Two subs...

Discussion in 'Production' started by smoothassilk, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. smoothassilk

    smoothassilk Active Member

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    Ok, this sounds like a crazy idea but...

    The standard sub-bass is a pure sine wave at around 40-80hz. (E1 - E2, that octave)

    Lots of people have asked in the past: how to I make my subs sound bigger and deeper?

    Usually, the answer is to add distortion/ saturation (or use a square wave). This makes the sub sound bigger by adding harmonics, which interfere with the main bass sound, (The lowest harmonic of the sub (not the fundamental) is at twice the frequency of the fundamental, or 80 hz - 160 hz, which is really where a lot of the main bass usually sits.)

    So why not instead of adding harmonics, add another pure sine wave a fifth up, or +7 semitones. This is 1.5 times higher than the sub itself, or 60 - 120hz which is between your main bass and the sub, so it adds weight without interfering.

    That was the theory, but I have really shit speakers and only moderately good headphones so I'm not sure how much difference it makes. I can hear some difference, it does sound better, but I don't really trust my crappy set up... Someone check it out for me and see if I'm talking bollocks or not.
     
  2. Tone1304

    Tone1304 Member

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    there would be ALOT of phasing issues with that
     
  3. Boooke

    Boooke Member

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    Bigger? When my bass is big, it's because it's boomy and I don't like that. You can always go hip hop, distort it, filter with a bit res maybe, and done, which can make it more present. You can add hipassed stereo sounds, to make it feel wider if it has sorta the same movement going on - it works well with kicks, where you can practically just split the frequencies into low, mid, and highs, kill the mids and widen the highs.
     
  4. smoothassilk

    smoothassilk Active Member

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    Why? If you can make a pad or lead or chords of any sort with oscillators a fifth apart, with no phasing issues, why not a sub? Phasing only occurs when you've got two sounds occupying nearly the same frequency, and one sine at 40hz shouldn't interfere with another sine at 60hz. Obviously both sines should be mono, so there won't be any issues with that.

    Alright, my mistake, I got the lingo wrong.
    I meant to say weightier and more powerful, rather than bigger and wider?
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
  5. johneysvk

    johneysvk tnuc

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    this works, but you need to turn the second osc waay down if you don't want major phasing to happen
     
  6. cele

    cele Well-Known Member

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    well 40/60 would make the sub wobble like mad and make it sound shit if you go for sine waves (and my guess is every other wave)

    especially in the sub region (cause the waves are long), interference of any kind is gonna mess with the sound a lot

    if you want to i can draw something on paint or make a screenshot of audacity to make this more clear
    (just test it for yourself and make a 40 hz sine wave and then a 60hz sinewave in audacity and merge them or let them play at the same time)

    i am not good at explaining this stuff
     
  7. mr meh

    mr meh Well-Known Member

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    Because there is no (or very little) bass in pads and leads, thats why you can generally layer them without issues. Layering bass frequencies on top of each other just sounds like shit. If it was a good idea, everyone would be doing it.
     
  8. smoothassilk

    smoothassilk Active Member

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    I'm kinda seeing the issue, I think... when the two combine, it becomes double the volume even though they're different frequencies?
    Why don't harmonics have these issues? If it was on the octave, I could layer the two together and there would be no interference at all.
     
  9. Tone1304

    Tone1304 Member

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    all sounds do that in a way not just subs , just you can hear it better the lower the frequncy because the waves are longer, you can try it in headphone if you system isn't that good the only way i make that kind of sound good is when i use it in jump up, get your normal sub, duplicate the patch, add another sine osc shift it up or down 1 semi tone and add a pitch bend down, makes that wobbly sub :) if you want a weighty sub, you need to add subtle distortions, also they choice of notes help D# to G i think make good sub notes, dont hold me to that though :D
     
  10. dbjungle

    dbjungle DJ Syklone

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    I only use triangles or squares for my subs. I don't ever use sines for harmonic reasons. It's easier to pick out the sub on a lesser sound system.
     
