How to Make a Smooth Low Sub Bass

Discussion in 'Production' started by djdevz, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. djdevz

    djdevz Member

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    Hey guys,

    Im not sure if im spending so long trying to make a nice sub bass that im going mad...
    but what the best way to make a simple smooth, low sub bass that underlies the main lead in the chorus?

    i use logic pro so any tips on there would be a bonus

    currently im using a single sine wave, but when i try and make it go really low (about 60-100hz) it loses all clarity and volume....and when i put it an octave higher it conflicts with my kick!
    plus when i add more sine waves it just gets distorted and sounds crap.

    (this is done using the es2 vst if that helps)

    any help is greatly appreciated...examples available upon request :)
     
  2. subprime

    subprime Dysjoint

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    What are you listening on? Post an example up then.
     
  3. EvezDroppin

    EvezDroppin how to change name,......

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    i ususaly have 3 osc , all sine i think, (might be wrong)
    1 is say at 0 octave, next one is up one, and then again up one, so u have 3 octaves covered.
    i cant explain it well... but u have the higher ones for the warmth and the bottom octave giving the heavy sub, just have to make the lower one the prominent one of the 3 and play with the balance for the other, 2, shite explanation, really bad.. someitmes i just lowpass my synth tho, works well someitmes
     
  4. djdevz

    djdevz Member

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    when i compare this bass to a professional track...mine doesnt sound as smooth...and they still manage to hit the low freqs

    im listening on sennheisers hd-25 monitor phones btw
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
  5. Wrigzilla

    Wrigzilla broke but not broken

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    Well I think the first thing to bear in mind is that by definition sub bass is more felt than heard so if you go down to 40hz then you're not really going to be hearing it that well.

    The first trick to getting a good sub is proper gain structuring over the whole mix. Secondly you need to allow space in the frequency range for the sub to fit nicely (so high passing all that unnecessary sub freqs from your high hats for example).

    I'm guessing what you need to do is to add subtle distortion (which introduces harmonics) this will give some more audibility and clarity to the smooth boomyness of a single sine wave.

    Also I'd recommend using the init patch on the EX24 for your sub, it takes up less CPU and takes less messing about with to get a single sine wave in mono with no filters or other effects.
     
  6. ARTFX

    ARTFX www.artfx-studios.com

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    A subbass doesn't always have to be a single sine wave.
    You could layer up sine waves of different octaves, or maybe pick a square wave for the highest osc.
    There are so many options.

    You want the lowest one to be really prominent and the others are just there to add some depth to it.
     
  7. kama

    kama benkama.net

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    Use something like this thing I've attached, and lowpass it without any resonance in the filter, at about 400Hz. That will leave a nice harmonic to it as well as a good force in the sub. That can give life to the bottom instead of just using it as a sine.
     

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  8. Mrachniot

    Mrachniot Macedonian Drum & Bass

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    i ussualy have 3 octaves, each of them goes for 1 octave down, put on wave patch ,and give sharpness and no.1 place for the lowest octave... use Reason and Thor ... u'll make it ;)
     
  9. ~CriticalWaves~

    ~CriticalWaves~ Member

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    this is in Fl studio on random vst's usually works about the same ive found Blue is the best though. I usually start with a sine wave 3 octaves down and a square at the same with i nice low pass filter and some phaser if i want to muddy it up a little.
    thats a start and then take it form there also use a your envalope to control how you want it to it.
     
  10. logikz

    logikz I Am Not The King Staff Member

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    pitch down and lowpass a conga.
     
  11. BLoodstaiN`

    BLoodstaiN` Member

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    I'm going for 2osc, A sine and a Saw, The saw has to be an octave higher, and they both have to be lowpassed.
     
