Bass and Kick EQ'ing!

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Creativemind
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Post 02 Nov 2018

Hi All!

Just tryna EQ my bass and kick drum in a house track.

Bass

Would you cut everything below 40hz (as I've just seen on a video as it said these are unwanted sub frequencies that the kick needs) and then just after 40hz (couldn't see what he'd EQ'd as the vid was very small and couldn't be enlarged) there was a gentle boost. I'm guessing 2 or 3dB. He said that was the main frequency of the bass but wouldn't that depend on YOUR actual bass patch? why would he boost it anyway, for what reason?

I've also added a little reverb to the bass. Is that an ok practice (to add reverb to a bass)? I've known a lot of patches (on synths that have effects such as reverb or in combi patches) to have reverb so I'm guessing it's ok but just wondered.

Kick

Also, what should I do with the kick? I know sidechaining would be a good option (but I always forget how to do this on Reason as it's too complicated to achieve).

I'm just looking to have both sit in the mix well and compliment each other but best clean up my mix. I also have a poly patch playing chords and EQ'ing that will be next step after the bass and kick.

Thanks!
:reason:

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Timmy Crowne
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Post 02 Nov 2018

Good questions! The way I think about it, there are 3 ways to get kick and bass to work together:

1. Separate them by frequency.
This is the method you're considering. As far as specific frequency and decibel numbers, you're right that it's not really feasible to suggest settings without hearing the context. I can't speak for the guy who made the tutorial, but generally it's best not to do anything just because. The frequency balance of the sounds you selected might not need any EQ at all.

2. Separate them by time.
If we sequence the parts so that they don't play at the same time, both tracks could overlap greatly in the frequency content without it being a problem. This is the classic house pattern of playing the bass on the upbeats only. Another way to achieve this separation is to use side chain compression on the bass so that each sound essentially takes turns being audible. Perhaps the easiest way is to use a spider to split the kick signal and route it to the side chain input on the bass mix channel and enable the compressor.

3. Leave them alone!
Sometimes, all that is needed is to reverse the polarity of one of the tracks by pressing the invert phase button at the top of the mixer channel so that they reinforce each other instead of cancelling each other. Jacquire King has suggested that the bass should add about 3dbVU to the overall level when mixed in with the kick.

Adding reverb to anything is fine as long as it doesn't destroy the intention of the track. One of the reasons why reverb is usually not added to bass is because by default the reverb will blur the percussive nature of the bass and possibly weaken the groove. Another reason is that reverb introduces phasing which thins out the bass in unpredictable ways.

If these effects are undesirable but you would still like to use reverb, it might be good to use the stereo imager to split the low end of the bass to remain in mono, while feeding the high end to the reverb for the spatiality. Of course, this works best on bass sounds that contain higher frequency content. To take this even further, we could side chain the low end of the bass to the kick, while adding reverb or delay or chorus to the high end.

Hope this helps!

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Creativemind
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Post 03 Nov 2018

Timmy Crowne wrote:
02 Nov 2018

2. Separate them by time.
If we sequence the parts so that they don't play at the same time, both tracks could overlap greatly in the frequency content without it being a problem. This is the classic house pattern of playing the bass on the upbeats only. Another way to achieve this separation is to use side chain compression on the bass so that each sound essentially takes turns being audible. Perhaps the easiest way is to use a spider to split the kick signal and route it to the side chain input on the bass mix channel and enable the compressor.

Adding reverb to anything is fine as long as it doesn't destroy the intention of the track. One of the reasons why reverb is usually not added to bass is because by default the reverb will blur the percussive nature of the bass and possibly weaken the groove. Another reason is that reverb introduces phasing which thins out the bass in unpredictable ways.

If these effects are undesirable but you would still like to use reverb, it might be good to use the stereo imager to split the low end of the bass to remain in mono, while feeding the high end to the reverb for the spatiality. Of course, this works best on bass sounds that contain higher frequency content. To take this even further, we could side chain the low end of the bass to the kick, while adding reverb or delay or chorus to the high end.

Hope this helps!
In response to 2 - the bass part I have (that I like and was made up in my head) happens to be on the beats (not the offbeats) and I don't like it without reverb. I like the way the reverb adds some warmth and nice-ness to it and it just sounds plain and dull without it so wanna keep it. It isn't loads of reverb either.