  11. Yukon

    Yukon Yukon

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    A low passed reese would gives that deeper vibe. yeah.
     
  12. Dugg Funnie

    Dugg Funnie Well-Known Member

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    No, yes you'd lose a lot of headroom from the nature of two very large waves competing against each other, but the two would not represent a mathematical doubling of volume. Also, phasing is not the issue, I don't think those two understand that concept; but that's another discussion. The first problem I'd see with your suggestion of adding the fifth above the bass note is the potential for that fifth not being harmonious with the rest of the chord or whatever is happening with the track, which could lead to serious mud in your mix as well.

    You want big smooth sub? Here's what you do:

    1. Detune some triangle or square waves, doesn't really fucking matter which.
    2. Add a bit of distortion (I'd go with a gentle sine-waveshaper, but anything subtle will do)
    3. Low-pass
    4. Add the widest chorus setting you can manage that still maintain the overall timbre/tonality of the sound
    5. Toss in whatever stereo image shaper you've got and sum it all to mono (or really close to mono, sometimes I like to add just a touch of width to the sub for flavor)
    6. Because of the chorus + mono summation you're probably gonna have some pretty wild dynamic spikes goin on so it's time to compress. Smash that shit as flat-line as you can
    7. Add some Soundgoodizer
    8. Enjoy your dope sub
     
  13. Mania

    Mania i fukin wot m8

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    The issue with your initial idea smooth, is that any added note that is not the octave will cause a phasing effect.
    The whole idea behind the 'phat sub' is simply dependant on adding harmonics and/or levelling the sub, to increase it's presence and impact in the track.

    The way subs should be made is dependant on your style of mids. Mids which have a lot of <150 and are consistent throughout the chorus (basses) will nearly always call for a pure sine wave for the sub. The pure sine wave will not muddy up the bass at all and will act to fill in the sub area that has been cut from the bass, and give a clean sound.

    If you dont have a lot of bass action, just some mid stuff, then there end up being a lot more room for the sub, which bring ins the subject of harmonics. If you plan on making a harmonic sub layer, keep an eye on a freq analyzer to see what you are doing. There are heaps of ways to get harmonics, like using square waves, triangle waves, compression, and even distortion (and even though a lot of people will say not to do this, i'll tell you why its okay).

    The thing is, whatever method you use doesnt really matter, because as long as you look at you spectrum analyzer, and you see the fundamental harmonic peaking well over the other harmonics, with none of the harmonics moving up and down, you can safely use it as a sub.
    My usual method involves getting harmonics from a driven sine and compression, and then i control how much harmonic presence i want with a steep lowpass (24db/o or more).
    You can keep layering other sounds with the sub to make it even fatter, like how Mefjus did in Far Too Close.



    You can also get a classic really messy and rumbly sub by phasing two or three intervalled sines, or by lowpassing a phasey bass. You would know what kind of sub that i'm talking about if you've checked out the Hideous stems



    As long as it's lowpassed and in mono, you should be fine
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2015
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  14. dbjungle

    dbjungle DJ Syklone

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    Thanks Mania, that's really good advice. I never really tried distorting my sub bass, but I think I'll give that a shot during my next session, whenever that actually is.

    My only question is, wouldn't you lose most of those driven harmonics when you high cut? Thanks.

    Sent from my LG-E970 using Tapatalk
     
  15. Mania

    Mania i fukin wot m8

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    Yes, but thats the point. You usually do end up lowering them a lot with a lowpass, but you dont want them at a high level. Depending on how you want it, the harmonics should taper down to between 300 and 1000 on an analyzer. Remember it depends on how you want it to sound, not necessarily look.
     
  16. Dark Lizardro

    Dark Lizardro The Lizard that has a hammer Staff Member

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    So, basically you're saying to fill the frequency spectrum from 40hz to 120hz with a "sub". And what about the kick?
     
  17. Dugg Funnie

    Dugg Funnie Well-Known Member

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