub frequency close to a semitone, but not have any effect on the higher frequencies.

I have no scientific explanation as to why this is so.

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 Post subject: Re: when bass sounds out of tune
PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:02 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:42 am
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We clearly need Ethan Winer. Is Ethan Winer on this forum?

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 Post subject: Re: when bass sounds out of tune
PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:51 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:50 am
Posts: 2233
what basses are we talking about here? how are you creating them, and what processing are they going through?


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 Post subject: Re: when bass sounds out of tune
PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:54 am 

Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:44 am
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The Finn wrote:
We clearly need Ethan Winer. Is Ethan Winer on this forum?


He would know the reason why. He's probably too busy selling bass traps to hang around hear ;) Ethan rocks!

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 Post subject: Re: when bass sounds out of tune
PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:49 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 2:22 pm
Posts: 12598
Other than the previous suggestions it could be one of your drums are out of tune, giving a false perspective.

Quick tip to tune a kick is : pitch it up two octaves, tune it in semitones and "fine", then pitch it back down two octaves.

Many people have out of tune kicks, snares can also cause issues.

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 Post subject: Re: when bass sounds out of tune
PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:16 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:43 pm
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Do you play only the root notes of the chord Played at the moment? Or do you use other tones of the scale too? Whats musically correct in the Upper registers isnt always correct in the lower ones. The lower the octave the less intervals of the scale fit in without sounding wrong

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 Post subject: Re: when bass sounds out of tune
PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:24 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:42 am
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Location: beneath mouse mountain
I am talking about single notes here.
I am pretty sure it is a psychoacoustic issue
Not sure how to correct or handle it.

Thing is: knowing it ain't out of tune is no help if it it sounds out of tune.

I hear when I am using a sampled electric bass, or a simple Operator sub bass.

I am tempted to tune the bass a few cents lower just so it sounds right, as per Sibanger says... but I worry about what if the problem is mostly a room effect / effect of how it is 'mastered' (such as it is) ... so that if that is sorted, the bass will now be too low.

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 Post subject: Re: when bass sounds out of tune
PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 5:48 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:19 pm
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Location: SF, CA
The Finn wrote:
I am pretty sure it is a psychoacoustic issue

sounds like you're overthinking it. there's something you don't get so you're assigning it to some unknown boogie man.

a note can be in key but some notes will create tension while others create release.

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 Post subject: Re: when bass sounds out of tune
PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:40 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:42 am
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Well, it the note is in the root note of the scale I don't expect it to sound out of key :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: when bass sounds out of tune
PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:48 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:19 pm
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Location: SF, CA
:roll:

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 Post subject: Re: when bass sounds out of tune
PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:33 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:50 am
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there are various things that might cause a bass to sound out of tune.

perhaps post up a simple example set so we can check it out?


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 Post subject: Re: when bass sounds out of tune
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:23 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:42 am
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OK, will do when I find a good example.

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 Post subject: Re: when bass sounds out of tune
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:34 pm 

Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 9:38 pm
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Location: Ireland
Angstrom wrote:
Other than the previous suggestions it could be one of your drums are out of tune, giving a false perspective.

Quick tip to tune a kick is : pitch it up two octaves, tune it in semitones and "fine", then pitch it back down two octaves.

Many people have out of tune kicks, snares can also cause issues.

Thats a good tip! I often get stuck with drum tunings and suspect them when something seems 'off' but I'm not sure what. Does my head in! and sometimes I end up making too many adjustments and have to return to an earlier version when things still clicked (losing a bunch of other changes in the process).

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