Basses/Leads etc (Layering)

Hi all,

Just a thought really, because i seem to be rubbish at layering, would be good to get some input from some of the decent producers here.

When making noisia style dark neuro basses, people often say its due to layering and the fx chain. Now i know none of us here have really cracked how to make it, but some are getting close no doubt and we have some excellent producers here.

This could be translated across all genres, liquid, jump up etc aswel...


But when you make your bass sounds, and you decide to resample, to layer it with a different sound, how do you decide like "yea this will make a good part of the bass i want, ill resample this, then i need something sounding like... ..." to get the sound your after once its layered.

I cant seem to get two different bass sounds to mould together and sound decent, ends up muddy and horrible.

Is it just something that comes with experience?

Any input would be great, also...


Is there a general rule of thumb for what effects to put before and after others in the "fx chain", i usually just load them all up whereever, and didnt realise it made a difference if its first or second, but its something ive heard talked about alot here.

So for example is it good practise to put say disto before chorus but disto always after flanger... or does it just alter the sound in different ways and give a different sound? To me its hardly noticeable tbh, but i dont have a decent pair of monitors or anything, just bog standard hifi speakers.

Again any input wud be great, help us newbies understand a little better, I cant be the only one thinking this surely?

EQ'ing is also a massive part of it.

At a guess, I would say everyone has their own methods. No 2 producers will do it the exact same way, they all get their own techniques through practice + trial & error.

Doubt they even know what the sound is gonna be like when they sit down and start making something. Probably sit there and experiment for a few hours until they get something good. It's all about experimentation until you find those sounds that fit together.

Mr Fletch

VIP Junglist
When creating a broad frequency bass you need to consider all the elements. So you might sit there and create a really nice chest rumbling reece bass and think "yeah, i'll use that". But then you need to think about getting some of the higher frequncies involved so you might create a really bitcrushed, distorted sawtooth sound. Combine the two and your off to a good start.

If once combined, your sound is muddy then thats frequency clashing between the two sounds, you need to put a spectrum analyzer on each sound to find what frequncy they peak and dip at. Then, where one peaks, carve that frequency out of the other, and vice versa. Also, after this is done, you can use a compressor on the sounds to gel them back together.

From here you can then frequncy split the bass into 3 seperate sections, sub / mid / high, and add FX to each freq band respectively. I tend to leave the sub end alone apart from maybe a small boost, and mono it. Mid area you can add some mild distortion, and maybe some saturation then on the high end is where ya go crazy with bitcrush, distortion, chorus, flanger, phaser etc etc etc.

As for the order of the FX chain it's really up to you, but before you do anything, try and imagine what you are doing. So for instance, if you want to add some heavy distortion and some reverb to a sound, in which order would it sound best? if you add the reverb 1st, and the dist 2nd, then the initial sound will have reverb added to it, before being distorted, which means the echoed reverb sound will also be distorted afterwards. Whereas if you put the dist 1st, and the reverb 2nd. The initial sound will get the distortion, before being thrown through the reverb, leaving a cleaner, smoother sounding reverb.

Thats just a quick example of how you need to think about how you want to effect the initial sound. To the guy above me that stated "Doubt they even know what the sound is gonna be like when they sit down"........until you understand synthesis, and how an FX chain effects your sound then sure, this is probably true. But for the guys who have spent along time learning these techniques, the guys that everyone wants to know how they made their sound?.....They know exactly what they're doing!


VIP Junglist
It all comes down to experience and experimenting when making those basslines.It is like you have in your mind what it should sound but when you start making it comes out even better than you think and you are like wtf i just did.


VIP Junglist
I sort of think of layering more sequentially, chopping, splicing, cross-fading audio. Apart from layering midrange over sub?
Fx chain, no rules, use your ears. Like what works magic on one mid range won't do nothing for another. Small tweaks and experiment.


Human Dubplate
VIP Junglist
About putting different effects in different places in the FX chain; the order really matters quite a lot.

As with all things, production- or otherwise, practice makes perfect.

Load up a supersaw or something on a synth, just anything with lots of shit going on, and make a simple pattern, one note playing is plenty.

Link it to your mixer and add a distortion effect and a filter, listen to the sound, then change the order of effects; put the filter before the distortion. You should hear a clear difference between the two.

Load up an incidental sound, a kick or something and have it play once. Link it to your mixer and load up a chorus and then a delay and have a listen. Now change the order so the chorus comes after the delay.

From these two experiments you should easily be able to conclude for yourself why the order of effects matters.

---------- Post added at 15:16 ---------- Previous post was at 15:15 ----------

Just read Fletch's post, he pretty much said what I just said, but in greater detail...