Neuro bass tips (rough guide to inspire)

Discussion in 'Production' started by Phyella, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. Phyella

    Phyella Chef 'n' Bass

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    Ez peeps, this is a cut n paste job from a tutorial I posted over on alternatingfrequencies and drumnbass.be. I hope its of some use to somebody somewhere.

    Less of a tutorial and more of a 'rough idea' thing.

    here you go:

    Please excuse my rambling/going-off-on-little-tangent style.

    I'll be using Kontakt 3 & Cubase SX3 but really it doesn't matter what you use, the same shit applies really. Just substitute anywhere you see Kontakt or SX3 with 'sampler/DAW of your choice'.
    If you need any pointers on Kontakt, RTFM or failing that just ask.

    I'm aiming here for a bass that tears suitably and has a fair amount of movement in it but is still um, clear sounding if you know what I mean (but still dirty)

    You will need:

    A reese or some other kind of nice base[sic] sound
    [optional] nice clean sine sub
    A DAW
    Kontakt

    Bear in mind that any values quoted may vary with taste/your sample/what you are trying to do. So take anything from this you want and apply it in your own way. There is no hard and fast, set-in-stone way, you have to play with it to get it to sound controlled and right for your purposes. The same goes for the FX (and routing/signal path thereof).
    I'm just telling y'all what I did to get a particularly good sounding bass.

    So, load up Kontakt.

    Now, I've done this using a variety of starting samples, got good results with really big fat reeses from z3ta+ with subtle notch filtering/some more subtle fx but got more of what I was looking for (for this particular bass) by using just a straight saw wave (bear with me).
    A saw wave on its own, whilst having some harmonic content, just isn't gonna rip it. So I detuned it (a little) in Kontakt via the Unisono/Portamento preset in the script editor. Still not much but it worked for me. (plus my PC is shite so I'm always up for a bit of CPU saving, I need all I can get)

    Anyhoo. Pick a nice reese/fart/dog growling/whatever and whack it into Kontakt. Its up to you if you want a multisample or not, sometimes you can get good results using a really low note pitched up slightly but be very careful how high you go because depending on the original frequency content (eg. if you have notch sweeps and chorus all over the shop or its heavily detuned) when you pitch it up past a certain point it'll sound like somebody is pissing in your speakers/headphones and gnawing your ears off.
    So yeah, either way, map your sample(s) accordingly.

    Onto the sub. Either save your current 'reese' instrument and load it in as another instrument or load a clean sub in the same manner.

    If you want a nice clean sub layer, use a nice clean sine wave. If you want a bit more character, I'd suggest lowpassing your reese (note: ensure that you are using a rich reese sample for this, not too heavily detuned and preferably with a sine layer in there) and perhaps layering with another sine to add some weight.

    SIDE NOTE: for a good low end in this manner you can low pass the reese and then hipass it so that you lose the low sub, then layer with the sine to ensure no low end phasing that will fuck up the universe. This is derived from a tutorial I saw on making a more modern non-sample-based 'terrorist' style bass (subfocus I think it was)

    Moving on. Solo your sub, play a few notes, add compression/limiting to taste/if it needs it, just make it consistently loud WITHOUT ANY DISTORTION
    Try to make sure your sub has a sharp attack, you can get this to an extent by using a pitch envelope and setting 0 attack+sustain+release and a very short decay as well as with judicious compression. (you can do this on your mids too if you want). I usually do this before I import into Kontakt.
    Its a sub ffs lol, roll your own :)

    Solo your reese. Open the wave editor and loop it wherever you want (or not if its a long sample).
    Add some saturation in the group inserts. How much you apply will depend on your original sample but we're not aiming for full on distortion/speaker damage here (seriously), so be subtle. You can go back and tweak it later on anyway.

    Next, high pass at around 150 Hz (or bandpass at 1.5 kHz and make another hipassed at around 3.5 kHz. up to you if you want to separate your mids n highs, I don't in this particular case)

    Now you want to go (relatively) mad with FX, in the group inserts I added phasers, BR (notch) filters with saturation (VERY subtle) in between.
    Modulate these relatively slowly and preferably offbeat to add some interest. Can't stress the subtlety enough.
    In the instrument inserts I used phasers, chorus, flangers, reverb, delay. Again, slow modulation, everything twisting in and out of one another. Again, be subtle (getting it? lol)

    Next, I played a nice long note in SX3 and exported it, loaded this back into Kontakt and you guessed it - rinse and repeat.
    The difference here is a 2-pole (12 dB) LP filter as the final effect (or at least near the end of the chain).
    I modulated this via a flexible envelope with 'retrigger' off. You can assign it to your control surface or whatever and tweak it that way, no rules, use yer ears as always.

    If you are not subtle, this whole exercise will sound like a sack of cold shit.
    If you are, play some low notes and bang your head softly with arm raised and hand in 'devil-horns' posture.
    Add some legato 'n' portamento and play some low and high notes. Bang head harder.

    Now play a bassline you like and export a few bars of it.

    OK, VST time.

    Import as audio and duplicate twice. LP, BP and HP. Beef up your lows again if needed, you know what to do.
    I'll tell you what I like to do to my layers, don't take my advice on it though, go and experiment.

