Special Announcement: We have migrated to a new forum platform community.dsf.ninja. The old forum is locked, but it will remain open for reading. Read more.

bass compression/distortion

hardware, software, tips and tricks
Forum rules
By using this "Production" sub-forum, you acknowledge that you have read, understood and agreed with our terms of use for this site. Click HERE to read them. If you do not agree to our terms of use, you must exit this site immediately. We do not accept any responsibility for the content, submissions, information or links contained herein. Users posting content here, do so completely at their own risk.

Quick Link to Feedback Forum

Postby juffajo » Sun Dec 31, 2006 4:14 pm

ahoy there. got quite a few questions about compressing and distorting basslines and kick drums.

first off, most of my basslines involve distortion, so i usually have one bass synth all distorted and another playing the same part with clean sine waves which i don't distort, so as not to ruin those sub frequencies. is this common practice for distorted basslines?

i've heard people talk about compresssing different bass sounds togther so as to reduce the dynamic range, bring out quieter frequencies, etc. when people do this, do they create a group track with the different bass sounds n then compress the group channel? and if this is whats done, do you compress the bass sounds on their own channel as well as on the group channel? ordo you use side-chain compression (somethin i don't understand in the slightest... :? )

and with kick drums.....

do people eq out the low frequencies of their kick drums so as not to interfere with the bass?

and lastly, do poeple compress their kick drums and bass sounds together?

these kind of posts often get replies like "whatever works for you" or "just do what sounds right". whether its because i don't have an ear for these things or because my moniters are a little shitty, i've been battlin with these questions for a while now, and whilst i have my own theories, i'd like to hear what oother producers with more production experience than me have to say.

safe,
dan
juffajo
 
Posts:
8
Joined:
Wed Nov 08, 2006 6:11 pm

Postby thump rat » Sun Dec 31, 2006 9:19 pm

When making a bass i tend to use more than two channels, you can seperate them by frequencies (i use kontakt for this) then you can manipulate each one seperately, whether using distortin or filters etc.

To Eq a kick,m just simply use an eq and roll it off where you want, i normally like it punching in at about 80-90.
User avatar
thump rat
 
Posts:
1255
Joined:
Sat May 06, 2006 10:07 pm

Postby indi » Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:45 am

I like to cut my kicks at 100 and then sidechain them to the bassline to make them come through with more punch.

As for compression, I often make clone channels of the bass and put them into individual slots to filter different frequencies, then adjust the levels and mash the lot together using compressor and a limiter on the master. And then resample.
Image
Image
User avatar
indi
 
Posts:
86
Joined:
Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:14 am
Location:
Nanjing China

Postby indi » Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:50 am

EDIT - oops duplicate post
Image
Image
User avatar
indi
 
Posts:
86
Joined:
Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:14 am
Location:
Nanjing China

Postby drift » Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:35 pm

juffajo wrote: side-chain compression (somethin i don't understand in the slightest... :? )


Side Chaining

This feature uses the dynamic level of another input to control the compression level of the signal. This is used by disc jockeys to lower the music volume automatically when speaking, for example (known as ducking). A frequency-specific compressor (often used for de-essing) may be constructed by feeding a high-pass filtered copy of the original signal into the side-chain input of the compressor so that volume reduction on the original signal only takes place when a specific frequency is present in large amounts (such as sibilant sounds that tend to overdrive preemphasized media such as phonograph records and FM radio). Another use of the side-chain in music production serves to maintain a loud bass track, while still keeping the bass out of the way of the drum when the drum hits.

check the link for the source of this ^^ mate

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_leve ... e-chaining

8)
User avatar
drift
 
Posts:
194
Joined:
Tue Nov 21, 2006 1:40 am

Postby juffajo » Thu Jan 04, 2007 12:12 am

thanks for the explanation of sidechaining....that all makes sense...now how dya do it?
juffajo
 
Posts:
8
Joined:
Wed Nov 08, 2006 6:11 pm

Postby drift » Thu Jan 04, 2007 12:22 am

juffajo wrote:thanks for the explanation of sidechaining....that all makes sense...now how dya do it?



what do you use to write ya tunes ?

logic / cubase / reason / other ?
User avatar
drift
 
Posts:
194
Joined:
Tue Nov 21, 2006 1:40 am

Postby indi » Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:33 am

How to sidechain in FL


First, wack your kicks and bass into seperate mixer channels.

