Legend4ry's sub bass tutorial

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legend4ry
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Legend4ry's sub bass tutorial

Post by legend4ry » Tue May 18, 2010 9:14 am

I don't think this topic has been explained clearly enough before of how to make it work in dubstep, so here is my ultra simple but extremely informative technique of making ultra deep subs and how to write them constructively.The first fundermental aspect within Dubstep of course, is the sub! This is why we're into this sound right? We like those low end frequencies.Here is a quick run down of how sub bass works, how to get the most of your sub bass and things you can do to spice it up.

Where "Sub Bass" actually is, is a bit miffed, some people say its between 30-200hz, some say its between 20-90, some 25-100, and so on and so on.. So lets to not get into an arguement you're going to be looking at building sub bass what sits between to band of 40hz-100hz (taking into consideration not EVERY system in the world will be hitting below 40 and anything above 100 'might' not have a good enough punch)



So first things first, load up your favourite synth what has the option of a Sine wave oscilator. Popular synths for meaty subs include.

Native Instrument's - Massive
Image-Line's - 3oscx
Rob Papen's - Albino*
Logic's - EXS24
Reason - Subtraktor or Malstrom

But like I said, anything with a sine wave oscilator will do !

*Within albino if you click Diverse Sounds, then click the presets and select "Z-Initial-preset" then switch the first oscilator to digital, you will have a sine wave, you may want to move the slider all the way left.




Run one oscilator only (sine wave) and now play C2, you have sub bass! (Woo!) but if you're working on a qwerty keyboard or a small midi keyboard, turn your pitch down 24 semi-tones on your synth and play C4 - What this means is that you're making your synth play the note 2 octave (24 notes) below what it would be normally, so you can play notes higher up the keyboard so people like me, who use a qwerty keyboard to play their notes don't have to click the deep notes in :P.


Its really that simple! Now you have the option of adding attack and release to your sub, do you want your sub to slowly raise to its peak? or slowly trickle out of every note its played? You can do this simpley by finding your synths Amp Evelope. (In simple terms, thats the Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release settings)

For Massive, it is the forth blue botton what says ENV (its called 4 ENV)
For 3oscx, Click the "INS" button.
For Albino3, It is the A on the third left column.

Now you've found it play with the settings till you find something you like!




So now lets look at this chart.

http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/graphics/notes.GIF

So working from that table, we "should" be working between the notes E1 and A2 so nearly an octave and a half of notes thats plenty so the next step is to write your bassline. The thing to remember about writing sub basslines is keep space, while we'd all love to have booming subs for 5 minutes, its very tiresome to the space and drive of your track to not give the sub as well as the dancefloor's chest time to breathe.

So lets put this into context a way everyone can understand via pictures!


Image



Image



Image

Now I am not saying either is better than the other nor they're good or bad basslines but in terms of space, the first and second picture have the most space so in turn will open up endless possiblities of how you can excite people with sounds what're not sub bass, hence forth making you think about more than just a bassline!

So the next step is the low pass filter, since the notes I am playing are F, G# and D# we need to find the frequency what fits those best to place our filter at by looking at that chart I showed you, I am going to be looking at putting my cut off filter between 38hz and 51hz so next to set your frequecy knob to 38 and work your way up in increments of one, till you find the most booming part, between the 3 notes (I have worked this out at about 45-46hz).

So now all that is left is turn your sub down to a decent level, add some limiting. (if you want all the notes to be the same level) and then write the rest of your track!

Thanks for reading and please tell me if this was helpful!








----------------------------------

Further watching

Last edited by legend4ry on Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Basic A
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Re: Legend4ry's sub bass tutorial

Post by Basic A » Tue May 18, 2010 9:23 am

You dont know how many hours Ive speant explaining this notion to people.

Its not hard.

You cant hear it.

You feel it.

No dont distort it it will stop being sub...

No that track doesnt have sub man put a sine wave under it...

:u:

Finally, something to reference though, haha, thanks man, save me a headache one day Im sure.
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Re: Legend4ry's sub bass tutorial

Post by marsstu » Tue May 18, 2010 10:12 am

thanks mate :)

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Re: Legend4ry's sub bass tutorial

Post by deadly_habit » Tue May 18, 2010 10:15 am

i'd revise it to say compress or limit for keeping notes at the same level, but other than that spot on
that and note depending on your threshold, you may squash your sine into a square :wink:

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Re: Legend4ry's sub bass tutorial

Post by antics » Tue May 18, 2010 10:18 am

Just something i was thinking about, lots of people say to Hi pass 20Hz as thats just taking up headroom. Won't a filter act to gently to have any effect over a range of 20Hz?

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Re: Legend4ry's sub bass tutorial

Post by deadly_habit » Tue May 18, 2010 10:25 am

antics wrote:Just something i was thinking about, lots of people say to Hi pass 20Hz as thats just taking up headroom. Won't a filter act to gently to have any effect over a range of 20Hz?
that means depending on if you are using a 12db filter the next octave step would be a 6db reduction next octave 3db etc
it halves itself per octave

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Re: Legend4ry's sub bass tutorial

Post by serox » Tue May 18, 2010 10:28 am

If you try to filter the low end of a sub you may add nastys as the filter try's to cut it out. so you may make ur low end a little messy, I think.

