808/sub bass thump!

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eox
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Post 28 Jan 2015

**forgive me if this is in the wrong thread!

Hey guys! Love the new website btw. Miss the old forums but I'm glad we have found something to further our community! Anyways, I have been producing music (at least trying to :P ) since 2005 and I have a problem that no matter how many videos/articles/tutorials I have watched I just can't seem to get my sub bass and 808 bass drums to thump correctly in a mix. Ever.

I don't mean to beat a dead horse by bringing this topic up as it seems to be a pretty common issue, but for you guys who produce and use a lot of sub bass in your mixes, what's to it that I can't seem to understand? I do the whole EQ all the other instruments low via HP filter/EQ, some tape saturation, and compressors but every time I get close I run into clipping.

Over the years I've began to limit my Db levels to be at around -10 to -15 db during producing stage to leave headroom for mastering stage. You would think messing with the low subs would be an easy task but boy have I learned it's a lot more difficult! I'm humbled by the knowledge this community has and I'm thankful I can absorb and learn from you all! Thank you for taking the time to read this!

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Benedict
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Post 29 Jan 2015

This may give you a start

http://benedictroffmarsh.com/2013/08/11 ... ing-music/

Simple is the answer as is harnessing the Sine wave.

:)

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Olivier
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Post 29 Jan 2015

I recently discovered that part of my problem with this is in my monitors. Anything under 55ish hz turns into mud, under 50 hz it simply dissapears. I thought it would gradually fade, but no, it just drops out completely. Even though i know that to mix properly i need to hear it properly, i actually never bothered to check if that was the case. Stupid, i know.
Since then i've stayed away from those frequencies and lo and behold, i can still make a track with lots of punch, and lots of bass. To me this was quite a discovery :P (also, close to ordering better monitors)
This might not be a relevant answer to OP's question but I hope you agree its at least slightly related ;)
Also, maybe theres a chance that more people with entry level speakers (like me) have this problem, but aren't aware of it.
:reason: V9 | i7 5930 | Motu 828 MK3 | Win 10

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eox
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Post 29 Jan 2015

Benedict wrote:This may give you a start

http://benedictroffmarsh.com/2013/08/11 ... ing-music/

Simple is the answer as is harnessing the Sine wave.

:)
Thanks Benedict! I'm going to check that link and other tutorials you have on your website (I've been meaning to all week actually).

Yeah I've thought maybe my Mackies aren't being as true considering how my room hasn't been treated exactly. Though I've been mixing primarily with the same pair of Bose headphones....yeah I know that's probably not a good idea whatsoever but I've learned how they translate into the "real world". Evidently I'm most likely missing out on the true subs as now that I think about it, the freq response may go down to 40-50 hz. Not good haha.

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Benedict
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Post 29 Jan 2015

With speakers I don't think it is quite so much how much (or little) of the Frequency is there but how it balances up with what is there. No matter how much a mix may seem to be all about the width of Nikki Minaj's bass it is only the illusion of the mix. It is really the middle-to-top of the mix that creates most of the definition and the brain will line the rest up pretty well for you.

I would be more concerned about those Bose cans as (non-Pro) headphones are notorious for duff mixes and Bose are specialists in big woolly bass which is very likely to leave you with a poor balance in the wide world.

:)

VOLCANIC
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Post 29 Jan 2015

Piece of advice, there is nothing wrong with mixing with headphones but it is advisable that the final mix is done with monitors NOT headphones. Now going back to the issue of kicks and or 808 not jelling nice on the mix, firslty kicks snares and 808 must lead the song at all times and you then must have at least two elemennts either being a string and the other instrument that will drive or make the beat shine and the rest of the instuments might be lowered.

Very important; at least 40% of your instruments must be in stereo this means they should come from both directions left and right NOT MONO.

Now reason has quiet a number of good mastering patches and my favourite one is 8 band limiter which applies LPF and HPF process quiet very well for example if you have high frenquencies then the patch will widen them and then low one will be tightened up for a tight sound. Then you can fiddle with your bass compressor and you will get the results

One thing to remember though is that you must make sure you select a nice fat KICK all the time as the kick brings a dignity on your beat and trust me I know.