So I guess sidechaining is the way forward. So what's the quickest way to sidechain the bass. I always forget how to do this. Don't think I've done it in 3 years lol! I have a redrum with a kit on there (which is subgrouped using mix channels for 6 of the drums and routed to a new output bus). The mix channel that was originally for the Redrum has been deleted as it wasn't needed since being subgrouped. The bass is an NN-XT patch. I can use the SSL can't I or should I just create another redrum with a different kick on it and an M-Class compressor and do it that way?

I'll include a back of the rack pic with the kick mix channel and NN-XT bass patch opened up.

P.S - I'm thinking that sidechaining the bass now to the kick might dramatically kill the basses impact?
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RobC
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Post 03 Nov 2018

Creativemind wrote:
02 Nov 2018
Hi All!

Just tryna EQ my bass and kick drum in a house track.

Bass

Would you cut everything below 40hz (as I've just seen on a video as it said these are unwanted sub frequencies that the kick needs) and then just after 40hz (couldn't see what he'd EQ'd as the vid was very small and couldn't be enlarged) there was a gentle boost. I'm guessing 2 or 3dB. He said that was the main frequency of the bass but wouldn't that depend on YOUR actual bass patch? why would he boost it anyway, for what reason?

I've also added a little reverb to the bass. Is that an ok practice (to add reverb to a bass)? I've known a lot of patches (on synths that have effects such as reverb or in combi patches) to have reverb so I'm guessing it's ok but just wondered.

Kick

Also, what should I do with the kick? I know sidechaining would be a good option (but I always forget how to do this on Reason as it's too complicated to achieve).

I'm just looking to have both sit in the mix well and compliment each other but best clean up my mix. I also have a poly patch playing chords and EQ'ing that will be next step after the bass and kick.

Thanks!
Personally, I wouldn't fix anything at cutting at 40 Hz. I would rather look at the bass notes, check which the lowest one is, and cut there. Also, consider if in comparison to where the bass melody's most notes are your lowest note is at about 60 Hz for example, but you have 1 note that is at around 35 Hz, then you may want to shift that note up one octave.

That said, there's only so much you can do, cause most kicks make a big use of the 40-80 Hz area.

When it comes to synthesized music, where everything is perfectly on timing (even a sampled instruments count!), I would (and always do) check if it sounds better if you offset the bass from the kick. Usually nudge it forward with regroove, so the bass doesn't weaken the kick's click. I also check how the kick and the bass work together frequency wise, mostly by inverting the phase of the bass. That can get tricky, cause sometimes different frequencies on the spectrum, add up, or cancel out differently. Generally, you can just flip it, or leave it, depending in which mode the bass frequencies sound stronger/better (or you measure loudness and pick the louder one in that case where there's less canceling going on).
Again, you could do this a single time and call it a day, or if it's just looping, you could pick every single bass note that sits on the kick, and do necessary adjustments. That way, from the other notes, you don't need to cut anything. And from the single notes, you can do a cut where it's needed, so you only remove unwanted rumble noise that isn't part of the note (if any).
If you want to make the most of it, you can split the bass for example into multiple bands and try to do the above adjustments individually. Bare in mind, that I use insanely accurate Linear Phase spectrum filtering; which can have its artifacts in some cases, but you can do some really awesome trick with it. With more common crossovers/splitters, I don't know if you may get worse results when it comes to phase inversion and offsetting individual bands of a sound, that's something I haven't tried, since I didn't look back after FIR filters.

In modern kick drums, it's like there usually is a boost between 40-80 Hz. They sound much harder than most older ones.

I read that for vinyl, they used to do quite some low cut, then added to the upper bass, to compensate. So maybe it's sort of creating that "false bass" trick, to make up for the loss?

You can add whatever effect you want to whatever sound!
What I would do, is again, checking the note range of your bass. Then, I would separate at the highest note. Say, it's at about 100 Hz for example. Then I would do a splitting there. I'd take everything above 100 Hz, and effect that, while leaving below 100 Hz clean. Or, if it sounds off, then you could take the part below 100 Hz, add distortion (new harmonics created!), then cut that again below 100 Hz and maybe use an envelope follower and apply the original sub bass dynamics to it, then tweak to taste (filtering, EQ, whatever you feel like) and off it goes to the processor with the original content above 100 Hz. Then you just do your adjustments with the clean sub bass, the clean sound above 100 Hz, and the effected sounds, so one isn't louder/off than the other in comparison to the original completely clean bass.

