Tips for Making a Solid Sub-Bass

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
H20nly
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Re: Tips for Making a Solid Sub-Bass

Post by H20nly » Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:16 pm

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Sternenlicht
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Re: Tips for Making a Solid Sub-Bass

Post by Sternenlicht » Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:39 pm

I was on the bass quest for quiete a while.

I tryed everything, i.e. stacking, sidechaining, eq, etc.

It turned out to be, the square wave is needed, i was fooled by all the sine /triangle remarks. Its probably related to which type of music you want to make.
For techno /psytrance, this works:

Your synth nees to do the following:

You need two filter envelopes, or a filter envelope which is designable, in the following shape. ADSR.

^\_
___\

Essentially you need an offset for the filter envelops attack, the square wave needs to let pass the first edge of the square, with the length of the release you control how much low frequency you let pass for one note. Play a low note in the C2 register to trigger the synth. You can then EQ the produced sound if you dont want the high end. A low pass filter is of course needed.

The advantage here is, that you dont need to stack a middle end, you just determine the amount of middle characteristic with the EQ.

Create a baseline, and then use abletons groove pool to do rythmic variatons on the midi files to add swing to your baseline.

Either use a kick drum which is trimmed to the root note of your bassline, or use a kickdrum synth. (Or synthesize your own with operator.) I use bazzism (20€ vst) for the kick.) The shorter the kickdrums bass is, the more groovy your baseline can be. Because you dont have to fear the overlapping that much. (Phase cancellation as mentioned above.)

I also use a multiband saturation plugin from fab filter, where you can split the bands of your signal, and add harmonics if needed. If you EQ to much out, you can balance it with saturation.

Its also tempting to overdo the bass sound, i.e. make it too loud, its better to keep the levels for everything at -6 or -12 db or lower. You can add either on the drum bus, or on the master an compressor. If you like to add character from the compressor, it will be be driving more when its louder, so you need to have enough headroom free to run its algorythm at high volume.
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Stromkraft
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Re: Tips for Making a Solid Sub-Bass

Post by Stromkraft » Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:15 pm

This discussion as well many others and many hours of sub work made me, on a related side-note, pick up Waves Center. I've tried multiple methods to collapse any stereo information in the bass spectrum to mono and I felt this plug-in was interesting enough to check out.

(Updated: I dropped the originally mentioned plug-in so the above is what I use now).
Last edited by Stromkraft on Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:52 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Angstrom
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Re: Tips for Making a Solid Sub-Bass

Post by Angstrom » Thu Oct 22, 2015 12:09 am

Stromkraft wrote:This discussion as well many others and many hours of sub work made me, on a related side-note, pick up Moongoose from Box Digital Labs. I've tried multiple methods to collapse any stereo information in the bass spectrum to mono and felt this plug-in was interesting enough to check out. I think it might not be $25 for much longer. I'll give you a report somewhere as soon as I've tried it.
Did you try using EQ8 in mid/side mode? That's what I do.
When you switch to S to see the stereo 'difference' content. Kill the low freqs in there to collapse to mono.

Stromkraft
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Re: Tips for Making a Solid Sub-Bass

Post by Stromkraft » Thu Oct 22, 2015 12:27 pm

Angstrom wrote:
Stromkraft wrote:This discussion as well many others and many hours of sub work made me, on a related side-note, pick up Waves Center. I've tried multiple methods to collapse any stereo information in the bass spectrum to mono and felt this plug-in was interesting enough to check out.
Did you try using EQ8 in mid/side mode? That's what I do.
When you switch to S to see the stereo 'difference' content. Kill the low freqs in there to collapse to mono.
Yes, but I reserve m/s for when I specifically need it. It's possible I know too little about m/s to do it completely right, but it seems to me that when I've tried it with different encoders, panning of mono material is (naturally I suppose) converted to side information and the resulting total signal haven't been mono compatible either, which is sometimes acceptable and sometimes not. What Waves Center offers is somewhat different, not necessarily better, but different.
Last edited by Stromkraft on Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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jlgrimes
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Re: Tips for Making a Solid Sub-Bass

Post by jlgrimes » Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:56 pm

penguinpajamas wrote:Hey guys! So I'm curious as to what I can do to make a sub-bass really sound great. Do I want to start with a sine wave and add saturation and distortion to add some high-end? Do I want to start with a saw wave or something and filter out the higher frequencies and boost the lower ones?

I'm curious as to any and all tricks and tips you guys are willing to share relating to sub-bass, as I love me a good sounding sub-bass and I'd love any advice I can get.

Thanks,
Charlie
Genre is important. Different genres will have different standards on how a sub bass sounds.

In a lot of electronica, a sub bass is a layer to provide foundation for a more midrange bass. While Rap will have more sub and less midrange.

penguinpajamas
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Re: Tips for Making a Solid Sub-Bass

Post by penguinpajamas » Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:09 am

I suppose the person I most aspire to when it comes to sub bass is Jamie XX.

https://youtu.be/0fOHh5Q7Q1E

I find the sub-bass in this song, for instance, absolutely phenomenal. Especially at parts in the song like 4:30.

Any advice on how to head in this direction?

puzzlefactory
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Re: Tips for Making a Solid Sub-Bass

Post by puzzlefactory » Sun Oct 25, 2015 5:57 am

That sounds to me like a sine with a long release setting, a slow pitch envelope and an acoustic kick sample layered over the top.

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