Don't be hard on yourself though just enjoy making music and try everything and you might find your own way.

If you apply this technique, you will never ask yourself and the others as to how to make your music soud like one of those professionals, because I tried it and it works as I am always comparing my song with that one favourite song of mine to make sure it sounds the same
Volcanic Music

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selig
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Post 29 Jan 2015

eox wrote:**forgive me if this is in the wrong thread! Hey guys! Love the new website btw. Miss the old forums but I'm glad we have found something to further our community! Anyways, I have been producing music (at least trying to :P ) since 2005 and I have a problem that no matter how many videos/articles/tutorials I have watched I just can't seem to get my sub bass and 808 bass drums to thump correctly in a mix. Ever. I don't mean to beat a dead horse by bringing this topic up as it seems to be a pretty common issue, but for you guys who produce and use a lot of sub bass in your mixes, what's to it that I can't seem to understand? I do the whole EQ all the other instruments low via HP filter/EQ, some tape saturation, and compressors but every time I get close I run into clipping. Over the years I've began to limit my Db levels to be at around -10 to -15 db during producing stage to leave headroom for mastering stage. You would think messing with the low subs would be an easy task but boy have I learned it's a lot more difficult! I'm humbled by the knowledge this community has and I'm thankful I can absorb and learn from you all! Thank you for taking the time to read this!
If you're clipping the mix, it's simply that the overall level is too hot. Turn it down!!! ;)

I'm not sure what you mean by "limit your dB Levels". The word "limit" has specific meanings in audio, but I don't think that's what you mean. And to say -10 to -15 dB without giving the rest of the equation (decibels are always expressed as a ratio) leaves me wondering what you mean here too -  I'll assume you mean 10 - 15 dB below full scale (clipping) which is expressed as -10 dBFS, or -15 dBFS. Also, you didn't mention what metering type you're using to measure these levels - the differences between Peak and VU can be pretty vast!

Finally, even for experienced mix engineers, the lowest few octaves are the trickiest. So don't be discouraged, EVERYONE struggles with these issues! 

As others have mentioned, nailing the low end can only be accomplished effectively if you can HEAR the low end (and hear it accurately). Having a sub-woofer can be extremely helpful here, especially if you can turn it on/off from the listening position. Doing a bit of room treatment is also essential for dealing with low end irregularities. It's a long process, but eventually you'll get the hang of it!
:)
Selig Audio, LLC

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eox
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Joined: 25 Jan 2015

Post 30 Jan 2015

eox wrote:**forgive me if this is in the wrong thread! Hey guys! Love the new website btw. Miss the old forums but I'm glad we have found something to further our community! Anyways, I have been producing music (at least trying to :P ) since 2005 and I have a problem that no matter how many videos/articles/tutorials I have watched I just can't seem to get my sub bass and 808 bass drums to thump correctly in a mix. Ever. I don't mean to beat a dead horse by bringing this topic up as it seems to be a pretty common issue, but for you guys who produce and use a lot of sub bass in your mixes, what's to it that I can't seem to understand? I do the whole EQ all the other instruments low via HP filter/EQ, some tape saturation, and compressors but every time I get close I run into clipping. Over the years I've began to limit my Db levels to be at around -10 to -15 db during producing stage to leave headroom for mastering stage. You would think messing with the low subs would be an easy task but boy have I learned it's a lot more difficult! I'm humbled by the knowledge this community has and I'm thankful I can absorb and learn from you all! Thank you for taking the time to read this!
selig wrote:
If you're clipping the mix, it's simply that the overall level is too hot. Turn it down!!! ;)

I'm not sure what you mean by "limit your dB Levels". The word "limit" has specific meanings in audio, but I don't think that's what you mean. And to say -10 to -15 dB without giving the rest of the equation (decibels are always expressed as a ratio) leaves me wondering what you mean here too -  I'll assume you mean 10 - 15 dB below full scale (clipping) which is expressed as -10 dBFS, or -15 dBFS. Also, you didn't mention what metering type you're using to measure these levels - the differences between Peak and VU can be pretty vast!