Maybe one of you experts can clear this up:)
I generally never cut subs.
Don’t worry about people stealing an idea. If it’s original, you will have to ram it down their throats.

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Re: Legend4ry's sub bass tutorial

Post by deadly_habit » Tue May 18, 2010 10:32 am

serox wrote:If you try to filter the low end of a sub you may add nastys as the filter try's to cut it out. so you may make ur low end a little messy, I think.

Maybe one of you experts can clear this up:)
I generally never cut subs.
no unless it's a filter that does more than just cut like adds saturation etc
if it's just a pure sine wave there are no harmonics to worry about

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Re: Legend4ry's sub bass tutorial

Post by serox » Tue May 18, 2010 10:44 am

deadly habit wrote:
serox wrote:If you try to filter the low end of a sub you may add nastys as the filter try's to cut it out. so you may make ur low end a little messy, I think.

Maybe one of you experts can clear this up:)
I generally never cut subs.
no unless it's a filter that does more than just cut like adds saturation etc
if it's just a pure sine wave there are no harmonics to worry about
Had a feeling when you try to EQ/Filter it could add harmonics where it curves.

Ok, thanks for clearing that up. Think I will still just leave my sub clean tho :D
Don’t worry about people stealing an idea. If it’s original, you will have to ram it down their throats.

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Re: Legend4ry's sub bass tutorial

Post by staticcast » Tue May 18, 2010 10:47 am

If it's a pure sine sub there's no point in filtering (whether HPF or LPF) because a filter on a sine wave is just a volume control. (Unless you're doing funky shit with pitch envelopes, but that wasn't covered here.)

Exception: if your attack or release time is quite small, you get a click at the beginning and end of the note, which contains other frequencies. Two solutions: a) filter these out (if you feel it's necessary), or b) increase the attack and/or release time.

Would add that pitch enveloping (a few semitones, 100ms decay ish) can be a nice way to add some attack. Too much and it'll sound like a kick drum.
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Re: Legend4ry's sub bass tutorial

Post by Depone » Tue May 18, 2010 10:49 am

yeah im always miffed at people adding filters to sine subs...

instead of using a filter to control those louder notes, use velocity! a well underrated tool!

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Re: Legend4ry's sub bass tutorial

Post by Brisance » Tue May 18, 2010 10:54 am

Image
Dont forget to do this, if you use FL and 3xOSC. The slide block is a blessing, embrace it.

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Re: Legend4ry's sub bass tutorial

Post by staticcast » Tue May 18, 2010 10:56 am

Depone wrote:yeah im always miffed at people adding filters to sine subs...

instead of using a filter to control those louder notes, use velocity! a well underrated tool!
If some of your sub notes are louder than others, you need to sort your room treatment out. ;)
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Re: Legend4ry's sub bass tutorial

Post by serox » Tue May 18, 2010 10:56 am

Where is the slide and what does it do? :oops:
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Re: Legend4ry's sub bass tutorial

Post by Depone » Tue May 18, 2010 11:00 am

static_cast wrote:
Depone wrote:yeah im always miffed at people adding filters to sine subs...

instead of using a filter to control those louder notes, use velocity! a well underrated tool!
If some of your sub notes are louder than others, you need to sort your room treatment out. ;)
I was ment to say the higher pitched sub notes. My room is pretty even across the board as it is.

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Re: Legend4ry's sub bass tutorial

Post by bolsty » Tue May 18, 2010 11:03 am

Great thread! :D One the most important aspects of dubstep that seems to be forgotten a lot in the newer midrangey, brosteppy tunes.
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Re: Legend4ry's sub bass tutorial

Post by Bullshit » Tue May 18, 2010 11:03 am

deadly habit wrote:i'd revise it to say compress or limit for keeping notes at the same level, but other than that spot on
that and note depending on your threshold, you may squash your sine into a square :wink:
1.) Assign volume to velocity on synth.
2.) Modify velocity on problem notes.

Problem solved. 8)

edit: Someone beat me to it! :evil: lulz

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Re: Legend4ry's sub bass tutorial

Post by deadly_habit » Tue May 18, 2010 11:06 am

static_cast wrote:
Depone wrote:yeah im always miffed at people adding filters to sine subs...

instead of using a filter to control those louder notes, use velocity! a well underrated tool!
If some of your sub notes are louder than others, you need to sort your room treatment out. ;)
no noise levels and human hearing differ depending on what the frequency is. this is why the lower you go the less you hear it and more you feel it
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frequency_weighting
have a quick read

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Re: Legend4ry's sub bass tutorial

Post by komanderkin » Tue May 18, 2010 11:07 am

static_cast wrote:If some of your sub notes are louder than others, you need to sort your room treatment out. ;)
not very true. :mrgreen:

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Re: Legend4ry's sub bass tutorial

Post by deadly_habit » Tue May 18, 2010 11:08 am


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