    Mids:
    anything goes really (well, almost lol), I like to add some heat with Vintage Warmer 2
    Filter-wise, usually Tone2 BiFilter, Antares Filter (though I'm not so fussed on that to be honest for some reason), FabFilter Volcano etc
    I'll add various combinations of flangers, choruses (WTF? chorii?!), phasers, 'verbs, delays etc.

    Hi: didn't do anything in this case but I don't usually add too much to the highs, if I do its even more subtle

    So yeah.
    Try duplicating the mids and panning left and right a little (thanks Ketz). You can do it with the highs too and add some subtly different fx settings in each for some mad shit, or automate the panning so it kind of swirls around.

    Once you have your disgusting bass down to a point that suits you, when it comes to putting it in the track, duplicate the bass and try a hipass on one and a lowpass on the other and automate away to your hearts content.

    POINTS TO REMEMBER:

    1. Be fucking subtle!!!!!!!
    2. Saturate before filters.
    3. Be fucking subtle!!!!!!!
    4. The idea is simple. Perfecting it is hard. Practice.
    5. Have fun.

    I hope this has been at least of some use to somebody, feel free to point out anything, add anything or shoot it down in flames.
    If you don't believe that my bass was decent, ask Ketz lol.
    I could do screenshots if you really need them but there's nothing overly complex in there.
    Use your ears :)

    Chris

    EXTRA BIT AT THE END:

    Also, when you've got something down that you like/got your technique down to some degree etc. THEN you can start to use UNSUBTLE FX and modulate in peculiar ways. Just make sure it still sounds controlled.

    Oh yeh, did you know you can modulate sample start in Kontakt? Well, you can in K3, I assume you can in K2 as well (and obviously in Reason cos they more or less thought of everything there hehe, and most other samplers too)?
    I'd always thought you couldn't but after all, there it was staring me straight in the face.
    Found that out while trawling the Grid last night.
    If you get a nice morphing bassline down (or even just a mad twisting reese), make sure your instrument is in Sampler mode (as opposed to DFD or time machine et al), click on 'Mod' in the Source module, then 'Add Modulator...' and add whatever modulation source you want to use (eg. MIDI cc for modulation via your control surface), then assign to 'sample start' (using this method to control loop start/end etc. is also pretty cool).
    Now play something while twiddling your controller - w00t.

    That kind of explains some shit off the Teebee and Calyx Anatomy album (not that any of my shit sounds remotely as good as that lol)
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2009
  2. Ketz

    Ketz Thinkin outside the box..

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    nice one mate ;)
     
  3. Innovine

    Innovine Active Member

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    All that, and you don't have a sample for us?
     
  4. YOUNG TUNA

    YOUNG TUNA IT'S ME BITCHES

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    Whoa, nice one!
     
  5. Phyella

    Phyella Chef 'n' Bass

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    Hi mate

    Whats the point in posting a sample?

    The idea is to try it out yourself. You can make a multitude of basses with this method, its only gonna sound like you want it to if you do it yourself. You don't want it to sound exactly like someone elses.

    Plus I think by now everybody knows what the neuro style basses sound like...so that should already give you something to aim for.

    If there's an overwhelming demand for it then I'll post a clip but it kinda misses the point.
     
  6. subprime

    subprime Dysjoint

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    Nice post btw but easy on the sample request yeah? I was thinking the same thing. You just described a fairly long and convoluted sounding process, if there was a mind blowing sample to accompany it it might inspire everyone to run for their samplers. Anyways, I might have to give a go, seeing as I have K3, which is pretty cool but it flogs my poor cpu to hell if I get too complicated with the modulation. Think I'm gonna hurry up and build my new machine...........
     
  7. Phyella

    Phyella Chef 'n' Bass

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    ez dude, I get your point man. I might post one tomorrow then if it'll get peeps workin'.

    On the CPU thing, my PC is a shitheap, seriously. I have to resample and bounce my way through everything. Time consuming and a right pain in the arse but I get there eventually. Money eh...
    Helps if you make a dedicated project in your DAW just for the bass you're workin on but still long!




    And yeh, build yer new machine! :)
     
  8. tormalean

    tormalean Member

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    hey thanks man for the advice on making neuro style bass
    i have book marked this page so i can refer back to it

    but yeap thanks a lot

    :wave:
     
  9. logikz

    logikz I Am Not The King Staff Member

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    cool thread bro. audio examples please?
    edit: right i see you discussed that already. go head if you can though thatd be nice
     
  10. Oxidyze

    Oxidyze pistol packin

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    I've been trying to create neuro basslines myself lately. Here are some samples that could use some feedback. I didn't use the tutorial that's posted here, but did many similar things. It's still not the sound I’m looking for, but better than I’ve done in the past. I’ve been getting rather frustrated with not being able to create the sound I want… any tips would be more than helpful. Both files are just one note played.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 17, 2009
  11. CH3SH

    CH3SH CH3SH - Naphalm Audio

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    I had a listen mate and although nicely ripping, the movements arent very subtle, try dropping the depth on your fx used ;)

    Funny this as i just sat and read this thread on its original source,
    Seems pretty easy but very time consuming,
    Definately a seperate project jobby lol