Finally, even for experienced mix engineers, the lowest few octaves are the trickiest. So don't be discouraged, EVERYONE struggles with these issues! 

As others have mentioned, nailing the low end can only be accomplished effectively if you can HEAR the low end (and hear it accurately). Having a sub-woofer can be extremely helpful here, especially if you can turn it on/off from the listening position. Doing a bit of room treatment is also essential for dealing with low end irregularities. It's a long process, but eventually you'll get the hang of it!
:)

I really appreciate all of the replies and kind help! I can absolutely see how the low end (sub levels) take practice to learn and tame. 

Yes Selig, I realized how vague my previous post was in regards to levels. When I record/mix I try and keep all of tracks to peak at around -10 dBFS or -15dBFS. I use Peak metering and RMS values. Peak metering I understand, RMS seems to be a little more confusing especially with deep subby bass. I've noticed when producing a song and I use those low ends the peak meters won't "clip" (past 0db) but the RMS value will give me a number such as +2.3. What that means exactly I am not quite sure haha. 

In regards to limiting myself with the dbs in the production stage, I try and keep all my levels pretty low in the mix so that my ears don't quickly fatigue and I can leave myself headroom for the "mastering" stage. I don't use limiters until it's the mixing stage to bring up the levels across the board for specific instruments or groups to get a well balanced mix. It's just though subs...Maybe I should invest in a subwoofer. I have the Mackie MR5's for monitors but I desperately need to treat the room.

Again, thank you all for taking the time to read and or reply to this topic! 

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freeQlow
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Location: East Coast

Post 15 Jul 2015

Benedict wrote:This may give you a start

http://benedictroffmarsh.com/2013/08/11 ... ing-music/

Simple is the answer as is harnessing the Sine wave.

:smile:
Sine wave was a hint and is a special layer to tame that 808. Hope you found something on the Internet to get you through that.

If your 808 is your sub, try adding a sine and a kick.
If you have a really low Sub 35-70 and a really 808 BD 50-150 you're going to have a much easier time soloing each to find the sweet spot and bringing it down.

Also I find a 808 BD with long decay and a sub hard to play and usually stray away.

A friend from Miami showed me a long time ago how to tune an 808 BD. If you have what I explained above try ditching the SUB Bass and do this

Find the 808 BD.
Drop it on Channel 1 of the Redrum or Kong.
Drop that same BD on Channel 2, 3, 4.
Tune/Tone/Pitch Decay each one different.
Your velocity is going g to help tuning and you'll start getting that rolling 808 low end.
It's magic I know!

Reference an old Miami Bass Track or Detroit Techno. Picture the LT,MT,HT rhythm in any classic track. It's magic. Don't rule out those Tom's from your kit either.

But write a sine in as if it was you CH on a different redrum/Kong and play with the swing.

Thor has some good 808 /Sine Patches too if samples are not your thing. same rules apply

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freeQlow
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Location: East Coast

Post 15 Jul 2015

Your Velocity on your BD Pattern, low-Mid-High-mid-low
will play a big part in how you program/mix.

Same goes for Sine, Hats etc. SWING!

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freeQlow
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Post 15 Jul 2015

1 more thing, go easy on the decay and play with Decay/a velocity til it's hypnotic

BombsandBottles
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Joined: 10 Jun 2015

Post 21 Jul 2015

If you give an example track which exemplifies the kind of kick/bass relationship you want, I'll take a listen and try and help you get the same results. I used to struggle with this problem myself and was always overcomplicating the issue. At the end of the day, it all comes down to choosing the right kind of kick and attaining the proper gain relationship between the two tracks (side chaining depends on the style of track and what you're trying to do).

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freeQlow
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Location: East Coast

Post 24 Jul 2015



Always reach for the classix!

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