Next put a fruity peak controller on the kick drums channel.

Next put a fruity balance on the bass channel.

Next, keep the fruity balance infront of you and right click volume knob and select 'Link to controller...'

Now a 'remote control settings' box will pop up, if you look around about the upper middle you'll see a box labled 'Internal controller'. Click the drag down bar and a set of things to link to should pop up.
diagram... Now select the 'peak ctrl FX #' depending on which channel you placed the peak controller you want to link to.
Now select the 'peak' parameter and only the peak parameter. So if you only had one peak controller running, it probably would be the one in the middle.
Then, just below, click on 'Mapping Formula' and another list of things should pop up. You want the bass to duck whenever a kick happens, so choose inverted from the list.
Then click OK.

Now when you got that linked up go to the peak controller and fiddle with the 'Peak' settings which is the top section. You're aiming for the kick to not clash with the bass so fiddle with it so that the bass ducks out for a few milliseconds and allows the kick to come through full effect.
Remember to un-mute the Peak Controller or you won't hear anything.
Image
Image
User avatar
indi
 
Posts:
86
Joined:
Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:14 am
Location:
Nanjing China

Postby 1up » Thu Jan 04, 2007 6:56 am

"Its all about balance. Listen to the kick and the bass at the same time, and mix the volumes so that both sounds are complemented and sounding clear.


Before you balance the volumes, I would consider the transient element of the sounds. To make the kick and bass punch the sound needs to be transient in some way. You can give this by applying some compression with around 40-80ms attack (to make the amplitude envelope have a noticable peak at the beggining), or by applying a fast pitch envelope from high to low (which makes the sound truly transient)."



There are some good discussions on mixing here:

http://www.rwdmag.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=125334

http://www.nuskoolbreaks.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=5




Easy bug eyed Drift :) I been parading my new found slower tempos over here. I could do with picking your editing brain actually...
Image
1up
 
Posts:
5
Joined:
Mon Dec 18, 2006 3:35 am
Location:
London at the mo

Postby dougd » Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:43 am

There's more you can do with EQ than just removing the low-end kick frequencies.

Take a parametric EQ and set one of the bands to a very narrow curve, with about 5db of gain. Loop your kick, soloed, and slowly roll the parametric's frequency around until you find several places that "tighten" or emphasize its sound. The lowest of those is the kick's fundamental harmonic, and the others are overtones. There are some frequencies which might make the kick's tone sound weaker or more "dead" - sometimes EQing the "bad frequences" down a bit actually makes the kick sound stronger and more pure; sometimes not.

Now, do this with your bassline (soloed), using a note of whatever key it's written in. That is, if the first or main note of the bassline is an E, use a repeated E note to find its fundamental and overtones.

Now you have this information for both the kick and the bass, so you can use your EQ to make room for both of them. It's not likely that both will have the same fundamental, so EQ the bass with a reasonably narrow EQ curve about negative 5 to 10 dbs deep at the kick's fundamental, and perhaps at some of its other strong overtones. This will provide "space" for the kick. You can do the same with the kick's EQ. Experiment with which overtones etc you emphasize or lower the volume of, and how wide/deep your curves are. It's more of an art than a science... sometimes you can even get rid of the fundamental and just go with the overtones - do what sounds right. I use the Logic channel EQ for this so I can kind of "cheat" by having it show the freqs graphically. 8)

Hope this helps,

Doug
User avatar
dougd
 
Posts:
106
Joined:
Thu Jan 04, 2007 6:38 am

Postby drift » Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:15 am

1up wrote:"Its all about balance. Listen to the kick and the bass at the same time, and mix the volumes so that both sounds are complemented and sounding clear.