Generally, it can cause problems if you effect sub bass. You may want that though in some cases! Some like adding a very subtle room reverb to their whole mix.

Sidechaining is something I'm having second thoughts about, cause it kills transients. I'd rather just use that as an effect on softer sounds, like washy pads, some noise effects, maybe getting creative with just sidechaining reverbs, echoes, even the release/tails of synths, or other sounds. Plus instead of sidechaining, I dig doing that by automating the level of mix channels for example. Tons more flexible when it comes to creating an effect. Though when it comes to sound design, I can understand why one would prefer using a compressor, cause it's not about creating a pumping effect, but to make room for the kick in this case.

If the kick sounds good, you don't need to do much with it.

RobC
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Post 03 Nov 2018


RobC
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Joined: 10 Mar 2018

Post 03 Nov 2018

Timmy Crowne wrote:
02 Nov 2018
Good questions! The way I think about it, there are 3 ways to get kick and bass to work together:

1. Separate them by frequency.
This is the method you're considering. As far as specific frequency and decibel numbers, you're right that it's not really feasible to suggest settings without hearing the context. I can't speak for the guy who made the tutorial, but generally it's best not to do anything just because. The frequency balance of the sounds you selected might not need any EQ at all.

2. Separate them by time.
If we sequence the parts so that they don't play at the same time, both tracks could overlap greatly in the frequency content without it being a problem. This is the classic house pattern of playing the bass on the upbeats only. Another way to achieve this separation is to use side chain compression on the bass so that each sound essentially takes turns being audible. Perhaps the easiest way is to use a spider to split the kick signal and route it to the side chain input on the bass mix channel and enable the compressor.

3. Leave them alone!
Sometimes, all that is needed is to reverse the polarity of one of the tracks by pressing the invert phase button at the top of the mixer channel so that they reinforce each other instead of cancelling each other. Jacquire King has suggested that the bass should add about 3dbVU to the overall level when mixed in with the kick.

Adding reverb to anything is fine as long as it doesn't destroy the intention of the track. One of the reasons why reverb is usually not added to bass is because by default the reverb will blur the percussive nature of the bass and possibly weaken the groove. Another reason is that reverb introduces phasing which thins out the bass in unpredictable ways.

If these effects are undesirable but you would still like to use reverb, it might be good to use the stereo imager to split the low end of the bass to remain in mono, while feeding the high end to the reverb for the spatiality. Of course, this works best on bass sounds that contain higher frequency content. To take this even further, we could side chain the low end of the bass to the kick, while adding reverb or delay or chorus to the high end.

Hope this helps!
Oh, I forgot to consider how some effects can smear the higher frequency transients of basses. There, a bit of "ducking" type of sidechaining can help. Aka, take the original raw higher seperated frequencies, and side chain the effected duplicate, so that it pulls the effected sound back when the transients click.

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selig
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Post 03 Nov 2018

Creativemind wrote:Hi All!

Just tryna EQ my bass and kick drum in a house track.
OK, let’s hear what you got and what you do and don’t like, and I’ll tell you exactly what I’d do - or better yet, show you.

In most cases I’d start by addressing the source sounds if there were any serious problems (and if at all possible).

Otherwise it’s so contextual and also depends greatly on YOUR tastes in music, IMO.



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RobC
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Post 03 Nov 2018

selig wrote:
03 Nov 2018

Otherwise it’s so contextual
The way I see it, if we start looking at the many possibilities and start fleshing them out, we might get inspired for trying something we didn't before.

Such as my tip of processing individual notes; isolating note range; really got myself curious.

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selig
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Post 03 Nov 2018

RobC wrote:
selig wrote:
03 Nov 2018

Otherwise it’s so contextual
The way I see it, if we start looking at the many possibilities and start fleshing them out, we might get inspired for trying something we didn't before.

Such as my tip of processing individual notes; isolating note range; really got myself curious.
Start where? Giving real world examples is always a great place to start - even with a four bar loop, there’s TONS of possibilities.

Curiosity is fine, but I also want to try to help the OP!




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RobC
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Post 03 Nov 2018

selig wrote:
03 Nov 2018
RobC wrote:
The way I see it, if we start looking at the many possibilities and start fleshing them out, we might get inspired for trying something we didn't before.

