making the best bass

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The Tone Ranger
Posts: 139
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 19 Jan 2015

I'm not sure what you mean by a bass that cuts through. I depends what else you have in the mix. Give the bass room and it will cut through.

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Majestik Monkey
Posts: 684
Joined: 07 Jul 2015

Post 19 Jan 2015

Personally i would love to see Subtractor Updated to Stereo ! 

1. i throw in subtractor ' Init it , usually i stick with the two Osc's on Saw's!
2. then i usually engage the second Osc , finding a nice balance between the two volume wise & using Octaves ' nearly always 2nd & third   Oct but never the same for each Osc  Unless you decide to add More Subtractors ! eg  1st Osc = second Oct ' 2nd Osc = 3rd Oct ...... or vise versa & also using the Phaze Knobs of each Osc & phaze select O - + makes a HUGE difference I mean HUGE!
3. then i just mess about until i find that sound  :s0221:  horrayyyy 
4. for the last part i Combine & Copy the Subtractor then throw in 6/2 Mixer & pan Hard left & right of 1 & 2 Bass's = Dual Mono Bass Fat as    F*ck ' lol 
of course with this last part it can be dodgy if you are still TWEAKING the bass sound but i guess its ok for very minor tweaks bearing in mind the Balance from Bass 1 & Bass 2 ? but of course you have the option of Setting the controllers in unison for each Subtractor probably a much better idea for further tweaks : its perhaps good to try minor adjustments to the Pan Law ' but if the Octaves for both Subtractor's are the same !!! watch out for Real Bottom end PHAZING !!!!!!!!!!

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esselfortium
Posts: 1456
Joined: 15 Jan 2015

Post 19 Jan 2015

For the sake of simplicity, I mostly use the standard waveforms, rather than playing with all the numbered special ones. Not to say they can't be useful, but I've never taken the time to get intimately familiar with them, and I've still found Subtractor to be quite capable!

The Phase and +/* controls will add or multiply the waveform with a phase-shifted copy of itself, which can be used to create more complex waveforms. If I recall correctly, using + mode with a sawtooth synth will create a pulse wave, the width of which can be controlled by sweeping the phase knob. Controlling an oscillator's phase via an LFO can create some tasty movement in your sound.

The Ring Mod button is my secret weapon for thick Subtractor sounds. It modulates Osc2 using Osc1, similarly to the "AM From Osc2" slider in Thor. With this, you can create all sorts of changes to Osc2's timbre by changing Osc1's octave, waveform, or tuning. Shifting Osc1 by 1 semitone will usually be dissonant, but shifting Osc1 by 7 semitones or an octave will usually add some nice meaty harmonics. A tuning difference of a few Cents can give you a nice warbly analogue sound.
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The Tone Ranger
Posts: 139
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 19 Jan 2015

Last Alternative wrote:Well, I'm asking do you guys find one oscillator is best? 2? How much positive/negative cents difference with 2 oscillators? How do you guys contain it strong to the bottom end? Where do you LP?
I know these are vague questions and every song is different but I've found there are usual settings as well. And what kind of processing keeps the bass solid at the bottom of all the other instruments & vocals (besides kick)?
It depends what type of sound you are going for but detuned oscillators are going to sound less clear than 1 oscillator. You get phase effects with 2 osc (detuned by cents), which will sound less consistent and solid as just 1 osc. I think you probably want to start with one, it's simpler and more effective most of the time.

The Tone Ranger
Posts: 139
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 19 Jan 2015

esselfortium wrote:For the sake of simplicity, I mostly use the standard waveforms, rather than playing with all the numbered special ones. Not to say they can't be useful, but I've never taken the time to get intimately familiar with them, and I've still found Subtractor to be quite capable!

The Phase and +/* controls will add or multiply the waveform with a phase-shifted copy of itself, which can be used to create more complex waveforms. If I recall correctly, using + mode with a sawtooth synth will create a pulse wave, the width of which can be controlled by sweeping the phase knob. Controlling an oscillator's phase via an LFO can create some tasty movement in your sound.

