Can bass be too low?

Discussion in 'Production' started by smoothassilk, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. smoothassilk

    smoothassilk Active Member

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    I think the title sums it up pretty well...
    I have a track with chords in it, so I have to change the note of the bass. It starts at E1, but then the next chord needs to have a B underneath, and the bass sounds weak if I do the B above.
    If I do the B below, the fundamental is at B0, or kinda 30 hz. I'm fairly sure 30 Hz is below the range of human hearing, but it does sound ok- a little too deep maybe...
    I'm worried I might be damaging my speakers. Is that possible?
     
  2. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

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    sub is all about how its feels, you can go down to 20hz or lower if you want, and your sub can handle it. wether or not other soundsystems can reproduce it is another matter, a good club system will have no problem going below 30hz, but i've played on some rigs that couldnt manage it at all, ended up with no sub rumble going on at all



    damage to your speakers is most likley to occour if you clip the signal (max amplitude square wave aka 'clipped signal' = speaker death), or drive the amp to hard
     
  3. alz

    alz compress to impress

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    you can hear down to 20hz but you won't be able to hear the 30hz because your speakers don't go that low.
     
  4. Menosance

    Menosance aka OSOI

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    at 30hz you would only feel them rather than hear them but you can go down to 30hz since humans can listen down to 20hz (average)
     
  5. subprime

    subprime Dysjoint

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    Yeah it's an interesting one. If it's a sine wave bass then that note will drop below most peoples listening device range so won't be reproduced. If the bass has plenty of harmonics above the fundamental then it will still be heard but will sound weak without the fundamental. Then it might sound awesome on a big rig. So you sort of have to think, will it work both ways, or will it weaken the track too much for the average listener on average listening gear.
     
  6. LikesItHardware

    LikesItHardware Member

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    Contrary to what you might think your bass not does not even need to fall in the chord you use as long as it's is the scale you are using. And don't get me started on Jazz scales (some pretty advanced music theory there).

    So if you have E minor then B minor and you do want your bass to match your chords and the B note of your bass is too low try upping it to D.
     
  7. zrylc-x

    zrylc-x New Member

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    yes, the bass can be too low :) from what i've read here and there - even that starting E1 note would be too low... or at least risky. E1 is 40hz or something - there arent many speakers that can go that low. i'd say E is a somewhat borderline note :) it could still work, however i try to avoid the Es. you can try distorting it a little somehow (adding harmonics) so it is easier to recognise for the listener. the B0 is too low for sure, as the 30hz is the place where you'd rather place a highpass filter in your tunes - only some useless rumble there which clutters the space.
     
  8. groelle

    groelle Well-Known Member

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    ^^^bs, why should below 30 be "useless rumble" - try using good hp/speakers pls. id stay away from cutting down there aswell. let the mastering engineer do that - for you as a producer it just doesnt matter. that won headroom is marginal contrary to the effects your bass may suffer from bad eqing or a bad eq plugin in general (imo etc).

    id just layer it up with an octave above so you wont lose weight if it isnt reproduced properly.. at least that is what i tend to do. or just transpose it as said before ;)
     
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  9. Dugg Funnie

    Dugg Funnie Well-Known Member

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    If your bass is below 20Hz it is too low; you will not be able to hear it, but it would be best to high-pass it out because it's going to add a lot of wasted strength to the signal.
     
  10. Mania

    Mania i fukin wot m8

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    If you are progressing from a root note up to a fifth, then it would make more sense to have the bass go up instead of down. B1 i thinks around 70 or 80, which i would say isnt too high at all. If your saying your bass sounds worse at B1 then it does at B0, then you can just play your bass at B0 and cut off the fundamental and replace it with a clean sub layer, which is generally what works the best anyway.
     
  11. johneysvk

    johneysvk tnuc

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    depends on a system.

    good rig should be able to reproduce 30hz, no problem.
    not all rigs are good rigs though
     
  12. smoothassilk

    smoothassilk Active Member

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    Hmmmmm..... a whole mix of opinions here.
    I think that as it's a harmonic-rich sound, I'll keep it at B0. Hopefully then when I'm a famous producer and get to play a massive club, it'll sound good. It doesn't sound too bad on my crap headphones, because there's are loads of normal bass and mids.

    I wanted the perfect cadence effect, because this is just after a key change and I wanted to establish the new key. It's actually B major, and using D# doesn't quite give me that defined harmony.
     
  13. Fluff

    Fluff Active Member

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    12Hz is apparently the lower threshold and below that (down to 4Hz) the bass will be felt. If you can't hear a 16Hz tone then the problem is your speakers not your ears.

    I'd be very surprised if many club systems offer a level response down below 30Hz but depending on the roll-off rate there will probably be some output but at a lower level relative to the higher frequencies.

    One of the big problems with reproducing very low bass is that lower frequenciy sounds require considerably more power than high frequency sounds, and for each time you half the frequency approximately double the power is required (signal, amplifier power, speaker cone displacement). While it is possible to include very low frequencies in music (Church Organ recordings) it will be difficult to get the same sound level from a tune that contains very low bass notes compared to other D&B tracks.
     
  14. smoothassilk

    smoothassilk Active Member

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    4 Hz!? I can clap at a higher frequency than that
     
  15. d-low

    d-low I know you got soul

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    I seem to remember Icicle in his video tutorial actually suggests low cutting at 30hz, I'm guessing since most of the noise below this frequency isn't at all necessary and can be messy.*But as suggested the mastering engineer will do that anyway
     
  16. Dark Lizardro

    Dark Lizardro The Lizard that has a hammer Staff Member

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    Are we talking about bass or sub-bass here? Because 30hz is the frequency of a sub-bass, right?
     
  17. Fluff

    Fluff Active Member

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    Best not put your clapping in a track if you want a loud mixdown!
     
  18. d-low

    d-low I know you got soul

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    30 hz is between a A sharp and a B

    It's a little too low for my liking (and my monitors) but if you want to use those notes go for it!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  19. Serum

    Serum Well-Known Member

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    If you're going lower than E1 a club system will probably have difficulty reproducing the sound unless it's a ridiculous rig. You can try layering an octave up or changing the key of your track. If the bass sounds weak at the B above you might want to try a different bass sound or mess with it a bit. You should be able to get that note to sound fine if you're using a good sound to start with.
     
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  20. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

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    E1 is 41.2Hz - if a club rig cannot produce this, its shit, a half decent rig should get down to 30hz, a great rig will go lower (eg Funktion1)
     
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