Before you balance the volumes, I would consider the transient element of the sounds. To make the kick and bass punch the sound needs to be transient in some way. You can give this by applying some compression with around 40-80ms attack (to make the amplitude envelope have a noticable peak at the beggining), or by applying a fast pitch envelope from high to low (which makes the sound truly transient)."



There are some good discussions on mixing here:

http://www.rwdmag.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=125334

http://www.nuskoolbreaks.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=5




Easy bug eyed Drift :) I been parading my new found slower tempos over here. I could do with picking your editing brain actually...


lol easy 1up :mrgreen:

pick away mate, more than happy to help good man

hope your well :D:
User avatar
drift
 
Posts:
194
Joined:
Tue Nov 21, 2006 1:40 am

Postby fubar » Thu Jan 04, 2007 12:28 pm

DougD wrote:There's more you can do with EQ than just removing the low-end kick frequencies.

Take a parametric EQ and set one of the bands to a very narrow curve, with about 5db of gain. Loop your kick, soloed, and slowly roll the parametric's frequency around until you find several places that "tighten" or emphasize its sound. The lowest of those is the kick's fundamental harmonic, and the others are overtones. There are some frequencies which might make the kick's tone sound weaker or more "dead" - sometimes EQing the "bad frequences" down a bit actually makes the kick sound stronger and more pure; sometimes not.

Now, do this with your bassline (soloed), using a note of whatever key it's written in. That is, if the first or main note of the bassline is an E, use a repeated E note to find its fundamental and overtones.

Now you have this information for both the kick and the bass, so you can use your EQ to make room for both of them. It's not likely that both will have the same fundamental, so EQ the bass with a reasonably narrow EQ curve about negative 5 to 10 dbs deep at the kick's fundamental, and perhaps at some of its other strong overtones. This will provide "space" for the kick. You can do the same with the kick's EQ. Experiment with which overtones etc you emphasize or lower the volume of, and how wide/deep your curves are. It's more of an art than a science... sometimes you can even get rid of the fundamental and just go with the overtones - do what sounds right. I use the Logic channel EQ for this so I can kind of "cheat" by having it show the freqs graphically. 8)

Hope this helps,

Doug


thanks for that! are you dropping certan frequencies or do you boost the fundamentals/overtones aswell?
fubar
 
Posts:
415
Joined:
Mon Nov 14, 2005 10:49 pm
Location:
south-west

Postby drift » Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:28 pm

DougD wrote:There's more you can do with EQ than just removing the low-end kick frequencies.

Take a parametric EQ and set one of the bands to a very narrow curve, with about 5db of gain. Loop your kick, soloed, and slowly roll the parametric's frequency around until you find several places that "tighten" or emphasize its sound. The lowest of those is the kick's fundamental harmonic, and the others are overtones. There are some frequencies which might make the kick's tone sound weaker or more "dead" - sometimes EQing the "bad frequences" down a bit actually makes the kick sound stronger and more pure; sometimes not.

Now, do this with your bassline (soloed), using a note of whatever key it's written in. That is, if the first or main note of the bassline is an E, use a repeated E note to find its fundamental and overtones.

Now you have this information for both the kick and the bass, so you can use your EQ to make room for both of them. It's not likely that both will have the same fundamental, so EQ the bass with a reasonably narrow EQ curve about negative 5 to 10 dbs deep at the kick's fundamental, and perhaps at some of its other strong overtones. This will provide "space" for the kick. You can do the same with the kick's EQ. Experiment with which overtones etc you emphasize or lower the volume of, and how wide/deep your curves are. It's more of an art than a science... sometimes you can even get rid of the fundamental and just go with the overtones - do what sounds right. I use the Logic channel EQ for this so I can kind of "cheat" by having it show the freqs graphically. 8)