The Ring Mod button is my secret weapon for thick Subtractor sounds. It modulates Osc2 using Osc1, similarly to the "AM From Osc2" slider in Thor. With this, you can create all sorts of changes to Osc2's timbre by changing Osc1's octave, waveform, or tuning. Shifting Osc1 by 1 semitone will usually be dissonant, but shifting Osc1 by 7 semitones or an octave will usually add some nice meaty harmonics. A tuning difference of a few Cents can give you a nice warbly analogue sound.
You're missing out not using the numbered oscillators. They're the best thing about the synth IMO.

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ionly
Posts: 305
Joined: 15 Jan 2015

Post 19 Jan 2015

Aside from above, I'm a big fan of Rob Papen's SubBoomBass and Punch-BD. I normally lay those down first and build from there, HPF'ing just about everything on top

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ionly
Posts: 305
Joined: 15 Jan 2015

Post 19 Jan 2015

...and don't forget some sidechain compression to carve some space

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Fretless Fingers
Posts: 121
Joined: 18 Jan 2015

Post 19 Jan 2015

I love the subtractor and I have been getting more intimate with it over the last few months. Thor has more potential but more programming time required.
I also play electric bass and have found two awesome tips over the years.

1-When your bass sounds great but overpowering in the mix add a unison device with the 4 voice setting. simply adjust the wet and dry keeping far more dry in the signal and it seems to tame the bass, making it almost magically blend into the mix

2-Rob Papens distort sounds amazing on bass by leaving only the distort setting on and switch the mode to "Cabinet" and the type to "Marshall". It's what I have been using in all my mixes over the last year or so and adds a gorgeous bass boos and even amp sound when applying additional edits
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liampatrickingram
Posts: 64
Joined: 19 Jan 2015

Post 19 Jan 2015

I guess I need to familiarize myself with Subtractor a bit more, I've never made a good bass in it.  Always jump to Thor by habit, probably a bad habit...
 

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Raveshaper
Posts: 1089
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 19 Jan 2015

Last Alternative wrote:Well, I'm asking do you guys find one oscillator is best? 2? How much positive/negative cents difference with 2 oscillators? How do you guys contain it strong to the bottom end? Where do you LP?
I know these are vague questions and every song is different but I've found there are usual settings as well. And what kind of processing keeps the bass solid at the bottom of all the other instruments & vocals (besides kick)?
What you're asking involves a lot of follow up questions and even more answers. Are you aiming for a low rumble? Are you going for an electronic version of rock bass tones? Etc.

To make your low end powerful, use a mono instrument like Subtractor or disconnect the right audio output of the instrument you choose. Turning down the width of an SSL channel will create phase cancellations that could potentially weaken your bass.
Use low cut on the M-Class EQ to get rid of subsonic frequencies from the bass instrument that could cause havoc in your mix.
High pass and EQ your control room out and send it into the master compressor sidechain in, making sure the needle only moves a little bit (compression ratios of around 2:1 max).
Make room for your low end by high passing every other channel out of the way and notching down slightly where the rasp/bite of the bass tones sit.
To help the bass cut through, have two instruments - one low with sinewave and LP to hold down any highs, and one an octave up with a different waveform optionally distorted slightly - to create the sound. Get these two to sit well with each other and keep the higher one separated using HP.
If you need the bass and the kick to both share the low signals, think about using dynamic EQ techniques applied to the bass to pull it down when the kick hits.

There are many other methods but these are what come to mind.
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jfrichards
Posts: 1307
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: Sunnyvale, CA

Post 19 Jan 2015

From your examples, I'd suggest starting with a Subtractor Backlash Bass and an MClass Maximizer on Limiter with Soft Clip over 100. Play around with slight filter and envelope changes for the particular song.  You can make room for a low kick with an MClass EQ Lo Shelf band on 30 Hz, with gain like -10 and Q around 1.4.  If you put the Param 1 band on 500 and drop the gain to -2.5, you'll get a mild Pultec shaped curve.

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