Such as my tip of processing individual notes; isolating note range; really got myself curious.
Start where? Giving real world examples is always a great place to start - even with a four bar loop, there’s TONS of possibilities.

Curiosity is fine, but I also want to try to help the OP!




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I'm confident that my ideas help plenty. For example, I just tried isolating a bassline between about 40 and 160 Hz (note range) with some saturation on it, and boy does it create some delicious harmonics. General effects on that range sound not necessarily nice, but the created harmonics thanks to the distortion, outside that range are very much usable. Thus, what I would maybe cut out when it comes to effect processing, doesn't disappear completely, but will be there in a different form.
Now with the Main Mixer's IIR HPF, as I expected, it created canceling issues when mixing to the original sound, in parallel, so either I solved it with boosting the highs further - or I could have gone with FIR filter, (which I used for isolation) where the sound was far better with minimal non-bothersome artifacts.

I gave solutions and more, exactly to the issues he addressed.

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selig
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Post 03 Nov 2018

RobC wrote: I gave solutions and more, exactly to the issues he addressed.
That’s not what I’m talking about. Sorry if I upset you or implied you were’t being helpful.

My initial response was to the OP to ask for an example and to explain how context would better direct the responses he got, because in my experience that’s what’s most helpful. But ALL observations are helpful, and yours are appreciated.

You can disagree with my approach, but let’s not discuss it here, OK?

I’d rather get back to helping the OP if you agree. You keep doing your thing, I’ll keep doing mine - we’re both being helpful in our own way! :)



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aeox
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Post 03 Nov 2018

Creativemind wrote:
02 Nov 2018
Hi All!

Just tryna EQ my bass and kick drum in a house track.

Bass

Would you cut everything below 40hz (as I've just seen on a video as it said these are unwanted sub frequencies that the kick needs) and then just after 40hz (couldn't see what he'd EQ'd as the vid was very small and couldn't be enlarged) there was a gentle boost. I'm guessing 2 or 3dB. He said that was the main frequency of the bass but wouldn't that depend on YOUR actual bass patch? why would he boost it anyway, for what reason?

I've also added a little reverb to the bass. Is that an ok practice (to add reverb to a bass)? I've known a lot of patches (on synths that have effects such as reverb or in combi patches) to have reverb so I'm guessing it's ok but just wondered.

Kick

Also, what should I do with the kick? I know sidechaining would be a good option (but I always forget how to do this on Reason as it's too complicated to achieve).

I'm just looking to have both sit in the mix well and compliment each other but best clean up my mix. I also have a poly patch playing chords and EQ'ing that will be next step after the bass and kick.

Thanks!
I've said this before on 2-3 other posts of yours where you were asking for help.

I believe that everyone would benefit greatly by having an audio example of what you are having problems with. Your approach to a solution depends on many things, including the style of music and personal tastes.
whoahh

Last edited by aeox on 24 May 2018, edited too many times in total.

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Timmy Crowne
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Post 03 Nov 2018

Creativemind wrote:
03 Nov 2018
In response to 2 - the bass part I have (that I like and was made up in my head) happens to be on the beats (not the offbeats) and I don't like it without reverb. I like the way the reverb adds some warmth and nice-ness to it and it just sounds plain and dull without it so wanna keep it. It isn't loads of reverb either.

So I guess sidechaining is the way forward. So what's the quickest way to sidechain the bass. I always forget how to do this. Don't think I've done it in 3 years lol! I have a redrum with a kit on there (which is subgrouped using mix channels for 6 of the drums and routed to a new output bus). The mix channel that was originally for the Redrum has been deleted as it wasn't needed since being subgrouped. The bass is an NN-XT patch. I can use the SSL can't I or should I just create another redrum with a different kick on it and an M-Class compressor and do it that way?

I'll include a back of the rack pic with the kick mix channel and NN-XT bass patch opened up.

P.S - I'm thinking that sidechaining the bass now to the kick might dramatically kill the basses impact?
Nothing wrong with reverb on your bass, if it sounds good it is good! Its just good practice to watch out for phasing issues, which it sounds like you're already doing. The SSL compressor is fine to use for side-chaining. Based on your image, you could use the parallel output of the kick channel to feed the side-chain input of the bass channel. I usually set the SSL compressor to peak detection, minimum threshold and release, fast attack and play with the ratio until I find the right amount of ducking. I like to automate the ratio for different sections of the song.