  12. Protoplasym

    Protoplasym Nuskool

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    I listened to your clip on my cheap Comp speaks. Man, you are WAY overthinking things... sorry to sound like an ass... but your Sub is fine! It's doing what a Subonly sound should do = which is provide Sub and NOTHING else. You don't want distortion on it, you don't want flange on it, or delay, or verb, etc, etc, etc (UNLESS you're at the level where you know how to utilize that kind of trickery in your PROD, and even the Pros will tell you this is borderline experimental territory, nothing wrong with exploring but it sounds like you need to stick to the basics for the moment). Your clip sounds balanced enough to me so I don't see what your issue is honestly.

    AND, you're trying to audition SUB in bloody headphones... good luck with that. Not that it's impossible, but it's NOT practical to do Sub work or ANY kind of serious(I know that's subjective : ) Mixdown work in Headphones.

    Headphones are MAINLY for Spatial Referencing, not for Volume and Energy of Sound Referencing. You are screwing yourself by making a Sub in headphones and then complaining that you don't properly hear anything 60hz and below. If headphones is all you've got, then I completely understanding having to make do with what you have.. if that's the case, then I suggest (if you can't afford a pair of half decent monitors that is) you invest (or find a decent freebie, surely some exist) in a Spectrum Analyzer. You'll have to combine what you see in the SA with how your tune sounds on various Speaker setups (to see how your Sub is "hitting")... because you're NEVER going to truly harness the Mixdown and its' various necessary Volume adjustments in Headphones. Sure... you can work at the track needlessly and possibly nail the mix in the phones... but why.

    Trust me man... I spent the first 4 years of my Production in headphones and 'all' I did was learn bad habits.


    hope that helps... I'm not trying to be an arse... just honest and up front with my opinion (which can be a lil strong sometimes : )))
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  13. djdevz

    djdevz Member

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    i appreciate all the comments..and i think i have a better understanding of how a sub is meant to fit in with the rest of the track, and its role in general for my tracks...

    @proto fine words of wisdom mate....but sadly hd-25 monitor headphones is all im able to use because i live in a flat, and noise has been a problem in the past.
    but maybe im just tryna reach perfection and im never satisfied with what i have, but I'm still listening to the pro tracks on my headphones, and the bass comes through much smoother as I mentioned before, with much more impact (probably EQ issues but also could also be the sound design).
    and i use logic pro's multimeter plugin, which i think is good at looking at what freqs my sounds are hitting... ill have a search for some other plugins but any recommended of the top of your head?

    Just a couple of thoughts though, and im not asking for a 'in every case your sub must be this', but just a rough guideline:

    1) how low/high in terms of freqs should the sub be around? mine atm is pushing 90hz at the highest note.

    2) as the sub is meant to be the underlying part of the main lead (in my case it is), then how low (in freqs) should my synths be? Atm i take a lot of low end out, and I boost a lil at 2khz.

    all in all though thanks for the comments....its nice to see how people go about their subs and the process they go through.

    DevZ
     
  14. IbbyDnB

    IbbyDnB Member

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    i feel asif im in the same boat hear mate. but im on technics hifi speakers, there are pretty good soundsing, but i doubt the have the low response proper moniters would give me, sucks ass dun it!
     
  15. subprime

    subprime Dysjoint

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    As for the original question, I don't know how you can get smoother than a single sine wave. I use a single sine thru a limiter, about 5 db. I've seen some people say that's no good, but it works for me? Then if that's not loud enough I pull everything else down a few db to balance it.

    1: someone (sorry can't remember who) was saying that you shouldn't go below 38 hz if you want it to hit on most systems. No idea if it's true, but 38 hz is low enough for me. Sometimes I wish I had access to a big sustem to try these things out.

    2: depends on the song, if it's a liquid tune you might get away with having the sub quite seperate, if it's a hard neuro tune it sounds like the sub and bass are one (tbh I can't really make that sound)

    The sub in your first example did sound alright to me. Not overly loud but ok.

    The headphones thing...?? I don't know. I don't have a sub, my headphones are pretty good, I can hear fine down to 40 hz, really low I can hear the drivers trying to rip themselves apart lol (Beyer DT770s) Maybe in a few years I'll be like Proto and realise I've learnt bad habits?