Hope this helps,

Doug


handy mate, cheers 8)
User avatar
drift
 
Posts:
194
Joined:
Tue Nov 21, 2006 1:40 am

Postby juffajo » Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:09 pm

DougD wrote:Now you have this information for both the kick and the bass, so you can use your EQ to make room for both of them. It's not likely that both will have the same fundamental, so EQ the bass with a reasonably narrow EQ curve about negative 5 to 10 dbs deep at the kick's fundamental, and perhaps at some of its other strong overtones. This will provide "space" for the kick.
Doug


thanks, thats very helpful. but now that you've created "space" for the kick within the bassline frequencies, do you still need to use sidechain compression (which surely has exactly the same effect of making sure the two elements don't interfere with each other?)

i read a great guide to sidechain compression (http://www.dogsonacid.com/showthread.ph ... genumber=1), but as it turns out i think i need to upgrade to cubase sx to be able to do it (i'm running cubase sl)

DougD wrote:Now, do this with your bassline (soloed), using a note of whatever key it's written in. That is, if the first or main note of the bassline is an E, use a repeated E note to find its fundamental and overtones.


Doug


ok, that's also very helpful. but would those eq settings still "work" with other notes in the melody of the bassline? or are the "fundamental and overtones" you are talkin about that particular note's harmonics?

......

my last question is about resampling. i've never done this, i usually just mix my whole bassline down to audio when i'm finished with it. but from looking at production forums over the years, it seems that sampling your bassline at one particular note and the pitching it up and down in a sampler is the standard. (have i got this right?)
how important is it to do this? and how would you do this if the filters on your bassline are constantly changing, morphing it as the track goes along?

sorry for all the questions at once, i've been producing for a few years now, but haven't really bothered posting on production forums; these are all questions which have been bothering me for a while now...

nice one,
dan
juffajo
 
Posts:
8
Joined:
Wed Nov 08, 2006 6:11 pm

Postby drift » Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:46 pm

juffajo wrote:my last question is about resampling.


its a good question mate

im going to start a new thread coz im interested in hearing peoples views on this too

8)
User avatar
drift
 
Posts:
194
Joined:
Tue Nov 21, 2006 1:40 am

Postby dougd » Fri Jan 05, 2007 8:17 am

fubar wrote:thanks for that! are you dropping certan frequencies or do you boost the fundamentals/overtones aswell?


fubar, you can do whatever works and makes it sounds stronger. I usually boost the fundamental of the kick a few db, cut out anything in the kick below the fundamental and maybe cut some where the bass' fundamental is. Then, I move over the the bass' EQ, and cut the bass' EQ where the kick's fundamental is. After that I use the EQ on the higher overtones of the bass or the kick if I want to emphasize more mid or top end.

You want them to sit well together, but certain frequencies are much more important to their sound than others. So you need to find and work with those important freqs.

Generally, the overtones will be multiples of the fundamental, due to the mathematics of how sounds are made. Soooo if my kick's fundamental is 135hz, there are probably overtones at like 270, 540 etc. Don't boost more than a few db or it will start to sound shitty though.

juffajo wrote:thanks, thats very helpful. but now that you've created "space" for the kick within the bassline frequencies, do you still need to use sidechain compression (which surely has exactly the same effect of making sure the two elements don't interfere with each other?)


juffajo, EQ and compression are just tools to make your music sound better. So use whichever one or both work on your tracks. Fuck around with them and see what results you get. Both might be even more badass than one alone, but you have to test and experiment.

I don't know how to use sidechaining comps in Logic, it's something I'd really like to learn. If someone reading this wanted to write a quick guide I'd really appreciate it. :)

juffajo wrote:ok, that's also very helpful. but would those eq settings still "work" with other notes in the melody of the bassline? or are the "fundamental and overtones" you are talkin about that particular note's harmonics?


You'll probably be cutting more than boosting for the bassline. You might boost with the kick to give it more of that punch, but if the bass is all distorted and effected and shit, boosting freqs is pretty much a waste of time. So it's more about cutting space for the kick, at least in my experience. I'm self taught from info I found around the net and from experimenting with Logic, so this is what works for me. 8) 8) 8)

Doug
User avatar
dougd
 
Posts:
106
Joined:
Thu Jan 04, 2007 6:38 am

This forum is locked. Continue the discussion by creating a new topic on The New Dubstep Forum.

Return to Production, Hardware & Technical

cron