You're right that side-chaining might take away the bass's impact since your pattern is right on the beat. You could duck only the low frequencies of the bass that compete with the kick. Question: Does your bass patch have a considerable decay? If the patch is staccato and right on the beat in 4/4, likely side-chaining isn't the best move because it would simply be turning the bass down and there's no signal left to rise when the compressor releases. Even ducking only the low-end would basically just be a complicated high pass filter. Selig's idea to let us hear the context is a good one. It's tough to give suggestions without hearing the specific situation.

RobC
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Post 03 Nov 2018

selig wrote:
03 Nov 2018
RobC wrote: I gave solutions and more, exactly to the issues he addressed.
That’s not what I’m talking about. Sorry if I upset you or implied you were’t being helpful.

My initial response was to the OP to ask for an example and to explain how context would better direct the responses he got, because in my experience that’s what’s most helpful. But ALL observations are helpful, and yours are appreciated.

You can disagree with my approach, but let’s not discuss it here, OK?

I’d rather get back to helping the OP if you agree. You keep doing your thing, I’ll keep doing mine - we’re both being helpful in our own way! :)



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Haha, that's the regular me, not being upset or anything, just being overly passionate about sound design.
But I get your point, not disagreeing. I tend to get random, which may irritate people, but this way I found something useful:
It's getting common to replace a bass' sub frequencies with a sine wave playing the melody. While it sounds huge that way, I felt it was missing something. It felt too clean. So today when I tested distorting the original, isolated sub frequencies of a growling FM bass, then high pass filtering that, and mixing it with that sub (sine wave) melody and the original high pass filtered bass (where the sub got cut); it turned into perfection compared to the original.

More for OP, it looks like there's no easy way out. I realized that each unique note can require a completely different timing offset and even phase inversion, so none of the beats will sound weak. I think the best way is to make bass and kick to work together, the way they are. Things like side chaining should rather be used as an effect, instead of engineering. Though whatever works best.

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Creativemind
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Post 04 Nov 2018

RobC wrote:
03 Nov 2018
I also check how the kick and the bass work together frequency wise, mostly by inverting the phase of the bass. That can get tricky, cause sometimes different frequencies on the spectrum, add up, or cancel out differently.
So what's the technical scientific thing that's happening when you invert phsse the bass then?

I wouldn't mind a video explaining what you described above as I only half understood it or if you could find a clip online that describes what you were saying.

I'll probably leave the sidechaining then.
:reason:

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RobC
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Post 04 Nov 2018

Creativemind wrote:
04 Nov 2018
RobC wrote:
03 Nov 2018
I also check how the kick and the bass work together frequency wise, mostly by inverting the phase of the bass. That can get tricky, cause sometimes different frequencies on the spectrum, add up, or cancel out differently.
So what's the technical scientific thing that's happening when you invert phsse the bass then?

I wouldn't mind a video explaining what you described above as I only half understood it or if you could find a clip online that describes what you were saying.

I'll probably leave the sidechaining then.
It's as easy as what happens when you add (or mix) a sine and a cosine wave. You get a flat zero line in worst case, which is complete cancellation. If you invert either, you get two of the same shapes, thus they don't cancel out, but add up.
In such perfectly simple cases, phase inversion would do the trick.
You can also try offsetting timing with Regroove for example, or a delay, to try synchronizing them more.

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selig
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Post 04 Nov 2018

RobC wrote:
Creativemind wrote:
04 Nov 2018
So what's the technical scientific thing that's happening when you invert phsse the bass then?

I wouldn't mind a video explaining what you described above as I only half understood it or if you could find a clip online that describes what you were saying.

I'll probably leave the sidechaining then.
It's as easy as what happens when you add (or mix) a sine and a cosine wave. You get a flat zero line in worst case, which is complete cancellation. If you invert either, you get two of the same shapes, thus they don't cancel out, but add up.
In such perfectly simple cases, phase inversion would do the trick.
You can also try offsetting timing with Regroove for example, or a delay, to try synchronizing them more.
One note to add - these “tricks” won’t work unless the kick and bass have consistent phase every time they play. If you use a free run oscillator for the bass, the phase will be different for every note so this trick won’t have any consistent effect.

