Question about key and sub bass.

Discussion in 'Production' started by LG18, Sep 19, 2015.

  1. LG18

    LG18 Member

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    I'm doing a drum and bass remix of a song, and I'm having trouble with what I think is the key of the song, and how that relates to the sub bass.

    When I fit the sub bass notes to the key of the song, the bass is too high and so doesn't sound impactful.

    If I move the notes an octave lower the key is too low to produce a disernable sub bass sound.

    Unfortunately transposing the vocal and other stems isn't an option, so I'm not really sure if there's anything else I can do, and I might have to abandon it.

    As you can imagine, at the mixing and especially the mastering staged its not sounding right.
    I've compared it to other tracks by bringing them into the same project file (I used out the blue by sub focus as an example) and mine just isn't low enough.

    Thought I might check here If anyone knows of a way to rectify it as a last resort.

    Cheers
     
  2. Mr Fletch

    Mr Fletch aka KRONIX

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    Try using the rule of 5ths or 7ths. Pitch the sub down 5 or 7 semitones see if that helps.

    The sounds dont all have to be the same as the root note of the track, just in the same scale
     
  3. LG18

    LG18 Member

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    I'll try that, cheers.
     
  4. Dissiopathic

    Dissiopathic Member

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  5. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

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    are you sure its not simply that your room acoustics cannot handle the sub note you are trying to play?

    generally you would pick the root of whatever key the track is in, so if its A minor, then A, G minor then G

    using 5th/7th's can work, depending on the key (minors)

    What is the note/freq of the sub you are trying to create? is your room treated? how does it sound on headphones?


    additionally, you don't "hear" sub at all, you feel it...but, in a room that has no bass traps, there is probably a significant portion of freqz you wont even feel (or will feel at a far higher level than they really are)


    best bet may be to transpose the track up or down a bit, and work with the freqz you are able to work with - but bare in mind, that its equally possible for your room to make sub boom out and distort your mix, as it is for sub to vanish into nothing for the same reasons
     
  6. LG18

    LG18 Member

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  7. LG18

    LG18 Member

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    My room acoustics could be the problem but I'm not sure.

    When I play another drum and bass track (Like the sub focus one I mentioned) the bass comes through fine on that.

    My room isn't treated yet, that's something I realize I definitely need, However, I'm not sure that's the issue. Perhaps part of it, but if I can hear or feel the sub on headphones and on my monitors on other tracks but not mine, that tells me it's the actual octave due to the key.
    Not being in an ideal mixing space could be part of the problem.

    In terms of the note I'm trying to create, the root is E flat. It's currently on the C2 octave, but moving it down to C1 makes it too low and rumbly and heading out of tune.

    Something I should've mentioned in the first place is the key of the song - It's in E flat minor.

    Is there a way to attach a sound clip so I can show people what I mean?

    In terms of taking it down a few semitones, I'm not all together sure how to do that correctly.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
  8. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

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    each room has different "modes", or different freqz that it resonates at (which can cause reinforcement, sub gets louder, or cancellation, sub vanishes), so you may be able to hear F-A without any problem, but E flat may just be hitting a room mode that cancels it out completely

    E flat is pretty low either way tho, the lowest sub note I tend to hit is F; but that doesn't mean its the lowest used in drum and bass...function1 infra-bass bins can after all produced <20hz without any effort

    getting other people to listen is unlikely to solve the issue for you if its down to your room modes, but if its a mix issue, then it might help

    have you put a spectral analyser on the master bus to see whats going on? what about pushing the sub up so that its wobblying just above the kick in the analyser? how does it sound/feel then?

    if its a room acoustics issue, then you aren't alone, its a problem every producer faces, you just have to learn how your setup responds compared to your target setup (probably a club rig)...for allot of people this means playing out as often as you can to build up your understanding of the differences, and using the spectral analyser to make sure things arnt wildly out of place in the mix
     
  9. Solace

    Solace Active Member

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    When I read through all of this, indeed, 5th and 7th notes could work...
    And the note you're trying to reach is def too low. I went to a C sharp once, and that kinda worked, but I eventually tuned the whole tune up.
    When you're also saying that your sub is an E? That should work... 80% of all the tunes I'm recently making are D or E. Alot of more deep and minimal drum & bass are in this frequency as well... So I'm not sure what the problem is here.
    Are you're speakers/headphones good quality? Maybe they can't handle the low frequencies? Although almost all headphones should be able to get so low.
     
  10. LG18

    LG18 Member

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    Well it's worth a shot to get other people to listen, it could very well be a mix issue. Do you or anyone else know how to attach a sound file to a post?

    It could be the room modes. Like I said, I don't have any form of acoustic treatment so I don't doubt that even if that's not the exact problem, that it is indeed, a contributing factor.
    Good advice on learning my setup. it's quite difficult but I'm getting there.

    Regarding pushing it up above the kick - It generally just makes the kick sound thinner. I think perhaps with it being a higher octave than it Should be, it mixes in too much with the rest of the track, and there isn't that distinction between the low end and the high end. just not enough clarity.
     
  11. LG18

    LG18 Member

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    I see, so how do you actually go about doing that? I don't really know how to take it to a 5th or 7th or how make it work with the rest of the song by doing so.

    My speakers are great. KRK's, the old ones from the 90's. 9000b's. What isn't so great is the hifi amp I'm using to drive them.

