Drum & Bass Sub Bass Tips ?

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#1
Hi guys,

Just wanted to know what you guys use for sub bass? and, if any, what tips you might have when making or Eq'ing your sub to make it fatter, blending it with your bass etc.

Im not too good when it comes to sub's Ive always used massive for my sub bass, So any advice is more than helpfull..

Thanks.
 

lostnthesound

Burns Easily in the Sun
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#2
  • Prime wave shapes for sub bass: Sin, Square, Triangle
  • Cut off all high end. Look for the sweet spot around 60–90Hz depending on the key of the tune and the fundamental frequency of your kick.
  • Sidechain Kick + Sub if you find they're competing for the same space and pitching up the kick doesn't yield good results.
  • Eliminate any "clicks" by increasing the release a little at a time.
  • Set your synth to a voice count of "1" and "Mono" to free up CPU.
  • Keep your subbass mono, use only mono FX.

Optional: Add a very subtle amount of overdrive to your sub for a bit more "umph." It may be necessary to add another EQ (Hi-Cut) after in your FX chain after the overdrive.
Optional: Add small amount of attack for an interesting/subtle ducking effect.

Keep in mind that should you choose to have your tune mastered, it's easier for an engineer to increase your bass than to reduce it. In other words, if the subbass sounds too loud in your pre-master mixdown, it probably is.

Cheers.
 

marcelkennard

Storms comin in Annie
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#11
I've always layered subs separately under my bass but in a tune I'm working on now I just made an entire bass sound with high end and sub all within the synth, just with 3 oscillators. The sub sounds delicious and the whole sound feels more natural. Of course it's just one way of many!
 

Mr Fletch

aka KRONIX
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#12
I know a few people will disagree with me on this, but personally I hate using massive for sub bass! Not because I'm bitching at Massive at all, infact it's my favourite synth! But I just don't like using it for sub bass, for me it just sounds whack! A simple sine wave sub just doesn't have enough power in Massive, and when you start trying to beef it up a bit with harmonics / EQ etc it seems to lose even more impact! I usually go straight to Ableton's own Operator for my subs, then use Massive for all the midrange tomfoolery on top!

Also, an added bonus with Operator is I can add easy modulations to the sub to help bring it out more, using the mod wheel on my controller, I don't seem to have the same control within massive.
 

DjCartel

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#13
I know a few people will disagree with me on this, but personally I hate using massive for sub bass! Not because I'm bitching at Massive at all, infact it's my favourite synth! But I just don't like using it for sub bass, for me it just sounds whack! A simple sine wave sub just doesn't have enough power in Massive, and when you start trying to beef it up a bit with harmonics / EQ etc it seems to lose even more impact! I usually go straight to Ableton's own Operator for my subs, then use Massive for all the midrange tomfoolery on top!

Also, an added bonus with Operator is I can add easy modulations to the sub to help bring it out more, using the mod wheel on my controller, I don't seem to have the same control within massive.
operator is highly underated, if you can work your way round it you can get some bad sounds!
 

Sebucán

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#14
what i do, make the phattest bassline as possible always put a sine wave 2 oct below if working with any synth if resampling try to use a sample that has enough bass, then put it on your mixer route the channel into other 2 channels one for the subby and put an eq low cutting around 150 -250 hz or so also add some limiting, and letting the other channel for mid sounds eq hi cuting around 200 hz then re route those channels into a bus, and your done.
 

miszt

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#15
never use a pure square wave for sub, you will destroy your speakers, used as part of a frequency modulation its fine, but pure square sub is very dangerous to your drivers, no sound system owner will thank you (i dont mean dangerous in a bassface kinda way, but in a you'll have to fork out £ to fix the speakers)


i tend to just use sines for my sub
 

miszt

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#17
Oh? Is this true? I've never heard that before. I always use sine for sub but I might blend in some square sometimes for character if the track needs it.
very low frequency squares at high volume are essentially a completely clipped signal into the driver, which can rapidly destroy a driver if its pushed hard enough, Sine/Square FM'd waves are safe for sub

squares can actually destroy any speaker driver, they dont tend to get pushed hard enough out of the sub range to be a problem, and are almost always mixed with lots of other wave shapes (leads/pads/prec etc) which means its not producing a pure square from the driver
 
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JimpaDirt

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#18
Thats some useful info when producing as you always solo the sounds you are working on (at least I do). Busting my speakers just from playing a low pitched square isn't something I'd want to happen.

You really do learn something new every day!
 

shadybrady

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#19
A lot of people use a single oscillator Sine wav for sub bass. However, I find it to be completely boring. If you want a good sub bass with some body, you can try to blend a sine wav with a square wav that's low passed. This way only the really low frequencies from the square wav are coming through the filter. You can find the right blend between the sine wav and low passed square. This will add a lot more body to your sub and it's a hell of a lot less boring. I usually do this when im layering my sub bass with another mid range bass. If i was making a track that didn't have any mid range bass and was all sub bass, I would probably do something a little different.
 
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