I consider these tricks as last resort, to be tried when nothing else works. In contrast, first resort tricks are to modify the bass/kick part (notes played) or patch (filter/envelope/fix etc.) to get things to sit better together.

Most producers make these adjustments intuitively when building a track, hearing conflicts and making adjustments instead of continuing on with the production process ignoring the conflicts! That is to say, if you don’t create these issues in the first place, you won’t need any tricks to fix them in the mix (avoiding the classic “fix it in the mix” syndrome).


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RobC
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Post 04 Nov 2018

selig wrote:
04 Nov 2018
RobC wrote:
It's as easy as what happens when you add (or mix) a sine and a cosine wave. You get a flat zero line in worst case, which is complete cancellation. If you invert either, you get two of the same shapes, thus they don't cancel out, but add up.
In such perfectly simple cases, phase inversion would do the trick.
You can also try offsetting timing with Regroove for example, or a delay, to try synchronizing them more.
One note to add - these “tricks” won’t work unless the kick and bass have consistent phase every time they play. If you use a free run oscillator for the bass, the phase will be different for every note so this trick won’t have any consistent effect.

I consider these tricks as last resort, to be tried when nothing else works. In contrast, first resort tricks are to modify the bass/kick part (notes played) or patch (filter/envelope/fix etc.) to get things to sit better together.

Most producers make these adjustments intuitively when building a track, hearing conflicts and making adjustments instead of continuing on with the production process ignoring the conflicts! That is to say, if you don’t create these issues in the first place, you won’t need any tricks to fix them in the mix (avoiding the classic “fix it in the mix” syndrome).


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Usually, even different notes cause differences too with a static synth; that's why earlier I said that this is something that might need to be done for every single kick and bass when they hit together.

I'm considering both ~ sometimes it can spice the production up a bit to make the changes there; but if it would hurt the music (worsening the rhythm, and melody), I rather do whatever I can to make it sound as good as possible as-is. And in this case, OP wants the bass and kick to play together.

But there's only so much we can do, cause something will always cancel something else out. That's where I really like using Regroove, cause it not only can avoid such issues, but also can create nice offsetting effects (I think it's most obvious when we offset a perfectly cut snare and clap).

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selig
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Post 04 Nov 2018

Creativemind wrote:
04 Nov 2018
RobC wrote:
03 Nov 2018
I also check how the kick and the bass work together frequency wise, mostly by inverting the phase of the bass. That can get tricky, cause sometimes different frequencies on the spectrum, add up, or cancel out differently.
So what's the technical scientific thing that's happening when you invert phsse the bass then?

I wouldn't mind a video explaining what you described above as I only half understood it or if you could find a clip online that describes what you were saying.

I'll probably leave the sidechaining then.
Inverting phase is like inverting a black and white photo: white becomes black, black becomes white. If you invert a transparency and align the two in top of each other perfectly all you will see is black - if they don't line up perfectly, some level of grey/white will be seen.

Same for audio. If the original waveform pushes the speaker out, then in, and then you invert the polarity, the speaker now goes first in, and then out. But if you ask the speaker to go both in and out, in the same amount and at the same time, you get silence - make sense? Meaning, if you take two copies of the same waveform, invert one, and play them together, you get silence. Any level variation or timing misalignment means some of the signal slips through and you hear a softer version of the original.

What do you want to get from side-chaining? Some folks do it to hear the pumping effect. Some do it to try to get only one signal (either bass or kick) to play at once (though it's often ineffective due to timing problems). Which are you going for?

I have a unique solution to the second problem, where you are side-chaining in an effort to not increase the peak level when the kick and bass play at the same time, which I'll share if you're interested. Otherwise there are a multitude of options to get a pumping effect.
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Zac
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Post 04 Nov 2018

selig wrote:
04 Nov 2018
Creativemind wrote:
04 Nov 2018


So what's the technical scientific thing that's happening when you invert phsse the bass then?

I wouldn't mind a video explaining what you described above as I only half understood it or if you could find a clip online that describes what you were saying.

I'll probably leave the sidechaining then.
Inverting phase is like inverting a black and white photo: white becomes black, black becomes white. If you invert a transparency and align the two in top of each other perfectly all you will see is black - if they don't line up perfectly, some level of grey/white will be seen.