    The producer that recommended them to me had just finished mixing Adele's 19 album on them at the time, and said what you really want to drive them is a Bryston 4b, which is a £6000 amp.
    Despite getting the speakers at an amazing price of £165 on Ebay, because of their power you need a damn good amp to match them, apparently, and obviously I can't afford £6000 on the right amp.

    So I'm stuck with this Marantz amp from the 80's that often craps out and crackles, which obviously doesn't help this whole thing.

    When it does that I switch to my AKG headphones for a while until it's rectified it's self.

    As anyone reading this will be able to tell, my mixing environment is pretty dismal, haha. :)
     
  12. Solace

    Solace Active Member

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    Alright, first question:
    The 5th/7th thing. Well, I could go and explain the theory, but since you ask, I'm guessing you haven't had a musical course? (Which isn't a problem at all, just stating)

    If you know scales, the 5th and 7th notes are respectively the 5th and 7th notes in the scale of your root note.

    If you don't know scales, google the scale and count to the 5th/7th note. I think that would be the easiest way if you don't know scales.


    KRK's should do a fine job. Although when it has a 5" cone, the a sub that low could get a bit tricky. When I'm mixing my subs, I always use my headphones, just because I can hear it a bit better. (And because my room is untreated and is has still empty walls since I've moved not long ago)
    I haven't tested an 8" krk yet, but that should handle bass response better.

    But, AKG's should have a great bass as I'm always told.

    I'll put a link below of a wip of a tune of mine with a sub continuously in E, and I'm very sure that the sub is not too low.
    Just to give you a comparison or something, I dunno... Just thinking it might help...
    https://soundcloud[dot]com/solacednb/echo/s-FXUbP
     
  13. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

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    it sounds like a mix issue then, have you got compression/limiting on the master? if your sub and kick arnt balanced, a compressor will suck the life out of the mix based on whichever one is too loud - if pushing the sub up a little bit twists the mix, then you should have a look at the mix balance again, check your EQ and consider using a side chain kick to sub
     
  14. LG18

    LG18 Member

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    I've take a couple of screenshots but I'm not sure how to add them into the thread.

    one is of the EQ analyzer over the sub focus track, and the other is one over my track.

    What you can see is that the sub focus track has activity into 20hz on wards region, and mine is from about 40hz, obviously because I don't have those lower notes.

    What's also an issue, is that because the sub bass in my track is higher, it's interfering with the kick which hits at 100hz allot more than a lower sub would as found in the sub focus track.
     
  15. LG18

    LG18 Member

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    I haven't no. I had lessons when I was 7 at the piano for about six months but from then I self taught.

    I presumed that's what you meant - So I just drop the sub bass sequence 5 or 7 notes lower from the root?

    My KRK's are an 8 inch with a bass port at the bottom, so hey should be able to handle it.
    Would you be able to post the link again? I got page not found for some reason. sorry to be a pain.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  16. LG18

    LG18 Member

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    Well what I'm continuously doing to test is bouncing the mixed project out into one file, and then putting that file in a separate project, then putting multiband compression, EQ and limiting on that.

    As far as side chain compression with the sub and kick, I tried that and for some reason it hasn't made much difference.

    The issue I'm having is that the genre it's self sounds largely the way it does because of the mastering compression/limiting
    To get the sound you're after during the mixing process, or a mix that will translate well to mastering is really hard I find.

    It makes balancing the kick and sub really difficult because it doesn't sound correct until the mastering processing is applied.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
  17. Solace

    Solace Active Member

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    From your root note, you go up the scale.

    For example:

    You said this project is E flat minor.
    The scale of E flat minor is:
    E flat F G flat A flat B flat C flat D flat and back to E flat

    So, your 5th note in this scale is a B, the 7th is a D flat.

    But in this case I wouldn't go to a B, because that's also quite high.
    You could use a Dflat, but that might sound a bit weird. Dunno, you can test that out...


    Ah yea, the link has a [dot] that you should change to an actual dot. Because the wip is privated. Should've pointed that out, sorry
     
  18. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

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    i'd forget about compression and limiting the master for now, get the sub and kick working nicely together in the mixdown first, coz you wont solve anything by compression, especially multiband, you'll just confuse the issue tbh

    any time you find that small changes to an individual sound in the mix, cause big changes in what you hear, it means that the issue is in the mix balance
     
  19. LG18

    LG18 Member

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    Okay, so I tested out what you said on both a 5th and a 7th, and neither worked for some reason. They were the right pitch for sure, but in terms of tone it didn't seem to sound right with the vocal, maybe I did something wrong.

    Am I right in thinking that you just grab the whole pattern by the root note and take it down to a 5th or 7th and it should work? Or does the whole pattern need to be altered to fit the new root note?

    No problem about the link :) I had a listen (Nice track, by the way) and the bass sounded great on my speakers.

    The problem on mine then, I now realize, is actually the B on the octave below. If I take the root note at E flat and take it down a whole octave, every note sounds right apart from the B, which is the lowest one. It just rumbles and is out of tune.

    Thanks.
     
  20. LG18

    LG18 Member

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    Right I see.

    I'll do my best, thanks for your help.

    The mixing isn't right. I'm just not sure how to actually get it right. I don't have the right environment or experience to get it there I don't think, haha

    On top of that, with the bass being too high it's pointless trying to compare it to other tracks because they're all hitting in a lower frequency. The bass is too high and so is making the kick sound thin, so getting a balance is really difficult. It might be a lost cause. :/