Same for audio. If the original waveform pushes the speaker out, then in, and then you invert the polarity, the speaker now goes first in, and then out. But if you ask the speaker to go both in and out, in the same amount and at the same time, you get silence - make sense? Meaning, if you take two copies of the same waveform, invert one, and play them together, you get silence. Any level variation or timing misalignment means some of the signal slips through and you hear a softer version of the original.

What do you want to get from side-chaining? Some folks do it to hear the pumping effect. Some do it to try to get only one signal (either bass or kick) to play at once (though it's often ineffective due to timing problems). Which are you going for?

I have a unique solution to the second problem, where you are side-chaining in an effort to not increase the peak level when the kick and bass play at the same time, which I'll share if you're interested. Otherwise there are a multitude of options to get a pumping effect.
^^I'm interested :)

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selig
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Post 04 Nov 2018

Zac wrote:
04 Nov 2018
selig wrote:
04 Nov 2018
I have a unique solution to the second problem, where you are side-chaining in an effort to not increase the peak level when the kick and bass play at the same time, which I'll share if you're interested.
^^I'm interested :)
I always though that if you only wanted to hear one of the two at a time, in order to keep the level from peaking higher when they hit together, then why not just use a crossfader? It will keep the levels consistent no matter the balance between the two, and absolutely ensure there is no overlap.

Why would it even be necessary? Because in every case I've come up with, it's nearly impossible NOT to raise the peak level with existing ducking techniques, mainly because you have to be so absolutely precise with the timing and amount of ducking.

I figured it would be far simpler to just crossfade instead, which accomplishes the same thing but is much easier. The idea is that instead of ducking the bass with the kick signal, you crossfade the bass to the kick when the kick hits.

Thanks to Groovy Melon, there is a free crossfader in the shop, the Morfin XF Crossfader:
https://shop.propellerheads.com/rack-ex ... rossfader/

It has everything you need to make this idea work. So I did, and here it is:
BassDucker_XFader_gr.cmb.zip
First I created a simple Combinator that did the basics. Then I realized you may not want the bass and kick to appear at the same outputs, so I separated them. Then I realized that pre-delay helped a lot, though it's 8 ms at the current settings which achieves perfect separation between the two (timing wise). Without pre-delay, the attack of the kick is lost.
Screen Shot 2018-11-04 at 1.16.24 PM.png
The rotary controls are;
Bass Level: the volume for the Bass input (main input of the Combinator), default to 100 for unity gain.
Depth: controls how far the crossfader goes in response to kick level - at minimum, there's no kick.
Release Time: how fast the level returns to the bass after a kick drum.
Kick Level: the volume for the Kick input (patch into Spider labeled "KICK IN/OUT"), default to 100 for unity gain.

The button controls are:
No Duck: sends the bass and the kick through at the current volume setting, no ducking (basically, "Bypass")
Lin/Log: alternative crossfade curve to explore.
PreDelay On: Allows turning pre delay off to hear the difference.

Insert the Combinator AFTER the bass instrument. Then open the Combinator and patch the kick into the first Spider at the top left of the Rack:
Screen Shot 2018-11-04 at 1.16.30 PM.png
If both kick and bass are hitting around peaks of -12dBFS, you may not have to make any adjustments. Otherwise, adjust Depth higher if the kick isn't coming out as strong as the input, and adjust Depth lower if the bass is ducking too fast. For slower tempos you may want to try slowing down the Release time if the ducking is too obvious/quick.

Any Questions or suggestions?

[One more thing, forgot to say that when you use button 1 to bypass, the individual levels should still be the same - but if you bus the kick and bass together you'll see that in bypass the combined level (which is what we're working on with this approach) is 3-5 dB hotter than when you use the ducker/crossfader method. And that's the whole point, to literally "make room" for the kick by taking the bass out of the way such that there is NO increase in level when they both play together.]
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Zac
Posts: 1106
Joined: 19 May 2016

Post 04 Nov 2018

selig wrote:
04 Nov 2018
Zac wrote:
04 Nov 2018


^^I'm interested :)
I always though that if you only wanted to hear one of the two at a time, in order to keep the level from peaking higher when they hit together, then why not just use a crossfader? It will keep the levels consistent no matter the balance between the two, and absolutely ensure there is no overlap.

Why would it even be necessary? Because in every case I've come up with, it's nearly impossible NOT to raise the peak level with existing ducking techniques, mainly because you have to be so absolutely precise with the timing and amount of ducking.

I figured it would be far simpler to just crossfade instead, which accomplishes the same thing but is much easier. The idea is that instead of ducking the bass with the kick signal, you crossfade the bass to the kick when the kick hits.

Thanks to Groovy Melon, there is a free crossfader in the shop, the Morfin XF Crossfader:
https://shop.propellerheads.com/rack-ex ... rossfader/

It has everything you need to make this idea work. So I did, and here it is:
BassDucker_XFader_gr.cmb.zip

First I created a simple Combinator that did the basics. Then I realized you may not want the bass and kick to appear at the same outputs, so I separated them. Then I realized that pre-delay helped a lot, though it's 8 ms at the current settings which achieves perfect separation between the two (timing wise). Without pre-delay, the attack of the kick is lost.
Screen Shot 2018-11-04 at 1.16.24 PM.png

The rotary controls are;
Bass Level: the volume for the Bass input (main input of the Combinator), default to 100 for unity gain.
Depth: controls how far the crossfader goes in response to kick level - at minimum, there's no kick.
Release Time: how fast the level returns to the bass after a kick drum.
Kick Level: the volume for the Kick input (patch into Spider labeled "KICK IN/OUT"), default to 100 for unity gain.

The button controls are:
No Duck: sends the bass and the kick through at the current volume setting, no ducking (basically, "Bypass")
Lin/Log: alternative crossfade curve to explore.
PreDelay On: Allows turning pre delay off to hear the difference.

Insert the Combinator AFTER the bass instrument. Then open the Combinator and patch the kick into the first Spider at the top left of the Rack:
Screen Shot 2018-11-04 at 1.16.30 PM.png

If both kick and bass are hitting around peaks of -12dBFS, you may not have to make any adjustments. Otherwise, adjust Depth higher if the kick isn't coming out as strong as the input, and adjust Depth lower if the bass is ducking too fast. For slower tempos you may want to try slowing down the Release time if the ducking is too obvious/quick.

Any Questions or suggestions?

[One more thing, forgot to say that when you use button 1 to bypass, the individual levels should still be the same - but if you bus the kick and bass together you'll see that in bypass the combined level (which is what we're working on with this approach) is 3-5 dB hotter than when you use the ducker/crossfader method. And that's the whole point, to literally "make room" for the kick by taking the bass out of the way such that there is NO increase in level when they both play together.]
Yes, this is a new concept for me. Glad I asked. I'll have a play with it tomorrow. Thanks.

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Noplan
Posts: 564
Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: Cologne, Germany

Post 04 Nov 2018

Nothing wrong with reverb on your bass
if you want clarity in your mix, then reverb on the bass is not the best decision.

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Creativemind
Posts: 2446
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Location: Stoke-On-Trent, England, UK

Post 04 Nov 2018

selig wrote:
03 Nov 2018
Creativemind wrote:Hi All!

Just tryna EQ my bass and kick drum in a house track.
OK, let’s hear what you got and what you do and don’t like, and I’ll tell you exactly what I’d do - or better yet, show you.

In most cases I’d start by addressing the source sounds if there were any serious problems (and if at all possible).

Otherwise it’s so contextual and also depends greatly on YOUR tastes in music, IMO.



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Were you talking in this thread or privately Selig?
:reason:

Reason 10.2

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selig
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Joined: 15 Jan 2015

Post 04 Nov 2018

Creativemind wrote:
selig wrote:
03 Nov 2018
OK, let’s hear what you got and what you do and don’t like, and I’ll tell you exactly what I’d do - or better yet, show you.

In most cases I’d start by addressing the source sounds if there were any serious problems (and if at all possible).

Otherwise it’s so contextual and also depends greatly on YOUR tastes in music, IMO.



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Were you talking in this thread or privately Selig?
I just mean that if you ask theoretical questions you get theoretical answers. But if you play a song for us and tell us you’re not happy with something, we can all give you very specific and useful answers.

The beauty of that approach is that we will all give different answers, and you may pick and choose from them to find the solutions that work best for you.

I learned a lot from assisting and watching many different engineers when I first started out. I found that each approach was valid and often gave different results. I was able then to pick and choose from all options I saw and come up with the techniques I use today (and still add to them by reading responses here and elsewhere).



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